08/17/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

In the absence of Mayor Dan Haeder, President of the Council David Larsen opened the August 17, 2020,  meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 p.m. with council members Marcus Ireland, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott, Melissa Kay, Vickie Larsen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.

The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda Item #3 Agenda approval was given with no changes and recorded with a unanimous six (6) aye vote.

Agenda Item #4 Public Input – Since there was no public, the city councilors mentioned items not included in the agenda: Councilman David Larsen announced a vacancy on the Library Board due to a resignation.   Comments were received concerning vandalism in the Park and the lights in the park.  Announcement was made the Alcester Auditorium has officially been sold and the keys turned over on August 17, 2020.

Agenda Item #5 Water and Wastewater – no updates- City Attorney Sam Nelson advised the council of past practices of setting rates by ordinance rather than by resolution and suggested a resolution to allow the setting of rates by ordinance.  South Dakota Municipal League describes the difference between ordinance and resolution as,

“Municipalities may enact, make, amend, revise, or repeal all such ordinances, resolutions, and regulations as may be proper and necessary to carry into effect the powers granted thereto (§9-19-3).

The word “ordinance” means a permanent legislative act within the limits of its powers of the governing body of a municipality (§9-19-1).

A resolution, on the other hand, means any determination, decision, or direction of the governing body of a municipality of a temporary or special character for the purpose of initiating, effecting, or carrying out its administrative duties and functions (§9-19-1)…The substance of the ordinance follows (§9-19-6).

Ordinances can only have one subject, which must be expressed in its title (§9-19-5). ..All ordinances shall be read twice by title with at least five days between each reading. If passed, the ordinances shall be signed by the mayor or acting mayor or president of the board of trustees, and filed with the finance officer. With few exceptions, ordinances, after being signed and filed, must be published at least once in the official newspaper (§9-19-7). The vote on the second reading of all ordinances must be recorded and published (§9-19-9).

Resolutions differ from ordinances in that any resolution may be passed after only one reading. The resolution must be published at length either separately or in the minutes of the meeting. The votes for and against the resolution must also be published (§9-19-8).

Unless an ordinance or resolution is drawn to take effect immediately upon passage, all ordinances and resolutions become effective on the twentieth day after passage and publication, unless suspended by operation of a referendum (§9-19-13).

Voters have the right to propose their own ordinances through the initiative process, or to refer any legislative decision of the governing body through the referendum process. More information on these processes can be found in the Handbook for Municipal Officials or in §9-20.”  (https://www.sdmunicipalleague.org/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC=%7B33E9C767-2065-4201-8F6B-DBDA8625A402%7D&DE=%7BC75C4AE0-AA9E-47DF-9128-2E6BDE604CEA%7D)

Agenda Item #6 & #7 combined discussion as suggested by City Attorney Sam Nelson.  Since Item #7 involved contractual matters the council went into Executive Session for the purposes of SDCL 1-25-2.3.  The council moved into Executive Session at 6:13 p.m. and came out of Executive Session at 6:30 p.m. Once out of Executive Session the group moved on to open session of Agenda Item #6.  A call for motion was made to allow contract negotiations to authorize the Mayor to sign the contract for the community building depending upon agreement of terms and conditions by both parties.  Vote was taken with 4 ayes and 2 nays.  Motion carried.

Agenda Item #8 – Updates Finance Office School sign contributions from the city to aid city advertising.  This discussion had been postponed due to a question regarding public moneys spent as contributions.  City Attorney Sam Nelson stated there was no problem regarding the contribution issues.  Discussion took place regarding the advertising issue on the sign such as city events, closures and etc. with a motion to contribute $1,000.00 this year coming from Councilman Ireland.  Vote was taken with five (5) ayes and one (1) nay.  Motion carried.  I was the nay vote.  My problem is all the advertising points for fee based announcements to appear on the school sign would be on the city website and as easily accessed.  Which begs the question, where is the city website and why is it not up?  Yet?

Agenda Item #9 – City Assets – I asked for this agenda item to discuss the sale of properties held by the city to put those properties back on the tax rolls.  The city has properties in its name which collects no property taxes, sales tax income or property improvement based income for the city.  These properties would be appraised and not to be auctioned but placed with realtors for sale for residential use or main street business use.

Agenda Item #10 – Update for Volunteer Roster For Worker Compensation.   Approved.

Agenda Item #11 – Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel to discuss the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer, employee or prospective public officer or employee.   This was an agenda item I requested.  The council went into Executive Session at 6:55 p.m. with only council members: David Larsen, Melissa Kay, Linda Talbot, Darla Reppe, Marcus Ireland and myself in the session.  At 7:19 p.m. President of the Council David Larsen declared the council out of Executive Session.  At this time the group delayed action on the question.

Agenda Item #12 – Adjourn –  The council adjourned at 7:21 p.m.