05/22/2018 A Voice From The Gallery

The May 21, 2018, special meeting to the Alcester City council was half-Glas’d called to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present:  Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Councilman Lance Johnson (got the beans out and deigned us with his presence).  No lawyer present.

Prior to this meeting I distributed copies of the minutes of the May 7, 2018, meeting so the council could see Finance Officer Jurren’s published liberty with the truth of the May 7, 2018, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council meeting and the closure and bar of applicants for the Ward I vacancy, knowing that I would be barred from speaking and pointing out her abysmal failure to record and report the actions of the council.  I also hand-served a FOIA (freedom of information request) on Mayor Glas via the Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens on May 18, 2018, requesting a true and complete copy of the May 7th minutes, a true and complete copy of the 2018 Lease and Operating Agreement between the City and Deem Enterprises, a line item accounting of all expenses attributed to the city asset described as the Alcester Bar for the years 2014 through 2018 and a line item accounting of all income attributable from the Lease and Operating agreement between the City of Alcester and Deem Enterprises for the years 2014 through 2018 (as explained in an amendment to the FOIA).

The purpose of the ‘special meeting’ was to interview candidates for police officer position.   The meeting opened with the pledge, then straight into approval of the Agenda. 

Agenda Item #5 – Alcester Bar.  Madam Woolworth still didn’t have any stools.  Councilman Dan Haeder had done some swivel stool research and found just replacing the ‘swivelly’ part wouldn’t work ’cause the screws wouldn’t match up with Madam’s bottoms.  S-o-o-o the council decided to purchase two-part stools at $138.14 per patron butt times twelve (12) for a ‘bottom-line’ price of $1657.68 for twelve disassembled stools which would have a weight limit of 250 pounds each.  Councilman Haeder stated they (to which Lance Johnson immediately volunteered) would have to assemble the ‘swivelly’ super-structures to the ‘base’ units.

Agenda Item#6 – Public Hearing for the Alcester Quickstop Malt Beverage License.  Evidently a recent change in law created some additional work to issue license now.

Agenda Items #7 – Personnel.  I am pleased to impart the information Alcester Finance Office Pat Jurrens and Mayor Glas were advised that FO Pat’s rendition of the minutes was not factual and needed to be corrected!  Folks the original published minutes were not just incorrect but appeared to be surreptitiously corrected without notice to the council and its approval.  These minutes are unapproved, yet Mayor Glas and Finance Officer patently refuse to publish them as unapproved as I have repeatedly suggested in public input.  The county correctly publish their minutes as unapproved as well as the Alcester-Hudson School district correctly publish their minutes unapproved when the minutes are published before the meeting in which they are formally approved by the board, so why are Mayor Glas and FO Pat refusing to give true, complete and reliable, transparent information to the people of Alcester?

Agenda Item #8 – Police Department.  And now the police interviews.  With the exception of the interview of a female applicant in which the public safety committee (Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Councilman Lance Johnson) decided to interview without Alcester Police Chief Chris Doty.  By-the-way was this the female applicant who was related to a council member as I hear by-the-grape-vine)? The absence of the Police Chief in this quasi police interview is amazing because these council members have (as is my understanding) absolutely no experience in police procedures and training unless one counts being arrested a couple of times).  Candidates for the evening’s interviews were Austin Pickering, Austin Van Horn and Austin Schuller. 

Councilman Lance Johnson moved to go into executive session to discussion personnel, Councilwoman Melissa Kay seconded the motion and with no further discussion and a unanimous aye times five vote council moved into executive session at 6:14 p.m.  However, after shutting down, removing my camera but prior to leaving the council room I saw that Finance Officer Pat Jurrens was making NO move to leave the council room.  WRONG!  I promptly stated, “…It is not proper for the city bookkeeper to remain in executive session to interview police candidates.  FO Pat is NOT the seventh council person, personnel interviews have absolutely no context with the city finance office and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens has absolutely NO relevant input, right to vote nor sway council opinions on police candidates. NONE!  I watched  as Pat looked toward Mayor Glas, Councilman David Larsen stated, “…I see no reason for Pat to stay…she can leave…”  Again Pat stood looking at Mayor Glas and then to Councilman Lance Johnson.  I exited the room, expecting to have Mayor Glas ask for my arrest if I did not.  I had already had the council ask a police officer in a past executive session to be ready to arrest me, if I dared (my word) protest.  So Pat stayed where she did not belong and we trouped out into the hallway.

