05/03/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Being a leader doesn’t require a title; Having a title doesn’t make you one.

Mayor Dan Haeder called the May 3, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Council members present were Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and City Attorney Sam Nelson with Councilman Marcus Ireland participating via telephone. 

Agenda Item #3 (old council) – Mayor Haeder called for approval of the agenda.  At this point I spoke up (0:03:13.37) and called, “Point of Order” concerning the errors in the agenda which was poorly worded and was improper in agenda item placement, specifically the placement of Agenda Item #5 – public input  under new council after Agenda Items #2 under new council, #3 under new council starting a kerfuffle.  There was a admonition to me, “…you do not have the right…”  I disagree. Mayor Haeder continued with his obdurate question for approval of a error ridden agenda.  Mayor Haeder, it is your job to craft the agenda and make sure the city bookkeeper types it up properly.  Despite my warning about the error ridden agenda, Mayor Haeder got the question of agenda approval as far as discussion phase where Councilman Marcus Ireland pointed out the errors and voice his opinion the errors of language and error of placement be cured before any vote be taken.  So you will hear the kerfuffle of discussions of, “… how do we do this…”  Finally the amendments (change of language and change of order) to the agenda are in place and the approval of the agenda in finally voted.

Agenda Item #4 – Approval of the minutes of April 4th and April 19th council meetings was voted.

Agenda Item #5 – Warrants were approved by vote.

Agenda Item #6 – Adjourn the old council voted.  With that vote completed and Mayor Haeder declared the meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m..  David Larsen, Melissa Kay went to seats in the gallery and Marcus Ireland remained on the telephone.

Agenda Item new council #1 At 6:14 p.m. Mayor-elect Dan Haeder called the new council meeting to order with Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman-elect Cyndi Peeples and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.

Agenda Item  new council agenda #2– New Council Oaths

Oath of Office administered to Cyndi Peeples Ward II by City Attorney Sam Nelson and Oath of Office administered to Dan Haeder Mayor by City Attorney Sam Nelson so with Councilwoman Peeples and Mayor Haeder seated the new council moved onto Agenda Item #5 moved forward by amendment during the old council.

Mayor Haeder appointed David Larsen to one of the two vacant Ward II seats, remaining council voted to approve the Mayor’s appointment.  Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson administered the Oath of Office to Mr. Larsen. (0:20:48.00)

Agenda Item new council #5 – Public Input was called. 

Vickie Larsen responded with comments on the input agenda item placement. 

I raised the question (0:26:14.70) of SLRC Codified Law 9-14-42. Criminal background check of persons seeking employment with municipalities.  Each person over eighteen years of age seeking employment with a municipality shall submit, subject to the discretion of the municipality, to a state and federal criminal background investigation by means of fingerprint checks by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The municipality may submit completed fingerprint cards to the Division of Criminal Investigation before the prospective new employee enters into service. Upon completion of the state and federal criminal background check, the Division of Criminal Investigation shall forward to the municipality all information obtained as a result of the check. Failure to submit or cooperate with the criminal background investigation is grounds for denial of an application.  Source: SL 2009, ch. 36, § 1.

I questioned last meeting about direct deposit of payroll checks.  Now we have HSA Health Savings Accounts so the city (Finance Officer) needs to add the option of Direct Deposit of those monies (0:26:33.23)

I asked why the wheel loader repair was not bid due to the $12,629.37 price tag (0:27:04.77)  Councilman David Larsen responded (0:30:06.40) the wheel loader is used frequently and the repairs needed a week to complete all repairs.  So I question the procedure of approving the expenditure for the wheel-loader after the fact of repair and without bid.  Councilman Larsen states this was an emergency situation. So was there no routine maintenance plan for this piece of ‘necessary’ use equipment that would have mitigated the magnitude of the repairs?

David Housen (sp) (0:31:48.70)addressed the council to share his interest in purchasing lots 10 & 11 on Beck Drive to build a ranch style. (not a Sh*thouse)

Melissa Kay former Alcester city councilwoman (0:36:53.23) addressed the council to share her opinion on the Ward III vacancy.  I address Ms. Kay as a  councilwoman ’cause her favored form of address ‘alderman’ is defined in the, “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue”, the Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged by Francis Grose is defined in archaic form using the medial S, “a roafted turkey, garnifhed with faufages, the latter are fuppofed to reprefent the gold chain worn by thofe magiftratef”  and translated to “a roasted turkey, garnished with sausages, the latter are supposed to represent the gold chain worn by those magistrates.”  Heaven help me if I referred to her as a turkey with sausages around her neck.  Ms. Kay alleged ‘mis-conduct’ referring to an executive session in the October 7th meeting of the Alcester City Council and of which I was a seated councilwoman at the time.  At the motion of that executive session and in the discussion before approval, I insisted upon open, public session if the session were to discuss me and that my camera keep rolling to be fully, publicly open.  My concern was a he-said, she-said scenario which I wanted to protect against.   I was told I did not have any right and the closure of the session was to protect the council. I resisted and Alcester Police Officer Schuller had been summoned to be on-hand to forcibly remove my camera and ‘deal’ with me in the event I resisted.  My camera was rolling from the time of the opening of the meeting at 6:00 pm until the time I capitulated approximately 22 minutes later when I shut the camera down and surrendered the camera to Police Officer Schuller who removed the camera from the room.  The video of those 22 minutes of that meeting was not uploaded to my blog for public consumption but gives lie to the accusation of misconduct but does bring the question Ms. Kay your characterization of misconduct was in executive session, no video, no notes yet you feel comfortable bringing this into an open session?

