05/17/2021 A VOICE FROM THE GALLERY

IF YOU ARE TESTING MY WATERS, YOU BETTER KNOW HOW TO SWIM!

MAY 17, 2021 ALCESTER CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Mayor Dan Haeder called the May 17, 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  Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Brian Johnson and City Attorney Sam Nelson.

After the call for Agenda Item #3 Approval of the Agenda Mayor Haeder announced that Agenda Item #10 – HSA Bank Account was no longer necessary, without any explanation as to why it was no longer necessary.  Did the Mayor Haeder/FO Pat decide an HSA was no longer needed, Did the Mayor Haeder/FO Pat decide a separate account was no longer needed, Did Mayor Haeder/FO Pat decide they wanted to use another Bank, or Did Mayor Haeder/FO Pat decide that FO Pat just could not handle direct deposit banking or was this another issue where Mayor Haeder/FO Pat felt the public just didn’t have the right to know.  I strongly suggest folks you ask the council WHY?  Those individuals on tap to be signatories were Mayor Haeder, Council President David Larsen, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens and Finance Office worker Wanda Halversen.  Council approved the Agenda with Agenda Item #10 – HSA (Health Savings Account) omitted.

Agenda Input #4 – Public Input was called. 

I answered I had public input.  Initially I had planned for a couple items but upper most was my written request to be considered for the Ward III vacancy.  I have made it a practice (depending on the nature of the document) to send requests via email to the entire council and hand-delivering the document in written form with a certificate of service attached to the document for a signature acknowledging the city office did in fact get the document so the document doesn’t ‘disappear’ or ‘get lost’.  However Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens refused to sign the certificate acknowledging document delivery.  So folks now it gets down to a she-said, he-said situation and who is the council going to believe?  Does Bookkeeper Jurrens do this with legal documents, documents from all Alcester residents or just the select few of us that bookkeeper Jurrens deigns as beneath her ( and I do not mean the Kama Sutra-like definition of “beneath” her)?

I stated my request for an interview with the council for the position of council person for Ward III looking for recognition I was indeed going to be allowed to interview with the new council which included the latest council member addition.  As you will note in the video there was a long period of silence after my statement, the council neither accepted nor denied my request.  I did not present any other comments I had for public comment, other than an observation of mini-motorcycles and the apparent age group of the operators on public streets and what appeared to excessive speed relating to their ability to control.

Mayor Haeder called for any additional input to which Miss Melissa Kay responded acting as a quasi telephonic go-between former council member Marcus Ireland and the city council.  Mr. Ireland had two points to make in the public input.  1) Mr. Ireland requested that all proposed ordinances/resolutions be placed on the city website for community full access.  Some community members do not receive the newspaper and therefore lose the ability to comment formally or informally on any proposed ordinances/resolutions before they are passed. 2)  Mr. Ireland offered up comments on the language, semantics and etc. on the issue of medical cannabis and arbitrary denial of permitting for medical cannabis.

Mayor Haeder added his comment on the continued spoofing/scam using his email.

Agenda Item #5 Ward III Vacancy – Interview of candidate – A discussion took place on the need for me to interview, since I had just recently interviewed.  I took the position that since the Ward II vacant seat had been filled and it was appropriate for me to be able to make my presentation to what amounted to a new council.  Executive Session was called and entered into at 6:19 P.M.  My name was called first for interview and I entered the interview session at approximately 6:20 P.M.   I passed out a booklet outlining specific October 2020 historical data I wished to address in full with Councilman Larsen, Councilwoman Reppe, Councilwoman Talbott and Mayor Haeder.  I also want to make sure the two newest additions to the council, Councilwoman Peeples and Councilman Johnson were informed of the facts not hear-say and to off-set former councilwoman Melissa Kay’s comment in the May 3, 2021, council meeting where she willfully breached executive session as it related to me and found in 05/03/2021 A Voice From the Gallery blog and video (0:36:53.23).  I also addressed and enumerated all the accusations and allegations made in that October session to set the record straight with specificity to each allegation/accusation made.  These comments and defenses were directed to Councilman Larsen, Councilwoman Reppe, Councilwoman Talbott and Mayor Haeder who had received what I would characterize as biased opinion and what I would characterize as a false swearing since the allegations were in written form.  Folks I was barred from having an unbiased witness to a interrogation where I faced the city lawyer duly seated at the South Dakota Bar, two wanna-be lawyers who practiced the fine art of legal badgering where, “… Harassment of a witness by legal counsel during questioning, where a witness is subjected to embarrassing or derisive questions where an answer is not expected and serve as argument posing as a question, e.g. who would believe any words coming out of your mouth? ( Badgering the Witness, THELAW.COM LAW DICTIONARY & BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 2ND ED. (https://dictionary.thelaw.com/badgering-the-witness/)

Or the prize question asked of me by my interrogator, “…can you read?” 

Also in that city council judgment mix one adds a secretary for a Hawarden attorney, a school teacher, a retired school teacher and a Mayor with a marginal grasp of the job description of a mayor. Folks in Executive Session, if you are the target of the inquisition it becomes she said, she said because there is no record made and in my case no one bothered due diligence into the vacuous accusations.  Just a fear of my honesty, the consequences of my pre-council research on SRTS or my ability to vote No on half-assed, vacuous proposals as explained by the bookkeeper!

