02/26/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

  • Folks you ever wonder why FO Pat is foaming-at-the-mouth for a office with a view?

She and Mayor Glas put her old digs up for auction and she ain’t got nowhere to go!

  • Now ya’all gotta know it ain’t ’cause she is qualified for an office with a view.

Nah, she sure ain’t no book-keeper.  Nope she’d rather keep a set of spare books just to keep track of her off-hours.   Let me define those off hours to ya’all;  off-hours are what she takes when she s’posed to be a workin’, lockin’ the  residents out of the finance office on Tuesday afternoons and against city ordinance, those kind of hours among other things.

  • Ya’all gotta know it ain’t ’cause she is a holdin’ a torch in the air on a little island spoutin ‘give me your tired, your poor…” shoot she don’t even want your garbage.

Boy howdy accordin’ to the local newspaper ol’ FOPat and Mayor Magoo sure did pour some gasoline on that there torch with their musical chair garbage pick-up.  Evidently Mayor Magoo and FOPat never heard ’bout an essay on Civil Disobedience by Thoreau.  Mr. Thoreau described civil disobedience (breach of law) as one’s moral duty if the alternative legal obedience causes harm to others.  Mr. Thoreau an educator refused to pay a poll tax which would expand slavery into the southwest and for his non-payment he was arrested and spent a night in jail.

Now ladies and gents, you can have a say but you have to do it in numbers, lots of numbers.  If you live on the side of the street which will host the garbage-can-soiree, come to the March 2, 2020, city council meeting and JUST SAY NO.  If you have to tote your garbage can across the street onto your neighbors property, come to the March 2, 2020, city council meeting and JUST SAY NO.  IF we get at least 50-100 property owners to show up to tell FOPat, Mayor Glas and the council, NO!  NOT JUST NO, BUT HECK NO! we will make our point, we ain’t takin’ this garbage!  Check out this weeks “Alcester Union-Hudsonite Newspaper”, front page article, see where Mayor Glas wants to send the garbage-can-picket-line.

But if they ignore us, then we take a page out of Henry David Thoreau’s Essay and PUT AN CIVIL DISOBEDIENT EXCLAMATION POINT ON THE GARBAGE!  We need to breach their legal britches with a not-so-civil boot!  We ARE the people, we will take back our Voice with a resounding NO WE AIN’T GONNA TAKE THIS GARBAGE!

 

 

02/19/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

February 20, 2001

Over the past three years I witnessed many miscarriages of justices and I have not been silent.

I participated in a criminal trial as an alibi witness.  I learned quickly the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution exists only in a museum and it is a bastardised versions of these documents the real world practices.  A prospective juror, a teacher in the Jefferson school district told the defense attorney, “it is up to the defendant to prove himself innocent”, his words, ‘guilty until proven innocent”.  I spend a year and a half fighting for truth, fighting law enforcement and struggling to keep my family whole.  I spent a week in the Woodbury County Courthouse; during that week I watched Iowa DCI Agent Dan Moser (retired)  and  DCI Agent Terry Klooster (Finality Investigations) and the alleged victim’s boyfriend Rod Jones having coffee in the jury room with the jury present.  I waited for the defense attorneys to do something, I waited for Woodbury County Deputy to do something—finally I did something,  The Iowa DCI agents described me as confrontational.  When I was finally allowed in the courtroom, I was subject to a physical search.  Ever have one of those?  Most people have criminal courtroom experience only via entertainment television, so they have no concept of sitting silently, waiting for a jury to deliver a verdict.  The cannot feel every hair on their body stand on end, feel the tentacles of cold despair radiate into their soul, hear the screams of their sister rip across the silence or the intense personal pain emanate in tsunami-like waves from the brother-in-law as he grips their hand while the jury foreman makes the pronouncement “Guilty”!  My nephew was with me that fateful night, yet he was convicted and sentence to life without the possibility of parole at the age of 19 on the anniversary of his parent’s marriage.

