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!