10/19/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

“Fear not those who argue, but those who dodge”

credited to Marie von Ebner Eschenbach

(03:06.03 and 06:05.67 meet Kay Cam and introducing ACCN ((Alcester City Council News))

Mayor Dan Haeder, opened the October 19, 2020,  meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 p.m. with council members Darla Reppe, Melissa Kay, Marcus Ireland, David Larsen, Linda Talbott and City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #3 Approve Agenda. Motion, second, no discussion and unanimous vote aye.

Agenda Item #4 Input

          Me – Credit card cash back on the Council Oversight Inspection (Oxymoron) of the August books.  At the time of my oversight inspection, I asked Finance Office Jurrens about the anomaly of refunds to the tune of      approximately $200 to $400 in the golf course books.  Got a non-answer from Finance Officer Jurrens. City-wise it is water deposit which is refunded with interest after a year if water payments are made and on time.  However the Finance Office does not extend refunds to renters unless they move and without interest which seems discriminatory to me.  I have to wonder if the renters on the city council have received their water deposit back h-m-m? It was not a water deposit but a credit card cash back situation.  This is a situation where something is purchased at the golf course, the patron asks if the cashier will add $30.00 over  the price of the purchase, charge it to the credit card and give the patron $30.00 change back and once again I received (09:51.40) “…we do not keep any customer information…”  non-answer from Finance Officer Jurrens…h-m-m.        

          Mayor Haeder – (10:02.67)Street striping regarding parking spaces on Iowa.  (10:02.67) Report of someone living in an RV behind a house.  Legal? or Not?

          Councilman Ireland –  City street light on the corner of 6th and Lincoln flickering. 

          Police Chief Christie – signs for deaf child playing area…Covid grant money.

Agenda Item #6 (out-of-order) – surplus AED to be surplus transferred to Alcester Fire Department.

Agenda Item #5 – Planning & Zoning Public Hearing 6:15 PM. Public Hearing committee?  Now folks the Planning and Zoning committee of Alcester is made up wholly and solely of the sitting Alcester City Council.  There is a problem with this.  Let me show you.

(22:17.80)  No formal move into Planning & Zoning committee by the council.  How about that Sam?

(23.03.23)  FO Pat references maps the council has, gallery has not been provided maps to follow along on.  Oops, hey Sam I think a public hearing indicates audience participation.  How can they possibly participate without proper documents and time to absorb the information?  You know, Sam kind of like a three page confidential memorandum (?) thrown out and one is expected to read and defend against its drooling ravings in less than five minutes?

(26:20.23) Still no formal move into Planning and Zoning committee.  Audience still is unaware of any move from Council to P & Z committee and totally confused and effectively barred from participation because no one has given them permission to address the committee or council.  In fact I believe even the council was oblivious to procedure.  Hey Sam, where are you?

          Councilman David Larsen makes a motion…Uhm there has been no public input during this “Hearing”, no permission given to the public at this point to voice their opinions during this hearing, there has been a obfuscation of whether it is the Planning & Zoning Committee and the City Council and now a motion for a vote has been made!  Yoohoo Sam?

          Finally it occurs to madam legal guru, law school student (?)–hey we have not allowed the public to participate in this little soiree.  Finally the question is asked, if there is any opinion from the gallery.  WOW!  No answer from the gallery, so no harm no foul right?  What the public doesn’t know?   A day late and a diploma short.

          So which entity took the vote?  Planning and Zoning Committee or Alcester City Council.  Yeah mayor, minutia is important.  Oops? Do Over?

Agenda Item #7 – Street signs


Blundering on to Agenda Item #7 – Street signs –  Councilman David Larsen explained the street signage issue to the council.  Uhm let’s see who was sitting on the council when the question was first broached back in May 5, 2014, (minutia again Mayor)  Mayor Rick Johnson came to the council (Agenda Item #33) with a document to be signed.  Problem was the signing the document would involve self-warranting by the city and major financial exposure, that was a big problem! (dropped) Original joint powers was related to DOT PH0020 (187) PCN 06JK

          Second run at the street signs came up on March 5, 2018, agenda item #6 with the following present council members serving during that meeting:  Dan Haeder, David Larsen, Darla Reppe and Melissa Kay.  These very same council members of today listened (?) James Ainslie from Pierre tell them they could tag on to the Mitchell project bid Dot PH0020(187) PCN-06JK.  Say Councilwoman Kay remember how you voted?  Here let me help ya out.