So while Police Chief Doty, Mayor Glas, Councilman Larsen, Councilman Haeder, Councilman Johnson, Councilwoman Reppe, Councilwoman Kay and bookkeeper Jurrens remained in the council room with the door shut, it was the three Austins and me in the hallway.  I told them Finance Officer Pat Jurrens did not have the right or authority to ask them any questions when they were interviewing in closed session and they did not have to answer any of her questions or comment.  It was purely up to them whether to ignore her interference or answer her, it was not however a requirement of interview.  We idly visited about training and procedures.   Austin Pickering was the first candidate to go into interview, at 6:50 p.m. Austin Pickering came out and Austin Schuller went into interview, at 7:40 p.m. Austin Schuller came out and Austin VanHorn went into interview and exited his interview at 8:05 p.m.  With all candidates out of executive session the Mayor, the Council, Police Chief Doty and bookkeeper Jurrens remained in Executive session until 8:29 p.m.

Agenda Item #8 (f) – -Police Chief Doty’s Resignation.  Police Chief Chris Doty officially tendered his resignation as of June 5, 2018.  The council accepted his resignation unanimously.

Agenda Item #9 – Banking.  Pat wants to transfer $30K from the second (2nd) penny sales tax to the Community Building Fund Account.  Needed a council vote to transfer the money.  Now folks we have several accounts accessible to the finance office which begs the question, WHY?  Too many accounts and lamentably half-Glas’d, poor oversight or duplication duties of oversight results in questionable accounting problems and ‘shortages’.

Agenda Item #10 – Council Vacancy.  The Mayor at the urging of Bookkeeper Pat to appoint Ms. Talbott to the Ward I vacancy.  This effectively shut down anyone who had not been hand-picked by bookkeeper Jurrens from applying for the vacancy and interview.  There was no formal interview of Ms. Talbott, although Councilman Lance Johnson stated he had visited with her privately and gave his tacit approval.  WOW!  So the council dispensed with formal interview ’cause Councilman Bean Talker says he approves.  Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens when asked about the vacancy stated, (00:19:23) “…Ward I is hard to find people to seat…’cause they are old…or they are renters…”  Really, tell me  Councilman Dan Haeder was a renter, so he is not suitable as a councilman because he was a renter according to your statement?  So how old is Mayor Glas, 77 years old?  So FO Pat is 77 years too old, too infirm or too incognizant to be a credible Mayor?  Really!

Agenda Item #11 – Executive Session.  Called by Pat (00:20:31) for Personnel at 8:38 p.m. Really the bookkeeper calling for Personnel Executive Session?  Remaining in the council room were Mayor Glas, Councilman Larsen, Councilman Haeder, Councilwoman Reppe, Councilwoman Kay, Bookkeeper Pat Jurrens and Councilman Johnson.  I was relegated to the Hallway where I took up my usual post by the half-door of the Finance Office.  So what in the world of personnel could they have yet to talk about, the Police interviews had already taken place, the misinformation regarding the pool employee had been corrected, so what else?  It couldn’t be police department performance ’cause the council just hired personnel and Councilman Lance Johnson and Councilman Dan Haeder had already discussed the previous police officer, his finances and possible legal actions against him in OPEN SESSION and the council hasn’t had time to advertise for a Police Chief, although courtesy advertising a vacancy doesn’t seem to be a ‘high priority’ for Mayor Glas and FO Pat.  Maybe they will down size and put FO Pat in charge of the Police Department, TOO.  That way she can schedule police officers patrol times.  Yup I can see this move,”…Whereas, the former software peddler who applied for the Finance Office vacancy caused in part by her council vote to sack the 30+ year finance office veteran, and with absolutely no training, background or expertise was awarded a starting $40+K salary with the expectation the outgoing finance officer would ‘train’ her at his exit wage of $38K+/-.  Now in addition to her ‘expertise’ in police scheduling, I’ll bet she will want to control law enforcement performance, dictating who should be arrested and who shouldn’t?  Similar to the Code Enforcement sorties where I have been told involved a golf cart cruising town, eye-ball judging tree hang-over and issuing ticketing letters.  So what does Code Enforcement Officer Fillingsness do besides provide a form with his signature which the ill-trained golf-cart cadre fill out?  Two ordinance complaints I know of have been filed, yet there is no discussion, no disposition or no courtesy acknowledgement of the complaint.  Amazing!   The council was called out of Executive session at 9:02 p.m. and before I could get completely into position, Councilman Lance Johnson called for adjournment and council was immediately adjourned around 9:05 p.m.

