01/04/2017II A Voice from the Gallery

Mayor Glas called the January 4, 2017, meeting to order at 6:00 P.M. with Council members Dykstra, Sundstrom, Johnson, Carlson, Haeder and Larsen present.

The council approved the agenda as printed and the minutes of the December 5th and 28th meetings as printed.

Agenda Item 2017 Retainer Agreement was lightly discussed with a motion to approve the 2017 Agreement with the amended item of minimum hourly charge for anything less than one hour time.

Agenda Item Off sale liquor license for Jesse Duncan doing business as DJ’s Express was discussed. State requirements afford the city of Alcester the use of two Off Sale liquors licenses. At present the city only utilizes one Off sale Liquor license which is currently being used by Deems. According to what was reported by council members in meeting, the Deems state their Off sale liquor sales don’t amount to much. If the second Off sale License were awarded to Jesse Duncan-DJ’s Express, the city of Alcester would be enriched by the $250 per year fee and the mark up of all liquors sold to and through DJ’s. During discussion Councilman Lance Johnson opined as a tenant he wouldn’t like it if his landlord did this. Deems could buy the building and the city would no longer be their landlord and the residents of Alcester would be off the hook for maintenance costs and equipment repair that have effectively stripped away any meaningful profit for that $1300 per month bonanza the city gets from the bar rent. Couldn’t quite follow his business logic for turning down expanded business. Many folks would prefer to buy their Off sale liquor from DJ’s rather than Madame Woolworth and left without a choice they would choose to go to Hawarden, Beresford or Sioux Falls to spend their Off sale liquor needs. So the Alcester City Council chose to take the choice from residents, losing the $250 per year fee and all income from the profit generated from all liquors sold. Since when do we limit businesses to just one type in the community? Would Alcester turn down another bank in the community because it might take business away from our one and only? We have more than one gas station in the community, so according to the consensus of the council we need to get rid of one of the gas stations? We have one restaurant in the community so do we banish two of our restaurants because they might cost the first restaurant business? What about Hairstylists in our community, do we turn away all but one? Really? If that is the case why in the world do we have a Chamber of Commerce since by their decision tonight, the council doesn’t seem to think our community can support more than one business of any kinds. Really?

Discussion of the 1978 Jeep was entertained. Alcester FO expressed her opinion that the ’78 Jeep was a classic but needed repairs. Discussion followed concerning seat covers, seats, window cranks, bad starter, seat belts, and transmission work. The Jeep was declared surplus, ‘as-is’. Most collectors I know want to pick out their own seats, seat covers, original equipment or upgrades to make their collectable special not what some FO thinks is appropriate.

In addition to the surplus Jeep, the council declared the street “patcher” (that Mayor Rick Johnson just had to have) surplus because the machine was not doing an adequate job.

FO Pat Jurrens announced vacancies in Ward I, Julia Sundstrom’s seat was vacant and Ward II, Dan Haeder’s seat was vacant. Nominating petitions will be ready for circulation on January 27th through February 24th at 5:00 P.M.  Election day, April 11, 2017.

March 2nd, 2017 has been set for the March regular meeting of the Alcester City Council. It is too bad the city has no website to get all of this information to the voters and taxpayers. WHY DO WE STILL NOT HAVE A CITY WEBSITE WITH THIS INFORMATION VITAL TO RESIDENTS?

2016 One Year Audit has been scheduled with Quam Accounting at $4800.00. Hopefully FO is current on her information so she doesn’t short pay the accounting firm by $500.00 again because they didn’t warn her of an anomaly. Again it seems to me, our contractor accountant only bids the accounting audit not a tutorial for the FO.   More short pays like the one last time could cost the city vendors who are not willing to work under the conditions and behaviors exhibited by the Alcester FO.

After the close of the meeting, I was approached with a comment concerning my question in December 28 commentary concerning NEPOTISM. The comment was to the effect upon the current Ass’t FO’s installation as office aid to Finance Officer Mike Kezar, Mayor Peter Larsen advised as long as she was not in a supervisory position it was not Nepotism. The aid position was created to be a back up to Finance Officer Mike Kezar and to keep the Alcester City Office open over the lunch hour and those times when Finance Officer Kezar was away from the office. Shortly before Finance Officer Kezar’s dismissal, the aid position was given the title of Ass’t Finance Officer and as Pat Jurrens assumed the role of Alcester Finance Officer the Alcester Finance Office was no longer open over the lunch hour and on too many occasions the Alcester City Office was closed for business. It is kind of like that ol’ women’s bathroom joke. Ya’ll know the one when one woman announces she has to visit the ladies room, the whole herd accompanies her to visit the ladies room. What is it some kind of sympathy bladder problem?  It seems that analogy applies to the Alcester City Finance Office, when the Head FO is awol, so is the Ass’t FO. Either both are at a Chamber meeting, riding in a golf cart in a parade, or fund raising presumably on the clock.