12/02/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the December 2, 2019, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council to order at 6:00 p.m. with Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman David Larsen and Councilman Lance Johnson present. Sitting in for Sam Nelson, city attorney was Thomas Frieberg of Frieberg, Nelson and Ask, and who is also listed as city attorney under the retainer agreement.

Among the gallery were Amanda Ericson, Tena Keiser co-chairs of the Alcester Chamber of Commerce, Larry Anderson, representative from the cemetery group, and an impromptu appearance by William Shorma, District 16 Representative candidate. The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Making a brief appearance was former Alcester Finance Officer Mike Kezar who apparently been told he was to talk about his property situation but Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens Failed to place him on the agenda.

The council moved quickly to approve the agenda and the minutes of the November 4, 2019, meeting. Of course unanimously without discussion as usual.

Agenda Item #5-Next to be seen and not-so-seen was William Shorma, candidate for District 16 (Representative-a correction from the erroneously (00:03:50))agenda listed item as Senator Candidate. Notable candidate comment was (00:06:25) he wanted address the important, ‘key stake holder’ people in the communities: the city council, the chamber of commerce and the school officials as he stood with his back to the camera and the gallery. H-m-m so is that one calls putting your best side backward?

Agenda Item #6-Next up were the Chamber of Commerce request for temporary street closure for the Chamber sponsored Christmas Tree Lighting Party scheduled for December 6th. The council voted to close the street for the Chamber function.

Agenda Item #7-Input

I started the input with an explanation of the document I placed at each council members place and the Alcester city attorneys place. This document was a copy of the Regulations, Agreements and Conditions Running with Land which is attached to the Deed of property. This particular document was attached to the deed of Councilman Lance Johnson property address listed as 518A Anderson Street and future home of ‘hog barn and other mechanical things’?

I pointed out the obvious error the city council had the power to grant a variance to a piece of land over which they had no control to change the agreements, regulations and conditions attached to that land.

Councilman Lance Johnson stated he did not know of the deed attachment until (00:15:15), “…Tom Frieberg recommended Michael McGill to him… last summer Finance Officer Pat Jurrens dug up the Regulations, Agreements and Conditions Running with Land Document…”. At which point in the discussion Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens interrupted (00:16:19) with the statement that, “…what we were told by (presumably Mike McGill) the twenty-five year condition was illegal…” In case you do not know of Mike McGill, he is an attorney out of Beresford, SD. He has his own law practice, is not to the best of my knowledge a member of the Frieberg, Nelson and Ask firm, nor was Mr. McGill a signer or contributor to the document titled, “Regulations, Agreements and Conditions Running with Land which was prepared by Charles B. Haugland.

So by what right did Alcester Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens stick her nose into a civil matter? I had heard Finance Officer Pat Jurrens had been running around collecting signatures concerning Councilman Lance Johnson’s edifice to hogs and combines on Anderson Street but I had no personal knowledge with which to confirm the validity of the claim. But last night Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens comment (00:16:19) about the opinion from Mr. McGill seems to give some credence to the rumor.

So why was Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens involving herself in a civil legal matter on the part of Alcester Councilman Lance Jurrens trying to do an end run around the Regulations, Agreements and Conditions Running with Land Document attempting to cheat his neighbors out of the equity value of their homes.

 Why is an attorney under retainer (Thomas Frieberg) to the city of Alcester as legal counsel to the CITY of Alcester recommending a lawyer (Michael McGill) to Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson to give him (Lance Johnson) and the City of Alcester (Mr. Frieberg’s Client) the power to negate the terms and conditions afforded by the legal document titled Regulations, Agreements and Conditions Running with Land and defraud the residents of Numsen’s Addition without their right to vote for themselves whether Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson can build a Hog House, Combine Cabin, Tractor Terminal ER or RV Rest Home!

 As I understand it, any owner who has this Regulations, Agreements and Conditions Running with Land Document attached to their Deed can take Councilman Lance Johnson to court as well as the City of Alcester if they vote to allow a variance contrary to the RAC’s Running with Land that they have all lived by!