I have spent the past year researching law, working for the appeal and waiting through the everlasting nightmare that has become normal life for my family.  I have been in constant contact with my nephew in prison, in each conversation I have with him we discuss the things we did wrong, and the things we did right.  Uppermost in each conversation is that we allowed public opinion to cow us and intimidate us into not fighting as strongly as we should have.  On January 3, 2001, I went to Des Moines to listen to oral arguments in the Iowa Appellate Court for nephew’s appeal.  Imagine your whole life balanced on the best argument your attorney can make in 15 minutes.  On February 7, 2001, we received work the appeal was granted to my nephew so we go back to trial.

During the past three years my attitude has undergone a catharsis.  I will never stand by silently allowing an innocent individual be railroaded by misinformation, untruths, by cowards who let others take blame for their actions or people too lazy to investigate the truth whether it is in Spirit Lake, Iowa or here in Alcester, South Dakota.  To my critics, shame comes from continuing to perpetuate a wrong on a good man when he has been proven innocents.  If divisive means one faction fighting to restore a man’s good name while a second factions continues to perpetuate the wring, Yup we are divided!  If airing the dirty laundry is the only way to clean it, get the clothes-pins ready and the clothes-line wiped down!  I come from a line of fighters, the Magee and Culbertson in the Revolutionary War and the Newtons in both World Wars.  I am confrontational, I am pit-bull tenacious, I am obdurate but I AM NOT a quitter.  To the cowards who mail me the unsigned, anonymous sophomoric drivel, which passes for your opinions of my worth—I decline your invitation.  I am here—- so bring it on!  This one ‘little woman’ who will not only be seen but be heard.  I will no longer silently sit back hoping truth and justice will prevail.  I will fight, annoy, push, shove, bully, harass and antagonize to ensure justice has a chance.  I am more than willing to, as the title of a jazz song suggests, “Face The Music and Dance”!

A look back, still I wait but the storm is indeed building.

 

02/12/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

A forward here to explain the nature of the video.  This was a come and go affair not a seated gallery who posed questions to the architect.  This affair was set to run from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  In actual fact the gallery roams at will and around 5:00 p.m. all activity ceased but the architect Kyle, Gary McKellips, Pat Jurrens and myself remained until 5:30 p.m. to allow for any late comers.  For brevity of boredom, I have edited out the final half hour of no movement beyond just the videographer and three presenters.

“…We can sit on the patio/veranda at the golf course and watch the Alcester-Hudson football game…”

Now ain’t that speschal. Say isn’t there an admissions fee to games to help fund the athletic programs in the school?

I attended the pre-bid informational session with local and not-so-local contractors, electrical trades, plumbing trades, landscaping trades and of course construction trades at 2:00 p.m. in the school library. COOP Architecture was present and running the session, Alcester City Employees present were city bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens, Dale Pearson and Lonnie Johnson. Also in attendance were the funding entourage of Gary McKellips and Tom Walsh. Those attending were asked to sign in and were presented with an agenda at that time. Most already had quasi-blueprints and mechanical drawings.

There was a question-answer period in which several of the group asking for clarification on the two separate but con-joined buildings (i.e. the ‘shed’ and the ‘community event’ structure.

Later at 4:00 p.m, I attended the ‘Ask the Architect’ session in the city council room sans chairs. I planned on video-taping the session laboring under the assumption it was to be an informational meeting addressing community questions concerning the structure, financial concerns and a general opinion the city offices and council chambers should remain downtown Alcester within a gallery seating type venue.  O-O-P-S!

Sadly and disappointingly this session was anything but informational. Sure there were architectural renditions of a vision but it came very evident that,

“common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in the gardens at 308 Iowa or 410 Hidin’ in the bushes Drive”

Anyone watching the amendments to the design, the two rooms originally labeled office and conference room with a static grand total of 883 square feet of space has to think WOW! Approximately 440 square feet of space per each room where current city office rooms run slightly less, square footage-wise. However the current finance office would benefit greatly if they removed the chest deep freezer from the room.