 Ladies and Gentlemen of Alcester, the Alcester Ship of State is being  dragged down by a cadre of milfoil-style barnacles.    





05/18/2018 A Voice From the Gallery


Upcoming meeting!  May 21, 2018  6:00 p.m.!


05-21-2018 AGENDA

05-21-2018 AGENDA II

May 7, 2018, published Minutes



Still discussing Madam’s stools. 

Lifeguards-Interesting how the video states Finance Officer Jurrens advising Councilman David Larsen the minimum wage was $8.81 per hour and Councilman Larsen made the motion of minimum wage at $8.81 per hour for Abby Walth.  Yet the minutes published in the May 17, 2018, issue of the official city newspaper, the Alcester Union-Hudsonite listed the minimum wage as $8.85 per hour.  The council moved, seconded and voted unanimously on the amount of minimum wage as proclaimed by Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens.  The council relied on her ‘expertise’, Oops!  Now the May 17, 2018, minutes need to be amended to reflect the actual action, then correct Finance Officer Jurrens gaff, and re-publish.  The first publication cost taxpayers $112.48, so what is the additional cost to fix the error?  People want to know what is going on.     

Now this is one goat-rodeo where the goat got loose!  I have a problem when the minutes do not reflect the action, presto-change-o the error magically corrects itself upon publication.  Check out the video in the May 7, 2018, meeting (02:23:27).  H-m-m video and audio trumps the published minutes and this time ya cain’t blame the publisher.

Still working on the minutes, please note below where the published minutes announced, “… Lance Johnson was not in attendance to take his Oath and the Vacant Ward I seat will be filled at the June meeting…”  Yup that is what they say.  Take a gander at the Agenda for May 21, 2018, Agenda Item #10 (a) Mayor Glas to appoint Linda Talbott to Ward I Vacancy.  Now what do ya s’pose happened?  Mayor Glas and FO Pat did not do the residents the courtesy of advising them about the Ward I Vacancy,  Mayor Glas and FO Pat set up the oath for Ward I and cancelled it without explanation (?), Mayor Glas and FO Pat set up what appears to be a hand-picked appointment for Ward I in the June meeting of the Alcester City Council with the full knowledge they were going to have a special meeting in May for ‘police officer candidate’ interviews (May 7, 2018, Agenda Item #10(f)(2)) A-N-D then Mayor Glas and FO Pat include Agenda item #10 on the May 21, 2018, agenda successfully preventing any interested resident from Ward I from interviewing for the Ward I Vacancy no matter what powers of precognition ‘they’ profess to have.  Mayor Glas and FO Pat must be cold, ’cause they sure appear to be a coverin’ up right nice!  Half-Glas’d is still appears to be the modus operandi.  So much for open meeting and keeping the public accurately informed.

One more thing concerning the minimum wage thingy.  I once worked for a guy who whenever the minimum wage increased, new hires got minimum wage.  However the faithful, loyal, long-term employees did not get the same increase, so in essence the experienced, higher seniority employees were making less than new hires!  What do ya s’pose our city does?


05/09/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

At 6:00 p.m. Mayor Glas half-Glas’d the regular meeting of the Alcester City Council into session with Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Dan Haeder and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson was AWOL.  I use the term half-Glas’d in place of the more colorful phrase half-a**’d describing the quality of performance of execution of duty.

