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.