AND SHORT-SIGHTEDLY

There is NO provision in the community center for a REAL however ad-libbed council chamber.

JUST A CHANGE IN LABELS NOT DESIGN OR DIMENSIONS.

SAMPLE COUNCIL CHAMBER

FINANCE OFFICE AND COUNCIL CHAMBERS NEED TO STAY DOWNTOWN!

 

02/05/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Two things right off the bat.

First I must apologise for the lack of video, you cannot know how much I regret not checking for the danged memory card!!!

Second an update that the council agenda missed in the Finance Office Reminders and Updates. Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens Trial is still on for tomorrow February 6, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.

At the February 3, 2020, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order by Mayor Tom Glas at 6:00 p.m. with Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present. Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson was absent.

The Council and gallery stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda Item #3-Approve Agenda was called and approve unanimously.

Agenda Item #4-Approve the Minutes of January 6, 2020, and January 27, 2020, was called and again unanimously approved.

Agenda Item #5-Alcester EMS Update delivered by EMS President Jon Serck was called. In Mr. Serck’s presentation he gave an update the ambulance was down to three (3) EMT’s with one in the wings to be certified. Mr. Serck described to the council and gallery the need for EMT’s. He also announced that our Ambulance would be transporting only emergency calls, those emergency calls would be mandatorily delivered to the Hawarden Hospital until otherwise announced.

Agenda Item #6-Alcester Fire Department-Pat Kast Fire Chief requesting special alcohol permit and the change in date to Saturday, March 21, 2020, running from 3:00 p.m. to12:00 a.m. in the Alcester Fire Department. Fire Chief Kast’s request was approved unanimously.

Agenda Item #7-Public Input- I, Vickie Larsen addressed the council with comments regarding Alcester City Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens verbal attack on a person at their place of business regarding a circulation of petition, what was in the petition, what did it involve, who was circulating the petition and where was the petition. Folks this is at least a second report of Alcester City Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens verbally accosting people with regard to circulation of petitions. This is an illegal act due to the fact the Alcester City Finance Officer is the election official of the municipality of Alcester. It is my understanding the first time was FO Pat heard gossip there was a petition being circulated, she wanted to know who, what, where and expressed her desire to, “…tear it up…” It is my understanding the council became aware of the most recent violation of election issue. Which I imagine was dealt with or not dealt with in Executive Session.

Agenda Item #8-Legal Updates-Sam Nelson, Alcester City Attorney-

a)   ACA Nelson presented the City Council with copies of 2020 House Bill 1116 (revisions regarding the use of perpetual care trust funds to maintain cemeteries), 2020 House Bill 1120 (allowing second or third class municipalities to act as Planning and Zoning commissions), 2020 Senate Bill 61(revision of certain provisions regarding a municipal office nominating petitions) and 2020 Senate Bill 135 (bid limits of certain public improvements). I would like to thank ACA Nelson for giving me copies of those bills.

b)  Alcester Community Building-sealed Bid, Bid Opening March 2, 2020, at 6:30 p.m.

c) 2020 Chip Sealing and FDR Bid- Motion to approve advertising 2020 Chip Seal Bid and FDR (Full Depth and Reclamation) set for March 2, 2020 at 6:45 p.m. O-o-o-p-s FDR is no longer an option cause it seems Ol’- FDR with the snow, rain and subsequent wetness now resides in the storm sewer and in our street department’s considered opinion isn’t such a good idea after all. SO NOW WHAT? ACA Frieberg is working on the bid documents, work to be under $30K H-m-m if I remember accurately our annual (not for long) little ol’ street maintenance TAX garners somewhere around $37K per year. H-m-m.

