The January 27, 2020, special meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Glas, Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder*, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilman Lance Johnson present. Absent was Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.
The council along with the gallery recited the Pledge of Allegiance and with that the meeting began.
First order of business after the call-to-order and the pledge was approval of the agenda. Mayor Glas called for a motion to approve the agenda (03:48:80). Glas mentioned an ‘error’ and the two fives would become 5A and 5B, so Councilman Johnson moved to accept the agenda without adding the change in the agenda, a second came from Councilman David Larsen with no correction to the agenda, and with no discussion the council voted unanimously to accept the agenda.
Agenda Item #4 – Public Input. I responded I had public input and with my announcement, Mayor Glas commented(04:27.80), “…Let’s try to hold it down to a couple minutes…” to which I responded…”…well it will take what it takes…”(04:31:87),” and I proceeded with my comments. There was no other public input.
Agenda Item #5 – (A) Approve Architect Agreement, CO-OP Architecture (AIA B101). FO Pat did an introductory quasi summary, most of which related to the 500+ pages of just one of the agreements. FO Pat noted there was a tele-conference between CO-OP Architecture, Tom Freiberg, Sam Nelson, Mayor Glas and FO-Pat to discuss the contract.
Agenda Item #5– (B) Community Center Plans and Specifications. This item was re-listed by Mayor Glas as Agenda Item 5B but it was not approved as such, there was no motion on Agenda Item 5B, there was no second on Agenda Item 5B, there was no discussion on Agenda Item 5B and no separate vote on Agenda Item 5B. So as I see it, Community Center Plans and Specifications renamed by Mayor Glas as Agenda Item 5B and approved as such by the council in their approval of agenda was not dealt with at all.
Agenda Item #6 – Community Center Advertising. Councilwoman Melissa Kay moved to approve this agenda item, Councilman Lance Johnson seconded the motions and under discussion Councilman David Larsen made some observations and remarks. (20:31:60)
During this discussion Councilman David Larsen wanted to make it clear that he was in favor of the project but with strong strings attached. In these remarks Councilman Larsen insisted that the finance office and the council chamber existence were non-negotiable in his opinion. No mention of the police department. So what are they to do, run around like a taco truck type mobile office to maintain law and order? Councilman Larsen states that,
“the finance office needs a better place…the office is cramped…small and should be across from the council chamber because of all the hauling of stuff the finance office staff has to do for council meeting… and in the five months of summer operation the city could save $120 per week by having the finance office accept those few (2-4) greens fees that may come in the morning hours (8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.) …”
In addition the city council chamber needs to be more sound proof… we have 3 million votes for the community building and while a vote of citizens is okay it would be a waste of time and money… astute citizens…”
- the finance office needs a better place, the finance office is cramped, the finance office is small. Vickie’s Answer: Find a building downtown that has more space. Present finance office is around 180 square feet give or take. Clean out the superfluous junk out of the finance office. Take one desk out of the finance office.
- the finance office should be across from the council chamber. Vickie’s Answer: The Finance office does not have to be across from the council chamber, if all that heavy lifting of a bunch of stuff for council meetings, get the finance officer a grocery cart.
- if the finance office received the green fees, the city could save $120 per week by the finance office accept 2 to 4 greens fees. Vickie’s Answer: Dump the second Finance officer in favor of a golf course employee who can take greens fees, read meters, do mailings and pick up the mail. You will save more like $15,000 per year.
- the council chamber needs to be more sound proof. Vickie’s Answer: Yeah, it does! According to the technical article of February 1, 2016, titled, “6 City Council Chambers Design Mistake to Avoid… council chambers revolve around communication…Audio, Video and Technology should be considered early during the design process…Failure to consider these items now will result in problems down the road…Acoustics…Just like any other gathering place or presentation space, speech intelligibility is critical in a City Council Chamber…contemplate camera angles…(Base 4 Tech, LLC dba Vibe Design Group) (vibedesigngroup.net/6-city-council-chambers-design-mistakes-to-avoid/).” So tell me where is the gallery supposed to sit in the COOP Chamber room? Going by the supposition the existing finance office/council chambers (measures approximately 325 sq.ft. for council chamber and 200 sq.ft finance office for total of 525 sq. ft.) and the projected COOP finance office/council chamber (appears as 883 sq.ft. which if divided equally between the two rooms will allot the finance office 441.5 sq.ft and the council chamber 441.5 sq. ft.)
In Councilman David Larsen’s remarks he says, (20:56:45), ” we have 3 million votes for the community center…a vote of the citizens is okay but an astute citizen…would be a waste of time and money…”
Stepping back to a question posed by Councilwoman Melissa Kay about what happens if we do not raise the shortfall money for the community project, can we get a loan. Finance Officer Pat Jurrens answered no because we (the city) already have a loan for $500,000 for the community center project. Listen to the video. In addition and so the citizens are aware, it is my understanding there are strings to those 3 million votes to the effect if the matching moneys are not coughed up the deal is dead. So that is imaginary votes or money?
Now going back to that part of the statement “…we have 3 million votes…”. Please tell me that you do not mean 3 million dollars translate into 3 million votes and they hold more weight than our 830 some votes as a tax-paying citizens. Evidently I am not one of those “astute citizens”. I in my world 3 million dollar/votes, do not dictate how to spend our tax dollars nor burden our children with a debt the city cannot pay but in my world a finance officer we cannot trust according to indictments would be summarily dismissed.
Motion on Agenda Item #6 was made by City Councilman David Larsen, seconded by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, no further discussion with a unanimous vote of aye.
Agenda Item #7- Approve Architect Agreement COOP Architecture-Councilwoman Melissa Kay made the motion to approve the agreement with the second coming from Councilwoman Linda Talbott, no discussion and a unanimous vote of aye.
Agenda Item #8– Executive session-was not needed. Amazing!
Agenda Item #9 – Adjourn-Councilman David Larsen moved to adjourn, second came from Councilman Lance Johnson, no discussion and a unanimous vote of aye the January 27, 2020, meeting was adjourned at 6:24 p.m.
* Alcester City Councilman Dan Haeder purchased a home on the east side of Park Street which places him in Ward III. According to statute he cannot represent Ward II IF his place of residence has changed, that he would have to resign his seat. I asked him about this back in late December and he said that he had discussed it with the council. I am left to wonder about the delay in residency.