10/03/2017 A Voice from the Gallery

Mayor Glas called the October 2, 2017, regular meeting of the Alcester City council to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Alcester City/School Library with council members Julia Sundstrom-Lyle, Audri Carlson, David Larsen, Dan Haeder, Darla Reppe and Lance Johnson present.

Line item 3 approval of Mayor Glas’ agenda, no discussion with a unanimous aye vote.

Line item 4 approval of the meeting minutes of the September 6, 2017, regular meeting of the council and the meeting minutes of the September 20, 2017, special meeting of the council.  Again, no discussion with a unanimous vote. *(remember this tally on later agenda action)  

Line item 5, the welcome by City/School Librarian Dee Cole.  Librarian Cole informed the council and gallery of the acquisition of a 3D printer, attendance and usage of the Library over the past years, and the move of the city/school Library to the proposed new school.

Line item 6 was sales pitch/information from Randy Smidt from Sanitation Products for a brand-spanking new Elgin Pelican Street Sweeper for a mere 190+K to $200K.  The bid coming from NJPA a national purchasing cooperative.  Councilman Dan Haeder commented the bid was without the extended warranty which had been projected in a previous meeting at $15K.  The projected delivery date contingent on financing after the first of the year.  NOTE:  Financing  Councilman Dan Haeder made the motion to purchase the 2018 Elgin Pelican Street Sweeper at a price of $190+K, Councilwoman Audri Carlson made the second, once again no discussion and the group voted unanimous aye.

Line item 7 was the annexation of city shop parcels.  Failure of Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens to understand this would be a voluntary annexation and all Mayor Glas had to do was sign and file a written annexation for property the city already owned.  Glas and Jurrens failed to understand or seek counsel from the Alcester city Attorney Haugland and failing to understand they did not need Union County Commissioner approval.  Motion from Councilman Lance Johnson, Second from Councilman Dan Haeder, no discussion and once again a unanimous vote aye.

Line item 8, the infamous Developers Agreement!  Mayor Glas on at least two previous occasions openly, publically verbally attacked Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland for not, “…Hopping-to-it…” on drawing up an agreement between the two interested parties of the Nonprofit Alcester Industrial Park and their developer.

FACT CHECK here.   Today, October 3, 2017, I spoke with Industrial Park Board agent Jaimie Schempp for clarification of identities of the parties involved.  Alcester Industrial Park Board agent Schempp acknowledged the Alcester Industrial Board was also in fact the developer.

So to the best of my knowledge, the North Industrial Park has NOT been handed over to the city of Alcester therefore the city should not be footing the legal bill for a developers agreement between Alcester Industrial Park and itself.  Mayor Glas what the devil are ya doin’?  You and your Fo-minion have treated the city attorney with open hostility and blatant disregard of his superior legal expertise to force a financial obligation onto the taxpayers of Alcester.  Do we have to draw you pictures so you can educate yourself to the workings of the city, comic-book style?  As FO-Pat has demonstrated on other warrants,

“…NOT OUR BILL!…”

 

Line item 12,e, i, a & b  From the finance office.  Finance officer Pat Jurrens pulled two charges from the bill submitted by Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland.  Ya have to appreciate the irony in this one.  FO-Pat objects to the time spent by Alcester City Attorney Haugland in keeping up with Alcester City Council meetings by reading the rest of the story (thank you, Paul Harvey) in the Vickie Larsen blog “A Voice from the Gallery”.  Yup, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens have failed miserably to keep Mr. Haugland, Alcester City Attorney fully apprised their collective ‘TOM FOOLERY’ otherwise known as Alcester City business by dismissing City Attorney Haugland one hour into the city council meeting and exclude him from council decisions for the rest of the meeting because he costs too much, Really!