Agenda item #3 Mayor Glas called for Agenda approval.  Here is where it gets interesting ’cause listed on the agenda under new council agenda item #2 titled administer oaths of office which list:  Linda Talbott, Ward I; Melissa Kay, Ward I; David Larsen, Ward II; Lance Johnson, Ward III; and Darla Reppe, Ward, III.  When Mayor Glas called for agenda approval, Councilman Lance Johnson was AWOL and Linda Talbott was not present and from conversation in the hallway it appears Finance Officer Jurrens and Mayor Glas were aware these folks were not going to be present or had been put off with a whisper of-needing-a-notice-of-vacancy published.  Interesting?  You betch yer sweet bippy!

I saw the agenda item #2 entry and wondered at Ms. Talbott’s inclusion in the Oath of Office Administration because there was no notice of vacancy for Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom-Lyle’s Ward I seat.  On Monday, May 7, 2018, I visited Alcester Union-Hudsonite publisher Shane Hill, asking him if the paper had published a notice of vacancy advertisement because I could not find any notice of vacancy in the paper.  He checked his emails from Finance Officer Jurrens and found only the notice of vacancy received in January 2018 for publication January 18, 2018, and January 25, 2018, well in advance of the February 23, 2018, deadline for return of nomination petitions. That last-minute comment about notice-of-vacancy just prior to the start of council meeting makes my paranoid self wonder, had my seat belt even been clicked into place at the news office before Finance Officer Jurrens was given the heads up, she was found out!  H-m-m

After I returned home from my visit with Publisher Hill, I remembered chit-chat immediately prior to the April 2, 2018, council meeting this was Councilwoman Sundstrom-Lyle’s last meeting and because Finance Officer Jurrens had announced in an earlier March meeting there would be no city election, I presumed Councilwoman Sundstrom-Lyle had resigned.  That begged the questions

why no notice of vacancy and how was it Ms. Talbott’s name appeared on the agenda to be administered the oath of office? 

I telephoned Mrs. Sundstrom-Lyle asking if she had resigned, she told me, “…no she had just run out her term of office…”  So that left the only other legal option for Ms. Talbott’s name on the agenda for Oath of Office was Ms. Talbott presented a nomination petition. by deadline.

On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, I delivered in-person a FOIA to the City of Alcester requesting a copy of the nomination petition presented to Finance Officer Jurrens before the deadline of February 23, 2018.  Just in case, I also presented a simple form statement which stated that Finance Officer Pat Jurrens could not provide the requested election petition because_____which was to be filled out by Finance Officer Jurrens including her signature and date.  Upon my presentation of the FOIA, Finance Officer Jurrens told me Ms. Talbott had not presented a nominating petition so she (Finance Officer Jurrens) could not honor my FOIA.  I presented her the denial of FOIA document and asked her to please fill it out, sign and date it.  After Finance Officer Jurrens asked the question, “why would I (FO Jurrens) do that…?”, I replied it was a denial condition of the FOIA and at which point she complied.

So folks, another shining, troubling example of half-Glas’d, government!  Ms. Talbott DID NOT fill out a nominating petition, Ms. Talbott DID NOT submit a nominating petition prior to the February 23, 2018, deadline, Ms. Talbott was NOT appointed by Mayor Glas IN OPEN city council meeting, Ms. Talbott was NOT ratified by the Alcester City Council in OPEN city council meeting, so how in bloody Hades can she be administered an oath of office.  This begs the question,


Did the Alcester City Council Know?

 Did Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens deliberately keep this information from the Alcester City council?

 Why would the council knowingly approve an agenda (if they read it in advance) they knew to be in error?

Why didn’t the council ask questions why Ms. Talbott was not present?  (00:00:15)

The Agenda was approved unanimously, five ayes without question or discussion.