Darla Reppe brought the question of when can bookings be made for the ‘community building”?

Marcus Ireland touched on the Christmas lights in the park.  The Christmas lights will be taken down.  The observation being made if we cannot take the Christmas lights in a timely manner, we should put them up.

With Marcus Ireland’s contribution, Public Input was at an end.

Agenda Item new council #3 – Executive session was called for the purpose of interview of appointment candidates.  The council entered into executive session at 6:44 p.m. Council members remaining:  Mayor Haeder, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples and Marcus Ireland on telephone.

Order of interviews was Vickie Larsen Ward III, Dale Jurrens Ward III and Brian Johnson Ward II.

At 7:53 p.m. Mayor Haeder declared the council out of executive session.  Gallery entered the council room.  Ward III vacancy was not filled, no motion and no action.  Brian Johnson’s appointment to fill the Ward II vacancy was approved by the council four (4) ayes and one (1) abstention. Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson administered the Oath of Office to Brian Johnson and Councilman Johnson took his seat at the council table.

Agenda Item new council #4 – Election of President and Vice-President of the Council was called with the nomination of Councilman David Larsen as President and the nomination of Councilwoman Linda Talbott as Vice-President.  In separate votes the council approve the nominations of Councilman Larsen and Councilwoman Talbott.

Agenda Item new council #6 – Department Updates

Agenda Item new council #7 – Legal Updates – City Attorney Sam Nelson announced he would be away for somewhere between 30-60 days. Executive Session for legal not needed.

Agenda Item new council #8 – Christmas Lights removed.

Agenda Item new council #9 – Alcester Fairgrounds water-leak.  (1:22:02.67)  Mayor Haeder was approached by Commissioner about a water leak and according to Mayor Haeder the conversation when like this, the commissioner told Mayor Haeder that the county leases this ground from the city therefore the city is monetarily responsible for the cost of repairs around $5K-$10K.  There is a meter in the tree line to the North of the Fairgrounds.  This is a city waterline and the city is charged for the water.  Note in the video ‘they’ and gosh only knows who ‘they’ are have been given a wrench to turn the water on during use of the fairgrounds and off (?) when the fairgrounds are not use.  Now folks to the best of my knowledge this water usage is not assessed to the county and obviously Mayor Haeder appears to be ignorant of the Lease language.  Wanna guess who is paying for that water usage?  (1:26:55.87) I attempted to give the Mayor information about the 99 year lease between the city and the county.  Yeah, the Mayor did not want to know the language of the Lease, he said it is irrelevant.  Really?  Mayor apparently wants to be willfully ignorant.

Agenda Item new council #10 – Lifeguards  approve hire.

Agenda Item new council #11 – Executive Session for 1-25-2.1 Personnel not needed – well Ms. Kay doesn’t need to discuss personnel(?) or what-ever-it-was-discussed anymore.

Agenda Item new council #12 – Finance Office- (1:33:49.93) I want to address one  item brought up by Mayor Haeder. Mayor Haeder brought up Mr. Nohava concerning money for Alcester EMS and donations for Alcester EMS.  Folks I would like to take this opportunity to do some math for you my background for this is the fact I handled the books and participated in the billing process for Alcester EMS while I was a part of the service and we responded to 100 medical calls per year.  There was an edict handed to the Alcester public, you will be transported to Hawarden Hospital whether you want to go there or not.  The billing fee for Alcester EMS was $300.00 load fee plus $8.00/per loaded mile for a total of $364.00 for a trip to Hawarden.  For a trip to a Sioux Falls Hospital was the $300 load fee plus $8.00/loaded mile fee for a total of $660.00.  So if an Alcester patient is charged $364.00 the Hawarden trip and then the Alcester patient has to go to Sioux Falls or Sioux City the Hawarden Ambulance (Jeff Nohava?) gets the $660.00 fee.  So the Alcester patient/insurance could possibly be charged $1024.00 for the same medical event.  Last I heard Mr. Nohava is receiving a $22.00/hour consulting fee from Alcester EMS.  In addition, the Alcester ambulance is now responding with the Alcester Fire Department with apparently no billing options but the expenses to roll the ambulance are still accruing.  So on the premise the Alcester EMS had 30 transports per year to Hawarden at $364.00 per call ($10,920.00) plus 70 transports per year to Sioux Falls at $660.00 ($46,200.00) equaling an income of $57,120.00.  Now compare that figure to the mandatory transport to Hawarden $364.00 per trip for 100 trips per year for a total income $36,400.00, a difference of $20,720.00 per year.  That is just the medical transports one has to add the negative operational cost (gas, oil wear and tear) of the ambulance on the fire calls.  Just saying, No wonder the ambulance is leaking money like micro-sand in the proverbial hour glass.

Agenda item new council #13 – re-evaluation of mask mandate.

Agenda item new council #13– (not my error here, that is what the agenda read) HRC update

Agenda item new council #14 – Fairboard Update-none

Agenda item new council #15 – Community Building  Kitchen equipment request for up to $75,000.00 for kitchen equipment.  Council voted approval.

Agenda item new council #16 – Update volunteer roster.  Council voted approval.

Agenda Item new council #17 – Adjourn  Council voted approval.  Adjourned at 9:07 p.m.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples

Councilman Brian Johnson