Mayor Glas opined that Mr. Haugland could read the minutes in the local newspaper or in the minutes by Finance Officer Pat (When she finally gets around to getting the draft minutes to Mr. Haugland).  When Mr.Haugland argued he needed inclusive access to council discussions so he could determine how they might affect legal liabilities to the city of Alcester, Mr. Haugland was told by Mayor Glas and FO Pat that they would make the determination of possible legal exposure and relay it to him.  Really?  The city bookkeeper is going to give a legal opinion, or Tag-a-long Tom give a legal opinion?  He couldn’t determine a support brick wall versus a decorative brick facing.   Back in Des Moines his legal prowess didn’t work out so well for him, either.  Alcester City Attorney Haugland challenged Finance Officer Pat Jurrens by asking her, “do you read ‘A Voice from the Galley’?  FO-Pat said, “yes, she did read the blog” and then Mr. Haugland asked, “when do you read it,  on city time?”  I do believe the answer was yes.

HOW DARE MAYOR GLAS, ALCESTER FINANCE OFFICER JURRENS AND THE ALCESTER CITY COUNCIL HOLD ATTORNEY HAUGLAND TO A DIFFERENT STANDARD THAT THEY OPERATE UNDER!

LANCE JOHNSON

Then there is Councilman Lance Johnson, the council’s little teapot short and mouthy who ranted and raved about my blog.  Alleging the home truths I shared were inaccurate, this little varmint who after he was initially appointed to Ward III council seat told me, “In a year I will be leaving so you can apply then…”  Then Councilman Lance Johnson in his quivering rage continued his rant at me (who was not a party to the discussion) railing, “You (meaning me) don’t even have the guts to allow comments on your blog”.  Into which morass, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens weighed in with their ill-considered opinions.  I listened in silence and as the tirades of Councilman Johnson, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer wound down, I asked for rebuttal time.  Care to guess what Mayor Glas answered, “No, you can answer in public input”  City Attorney Haugland was attacked, I was attacked and given NO opportunity to respond to the allegations publically without a time limit.

The motion was made by Councilman Dan Haeder to approve paying (10/10/2017 clarification) the August legal warrant hold back of $52.50 and the September legal warrant hold back of $63.00 with no further legal time charged for reading A Voice from the Gallery blog, Second came from Councilman David Larsen.  Once again no discussion with an unanimous aye vote.  Then Councilman David Larsen moved to approve the rest of the warrants, second came from Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom-Lyle, again no discussion with an unanimous aye vote.

Line item 12, (e) ii, a & b  Motion by Councilman Lance Johnson to approve the second reading of the water rate increase, second came from Councilwoman Darla Reppe, again no discussion with an unanimous aye vote.

Line item 12, (e) iii a  Motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel SDCL 1-25-2-1 which is:

(1)  Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. The term “employee” does not include any independent contractor;[1]

This appears to be a habit of the council when they do not want an audience while they discuss a thorn-in-their-side rather than one specific employee.

Line item 13 Public Input was called, I responded and Mayor Glas told me I had two minutes.  I had already distributed a second request for FOIA regarding CBDG financials that have been ignored and received no response when I initially served the Mayor on August 7. 2017, and provided copies to the council that same meeting.

I also dealt with Councilman Lance Johnson’s rant telling him that the council could video the council meetings and post them on the city website, I pointed out to the council they were not required to vote unanimously every vote, they could think for themselves and vote nay and I pointed out Finance Officer Pat Jurrens was misusing the city email alcestercityfo for a Pinterest ID.  I received the same blank look and non-action from Mayor Glas, his usual condescending pat-on-the-head and go away.

Line item 19 Adjourn  Councilwoman Audri Carlson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m. with a second coming from Councilman Lance Johnson.  No discussion with a vote of 5 ayes; Councilwoman Julie, Councilwoman Darla, Councilwoman Audri, Councilman Dan and Councilman Lance and 1 nay, Councilman David with the pointed salute to a non-unanimous* vote.  Salute!

 

[1] South Dakota legislature-Legislative Research Council (www.sdlegislature.gov), 2017, State Affairs & Government-Meetings of Public Agencies, October 3, 2017.

09/22/2017 A Voice from the Gallery

The Special meeting of the Alcester City Council was convened on September 20, 2017, at 6:00 p.m.

