06/19/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Dan Haeder called the June 19, 2020, Special meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. with the follow council present:  Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Marcus Ireland and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  Present in the gallery: Mark DeRaney-AMKO, Jerry Spethman-Representing D.A. Davidson, Gordan Richard-Alcester Union-Hudsonite, Alcester Police Chief Christie, Alcester Police Officer Schuller,  Branch Manager-Senior Vice-President Alcester Premier Bank Jaimey Schempp and finance office employee Wanda *.

The group stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda Item #4 – Mssrs. Mark DeRaney of AMKO and Jerry Spethman of  D.A. Davidson were introduced and made an update regarding the re-funding (semantics of the word re-funding meaning reworking the original bond to reflect a reduction in finance of the Sewer Bond for the city of Alcester. The council approved this action.

Agenda Item #5– Public Input.  I responded with a history of the official city website issue.  The original approval and vote took place March 3, 2014, approving $1375. 00 first year set-up and fee with an annual maintenance fee of $450.00. 

May 5, 2014, Patricia ran on a recycling agenda touting her computer prowess and was seated.  Looking back one has to wonder exactly what was she in favor of recycling? 

Oh well, pushing forward, on July 7, 2014, Councilwoman Jurrens resigned her council seat after voting not to appoint long time Finance Officer Mike Kezar.

September 10, 2014, Madam Jurrens was appointed Finance Office at a starting pay of $40,000.00 with a bump in pay after she achieved some ‘experience’ in bookkeeping.  It is interesting to note here Madam Jurrens with no bookkeeping experience was started $40000.00 far more than the 30 plus year veteran Finance Officer.  Exit Mayor Rick Johnson 2015.  Enter Mayor Tom Glas. 

April 4, 2016, Website approved and ordered by the council was still not implemented.  Who’s task, well let’s see.  Oh that is right Finance Officer Jurrens  with all the computer ‘experience’ she had still did not have the council ordered website up and running.

August 10, 2016, I asked during Public Input where is our website? No answer, no action!  2017 arrives still no website. 

July 10, 2018, agenda item # 12 (g) website was discussed in terms of  merging with the Alcester Chamber site which would negate any state statutes set into place to mandate minutes, records, ordinances and etc. be posted on the official city website.  Nothing was implemented, again.  Finance Officer Jurrens failing to perform her duty and obeying city council instructions for a city website. 

May 6, 2019, agenda item #13 (c) which was to approve Gov/Office 3 year website contract ($700.00 per year for three years)  Motion was made by Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Second by Councilman Dan Haeder with a 6 vote unanimous approval of the website…The six council present:  David Larsen, Melissa Kay, Dan Haeder, Linda Talbott, Lance Johnson and Darla Reppe. 

May 2019 Folks?  The only council member who is questioning Alcester Finance Officer Jurren’s continuing non-feasance to do what the council ordered… is Councilwoman Kay. 

It is now April 6, 2020, Website issue once again makes it to the meeting during the discussion of should the city finance office stay open or close.  This seems to be a operation definition of Oxymoron.  Of late and specifically on Tuesdays, the finance office lights are on, there is movement in the office with the excuse (?) the girls are catching up on their work?  So the lights are on, the girls are present but the door is locked (mostly) and the phones are silent.  So is the Finance Office Open/closed or Closed/open.  Think catch-22 here. or the military SNAFU. 

May 5, 2020,  agenda item #18 once again where is the website discussion just after the audit notice. 

Enter June 19, 2020, public input  Where is the official city website?  Answer it is going to go live soon.  Really live?  Hey FO Jurrens you mean a real, functioning OFFICIAL Alcester City Website.  As a child I learned quickly what a dodge was and I do not mean the car model.  Alcester City Council you are being conned.  The former mayor was led around by Finance Officer Jurrens like the pony in a pony ride at a kid’s birthday party.  I also brought up employees operating expensive city equipment with their heads in their cell phones.