Agenda Item #8-Legal Updates

Involved a lengthy discussion of the cemetery and Ordinance 2019-08 with amendments.

Community Building-Auditorium and present city offices. The council voted to declare the auditorium surplus property. Motion called by Mayor Glas, Motion was made by Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Second came from Councilman David Larsen and with no discussion the council voted unanimously – six AYE votes to declare the City Auditorium Surplus property.

The next step is to decide whether the Auditorium will be summarily disposed of by 1) sealed bids, 2) realtor, or 3) public auction after another appraisal.

Folks the reality of the Community Building/Golf Club house is still just a malevolent will-o’-the-wisp hovering over our city. Sell the Auditorium where does the police department go? Sell the Auditorium where does the finance office go? Not to the Community Building/Club House without a public vote!! Despite Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens fervent hope.

Agenda Item #9-Variance for Councilman Lance Johnson tabled.

Agenda items #10 Street Update and #11 Water and Wastewater no reports from the department heads who were not in attendance. Oh Mayor Glas was given the okie dokie to sign the small community grant. Geesh, I hope he at least gets his signature over his name this time.

Agenda Item #12– Police Department-Chief Christie announced the PD was gifted with two brand new AED and he has taken the training to train others how to use the AED (automated external defibrillator). New police car is on its way.

AND ON CUE  Alcester City Attorney Thomas Frieberg gathered his case and left 7:00 p.m. (01:02:01)

Agenda Item #13– Finance Office

Architect is almost finished with the kitchen. Are ya kidding me? I am sorry Wofgang Puck does not like the cold, Emeril Lagasse just got nibbled into oblivion and doesn’t want to move to Alcester. Julia Child passed on, and Rachael Ray’s Nutrish culinary art has gone to the dogs. So what we have here is a failure to communicate, short order cafe does not need a haute cuisine kitchen delicately placed between the bar and the biffy AND certainly cannot afford a staff commensurate with haute cuisine tips.

Resolution for Fees 2020 Pat’inflation has struck again and I do not mean helium go-fund- me jail bond balloons in the auditorium atrium. Although every time Mayor Glas walks in, there is certainly an updraft of hot air.

Finance Officer Patricia still wants to bell the cats. I think a certain FO should be belled.

It has been determined and if I understood the subject matter discussion correctly the 2019 audit is going to cost $8K. Finance Officer Patricia moaned, “I do my best and I work really hard” (01:30:20)

Supplemental appropriation, without a copy to follow along with it was a jumbled mash but the one thing that really caught my attention was the Robbing the water enterprise account of $50K to bolster the general fund. I am not sure that is legal. Water Enterprises funds must go to either pay to reduce water rates or upgrades of the water system not to go to the general fund where it could be used to purchase more clutter for the auditorium atrium. Or pay community center expenses arising out of the question,  should the kitchen be next to the bar or should it be close to the fire exit.

The date for the Special Meeting in December was set for December 9, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.

Updates and reminders:

One reminder was missing, Item V as in the appearance in court for Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens for Violation of state and local Liquor laws. December 5, 2019, Union County Magistrate Court at 9:00 a.m. to answer the complaint with fines and fees.

Agenda Item #14– City Website- Still dinkin’ with the city website first voted and around $1500 was appropriate for its design and implementation. I told the council the South Dakota Municipal League would help set up our website as we are members of the SDML. Mayor Glas mumbled something about open meeting. Since I was (hearsay) accused of setting the council up in the ballot box violation complaint and that I should have said something. First I did not know at the time and Every time I try to advise when the council is erring, I get shut down and ignored just as I did last night when I spoke up about the South Dakota Municipal League.

Agenda Item #18 Executive Session at 7:57 p.m. to discuss Personnel-H-m-m  At 8:21 p.m. the meeting was declared open and the council accepted the resignation of Librarian Dee Cole and Curtis Saugstad.

Agenda Item #19 Adjournment- Meeting was adjourned at 8:23 p.m.