03/16/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the March 16, 2020, Special Equalization meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Councilwoman Darla Reppe present. Once again Councilman Lance Johnson was absent and there was no city attorney present.

*NOTE-I apologise to Michael Bucholz for mis-spelling his name in the title page in the video.  I did and do know how to spell his name but missed my error in the proofing process.

After the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the council began by approving the agenda unanimously.

Agenda Item #4 – AMKO Mr. Mark DeRaney representative made a presentation regarding Alcester’s Sewer bond and the rework to lower interest rate as I understand it. The city council had to vote on Resolution 2020.03 to re-fund the bond at a lower interest rate. The council voted to move forward.

Agenda Item #5 – Equalization Board This is where the council received appeals to property tax valuation. At that point in the evening no one had presented an appeal of valuation nor did it appear there was any discretionary reductions taken by the county at this point. There will be a citywide assessment in 2021 by the county. No action taken.

Agenda Item #6 – Public Input – I mentioned several comments made to me about water meter reading discrepancies in billing. I told the council they need to be aware there are complaints which have been voiced to me. My recommendation is to have residents keep a monthly log of their meter reading and compare it to what their water bill reads, then report discrepancies to the finance office so the finance office can correct the readings or have the meter reading devices calibrated.

Agenda Item #7 – Community Building Project- the project committee met with the architects to cut costs and determine which items would be cut from the blue-printed plans. Items mentioned that were to be cut or deleted:  (red areas indicate areas in which cuts and deletions were proposed)

  • Basement
  • Stairway to basement
  • No front canopy
  • Utility room moved from basement to the proposed Fitness Center
  • Fitness center was on the cutting block but mediation brought it to where the council chamber (conference room)was to be located.
  • No firm decision on the cuts and deletions was made at this time.

                    

Agenda Item #8 – Hire candidate Parker Dooley as Utility person at $12.00/hour.

Agenda Item #9 – Executive Session called for Contractual matters. When I asked what contract of Finance Officer, I was told litigation. H-m-m Litigation? How is that contractual? Sounded more like lawsuit to me so my next question, is the city is being sued? I received no answer. I wonder if that is what is called, ‘asked and answered’? The non-answer is an affirmative answer?

This executive session lasted from 6:37 p.m. to 7:03 p.m. just shy of a half an hour of executive chit-chat without an attorney present and no public action taken!

Agenda Item #10 – Executive session called for Personnel – Gallery and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens exited the room and Union County Attorney Jerry Miller and Michael Bucholz entered into the Executive Session with the Council. About 30-40 minutes later Union County Attorney Miller and Mr. Bucholz exited the Executive Session. At 7:45 p.m. Alcester Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens entered the Executive session and exited the Executive session at 8:30 p.m. and at 8:34 p.m. Mayor Glas called the council out of Executive Session Personnel.

Grand total of 1 1/2 hour of Executive Session time with no public action.

Agenda Item #11 – City Insurance Review – Finance Officer Jurrens recited the various assets needing coverage of insurance and upgrades in valuations, actual or replacement. Then (49:43:80) Finance Officer Jurrens focused on General Liability Coverage, Professional Liability Coverage and mumbled something about Time Computations (?) which translated to employee embezzlement. Now ‘time computations’ which was unintelligible both in live meeting and on the video brings the question of approval of over-time and comp-time for the finance office and other administrative positions. Administrative positions are not paid over-time. Alcester City Ordinance required approval (on paper) for any over-time for the Finance Office. Yet when I asked Mayor Glas and Finance Officer for access to Mayor Glas’ or City Council approval of any over-time hours for the Finance Office I was told there were no such records. This was in violation of City Ordinance requiring a document carrying the mayor’s signature of approval, the date, justification for Over Time and the number of hours. So in effect I was told the 232 +/- hours of over-time/comp time logged by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens had no documented proof of approval and for which a check was cut to the tune of $4880.00. Is that what we need insurance for? So which one is guilty of embezzlement the original computation or Mayor Glas who had the responsibility? H-m-m?

Agenda Item #12 – Adjournment Meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.