Agenda item #6/#9-Planning and Zoning Amendment. It seems that pesky planning and zoning thingy can be a bit of a problem in the residential sense, right Mr. Nelson?  It seems if I caught everything that was tossed about, the residential class would not allow the city offices to operate out of the old city-school library.  You see I asked a similar question in a previous meeting with the idea we would not be barred from keeping the city offices in the old city-school library permanently.  Evidently Mr. Nelson went home and thought about my question and decided maybe Chapter 5 in the Planning and Zoning Ordinance should be amended to read that the city offices could indeed be operated out of the old city-school library.  Imagine that, the city could not operate the finance office out of the old city-school library cause it was zoned residential but a former councilman could engage in what appears to be a contract variance with Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens to build Old Mac Lance’s Barn in a residential area effectively devalued the residential properties on either side of the Old Mac Lance’s Combine Barn.  The amendment was approved by the council but a public hearing had to be set to complete the action.  Public Hearing was set for July 6, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

Agenda Item #7 – Pool Updates The pool has been opened to pre-school and up.  A note here:  After passing the pool when it was occupied by staff and swimmers, I strongly suggest the city provide the swim attire for the city hired life-guards.  I strongly suggest the swim costumes be of the same color, one-piece only and marked appropriately as life-guard so there can be no doubt just who is the life-guard for the pool and who is in charge.

Agenda Item #12 July meeting location.  Meeting has been moved to the old city-school library Dakota Street.

Agenda Item #13-Executive Session-  Not needed.  It is amazing how much time not having an unnecessary executive meeting shaves of the length of meetings.  Even more time can be shaved by giving the council all the background information they need on agenda items so they can prepare and not have to rely on a translation from a biased source.

Agenda Item #14 Adjourn  Meeting adjourned at 1:38 p.m.

*Notice finance office employee Wanda was listed among the gallery. WHY? I heard the office telephone ring and ring while she sat in the gallery. So who is minding the finance store? Is that another oxymoron case which begged the question, was the officer open/closed or closed/open? She did eventually get up and answer the phone. Well at least I think so, it stopped ringing.


06/01/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor pro-tem David Larsen called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present: Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman/Mayor pro-tem David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #2 – Pledge of Allegiance

Agenda Item #3– Approve agenda

Agenda Item #4 – Approve Minutes of May 4, 2020, and May 18, 2020.

Agenda Item #5 – Vacancy

Executive Session was called to interview candidates for mayor and for Ward II Council seat at 6:02 p.m.

Council came out of executive session at 6:35 p.m.   At 6:36 p.m. Ward III Councilman Dan Haeder resigned as Ward III council representative. It is uncertain why Councilman Haeder chose to resign because he could hold his seat as Ward III Councilman and perform duties as appointed mayor pro tem without resignation. Upon acceptance of what appeared to be his written resignation, the council appointed Mr. Haeder as Mayor until April 2021. Ward III was declared vacant and posting should appear in the official newspaper to fill the vacancy.

Next up was the appointment of Marcus Ireland as Ward II representative.

Both Haeder and Ireland were administered the Oath of Office by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. After five minutes of meeting and in which two (2) agenda items were dealt with, Mayor Pro Tem David Larsen realized Mayor Dan Haeder had not taken over the meeting and unfortunately our Parliamentarian Attorney Sam missed the failure to transfer of power. Mayor Haeder took over directing the meeting and re-did agenda items 6 and 7. A note here it came to my attention that FO Jurrens had not verified eligibility of Mr. Ireland prior to her administration of the Oath of Office to him. I asked FO Jurrens this morning (June 2, 2020) if Mr. Ireland was in fact eligible, registered voter in the city and her answer to me. “I do not know, I will contact Callie or Marcus”. This troubles me because the quasi-election official failed to verify eligibility before she administered the Oath of Office. After my conversation with Finance Office Jurrens, I verified with Union County that Mr. Ireland was indeed a registered voter and eligible to hold city council member seat.

Agenda Item #6 – Council office. Councilman David Larsen retains his position as President of the Council and Councilwoman Linda Talbott was elected as Vice-President of the Council second in line for mayor should something prevent Mayor Haeder from executing his duties as Mayor before April of 2020.

Agenda Item #7 – Signatures Council voted to place the following individuals as signatories for the bank accounts and access to safe deposit boxes in the name of Alcester City. Signers are listed as Mayor Dan Haeder, Council President David Larsen, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens and Finance officer employee Wanda Halverson.

Agenda Item #8 – AMKO-Mark DeRaney Bond Issue

Mr. DeRaney has been working on the refinance of the water bond. A Resolution (2020-07)was needed to set this refinance in motion. In light of the recent changes in the economy it was determined that banks were no long as willing to finance bonds so Mr. DeRaney was working with underwriter D.A. Davidson, out of Des Moines, Iowa, and with Zions Bank Trust Corporation as payee which was required for the change-over process. The resolution needed to be amended to reflect the changes.

