04/11/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

It was an interesting and enlightening election day.  After I voted, I settled down on a folding chair in the atrium of the Alcester City Auditorium as a poll observer.

According to the Office of the Secretary of State, Steven J. Barnett South Dakota Poll Watcher and Observer Guidelines updated 01/08/2019 poll observer is defined as, “…any person at a polling place, to observe, who does not declare themselves to represent one of the categories listed…is not a poll watcher but is an observer…”. (SDCL 12-18-

“…poll watchers must be positioned in a location where they can plainly see and hear what is done within the polling place but may not interfere in any way (SDCL 12-18-9)  Poll watchers and observers may converse with the election board and look at the pollbook only if it doesn’t interfere with the voting process.”

“Within 100 feet of a polling place (including absentee voting polling places), poll watchers and observers MAY NOT do any of the following (SDCL 12-18-3, 12-18-9.1, 12-26-21, 12-26-22)”:

As I sat from 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., observing the voting public come and go, I found the demographics intriguing.  In the early morning hours, it was Hurry-canes and rolling-walkers of the Silent Generation, followed by an after-work-influx of Baby Boomers, followed by end-of-shift GenX and Millennials.  Each generation appearing at the polls to vote on their conscience and freely participate in their constitutional right.

At 8:20 a.m. Mayor Glas showed up at the Finance Office whining to Finance Officer Jurrens and alleging, “… I (Vickie) was writing down the names of voters as they walked past me…that the names were already in the poll books…”  I was not recording names.

In that same space of time Finance Officer Jurrens mentioned a Chamber of Commerce meeting tomorrow (April 10, 2019) at noon.  Gee, I am sure Finance Officer Jurrens announced in one of the March council  meetings she had resigned from the Chamber.  WOW did I really just see her nose grow?

At 2:50 p.m. Mayor Glas returned on a run, rushing into the Finance Office announcing to Finance Officer Jurrens, “you were right”.  Mayor Glas continued to report that 300 East Fourth Street was OMG, “shingling their roof…there was not building permit…HE KNOWS BETTER!”  Finance Officer Jurrens picked up her phone (not the fancy one with all manner of bells and whistles a salesman brought in that morning which she will no doubt pitch to the city council, she just has to have it or she cannot function without it!) and called the roofing contractor, left a message for him, “…to contact her right away…!”  Then Wanda was sent out with Ballots?  WHY was Wanda doing anything with Ballots?  About an hour later, the contractor showed up suitably apologetic for the lapse in building permit.

Through-out the day Finance Office Jurrens and Ass’t Halvorson scurried back and forth, in and out of the Finance Office, going here, going there, Post Office, Nursing Home, to lunch and etc.  Folks, you really need to bring a comfy lawn chair, sit in the atrium and observe the ‘going-on’ of the Finance Office.  It is no wonder, they Need illegal OT or Comp Time to finish their work!

It was the home stretch of my marathon observation, when a disgruntled IA-Roo made his appearance.  I watched him walk back and forth for about a half hour, presumably to build up his courage.  Finally at 6:20 p.m. his courage at its peak, he stopped in front of me and began his little dance-wing-dipping, squawking out, “…I don’t like my name in the paper…”  Well Mr. IA-Roo, I was black-balled by the newspaper some time ago.  I have NO articles in the local paper. Now I just content myself with my news reporting medium-www.avoicefromthegallery.com

Mr. IA-Roo claimed “…he OWNED the vandalized curb and gutter…he had been given permission to vandalize the curb…”  WHO gave you permission, Mr. IA-Roo?   Mr. IA-Roo opines he has lived in Alcester for 25 years and, etc.  Mr. IA-Roo I have lived in Alcester since 1988 (31 years).  However Mr. IA-Roo whether I have lived here 31 years, you have lived here 25 years or your neighbor across the street has lived here all of his life  none of us can lay claim to ‘preferred status’. Mindful of my position of poll observer, I responded more congenially than Mr. IA-Roo deserved.

I told Mr. IA-Roo the curb vandalism would allow water to filter down behind the gutter, collect underneath the street causing voids and faults which would lead to street damage.  Now I didn’t use all those big words with him, fearing he would not understand.  Surely Mr. IA-Roo through his tenure in Ames and Iowa City (noted Iowa hubs of education) some modicum of extended learning may have rubbed off.  Nope?  There goes the osmosis theory of education!

Mr. IA-Roo the municipality owns a proscribed number of street-width feet which is measured from the center-line of the street to the curb and beyond.  A portion of  that city owned footage is from the curb inward, toward the residential structure generally to provide for utilities.  Mr. IA-Roo the developer paid to install the curb and gutter, which was added to the price of the lot.  Through ordinance, the cost of attrition of curb and gutter attached to Anderson Street has become the liability of the land owner. YOU DO NOT OWN THE CURB AND GUTTER!  In addition Mr. IA-Roo according to the CC&R’s which “run with the land” (a copy should be attached to your title), that residential lot could not be sub-divided legally.

Mr. IA-Roo your act of vandalism creates a potential for down-stream damages to your neighbors, for the taxpayers of Alcester and I suspect you could be charged with a misdemeanor for the curb destruction.  Speaking of misdemeanors, hopefully Councilman Lance wasn’t the one who gave you permission.  Mr. IA-Roo when you chose to school someone, perhaps you should have more than a tenuous grasp on the subject matter!