Mayor Glas called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m. in the Alcester City-School Library with Council members David Larsen, Audri Carlson, Dan Haeder, Mark Dykstra and Mayor Tom Glas in attendance. Absent were Council members Kama Johnson, Lance Johnson and City Attorney Chuck Haugland.
Mayor Glas called for agenda approval with Councilman David Larsen making the motion to approve the agenda, Councilwoman Audri Carlson seconded the motion with a unanimous vote of quorum of four to approve the agenda.
Mayor Glas called for approval of the minutes of the council meetings held on September 13th and September 26th. Councilman Mark Dykstra moved to approve the minutes as presented with the second coming from Councilman David Larsen with a unanimous approval vote of the quorum of four.
Alcester City-School Librarian Dee Cole welcomed the city council and gallery pointing out the AWE computers purchased for children, mentioning a push for “maker spaces” which is a hands on program, make the library a community center and programming to move the community back into the library.
Public input. Originally I intended to speak on the municipal yield sign placed onto the pole of the railroad cross buck and the matter of the council education on executive session procedure. But as I saw the ‘amended’ agenda, I decided to pre-empt the two items of Total Stop Parking and Farmers Coop Society since I introduced the subject matter in earlier meetings.
Mayor Glas’, I drew your attention and that of the council to the fact that the parking spot under the Cenex sign violated public safety as well as encroached on state right-of-way and city right of way. Right of way being described a 33 feet from the center line of SD Hwy 11. Mayor Glas, you justify your willful violation saying, “that ‘parking spot’ has been there for 30 years…”. That park spot did not appear until after 2000 or 2001 according to a former employee of Cenex. In our after-meeting discussion of your misfeasance when I asked if you had a copy of the encroachment photo (see below) from the DOT, Mayor Peter Larsen did not receive any complaints nor was he aware of the public safety issue until he recently had a close call and he personally contacted you. You received concerns on public safety, one from former Mayor Peter Larsen with two follow ups from me. You ignored our concerns because the issue put you at odds with your employer and apparently you cherry-pick the ordinances you enforce. Mayor Glas, you and the council have been notified of the public safety issue and because you have been notified you have an obligation to correct the deficiency. If you fail to take corrective action, you and the council risk a lawsuit, doubly so if someone is injured or killed because of your misfeasance. When the city globally adopted ordinances, I warned about unintended consequences. Y-all ignored me.
It was reported I said someone stole dirt from the city owned fairground parking area, NO I didn’t. Mayor Glas you opined you could see no damage to which I responded that over the years of Union County sub-leasing to various elevator operators who dumped grain on the ground, failed to clean up it up allowing the grain to rot with subsequent scraping the rotten grain away with top soil, the city owned property was devalued. Imagine how Councilman Lance Johnson would react if he leased his farm land and his renter stored grain on prime ground, allowing it to rot and then scraped away prime top soil. Y’all think ole Lance would take that situation lying down? Mayor you were told the Union County Commissioners needed city approval to sub-lease as Councilman Mark Dykstra was well aware.
Next I explained I had almost been broadsided by a semi tractor trailer coming off east Clark Street. I told the council I filed an incident report on the safety issue. Instead of placing a stop sign for west bound traffic on east Clark, Councilman Mark Dykstra opined that a yield sign would do. The city placed the yield sign on the railroad cross buck, (which I believe is illegal) and obscured by evergreen trees. I handed out placement diagrams for yield signs to the council so they could see the proper placement.
I addressed the council’s habit of frequent executive sessions and the abuse of executive session, handing out statute explaining proper procedure for executive session including what council members can and cannot talk about in closed session.
Approval of warrants dealt with a duplicate bill/warrant for sprinkler parts. Why didn’t the Alcester Finance Officer catch the duplicate invoice? Apparently this particular invoice had already been paid in full but the Finance Officer presented the invoice again without catching the error? Luckily Councilman Larsen caught the mistake or the ‘oversight’ as the finance officer characterizes mistakes.
Finally Finance Officer Jurrens announced Councilwoman Kama Johnson discussed leaving the Alcester City Council due to personal obligations. The Council discussed advertising the Ward I vacancy, a bit premature because Councilwoman Johnson did not tender her resignation to the Council. In response to advertising a possible Ward I vacancy, Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens announced she and Wanda,
“have a list of people we would like for the council position…people we work with on other committees…”
Madame Finance Officer Jurrens, you are not a seventh City Councilmember nor does your list fit into the job description of your duties which deal with financial activities, presentation and implementation of the city budget (on time), advise Mayor and council on fiscal policy, debt financing, sales tax and revenue bonds, communicates city financial and administrative decisions to the public, attend all official meetings of the city council, serving as recording officer and oversee city elections without ballots being voided.
Vickie A. Larsen