In addition to the publication of Resolution 2020-07, a special meeting was needed to complete the transaction. Special meeting was set up for June 19. 2020, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Agenda Item # 9 – ROCS transport -represented by Peter Smith. This agenda item was pushed back in the agenda line up due to the Planning and Zoning Hearing.

Agenda Item #12 – 7:00 p.m. -Planning and Zoning Hearing-(out of order) . It was determined an amendment was needed in Ordinance (2020-08) to create a planned development district which can write its own rules but cannot be an area smaller than a city block.   (Chapter 5)

Agenda Item #9- ROCS Transport continued. This is a transport service to provide rides to appoints and etc in town and out of town. It was mentioned the Care Center was no longer transporting residents to appointments.

Agenda Item #10 – Emergency Siren testing and repairs- Discussion and information was shared concerning our emergency siren system by Axel Ericson and Pat Kast. Discussion covered a weekly routine test at a specific time and day to keep batteries operational and find any problems before any emergency.

Agenda Item #11 – Input-

I shared input which dealt with inaccuracies in meeting minutes. Specifically the Finance Officer editorializing the minutes and not facts of the meeting. Specifically the reference to the issue/input regarding contract variance. She opined the conversation between Attorney Sam and myself did not have anything to do with Alcester. The contract variance dealt specifically with a seated councilman and the finance officer of Alcester which definitely deals with Alcester. I also advised the council that Hawarden pool is closed and Beresford pool will not be open until June 15, 2020, and then only to residents of Beresford and the Beresford School District. I also mentioned an issue with the cemetery and an employee of the city with regarding to a squirrel jumping from a Pine tree on the cemetery property and causing a power outage down Lincoln Drive. The employee was mowing with headphones on, failed to hear the explosion, failed to quit mowing when the Mid-American Tech was on scene discussing the situation with me even when he saw us standing next to the Utility Truck with a Boom.

A gentlemen who had just moved into town was questioning the zoning and asked how to get and who to get a building permit from. He also asked where he might find the building codes. It would have been nice to be able to tell him he could find all that information on our website, BUT we do not have a website—WHY?

Oh and lest we forget Mike Burkes, purchase Lots 5 and 6 in on Beck Drive (just behind to the north of Randy Heuer)in the Numsen Addition and their proposed S***House. This is a residential neighborhood and not business, storage or commercial. This edifice S***House was according to Mr. Burke too big for just one lot. Mr. Heuer those covenants which protected the value of your property are deemed null, care to argue that premise with those of us complaining the covenants are not void. You have more to lose than me.

Agenda Item #15 – Pool Updates- Yeah, there was a discussion concerning the interview of pool personnel. It came to light the pool committee was not notified of the interviews and were kept out of the interview by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. Once again she was interview employees without a bona-fide councilmember present. WOW talk about major over reach. FO Jurrens you are still not a councilmember, you are still not a city administrator, your are still just the city bookkeeper!

Agenda Item #16– Chief of Police- Discussion of hours, and over -time.

Agenda Item # 19-

Ordinance 2020-05 Clovid 19 derivative, amended by repeal of all but the mayor’s call to close down. Passed

Ordinance 2020-06 Two meetings per month-Passed 3 Ayes, 2 nays. Comment was made by Mayor Haeder about the length of meetings being the reason for the change to two regular meetings per month. I submit Mayor Haeder you set the agenda and you are in charge of what business comes before the council and how much time is spend on that business not Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. Sir you control the length of the meeting, so in fact you do not need two regular meetings a month.

Agenda Item #20– Personnel Manual rewrite-Still in process. Department Heads, versus Committee versus Supervisors exercise in semantics. Additional discussion of Overtime for police Department which is exempt from Overtime versus Administrative Exempt from Overtime. Sam indicates that FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act is not applicable to Alcester. We better make it applicable or we will not be able to maintain a decent police department.

Agenda Item #21- Finance Office- Warrants dealt with. Notice the Finance Office was undergoing an Analytical Review. Rent for city offices at the old school will be in exchange for law care paid by city.

Agenda Item #26 – Adjourn at 9:32 p.m.