10/04/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

“Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation.”
Atifete Jahjaga

The October 2, 2019, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council convened at the Alcester Golf Course Clubhouse at 6:00 pm with Mayor Glas, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present. Absent was Ward III Councilman Lance Johnson. Also present were Jon Serck, Alcester EMS; Geoff Fillingsness, Alcester Code Enforcement Officer, Alcester Chief of Police Jeff Christie, Police Officer Austin Schuller and Former Finance Officer Michael Kezar and other interested folks.

I want to start with the fact the meeting was opened at the Alcester city shop for a tour from 5:30pm to 5:45pm. I did not attend that meeting so whether the meeting was in fact opened, the meeting was adjourned or whether any city business was conducted I have no first-hand knowledge.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the agenda was approved with a unanimous five (5) aye vote and the minutes of the September 4, 2019, and September 16, 2019, meeting were approved with no changes with a unanimous five (5) aye vote.

Agenda Item #5 Public Input    I,  had public input. My topic was the city charging Alcester EMS for sewer and garbage, see the demand letter from the city of Alcester. Also please note the Alcester City Finance Officer’s response to my question and the response from Alcester EMS Jon Serck. (00:08:52)

I also spoke on the topic of Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens refusal to hand over FOIA, specifically dealing with the Property Maintenance Violations list. Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s position these are not public records, I argued the City of Sioux Falls has their Property Maintenance violation citations on their website so this sets a precedence for Alcester to provide these public records and in 2016 the city provided me the property maintenance code violations with an argument but I got them. I handed Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson a copy of those SF violation records from September 2019 as proof.   I EXPECT THOSE RECORDS TO BE PROVIDED TO ME!

Code Officer Geoff Fillingsness stuck his nose into the discussion (00:13:25) Code Officer Fillingsness stated, “I am the president of the South Dakota Association of Code Enforcement!” O-h-o-o-o-o! Really? Mr. President of the SD Association of Code Enforcement states, “…we (the code association respect the privacy… we do not release names of violations…” Really? When asked the question why he (Code Officer Fillingsness) was no longer the Beresford Code Enforcement Officer, Code Officer Geoff said (00:16:39), “I was fired…you want to know why I was fired?” Listen to why he says he was fired. Do you ‘spose’ the new mayor of Beresford would agree with that assessment? I doubt it!

LOOK AT THE PURPOSE OF THE SD ASSOCIATION OF CODE ENFORCEMENT set forth on the SDML website (www.sdmunicipalleague.org/codeenforcement) South Dakota Municipal League South Dakota, October 6, 2019, South Dakota Association of Code Enforcement)

  • “To operate, without profit to the Association, or its members, as a state association to advance, educate and improve efforts of state, county, city and other political subdivision employees who are actively involved with and responsible for the enforcement of housing, municipal, county, state or federal codes without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, or sex.

  • To encourage professionalism with regard to the standardization of enforcement of environmental, and housing codes.

  • To supply and advance the science and practice of code enforcement through certification and to provide training workshops, seminars and conferences facilitating and advancing the administration of the various codes with which the Association is concerned.

  • To exchange information relating to the code enforcement profession.

  • To promote policies that will facilitate and improve code enforcement procedures”

Mr. Code Officer Fillingsness please explain bullet point #2, “…to encourage professionalism with regard to the standardization of enforcement of environment and housing codes…” I mean just how does that work in YOUR world? I mean when ya’ll don’t know if the judge is a he or a she. If ya’ll left your paperwork in your car? Really. Oh an’ yeah, who was the affiant who attested to alleged conditions? You do know lying to a judge or making a false statement is as illegal as making a false police report just ask Pat.

Folks you need look and listen to Pat at (00:16:39) during the discussion on my FOIA request. FO Pat asked the question, “…Why do you want this information…?” Councilman Melissa Kay hushed FO Pat, ’cause FO Pat cannot legally ask that question! Amazing!

With regard to my FOIA request, Mayor Glas announced (00:21:47) he was going to follow Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s advice. Mr. Mayor, YOU were not so willing with the previous city attorney! Really Mayor, you just declared you were going to refuse me access to public records? You might want to check the penalty on that one!

Agenda Item#6 Mike Kezar’s appeal of the Property Maintenance Violation Citation. You really have to hand it to President Code Officer Geoff Fillingsness, he cited lack of smoke alarms, flower pots without flowers, vermin and having a kitchen in the basement. Really? How many of you folks have smoke alarms in every bedroom, how many of you folks have mousetraps in your homes, how many of you folks have a kitchen in a lower level part of your home and how many of you have an empty flower pot or two. I do, in fact I have pot-people sitting in the front of my home.

In addition, I have filed two property maintenance violation complaints and President Code Officer Fillingsness has ignored them. I do believe that is called selective administration of Code and I do believe that is failing to do his duty.  It is called non-feasance or in this case I believe President Code Officer Fillingsness is guilty of malfeasance.

President Code Officer Fillingsness gave his opinion on Mr. Kezar’s garage, I wonder how much President Code Office Fillingsness will pad his bill for unsolicited advice?

Agenda Item #16 Tiny House- Folks unless you want Tiny Homes next to your home, do not allow these portable potty trains into your neighborhood. There is no real estate tax benefit to these playhouses for the community.

Agenda Item #17-Fiance Office Update-Councilwoman Melissa Kay question FO Pat about the city website AGAIN. FO Pat responded I will be working on it. That is like the Fat Lady in the Circus working on her diet while she is munching on a fresh fried donut dunked in glaze.

Agenda Item #23 Executive Session-Contracts- The council moved into Executive session at 7:58 PM and I was ushered out into the cold, dark misting night and all by my lonesome. I huddled near the windows of the clubhouse, watching the council ‘disgust’ contracts. I wonder what they would say if I told them I could read lips or I was videotaping them?* At 8:16 PM the door was opened and I was allowed to come in from the cold.

The council adjourned at 8:17 PM.

Note: I understand there was a recent happening. It is my understanding there was a false report? If that information is accurate, the Alcester FO must be relieved of her duties until the situation is resolved through the courts. The Alcester FO is in charge of Alcester’s monies and with the quality of over-sight of Mayor Magoo Glas, that has the feel of the Fox taking inventory of the hen house egg production!  More to come!

*By the way, I cannot read lips and the camera was shut down!