Agenda Item #5- Alcester Bar.  The great stool discussion would be funny if it was not your and my tax dollars being wasted on Madam Woolworth.  It appears the City of Alcester is subsidizing the Deems with tax dollars to the detriment and direct competition with other three Alcester City liquor sellers.  (00:02:30)

The was a prolonged discussion of should we (taxpayers) pay for stools, shouldn’t we (taxpayers) pay for stools, what kinds of stools, should we buy two-part stools, should they swivel, should they not swivel and if we get stools that don’t swivel how are the bar belles going to stay on their stools.  Seat-belts?  The great stool debate, are ya kidding me?  Oh I know, “Let’s buy elevated versions of ‘them speshal’ office chairs they got in the Alcester finance office!” Ya know one of ‘them’ chairs with them bouncy balls instead of ‘reglar’ seats, so’s to take pressure off the brain?”  Why them ol’ bartenders could tell for ‘sartin’ they over-served a customer ’cause that ol’ bar beau or bar belle couldn’t stay on the stool.  ‘Cause you know in the past Madam seemed ‘to think’ our police officers were Uber drivers and 911 was the Uber ‘quik’ call number!

Not once has the council asked for the financials of the Deems on what they had spent on bar upkeep unlike their stiff, rooster legged reaction to Agenda Item #7 in the new council session (00:17:30). Ya sure don’t see the council getting testy about Madam coming to them on a regular basis with her hand out, hollerin’, ‘hey buddy can ya spare a dime?’ an’ ladies and gents, Madam sure doesn’t mean ten cents!

Agenda Item #6-Planning and Zoning Hearing.  The gallery had questions on parking on the grass, no longer a light industrial class, and once again the great semantic corrugated debate. (00:24:30)   Mayor Glas arguing the metal roof on house were not corrugate and that galvanized was a kind of metal.  I pointed out corrugation was process much like extrusion which shapes the steel, copper or aluminum sheets into stronger and ascetically attractive roofing.  I also explained to Mayor Glas that galvanization was a secondary process to metal.  (00:26:12)  Changes to wording were discussed and handed off to the planning committee to correct the wording.  One word here, the council seemed inclined to half-glas’d the issue with the wording on a case-by-case basis.  Translation:   if we like you, if you’re our good ‘bud’, or if your nose is placed between our posteriors and the big, inflated, bouncy ball of my office chair, I will find in your favor.

Agenda Item #8– Adjourn the old council


Agenda Item #1-Open New Council

Agenda Item #2-Oath of Office  The Oath of Office was administered to Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, and Councilman David Larsen.

Agenda Item #5-Public Input

  • Derek Lykken asked, “… how people were expected to know when the city council met and how they could find out about city business…” Council responses to Mr. Lykken’s questions were via the internet (?), the front door of the auditorium, and the city offices.
  • Mike Kezar asked the question, “in the event of the mayor’s (non-voting member) absence and the president of the council (voting member of the council) took the meeting over, did the president of the council retain his vote while he was presiding in the absence of the mayor and what would happen in the event of a tie. Council members just looked at each other in confusion.  It had been practiced, in the council president’s position as mayor pro tem in the mayor’s absence, he would not have a vote with the exception of a tie.  Per Roberts Rules, “…The chair cannot, however, vote twice, first to make a tie and then give the casting vote…”
  • I distributed documents as to procedure for the ‘special assessment’ aka the curb tax with which we were served. According the South Dakota Municipal League’s, Guide to Special Assessments the city must include certain information to the property owners.

In my opinion Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens office half- Glas’d the municipal checkbook and budget by failing to observe the restriction on the second penny sales tax which protected the property tax paying residents of Alcester from municipal pick-pockets.

Agenda Item #7Alcester Fire Department request.  This agenda item dealt with the Alcester Volunteer Fire Department’s request for additional funding support to the fire department for five of the department’s volunteers to go to Fire School.  The question was raised how much do we give the Fire Department, where do they spend their money, do we have financial statements from the Fire Department.  We need financial statements from the Fire Department. It seemed to me the council was under the delusion the Fire Department could exist nicely on the stipend the city was providing to them.  Finance Officer Pat Jurrens again played the seventh council  member by injecting her opinion that she had suggested several fund-raising options to Chief Kast and expressed her irritation at his response to her suggestions.  (00:15:56)

Agenda Item #8(c)-Slide (pool) discussion.  It is to be noted here the free slide being offered by Beresford is a mobile (on wheels) contraption and the pool for safety reasons needs to be roped off at the point of drop in order to protect swimmers in the water from the body dropping off the slide.  What I see is one more toy the city is going have to store because it was not appropriate for our pool size and design.  The other question is WHY did Beresford permanently remove this slide from their pool?