Agenda Item #9– Ordinance Changes-

a) Second Reading of Ordinance 2020-01 – 1.0202 An Ordinance Amending the Existing Municipal Ordinances of the City of Alcester, South Dakota, Title 1, Chapter 1.02, Section 1.0202 Regular Meetings. Moving the regular meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  IT seems the meetings are running past Mayor Glas’ bedtime. Oh by the way the Mayor was encouraged to read the Ordinance aloud, Yeah. If it would not have been cruel and unusual punishment on the gallery, I would have called for Mayor Glas to repeat the ordinance so the gallery could hear and understand the dyslexic pontification in the style of Comedian Norm Crosby Mayor Glas put out. No amount of better acoustics is going to cure that.

b) Second reading of Ordinance 2020-02 – 5.02 An Ordinance Amending the Existing Municipal Ordinance of the City of Alcester, South Dakota, Title 5, Chapter 5.02, Sections 5.0211, 5.0212, 5.0212A and 5.0213 Fluffy and Fido. Licensing Pussy Cats as well as Puppy Dogs. IT seem the ratio between pussie cats and Rats has dipped and Fluffy has worn out her welcome within the city. So the City is mandating a license to bell the cats so-to-speak.

Now folks let’s taking a look at this and apply a human element into this war on pussy cat Fluffy. IF Pussy Cat Fluffy lives within the city limits of Alcester she must be collared, belled, spayed and licensed. So begs the question, IF Pussy Cat Fluffy declares her residence OUTSIDE the city limits does she need to be collared, belled, spayed and licensed. She gets her mail via RFD but she does spend her days within the city limits earning her living.

So now the human element, City Council person is elected/appointed to Ward II, he must live, get his mail and sleep in Ward II, Right? But what if City Councilperson buys a house in Ward III and intends to live in said Ward III house, according to statute HE/SHE must resign from city Council because HE/SHE no longer lives in Ward II. SO what happens if he only sleeps in Ward II and does everything else in Ward III. H-m-m it is no wonder the City Council wants advice from BAMBEE HR of California!

Agenda Item #10-Nuisance Property Discussion

a) 210 Ofstad Update

307 Broad Street

Speaking of nuisances, What about the place on East Iowa across from Mayor Magoo where the owner parks the backend of her car across the sidewalk?

Speaking of nuisances-I suggest we Fire Geoff Fillingsness, follow the lead of Beresford and get rid of excess city baggage.

b) Water flowing off the City Owned Building (Bar) flowing through the city      owned alley and onto adjoining property adversely affected Arlene’s Cafe. The city owns the bar, run-off from the building and alley is adversely affecting the adjoining property owner. The fix is the financial responsibility of the city.

Agenda Item #12 Street Updates-Lonnie Johnson

The street department mentioned the Full Depth Reclamation issue and the Street Committee of Councilman Lance Johnson, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilman Dan Haeder (hopefully I got the names recorded correctly) were going to contact Engineer Kim McLaury to get his opinion. When asked what McLaury’s qualifications were with regard to streets, I believe it was FO Pat who answered, “…well he owns his own company…” Yeah just a refresher course on Mr. McLaury’s expertise in engineering and I do not mean Thomas the Train Engine. Mr. McLaury’s engineering expertise the Alcester SRTS inflicted upon the city of Alcester where he designed an ADA Bridge traversing the horseshoe pit and alley through the park. Where the contractor had to go back in a raise the topography into the air almost at the same height as the swimming pool diving board because Mr. McLaury just could not seem to grasp the incline/slope into ADA regulations. I believe the cost overrun on that jewel of engineering was something like $20K which the city elected to kick over and pay. Got to wonder how much the fix for FDR is going to cost the city taxpayers. I swear it would be cheaper to add FDR to Mount Rushmore than cover FDR on our streets.

