02/15/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

          The February 15, 2021,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person.  Councilman Marcus Ireland and Councilwoman Darla Reppe, were counted present via telephone and City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent but I understand(by hear-say not through any announcement) available by phone if needed.  H-m-m

          Agenda Item #3 – Approval of Agenda –  Call to approve the agenda, motion was made, second was made and with no discussion the motion was approve by a five (5) count unanimous aye vote.  Three in person and two by telephone.

          Agenda Item #4 – Public Input – I (Vickie Larsen) started out. 

Why a custom built computer?  Why not use one of those extra Cares Computers?

Now compare what was said in council (01:04:08.93) Identical, really? I will deal with that one in another blog.

Website–where is it? (0:04:48.93)

Contact number for Councilman Ireland still not published for constituents. (0:05:14.50)

Cemetery roads clean off (0:05:34.17)

Question on city-owned bar as it related to mask mandate (0:06:02.70)

Wake Up call Armstrong City Council legal troubles (0:06:23.07)

(0:08:13.10) Councilwoman Kay questioned my comment as to the article related to ongoing criminality…”So are accusing someone of criminality?”  Madam Councilwoman is that the only question in your playbook?  If I were to accuse someone of criminality, it would be plain and you wouldn’t have to guess.  In addition, I would have concrete proof should I ever make a public accusation.  My answer (01:08:15.78)  was No!  Councilwoman Talbott squawks (0:08:19.87) “…you just said…it is going on here…”  Councilwoman Talbott I suggest you listen before you squawk! 

But since you brought it up Councilwoman Talbott, let’s compare shall we?

Folks you decide, You fill in the questions marks!

Yes or No

Source : https://esthervillenews.net/news/local-news/2021/02/13/multi-year-investigation-leads-to-arrest-of-armstrong-officials/

Mayor Haeder reported input (0:08:59.17) regarding pet licensing and increased fees.  (0:09:31.10)

Councilman Ireland reported input on complaints on the wreaths on the lights in the park.(0:10:59.67)  Folks thought it was tacky.  (0:11:33.03) further comment/discussion on keeping lighting in the park.  I believe at the time the ‘north to south’ leading to the shelter house sidewalk was formed in the park there were regular lights placed along that walkway.  So there were already lights existing in the park before the wreaths were attached.

          Agenda Item #5 – Property Tax Abatement – Extend an abatement to an elderly disabled resident.  Motion made and passed.

          Agenda Item #6 – Department Updates –

Police Department had no update.

Street Department report was presented by Patricia Jurrens in the absence of Mr. Johnson.  This involved putting on a touch for additional street lights on Lincoln from Anderson street southward to First Street westward.  Madam  Bookkeeper made her suggestions known to the group.  Discussion was introduced as a ‘safety issue’ for walkers.  As you can hear from the discussion very little information was handed to the council, just a couple of pictures with some hand drawn stars for placement.  As the discussion progressed it became apparent the council was having trouble following the rationale and the discussion twisted and turned more than the road.  It was shared Southeastern Electric Cooperative was provider of record for that part of the city.  However Ms. Jurrens opined where the poles would be placed and that if the city agreed to wood poles there would be no charge other than the added electricity. 

          Now here is where it becomes interesting.  Mayor Haeder opines to, “… go with the wood poles, ’cause it will be free…” (0:20:59.27)  Not free, sir!  Councilman David Larsen asks the question, “…do we need a motion…” (0:21:36.50) and Mayor Haeder says don’t think so.  Silence.  No councilmember asked the question how many light poles are we talking about?  No councilmember asked the question how much electricity per pole is going to be charged against the city?  Is there going to be a charge for the pole?  Really silence.  Now no vote?  The council should have made the motion to accept the deal of free poles and installation, state the number of poles and where they would be placed.  Keep in mind the city has set back right-of-way approximately 33 feet from the center of the street outward.  If the area the poles were to be placed was on the east side of Lincoln Drive which I do believe is outside of the city limits and the city has no control over.  Yup, I do believe it would have a real good idea to have a true, complete and accurate record of what this council is doing.

NO VOTE TAKEN!

          Agenda Item #7 – Discretionary Taxing Formula Ordinance  2021-04 – After some brief discussion, no attorney present Mayor Haeder called the question to approve the first Reading of Ordinance 2021-04.  Councilman Ireland asked for clarity’s sake that it was his understanding that the formula was not being changed just adapting language which would agree with South Dakota/City Statute.  Then the group approved the first reading.

Agenda Item #8 Finance Office –

          Electronic Readers, Water meters.  One of the hand held readers quit working.  Bookkeeper Jurrens thought it just needed a new battery.  Easy peesy, right.  Now FoPat is coming to the council with a radio meter read proposal  at a project today’s cost of $125K,  But guys, we can do drive-by-reads.  However Folks we are likely to get hit with the purchase of a vehicle to drive the street to read meters.  There is to be a meeting Wednesday to talk to representatives from Core & Main out of Sioux Falls at 11:00 a.m.  Now folks how will affect US?  Think about the meters we are presently using, Now think about the cost of new meters, installation to enable radio reads.  Guesses?  It appears these new meters can be installed in the city right-right-of-way, generally the city pays for the initial cost with the cost spread across increased water rates for residents.  Any questions you can think of?  Ask you council!

          City Records to be destroyed, Council sure did vote for that!

          Reminders and Updates –

          Petition deadline-  Folks get your election petitions in by February 26th.

          Election day, April 13, 2021.  Be aware that South Dakota Municipal League strongly advises against Finance Officers and their minions not circulate absentee ballots, supervise signatures or influence any voting procedure.

          Board of Equalization meets March 15, 2021. 6:00 p.m.

          2021 Chip Sealing bid Opening March 1, 2021.

Agenda Item #9 – Executive Session –  Not necessary- Personnel must be having a quiet two weeks.

Agenda Item #10 – Adjourn Meeting

          Meeting adjourned at 6:31 P.M.

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

Councilman Marcus Ireland    605-370-1193