This meeting came out of the necessity to enact an amendment to an existing Ordinance which reflected the text of the state Ordinance 7.0402 concerning flashing lights.  This issue came to light when the semantics of the state ordinance and practices of the city of Alcester were contrary to each other.  The city has the ability to enact more restrictive ordinance but it cannot loosen restrictions.  In this case Alcester law enforcement wanted to extend parameters of the flashing school speed zone signs to include more school activities after the regular hours of school and to actively enforce school zone speeds.  The Alcester Ordinance 7.0402 B1 was put into code to accommodate that restrictive speed limit.

Next up was the resolution 2017-09 to further burden the PROPERTY OWNING residents of Alcester with a $1.00/ front footage of their property, properties whose front doors faced the street.  Note all properties on SD Highway 11 with their frontage facing HWY 11 were excluded from this fee because their front doors face a state highway and not a city street.  Those pie-shaped properties whose front doors face the small end of the pie-shape enjoy a sort-of-discount such as the Finance Officer Jurrens (author and promoter of the street maintenance TAX) whose new digs on Hyden drive measure well to her advantage, I invite Alcester property owners to measure your front footage and measure her front footage on Hyden, plug in the $1.00/foot tax and compare the two tax amounts. WHY cannot the Finance officer and Mayor Glas, whose duties include city budget creation, budget enough money to adequately cover street maintenance?   Where is the money going?  It seems Finance Officer Jurrens is over ambitious in spending tax money on non-refundable fees for surveyors and engineers for pie-in-the-sky wish list items.  Former Councilwoman Jurrens berated our former finance officer for his conservative spending and budgets, voted to fire him, resigned her seat on the council and applied for his job ’cause apparently she felt she could do better and here she is spending money like she has a fancy new money printer in the Finance office, STILL taking part in council discussions that do not pertain to finance office activities and sitting in on executive sessions concerning ‘personnel’.  Now Folks, there are no minutes taken in Executive session so she doesn’t even have the excuse she must take notes.  If notes need to be taken for a specific record of an Executive session, either the city attorney can take the notes or the president of the council can take the notes.

Next on the list is Mayor Glas’ insistence the property taxpayers of Alcester pay for the legal work on a developers agreement between the Alcester Industrial Board and the Developer.  Mayor Tom and Finance Officer Jurrens are woefully ignorant of the limits of their jobs.  The Alcester Industrial Park Board is a stand-alone entity independent from the city of Alcester and who apparently contracted with the developer.  Alcester Industrial Park Board (NS010806) is a domestic Nonprofit, made up of:

This Nonprofit does NOT have the authority to contract debt or financial obligation on behalf of the citizens of Alcester.  Mayor Glas, Finance Officer Pat Jurrens do NOT have the authority to contract debt or financial obligation on behalf of the citizens of Alcester without vote.  While the city of Alcester has annexed the North Industrial Park into the corporate city limits of Alcester, the city of Alcester DOES NOT OWN the property known as North Industrial.  Neither Mayor Glas nor Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens have the authority to compel Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland to craft legal documents NOR does the Alcester City Council have the authority to pay property tax dollars out for legal service obligations of Alcester Industrial Park nor the Developer of the tract of land owned by Alcester Industrial Park.

Agenda Item Water Rate Increase reaches deep into the collective pockets of Alcester residents with rise in rates from $16.00/minimum 0 gallons used to $17.00/minimum 0 gallons used and going from $5.45 per 1000 gallons used to $6.35 per thousand gallons used or fraction of 1000 gallons used.  So in addition to the street maintenance fee of $1.00 per frontage foot, city taxpayers can add the rise in water rates along with the capital outlay for a brand-spanking new street sweeper at $200K, financed OF COURSE!

So let’s put this in terms of family grocery bag count, how many bags of family groceries from a weekly purchase of four to five grocery bags are going to be taken away to satisfy Mayor Glas’ and his Finance Office’s inability to budget properly to pay for street maintenance, water rate hikes and a street sweeper and whatever else comes along that trips their trigger?

 

Mayor Glas, the budget is your baby, OWN IT!