Agenda Item #14 Property Purchase 01.01.13.1040 Quam & Berglin Rentals $15,000 to come out of the second penny sales tax. There we go again, Mayor Glas and FO Pat working on Pay-Day Loans. It is to be noted here than Mr. Wegh does not mind an add-on garage to the building next to his establishment. Well evidently the Mayor Glas, FO Pat and Councilman Lance Johnson asked if Mr. Wegh would be bothered by a garage.  A courtesy they did not extend to the folks on Anderson Street.  Purchase was unanimously approved.

Agenda Item #17-Pleasant Hill Cemetery Update.-Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens

a) changing the signatories on the bank accounts which includes signers Mayor Glas, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens, ASS’T Finance Officer Wanda Halverson, and Councilman Dan Haeder. Folks one work of caution on this acquisition, perpetual care carries a great deal of future debt. When the spaces are depleted, the money for care stops and becomes an obligation of all taxpayers.

Agenda Item #18 -Finance Office Updates-FO Pat

a) Warrants – Bills for condensing unit for the Bar-general fund

Bill for a Reznor Tube Heater city shop-general fund

Warrants approved unanimously

b) Tax Abatement-County gave us a refund and P-f-f-t it is gone.

c) City Utility Positions-Add a new FT job at $13.00/hour, city to hold interviews for candidates.

d) HR Services- Folks the city wants to contract out to Bambee HR, Los Angeles, CA to tell them how to deal with the city employees. Note here that not one (that I am aware) of the council members is a business owner who employees more than five employees. WOW Price Tag $500 up front audit of employees related expenses, re-write the personnel manual, $200/ month billing whether Bambee is used or not.   The reason, oh folks you are going to love this (and I wish I had this on video) the council is tired to paying out $125.00 per hour for advice from City Attorney Sam on their HR questions. Oh man you should have seen Sam’s face. DEJA VUE! Sam I hate to tell you, but you are not the first attorney Mayor Glas and FO Pat have done this to.  Folks you need to check out the Terms of Service of Bambee (https://www.bambee.com/legal/tos ) Evidently the council has not because they would not have been talking in the terms they discussed in front of the gallery. If the council carries though with the logic they discussed, they are going to be sued. I know Mayor Glas did not read them because I did not see a Dick and Jane Version of the Terms of Service on Bambee’s website.

Folks we are members of the South Dakota Municipal League, both Sam Nelson and Thomas Frieberg are lobbyists for the SDML, Alcester pays a membership fee which covers certain entitlements of membership so why in the world are they asking a California psychic HR for advice on South Dakota municipal employees. Granted both the state and the federal dictate rules and regulations over employees but still BAMBEE? Are ya kidding?

Agenda Item #18 (f) -Reminders and Updates.

Agenda Item #20 Community Center Update February 11, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. at the city auditorium. Evidently it is a come and go and of course scheduled off hours for anyone who works for a living. Nice timing, right. Let Mayor Glas know. Geez Louise, why 4:00 p.m.? Does it interfere with Mayor Glas’ early evening Nap?

Agenda Item #21-Update of Volunteer Roster

Names removed from EMS: Don Brose, Mike Burke, Nancee Cowell, Brandi Smith, Paula Wiberg. Names removed from FD Jesse Duncan and Ryan Micke

Agenda Item #22-Executive Session Personnel

Entered into Executive session at 8:06 p.m. with the Mayor Glas, City Council members, Larsen, Reppe, Haeder, Kay and Talbott, and Finance Office personnel Patricia Jurrens and ASS’T Finance Office personnel Wanda Halverson, Exited from Executive session at 8:23p.m.  Do you s’pose they discussed Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens illegal attack on a citizen over petitions?

Agenda Item #23-Adjourn

Council Adjourned at 8:24 p.m. early enough for Mayor Magoo to rush home and make his beddie-by time.

 

PS: “How to circulate a county or municipal Initiative or Referendum Petition” Steve Barnett-SD Secretary of State

elections@state.sd.us   

 www.sdsos.gov

 

02/01/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Agenda 02/03/2020

 

COMING UP:

January 6, 2020,AGENDA ITEM #18 (e)-Motion to Approve CDBG Loan to City $32,640.66 (police car). 0% Interest, 4 year Payback per schedule. No action taken on CDBG Loan to City as Sam Nelson needs more information.

