12/28/2016 A Voice from the Gallery
“When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat…”
attributed to Ronald Reagan
“I was appalled at the treatment handed out to Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland in the December 28, 2016, meeting by Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens in the public forum…”.
Mayor Glas is in charge of all meetings in which he is present and he is responsible for the agenda. Key word here is ‘present’. Remember that History of Events in Part One? Let me refresh:
- May 2014- Councilwoman Pat Jurrens votes to dismiss Finance Officer Mike Kezar and is present when Mayor Rick Johnson requests the position of Finance Officer be advertised.
I have to wonder who wrote those advertisements because the description of duties are more in line with City Administrator not a Finance Officer.
- June 2014- Mayor Johnson asks for executive session to discuss Finance Officer position. Council votes to hire Pat Jurrens as Finance Officer with a training salary of $40K ayes-K. Johnson, M. Dykstra, D. Larsen no-M. Burke.
(Note: Councilwoman Pat Jurrens is not included in the executive session)
- July 2014-Jurrens resigns. Jurrens starts training at $40K under Finance Officer Mike Kezar making $38K+/-.
- September 2014-Jurrens assumes duties of Finance Officer.
- November 2014-FO Jurrens requests permission to attend an Election Class workshop as well as Ass’t FO Halverson also be allowed to attend the Election Class workshop. Council voted unanimously in favor of the Election Class workshop.
(Note: Ass’t Finance Officer Wanda Halverson was hired to assist Finance Officer Mike Kezar and to be in the Finance Office when the Finance Officer was away so Alcester residents and taxpayers would have complete access to the city office without closing the office.)
- November 7, 2016-Executive session SDCL 1-25-2-4
SDCL 1-25-2-4: Preparing for contract negotiations or negotiating with employees or employee representatives;(Note SDCL: 1-25-2-1 “…The term ’employee’ does not include any independent contractor…)
- December 5, 2016- Executive session SDCL 1-25-2-4
SDCL 1-25-2-4: Preparing for contract negotiations or negotiation with employees or employee representatives;(Note SDCL: 1-25-2-1 “…The term ’employee’ does not include any independent contractor…)
- Let’s get back to FO Jurrens deleterious list:
- In my experience, generally City Attorneys act as parliamentarians for the City mayor and council.
City Attorney failed to provide oaths for the Election workers.
Mr. Haugland’s Answer-He did provide the oaths for the election workers and according to the public conversation, you at some point altered legal documents supplied by Attorney Haugland.
Vickie’s observation-FO Jurrens in December 2014 YOU attended an Election Class Workshop accompanied by Ass’t FO Halverson and paid by the city. FO Jurrens nowhere in the duties of a Finance Officer are you allowed to play kibitzer to the city attorney!
City Attorney not up-to-speed.
Mr. Haugland’s Answer-45 minutes before council meeting is not sufficient time to render an opinion sound enough to vote on. Emergency issues are covered in the retainer document.
Vickie’s observation-FO Jurrens, as finance officer it is your duty to provide information and back stories on all warrants, bonds, and other forms of indebtedness or projected indebtedness in advance of the meeting so council members can research and familiarize themselves before the expectation of voting on the issues. To date and to my personal observation, council members are seeing agenda issues for the first time as they seat themselves at the council table on meeting night.
City Attorney unaware of off-sale liquor license
Mr. Haugland’s Answer-For the past months, Mr.Haugland has been advised he is not needed at the meeting.
Vickie’s observation– The agenda has shown legal line items, yet Mr. Haugland has been apparently, deliberately excluded from the meeting to ‘save money’. According to their public discourse Mayor Glas and FO Jurrens, feel City Attorney has been over-billing the city when he revised an oath and made a necessary change in language in a contract (evidently the ones that FO Jurrens had not adjusted on her own, which has the effect of voiding them cause she is not licensed at the SD Bar not to be confused with the Alcester Bar.) Again drawing contracts is not within the scope of FO Jurrens’ municipal bookkeeping duties.
City Attorney Haugland did not advise FO Jurrens how to get recycling on the ballot.
Mr. Haugland’s Answer–He was in his office and save Councilman Mark Dykstra’s appearance in his office on December 27, 2016, neither FO Jurrens or Mayor Glas has stopped in to talk to him with regards to city business.
Vickie’s observation-FO Jurrens and Ass’t FO Halverson attended Election Class Workshop in 2014, did they not take notes or bring the syllabus home with them. Did they not attend the Election Class Workshops held in 2015 and 2016? Hey, they could have asked me, I know how to get an Initiated Measure or referral on the ballot. Shoot, I know the process to recall a bad mayor!
Now that should make ya’ll hearts go pitty-Pat!
