06/21/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

If I am silent it’s because there is a thunder inside me Or I am just chillin’, it depends.  May the odds be ever in your favor.

author unknown

Before I begin my commentary on the June 11, 2018, special city council meeting, upon advice my comments involving the legal procedure for filling of a vacancy on the council had an error I make the following correction.

First it is important to know that city of Alcester is by definition a second class municipality.   According to SDCL § 9-2-1, “…Municipalities of the second class are municipal corporations with a population between five hundred and five thousand…”.

Second the city of Alcester is by definition as aldermanic consisting of a mayor and what is called a common council, this form of government is generally referred to as a strong council, weak mayor meaning a council of six voting members versus one mayor who does not have the power of vote beyond ties and contrary to Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens apparent belief of a strong mayor, weak council and one terminally pushy Finance Officer operating under the delusion she is City Manager.  According to SDCL  § 9-2-3, “…Each municipality shall be governed by a board of trustees, a mayor and common council, OR by a board of commissioners. (Source: SDC 1939, § 45.0401; SL 1992, ch 60, § 2; SL 2000, ch 34, § 1.)”

Correction

SDCL §9-8-5 Titled Power of council to judge members and govern proceedings-Bribery vacating office.

    “The council is the judge of the election and qualification of its members. The council determines its rules of procedure, and may punish its members for disorderly conduct, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the aldermen may expel a member…(Source: SL 1890, ch 37, art IV, §§ 6, 7; RPolC 1903, §§ 1203, 1204; RC 1919, § 6210; SDC 1939, § 45.0704; SL 2017, ch 56, § 6.)”

and

SDCL §9-13-14.1 Titled Filling of vacancy on municipal governing body-No special election.

“Filling of vacancy on municipal governing body–Appointment or special election. If a vacancy exists on a municipal governing body, the remaining members shall appoint a replacement to serve until the next annual municipal election, or the vacancy may be filled by special election for the remainder of the unexpired term as provided in § 9-13-14.2. In the aldermanic form of municipal government, the appointment shall be a person from the same ward of the municipality. If electing a person to fill the remainder of the unexpired term at an annual municipal election, the vacancy shall have occurred prior to the publication required by § 9-13-6.  (Source: PolC 1877, ch 24, § 18; CL 1887, § 1039; SL 1890, ch 37, art IV, §§ 6, 7; RPolC 1903, §§ 1203, 1204, 1434; RC 1919, §§ 6198, 6210; SL 1931, ch 200, § 2; SDC 1939, §§ 45.0603, 45.0704; SDCL §§ 9-7-4, 9-8-6; SL 1979, ch 50, § 2; SL 1992, ch 60, § 2; SL 2005, ch 48, § 5; SL 2006, ch 28, § 1; SL 2010, ch 74, § 5.)”

With those citations serving as basis for correction of my previous comment regarding the appointment and ratification of Councilmember Linda Talbott simply put and according to statute not practice, it is up to the five remaining, duly seated members of the council to secure a candidate, appoint and ratify the candidate for interim council member NOT the mayor nor the Finance Officer.

Now to the meeting of the special meeting of the Alcester City Council which appears to act as the Cliff Notes version of a Bigger Problem.

The special meeting was called to order by Mayor Glas with Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman David Larsen, City Attorney Sam Nelson and oh yeah, Councilman Lance Johnson present.

Agenda Item #4 – Police Department

  1. a) Police personnel Discussion- the June 4, 2018,  the language of the Councilman Lance Johnson’s motion to hire Jeff Christie as Alcester Police Chief was restricted to specific contract language regarding salary versus hourly wage.  Historically Alcester Police Chief’s were salaried positions.  It is extremely important to note here certain groups of workers are excluded from over-time pay.  As I understand it, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all covered non-exempt employees be paid overtime pay at no less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay for all hours of work in excess of 40 in a work week.  However Section 13(b)(2) of the FLSA provides an overtime exemption to law enforcement or fire protection employees of a public agency that employs less than five employees during the workweek in law enforcement or fire protection activities.  So is this Mayor Cheap-Glas’s move to low-ball our police officers pay and hand over quasi-control of our police department to FO Pat?

There are three criteria used to determine if the employee is exempted from the minimum wage and over-time protections. 1) the employee must be paid a pre-determined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction, 2) the salary paid must meet a minimum specified amount and 3) the employees job duties must primarily involve executive , administration or professional duties as defined by the regulations (duties test).

So explain it to us Mayor Cheap-Glas’d, explain in detail why you and your minion FO Pat pushed to reduce the Salary of the Alcester Police Chief to an Hourly wage?  Oh and don’t fob us off on advice of counsel, that tired old response has run its course of credibility.  Oh and while you are at it, explain why conditions are not retro-active (00:05:55), to Police Chief Chris’ salary?

AND of course the city is not barred from paying over-time to our officers.  It does have the discretionary power to pay over-time to its officers.

Agenda Items #5-Warrants and Agenda Item #6 – Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Training were disposed of through vote.  The Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Training was scheduled for the week of July 9 with a morning session as well as an afternoon session.

Agenda Item #7 – Executive session As usual the session was for personnel purposes, as far as the Alcester City Mayor and FO Pat Jurrens there is no other kind of purpose for executive session!  Council went into session at 6:15 p.m. and exited personnel executive session at 6:45 p.m.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:46 p.m.

Folks nothing was introduced on pool slide rules or the imminent danger of injury due to the placement of the slide and rules of use, i.e. pool safety recommendations of  feet first sliding, no head first or backwards sliding, no child under the age of 6 years old without parent in the pool catching, only one child on slide or slide ladder at a time, no toys on the slide and roped off to keep swimmers out of the splash down zone.  I passed out pool slide rules from other sources including a national organization for safety last meeting for the council to read.  Evidently it is not as Finance Officer/Bookkeeper Pat Jurrens puts it, a high priority.  Alcester children it appears are not a high priority.  Imagine your 8 year old or 10 year old suffering a spinal cord injury with the life-long result of tetraplegia or paraplegia because the pool rules were not set or enforced.  Are you willing to bet your child’s future on FO Pat’s ability to distinguish high priority or ignorable priority.  FO Pat’s, Mayor Half-Glas’d and the city’s pocket are not deep enough to restore what may be lost through sheer ego and terminal stupidity!