January 27, 2020,Special Meeting Agenda carried no provision for City Attorney Sam Nelson’s report on the $32, 640.66 proposed CDBG Loan to pay for the Police Car. H-m-m?

February 3, 2020, Agenda Item #8-Legal Updates-Sam Nelson-NO CBDG?

*Generally I do not like to use Wikipedia as a source because it can be edited by anyone. I will in this case include a quote from Wikipedia as it relates to Allocation of Funds,

“…communities must meet certain requirements…First, ‘not less than 70 percent of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons.’ Secondly, funds MUST be spend on eligible activities, which are broadly defined as including ‘community development activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and improved community facilities and services.’…Such activities may include ‘Acquisition of real property, Relocation and demolitions, Rehabilitation of residential and non-residential structures, Construction of public facilities and improvements’ and more…Third governments must follow a plan of project selection that includes citizen participation, especially by citizens who live in ‘areas’ in which the grantee proposes to use CBDG funds” *(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Development_Block_Grant.)

State Allocations and Contacts State CDBG allocations by state are listed at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/budget/. The best contact people are the HUD Field Office Directors, whose contact information can be found at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/about/staff/fodirectors/.

 

CONCLUSION:

NO CBDG FUNDING OF EQUIPMENT DESCRIBED AS POLICE CRUISER AND PER THE ALCESTER ORDINANCE FOR SECOND PENNY SALES TAX–ASSETS ONLY– NOT POLICE CRUISERS THOSE MUST COME OUT OF GENERAL FUNDS. NO PAY DAY LOANS ALLOWED FO PAT!  Wow, I did not realise Beacom had a program in PayDay Loans!

February 3, 2020, Agenda Item #14-PROPERTY PURCHASE 01.01.13.1040 QUAM & BERGLAND RENTALS, $15,000, 2ND PENNY-Class NADC and NADC2 valuation 2019 $16,260 Purchase price to be taken from 2nd penny sales tax. It is to be noted here, upon city purchase the property ceases to accrue tax dollars benefiting the residents of Alcester.

February 3, 2020, Agenda Item #15(b)-Golf Cart trade-in/purchase to come out of 2nd penny sales tax. Questionable 2nd penny assignment per ordinance restriction language.

February 3, 2020, Agenda Item #15 (c)-Golf Top Dressing Mower Purchase to come out of 2nd penny sales tax. Questionable 2nd penny assignment per ordinance restriction language.

February 3, 2020, Agenda Item #18 (e)-Motion to approve Loan to City, from Revolving Loan Fund (?), $32, 640.66, 0% interest, 4 year payback per schedule.

SO FOR US NOT-SO-ASTUTE RESIDENTS, ‘Lay Persons’ and ‘snoopy, busy-body neighbors’…Tell us what is the difference between the CBDG and a Revolving Loan Fund.  Just a name change?  Semantics Sam?  ACA Sam, is your judgment of a ‘well constructed letter for a lay person’ based upon Class ‘A’ legal advice, English degree, South Dakota Municipal League Lobbyist, seat in the SD Bar or participant/advisor to the city council in canvass of the 2019 mayoral votes meeting where Alcester City Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens handed over the keys to the ballot box and the council was allowed to handle the election ballots?”  Sam just because an argument does not ‘jump-out’ at you like a 400 lb. gorilla, it does not mean a small soft warning growl in the dark of a room does not mean there are no paws, no claws and no jaws waiting, on the ready to defend to the end! The FAT LADY is STILL not singing, do-re-mi-oorah!

 

Please readers, attend this meeting.

It is important.

Public Input is AGENDA ITEM #7, TELL THE COUNCIL WHAT YOU THINK. IT IS YOUR RIGHT, YOUR VOTE, YOUR TAXES!