            Agenda Item #6 Road Safety Improvement Project DOT 929-08/2015 Joint Powers PH0020 (187) PCN-06JK – this involved sign replacements as translated by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens.  The council was provided a copy of the contract required for participation in this project for replacing street signs.  Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens prefaced her explanation (video 00:08:35) with reference to the Alcester City Council of Four years ago took the line that they were unwilling to cover the liability of sign replacement if for some reason the signs were destroyed.  H-m-m so who was on that council?  Let’s see Mayor Rick Johnson,  Mark Dykstra, Mike Burke, Kama Johnson, David Larsen and of course COUNCILWOMAN PAT JURRENS!

The story goes like this, “In the May 5, 2014, regular meeting of the Alcester City council…MAYOR RICK JOHNSON announced he signed up for ‘free street signs and wanted council permission to sign an agreement ASAP.  Councilman Larsen and Councilman Dykstra asked to see the agreement since MAYOR RICK JOHNSON failed to share advance information with the council.  Upon reading the city would be liable for the cost of materials and engineering if it didn’t maintain the signs and records.  The council said NO!  Given his responses to questions, it became clear MAYOR RICK JOHNSON failed to ‘read’ the agreement he was so anxious to sign because apparently he missed the payback clause and the cost of payback! WOW…”*

Imagine Finance Office Pat Jurrens ‘FORGOT’ all about her starring role as Alcester Councilwoman during that discussion.  Imagine that!  WATCH OUT FOR THE FO BUS BOYS!  Mayor Glas and FO Pat want those street signs up to code and BY Golly Gummed Up catastrophe it NEEDS to be done!  Now folks the council voted to approve this time but the scary thing is Councilman Lance Johnson voted to do the visual sign replacement with the second coming from Councilwoman Melissa Kay, discussion happened and the good folks realised they needed to amend the motion to allow Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens to sign the document (presumably) WITHOUT presenting the final document to the council for approval.  Watch video of this (video 00:23:51)  Anyone have a problem with this scenario?  We really want to trust a pair that have trouble getting the agenda right not once but at least twice.  Or get the date of the regular city council meeting correct BEFORE putting it out for publication? *Vickie A. Larsen, a View from the Gallery,  published May 15, 2014, The Alcester Union-Hudsonite newspaper. “

            The next time the sign issue comes up is on December 3, 2018, Agenda Item #7 where the project is now called DOT PH 8034 (31) PCN 04K9 city street sign replacement with Council members David Larsen, Dan Haeder, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott and legal guru Melissa Kay.  Sign agreement did we lose money on this and what happened? H-m-m

          Agenda line item #7 – street updates.  Under street subsection (c) sign agreement which came in last week, surprise to Lonnie!  Alcester was invited some time ago to participate in city sign updates around 2012, 2013 I believe.  At that time the council determined the signs were too expensive, the existing signs were still serviceable so they declined the offer.  Now they have changed their minds and want to participate under the Hutchinson County agreement  PH 8034(31) PCN 04K9.  Go Figure! Vickie Larsen, A Voice from the Gallery, 12/03/2018

          Question is what is it going to cost us  (we the people now)?

          According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation 2020-2023 Tentative funds under Hutchinson County (past projected joint powers agreement (PH 8034 (31) 04KP  Fed Funds 1.144, fiscal year 2021 and total cost (Mil$) 1.525 costs reflect anticipated inflation.

Agenda Item #8 – Legal Updates- 307 Iowa and 204 Ofstad.  Play it again Sam, what is that about a possible conflict of interest.  Who is advising the man who is supposed to waive his conflict of interest rights? You or the city?

Agenda Item #9 – Health Insurance – It appears the Finance Office mini-fo, ((avoicefromthegallery September 21, 2020 (02:11:43 )) “…I just want to be compensated…”  Hey don’t we all.  Evidently the city has exited the past insurance stance of “take it or leave it” with no cash payouts.  H-m-m.

Agenda Item #10 Executive session – not needed-  NO DAH  the issue of Vickie the Council member is no longer a worry?

Agenda Item #11– Streets Update – a one-time burn

Agenda Item #12 – Old School Center – enter ordinance 2020-16 

Agenda Item #13 – Website – still scheduled for launch on November 1, 2020, WooHoo!  You will be able to pay your water bills online, you can read the ordinances, you can read the minutes from the meeting within a day or two. Yup really. Cannot wait to see All of our ordinances without having to pay the Patty Fee!

Agenda Item #14 – Community Bldg  Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens gave an update, “…we did this, we are going to do that, and so on and so on…”  Ever wonder who the We are?  Fo Pat and the lint remnants in her drawers?

Agenda Item #15 HRC Update – None

Agenda Item #16 – Executive session – not needed amazing

Agenda Item #17 – Adjournment.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849