I worked my way through the booklet I provided to the council members, page by page, point-by-point and at the end of my presentation I asked for questions.   Folks, the faces on Mount Rushmore have more facial movement than was exhibited by the four faces of those who judged me in that October 7, 2020, meeting.  I had no expectation of being seated but make no mistake I went down fighting with the truth.

Upon my exit of the council room at 6:40 P.M., Ward III Vacancy Candidate Curtis Keiser entered the room for his interview.  At 6:48 P.M. Mr. Keiser left the interview and at 6:50 P.M. Mayor Haeder declared the council out of Executive Session.  At that point motion was called to seat Curtis Keiser as Ward III Councilman and approved.  Congratulations Mr. Keiser on your successful seating.  I will offer my advice to the newest members of the Alcester City Council, Councilwoman Peeples, Councilman Johnson and Councilman Keiser IF the remaining members could do this to me, they can and will the same to you.  Oh yeah, one more thing Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens has no part in Executive Sessions unless it deals with a bookkeeping problem or her own deeds.  She is not the seventh council member!

Agenda Item #6 – Council Committee assignments were handed out.

Agenda Item #7 – Department Updates.

Agenda Item #8 – Legal Updates

Call for Executive Session for the purposes of 1-25-2.3 Legal discussion. In Executive Session at 7:03 P.M. -7:14 P.M. Since the next item immediately following the Executive Session under Legal Updates is titled the Boyce Waiver Authorization one can make a presumption of cause and effect (LAWSUIT/ LITIGATION).  (35:30.90) I asked for permission to speak, I asked what the Boyce Waiver Authorization was.  Alcester City Attorney Sam stated this was an authorization to waive a possible conflict-of-interest with Boyce Law.  Folks, Boyce is a Sioux Falls law firm whose area of practice list includes the field of practice described as Alternative Dispute Resolution ( Arbitration and or Mediation).  With that said, Waiver is described as a legally binding provision where either party in a contract agrees to voluntarily forfeit a claim without the other party being liable. Waivers can either be in written form or some form of action.  So the City Council voted to authorize the Waiver.

Still under agenda item #8 Legal Ordinance 2021-09 Temporary Ordinance regarding the Issuance of Local Medical Cannabis permits and/or licenses.  Discussion on what city officials are allowance to do and not do with regard to issuing permits or licenses to sell and/or grow medical Cannabis.

Agenda Item #9 – Deed Transfer from City of Alcester to Alcester Industrial Board described as Parcel 01.01.23.1002, Tract 2, Block 23 Original Alcester City and Parcel 100.00.21.5055. School Lot 2 SE1/4, SE1/4 less 5,676 square feet of Right–Of-Way.  Important question here is the area where the city offices are located and any rents?  Discussion with City Attorney Sam Nelson (54:06.57)  Council voted to approve the Transfer of Deed.  Unfortunately a map of parcels and lots involved in this transfer was not available to the public, therefore for clarity the city office should be contacted for a copy of the exact Parcels involved.

Agenda Item #10– deleted considered not necessary (see my comments under the approval of the agenda)

Agenda Item #11 – Hire Seasonal Personnel

Agenda Item #12 – Executive Session for 1-25-2.1 Personnel was called.  Folks this habit of what appears to be the dodging of open session rules by cloaking  conversations and discussion with impunity outside the realm of the proper Executive Session Rules.  SDCL 1-25-2.1  The council entered into a what has the appearance of a routine, monthly Executive Session for Personnel purposes started at 7:47 P.M. through 8:05 P.M.  No business came out of the session as usual. Folks like the saying:

“I don’t trust—Words

I even question—Actions

But I never doubt—Patterns

Agenda Item #13 – Reminders and Update.  One item under was a discussion which dealt with a proposal for the garbage pick-up to remain on one side of the street permanently to, “…save our streets…”  Councilwoman Linda Talbott and et al (1:06:42.5) expressed her opinion that the one-side-of-the-street garbage pickup should stay in force.  How about it folks?  Do you want multitudes of  garbage cans along YOUR street frontage with the Big Blue Garbage cans squatting and drizzling garbage there for three or four days?   HEY LET THE CITY KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!  CALL THE CITY! EMAIL THE CITY!  TELL THEM YOU WANT THE STREETS REPAIRED, FIXED NOT HAVE SOME DIRTY OLD GARBAGIE BLUE BUCKET BANDAID PUT ON THEM.  WE HAVE PAID THE STREET MAINTENANCE FEE FOR THREE OR FOUR YEARS NOW WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING.  FINANCE OFFICER JURRENS WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE STREET MAINTENANCE FEE AND THE REGULARLY BUDGETED FUNDS COLLECTED BY TAX TO REPAIR OUR STREETS?  SO FOLKS ASK WHAT THE ANNUAL BUDGET FOR STREET MAINTENANCE IS WITHOUT THE STREET MAINTENANCE ORDINANCED FEE?  WHAT IS THE SEPARATE  TOTALS OF THE STREET REPAIRS.  FOLKS JUST ONE YEAR WORTH OF MAINTENCE FEE WAS EATEN UP BY THE BILL FOR THE 20 YEAR OLD WHEEL LOADER REPAIR!  THEN THERE IS THE STREET SWEEPER WHICH COST AS I RECALL SOMETHING LIKE $225,000.00 AND IS NOW ONLY USED DURING RAINSTORMS AS I UNDERSTAND IT, IS DUE TO WATER SUPPLY ISSUES.

Agenda Item #14 – Adjourn 

Council adjourned at 8:08 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

Councilman Curtis Keiser