Agenda Item #10 (b)(f)Police Department.  Two things under this agenda item, first in spite of Mayor Glas’ penchant of Executive session/personnel the council proceeded to discuss in open session Officer Nelson’s Resignation, Certification Reimbursement, how much he should pay, how long he had to pay it back and possible garnishment of his wages (01:30:47) including reference to a former officer Tim Peete. BIG NO-NO. 

Secondly the discussion of police officer interviews.  A young candidate was present to schedule an interview because she was going to be out of the state at the time of interviews.  Chief Doty’s plan was to interview prospective officer candidates and submit his pared-down choices for council interview.  Unfortunately Police Chief Doty was called away prior to the meeting which ultimately became Mayor Glas, Finance Officer Jurrens and certain council members opening for aggressive micro-management of the police department.  The group was busy making arrangements to interview all 8 or so candidates and then let Chief Doty know what their choice was.  (01:46:26)

Agenda Item #10 (f)(2)-Set date for Special Police Meeting.

Meeting was set for May 21, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Agenda Item #12 (a)1-6  – Renovating the auditorium.  Finance Officer Jurrens wants to put in new carpeting, new tile, stalls and flooring in the men’s room downstairs.  There was talk of ADA compliant changes, yo how are those folks ADA gonna get down those steps?  Duh?

Agenda Item #12 (b) – Lifeguards.  A discussion took place about the hiring of Ms. Abby Walth as lifeguard.  Councilman David Larsen moved to hire Ms. Walth at minimum wage, at which point Councilman Larsen asked FO Pat Jurrens the minimum wage amount per hour, FO Jurrens replied, “$8.81/hour” AMAZING The South Dakota minimum wage of $8.85/hour took effect on January 1, 2018.  Another half-Glas’d job of disseminating important inFOrmation  Councilwoman Darla Reppe seconded the motion, NO DISCUSSION and the council voted unanimous to hire Abby Walth at $8.81/per hour.  Now the council is going to have a ‘DO-OVER!’ so Abby will be paid the proper wage.  (02:23:27)  So how many other minimum wage city employees have been short-paid since January 1, 2018?

Agenda Item #12(f)-Executive session.  PERSONNEL 1-25-2.1   Go figure!

Well of course!  Executive session began at 8:33 p.m. and ended at 9:08 p.m.

Agenda Item #12(h)Set July meeting date.

Date for the regular Alcester Council meeting was changed from July 2, 2018, to July 10, 2018, at 6:00 p.m.

Agenda Item #17 Executive Session-Personnel   AGAIN!

Evidently the council was not done bashing personnel.  The past four to five years  council have gone into Executive council more times in two months that previous councils went into Executive session in four years barring a lawsuit session.  Check the minutes see for yourselves how many executive sessions and how many times it was for PERSONNEL!

Council went into closed session for ‘personnel’ at 9:22 p.m. and back in open session at 9:35 p.m.

Immediately after opening the session and before the gallery could get back into the room, Mayor Glas appointed Councilwoman Melissa Kay to the Public Safety Committee.  I did not hear the entire appointment because I was just approaching and entering the room and only caught part of the action.  Since it did not appear on the agenda, I legitimately questioned the ‘appointment’ and received some short, terse, and snarky replies that it was for a committee appointment.  Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council, YOU did not do the patiently waiting gallery the courtesy of allowing them back into the room and seated before you resumed business, effectively maintaining closed meeting because the public was not yet present in the room!

Motion to Adjourn


Note:  Certain council actions just after the council comes back into session from closed session are not always captured on camera.  Upon the executive session declared, I remove my camera from its tripod taking it with me into the hallway.  Upon the executive session declared back in open session, I return and re-attach the camera back to the tripod.  A process which sometimes takes moments of council time that is not recorded.