11/02/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

“the argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence” Ayn Rand

Prior to the official beginning of the meeting a remark was made by Mayor Haeder with regard to the importance of the next day (November 3, 2020, election day)  Check out how on top of things one council member was, “’cause she asked if there was something important going on?” (00:00:18.63)  Listen to the response.  Note here that the set-up for voting was on the agenda.  So Councilman Talbott, that was your first hint it was election day on Tuesday?  

The November 2, 2020, version of a city council meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder with council members Marcus Ireland, Linda Talbott, Darla Reppe, David Larsen, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and of course Melissa Kay seated and ready for city business.

The council and gallery members recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Precursor to approval of the agenda concerning Executive Session (00:03:13.30)  A flashback to a child’s game where in the world is…?  The council was looking for their #2  SDCL 1-25-2.2  I told them School!  After more discussion, they finally figured the conundrum out but does beg the question how many law students does it take to read SD executive session law?  What No Cliff notes for law?

Agenda Item #3 – was the approval of the agenda. (00:05:20.13)  Some discussion regarding the time and appropriateness of an Executive Session to cover two separate properties and the presence of Geoff Fillingsness, enforcer.

Agenda Item #4 – approval of the October 5th, October 7th and October 19th minutes of meeting.  The motion was made by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Seconded by Councilwoman Linda Talbott but at the call for discussion there actually was a call on the accuracy of the minutes of those meetings by Councilwoman Melissa Kay, although she could not seem to get the correct date.  H-m-m  First it was October 19th but then it was October 7th.  Ironically it was both meetings with inaccuracies in the minutes.  The purpose of minutes of an official meeting is to reflect accurately movements of the meeting without descending into editorializing.  Gee, somebody should have schooled bookkeeper Jurrens about that duty.  Of course one cannot be sure just who is taking those minutes whether it is bookkeeper Jurrens or the junior bookkeeper/receptionist.

Bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens writes in the minutes of October 7, 2020, “At 6:09P.M . …During discussion… (correction)Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen waived her right to executive session and asked the meeting be open and her camera on to record the proceedings, the council said No it was not her right, Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen insisted it was her right as the object of the session.  The council said it was their right to closed session and not hers…Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen then asked the motion be delayed to the next meeting so she could have her attorney present.  The Alcester City Council then asked, “…do you have an attorney on speed dial” Alcester City Councilwoman Vickie Larsen answered, “NO”…The Alcester City Council then asked, “Is your attorney here…” Alcester City Councilwoman Vickie Larsen answered, “NO”  The Alcester City Council then made the statement, “You have no right to council…”  A loud discussion ensued…”

The council finally meandered through their approval of the October 19, 2020, minutes in error and postponing approval of amended minutes of October 7, 2020. (00:07:08.97) Bookkeeper Jurrens lead Councilwoman Melissa Kay by the nose to the conclusion that (00:10:33.53) Vickie Larsen refused to abstain from voting.  Really?  I stated I did not refuse to abstain (00:11:05.50), I was STILL a member of the Alcester City Council and bookkeeper Jurrens is NOT a legal authority. 

Agenda Item #5 – Executive session – Interviews for Ward III Council Seat.  No takers, do ya’ll s’pose I should have volunteered again?

Agenda Item #6 – Pushed back for the 6:30 P.M. scheduled Sealed Bid Opening-

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input – I reminded the group about an accounting error on Bookkeeper Jurrens part regarding cash back on credit card charges at the golf course I had raised in during my audit required oversight session with bookkeeper Jurrens. (00:14:41.20) In the October 19, 2020, meeting bookkeeper Jurrens answered my question with a non-answer that the city did not retain customer information.  I did not ask that question.  I commented the city should not be advancing cash back refunds on credit card purchases just for cash in the pockets purposes.  This is a practice similar to paying for a purchase and writing the check for $50.00 over the amount.  This is a bookkeeping no-no and ripe for fraud accusations against the city and/or customers.  Just a bad bookkeeping practice all the way around!  Once again bookkeeper Jurrens says, “…the city does not retain customer information…”  Non-answer. The second part of my input was to present Alcester Councilwoman Kay with a partially corrected paper of her design. (00:16:27.30) (00:30:35.40)

Agenda Item #8 – street updates

Agenda Item #9 – water/wastewater- pumps on order

Agenda Item #10 – Police Department Update by Chief Christie-  Chief Christie advised the council of military ordinance discover and the clearing of the munitions.  Police Chief Christie emphasized if someone in the community comes across similar discoveries of munitions is DO NOT TOUCH, CALL 911. (00:22:26.23)

Agenda Item #11 – Landfill/Cemetery – received a donation for trees for the cemetery.

Agenda Item #12 Golf Course/Library – short a Library board member, need a volunteer.

Agenda Item #13 Legal Updates – Involving 307 Iowa property, 204 Ofstad property and the Employee Manual Update.  There will be a resolution for the employee manual update at a future meeting.

The properties of 207 Iowa and 204 Ofstad will appear later under Executive session.

Agenda Item #14 – city street sign replacement – Update per Wade Dahl in a 2023 project.  My opinion Alcester should contract in a joint powers agreement to lower prices.

Agenda Item #6 – 6:30 P.M. Bid Opening for Police Office Glock   Bid was awarded to the highest bidder, John Wegh.

Agenda Item #15 – Old School Center – Second reading of 2020-16 Revised.

Agenda Item #16- Executive session – not needed beyond properties.

Agenda Item #17 – Finance Office Updates 

Website- Alliance hosting the site.  Finally!!! (00:16:11.80)

          2021 Operating Agreements – Liquor Licenses

Agenda Item #18 – HRC Update Meeting to happen sometime according to Mayor.

Agenda Item #19 Alcester Community Center – Bookkeeper Jurrens gave a summary. 

Agenda Item #20 – EMS Update  According to Councilwoman Kay the city has no interest in Alcester Ambulance so why is this an agenda item?  H-m-m?

Agenda Item #21 Update on Work Comp volunteer roster nothing to add or delete?

Agenda Item #22  Chit-chat session until Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness finally shows up.

Executive Session for 1-23-2.3 Legal/Contractual matters involving 307 Iowa property and 204 Ofstad property. Motion by Councilman Marcus Ireland, Second by Melissa Kay no discussion and vote 5 X ayes.  6:57 P.M.  I must gather up my camera, tripod, see-through back pack, and  leave the room.  Mayor Dan Haeder supposedly shuts down the city’s camera which is not removed nor is it cloaked.  Leaving the Finance Office computers up and running, leaves all council personal phones in the room, leaves the City Attorney’s computer in the room and at let us not forget bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens still has her fanny parked in her chair of unsolicited advice.  H-m-m?

At 7:30 P.M. Executive session is still on-going when Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness is excused and the meeting continues with Mayor Haeder, Alcester City Council members, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens.

At 7:37 P.M. Mayor Haeder calls the Executive Session out of session, allowing us back into the council room.

At this point I had activated my camera prior to returning to the room trying to forestall the rapid fire resumption of open meeting without allowing us to seat ourselves.  Unfortunately I inadvertently activated close up setting which resulted in a 3 to 5 minute close up of Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s face.  A close up worthy of pore counting ability.  I elected to edit that 3-5 minute section from the video ’cause I really did not think Alcester City Attorney Sam would appreciate that close up.  During that time there was no vote on the matters of the Executive Session. Mayor Dan Haeder called for Adjournment, Alcester Councilman Marcus Ireland moved to adjourn, Alcester Councilwoman Melissa seconded the motion and of course a unanimous vote to adjourn times five ayes. 

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