I had to tutor the Mayor and FO Jurrens about adopted Ordinance language and how it affects Election Wards and unfortunately FO Jurrens failed to understand the ballots must be PUT BACK INTO THE BALLOT BOX AFTER THE COUNTING PROCESS AND LOCKED if they are left over-night. Kinda messed up any recount opportunity on the recycling vote outcome, Right? Not an over-sight, just a municipal Finance Officer failing to know her job!
Since FO Jurrens felt it was necessary to present her ‘list’ in open meeting painting the kettle black. Let me paint the PAT!
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties as Finance Officer is to supervise the accounting system. Yup and according to what I hear, she’s a real Wiz on the computer and programs. So when she short paid our local accountant Dwight by the $500 up-charge for the extra time it took him to audit the city’s books because she failed to correct the Quick Books anomaly with the excuse Dwight didn’t notify her of the anomaly. It is her responsibility to KNOW the program and be aware of the updates. Dwight’s only duty was to make sure accounting procedures and SD laws were followed, NOT to take a $500 hit. Shame on the council for allowing her to get away with stiffing Dwight!
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties as Finance Officer is to keep accurate records of all moneys received by the municipality or owed to the municipality (this especially includes special assessments and utilities. This would include operating under Banking 101 rules as to NSF checks and not acting on gut-feeling a water bill check might be NSF. Like Schrödingers Cat, the check is not bad until you open the box by depositing it. According to banking rules a teller or any other banking official can only release funds information on an account at the specific time of the telephone call. Certainly not justification for shutting a resident’s water off! Again part of your duty to know!
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties as Finance Officer is the chief officer of all local elections (including handling all petitions for nomination, initiative, or referendum). That means when the council globally adopts a book load of ordinances, the same book you had former Mayor Peter Larsen order for you, ya’ll should sit down, read it and understand all consequences of adoption into the city ordinances and not just cherry-pick those you want to inflict on residents. I guarantee, if you don’t it will come back and bite you. Just like the Ward III boundary issue three days before a city election when the Union County Attorney and the Union County Auditor schooled you in elections and semantics after I had already told you and Mayor Glas two monthly council meetings before the election. Also when a candidate asks how many signatures they need for their petition for Ward III council position, the response you gave me, “if you have 10 or 12 you should be okay”-just doesn’t cut it!
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties as Finance Officer do not include being a seventh council member and participation in executive session UNLESS the executive session involves indebtedness of the city and only to report moneys received.
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties as Finance Officer do not allow her to sit in executive session and interrogate council candidates and police officer candidates or make recommendations of their fitness of holding office.
Especially when FO Jurrens as Councilwoman Jurrens voted to dismiss former Finance Officer Mike Kezar and then applying for his job. It is not proper for FO Jurrens or Ass’t FO Halverson to present a, list of people we would like to see on the council…people we work with on other committees…” as candidates for Ward I City Council member, especially when one of those ‘preferred people’ is a BFF of Ass’t FO’s daughter.
It is not proper for FO Jurrens to make comments as to the male-female make-up of the council.
It is not proper for FO Jurrens or Ass’t Halvorson to present a list of people, “we would like to see on the council…people we work with on other committees…” as candidates for
Ward I City Council member, especially when one of those ‘preferred’ people is a BFF of Ass’t FO’s daughter.
It is not proper for a biased FO Jurrens to sit in Executive session during the questioning of Ward I candidate Mike Kezar, a man she voted to dismiss from his Finance Officer job with the city and then applied for his replacement. Nor is it appropriate for FO Jurrens to remain in executive session to discuss the fitness of Mr. Kezar, a several decades veteran of city employment versus the neophyte young woman with no experience but a BFF of Ass’t FO. FO Jurrens who spoke for at least 10 minutes of the twenty minute executive session advocating her pick.
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties as Finance Officer do not include input on concrete repair (outside of her scope of duties and expertise) nor to solicit advice from Kevin Pies of Pies Construction without advising the council of conflict of interests because Mr. Pies is Ass’t FO’s so-in-law. NEPOTISM?
Ø It is not among FO Jurrens duties as Finance Officer to contact Beresford City Attorney Tom Frieberg to participate in a legal conversation with Mr. Frieberg about contempt charges or the divorce details of Loren Fischer, contractor for Alcester garbage pick-up. She is not an attorney, she is not the Alcester city attorney, she is not the Mayor nor is she a city administrator and as Alcester Finance Officer, FO Jurrens has no standing in such a conversation as she spoke of in open session of the December 28, 2016, Alcester City Council Meeting.
Ø FO Jurrens’ duties do not include advising sitting Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom she should make the motion to adjourn!
Ø It should be FO Jurrens’ duties to establish a city website where all ordinances are on-line available for review, meeting agendas are published, minutes of meetings are published and city notices published. After all, FO Jurrens is a Wiz at computers.