06/21/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted,

when we tolerate what we know to be wrong,

when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened,

when we fail to speak up and speak out,

we strike a blow against freedom, decency and justice.

Robert F. Kennedy

Mayor Haeder called the June 21, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:01 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 absent was Councilman Curtis Keiser.

Agenda Item # 3 – Approve the agenda was called.  Mayor Haeder stammered around the fact agenda item #6 Community Center Bond Update was to be deleted from agenda consideration.  What I find ludicrous is the agenda is to be crafted by the mayor not the bookkeeper.  Here is Mayor Haeder apparently totally unaware the council was not going to be discussing the Community Center Bond ($575K) with AMKO.

Agenda Item #4 – Public Input

Vickie Larsen-I spoke to the advertisement with Keloland Employment placed apparently by Bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens without the city council reading the text of the advertisement.  As usual Bookkeeper Jurrens took liberties with the terms and conditions for police chief candidates.   Especially note under Essential Duties and Responsibilities…works directly with the city finance officer, reporting to Mayor and City Council.  Madam Bookkeeper you are not a city manager.


I spoke to the final finding of the emptying of our water tower.  I had already explained how the alarm was to have worked.  I had noted the wiring on the shack which houses the equipment and wondered if a power interruption would have caused the alarm of low water no to work.  As usual I was pooh-poohed.  Of course Bookkeeper Jurrens weighed in with her opinion (04:59.20)  YO BO Jurrens, the alarm was put into place to keep the water tower from draining and if you knew your job, you would have known about the alarm system put into place.  Listen-up Buttercup!

I touched on the FOIA/Sunshine request I made on May 7, 202, which still has not been honored.   For all those folks out there receiving minimum water bills, garbage fees and street maintenance fees with no water access or hook ups, you should file for a reimbursement and any interest if this has been a long term action on the part of Bookkeeper Jurrens.

Lastly I touched on the retaining wall finally put into place to stop and further erosion on the two private properties bordering on the southern edge of the Sunny Side storage.  Mayor Haeder retorted that the retaining wall was right on time, if not before times.  (05:54.97)  With that comment in mind, check out the permitting forms for Sunny Side. Be sure to read through both documents particular the drawing for the mortgage toward the bottom about the retaining wall. Note the completion date 12/31/2020. Notice the date on the second document 03/09/2013 and note the spigot notation on document called Permit 291. So is Sunnyside paying a water fee? We want to know!

Kerry Hedden spoke to Police Chief Austin Schuller’s performance as a police officer.  Mr. Hedden spoke to his own experience as a young police officer in Remsen, IA and the measure of dedication it takes to enforce the law in a small community. 

Councilwoman Linda Talbott spoke to the weeks growing next to the ambulance building.  Mayor Haeder weighed in on the subject speaking of a boulevard. (08:14.70)  Now folks, I have no idea of Mayor Haeder’s definition of what a boulevard is.  According to Merriam-Webster a boulevard is defined as, “ a broad often landscaped thoroughfare” Folks to put this into perspective, imagine Broad street with a center lane with trees planted in that center lane.  Listening to the ensuing chatter about the ambulance, Mayor and the council apparently have no clue Alcester Emergency Medical Services was a 501C3.  Mayor said he would hand the weed situation off to the second in command Jon Serck.  Weeds aside, I would like to add a comment on the enforced shuttling of patients to Hawarden.  I make this observation in light of the hour I sat at waiting for the train to move back and forth during that hour.  Knowing how the railroad tracks were placed, the length of the train and the maneuvering of the numerous back and forth movements,  I knew I was not in position to go around the train.  So if you are being transported by ambulance to Hawarden, what is the ambulance going to do?  Delay of treatment?  You betcha!  Are you aware that the length of time a train can block a roadIn the state of Iowa, it is illegal for a train to block a road for more than ten minutes . Jan 27, 2020  So the question is, if you are the patient can you survive those ten minutes?

Agenda Item #5 – Total Stop – Application for off-sale liquor license.  Voted to approve a Public Hearing on July 13, 2021, to approve the off-sale liquor license to Total Stop.

Agenda Item #6 – Community Center Bond Update deleted.

Agenda Item #7 – Legal Updates – City Attorney Sam Nelson dealt with updates regarding agreements.  The AMKO/Davison agreement was now in signature form.  Mr. Nelson spoke to the Banner Engineering vs. Alcester impasse implying changes in language with Mr. Wheeler Attorney for Banner Engineering.  So is this a lawsuit?  What is the deal?  In the past Banner Engineering had dealt with our waste-water system. 

Agenda item #8 – Street Improvements – Lonnie Johnson described the excavation and stabilization of certain city streets trying to answer the question of our forgotten streets.  First the easiest answer is take care of the danged streets.  Prior to 2012 sections of street in town were on a schedule of upkeep and repair.  After 2012 our streets were thrown to the blow-hard winds of Rick Johnson, Tom Glas and etc.  According to Lonnie Johnson we have two realistic choices.  Do an excavation and stabilization (priced at $29K+/-) or do an asphalt (Stephenson Asphalt) application and hope it lasts at least three years (priced at $22K+/-)?  The biggest kicker here is once again the council is placed on the cusp of damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  They appeared to be unaware that one bid had already been received on an issue they were just finding out about.  And wonder of wonder these ol’ boys can be in town and applying the asphalt on Thursday.  I do not know about you folks but the choice is being taken away from the council.  It appears there was no competitive bid and would be no competitive bid ’cause according to Mayor Haeder, “…we gotta get this thing done…”  So back to the $29K price tag and the $22K price tag.  Councilman David Larsen asked bookkeeper Jurrens, “do we have the money in the budget? (0:30:18.50)  Answer Bookkeeper Jurrens replies, “…we do not have money in the budget…” (0:30:26.60)  WHERE  DID THE MONEY GO BOOKKEEPER  JURRENS?  In the past the budget carried a set amount for the streets, and then you continue to do the “Street Maintenance Fee” to side-step the tax cap.  WHERE IS THE MONEY?  Council voted for the $22K Asphalt application.  So where is the money coming from.  Ask Pat.

Agenda Item #9 – Department Head Updates 

Police Department – applicants for the position of police chief.  Hopefully the committee will keep Bookkeeper Jurrens out of the committee meeting.

Street Department – weeds in gutters

Waste-Water – Lonnie addressed Vickie Larsen’s question of the Water Tower fiasco.(0:39:49.10)After the water tower question was raised Lonnie had looked into the issue.  He found that the low water alarm had been disabled and the notification attempts were circumvented. Once again Bookkeeper Jurrens offered her counterfeit two cents with her comment, “…It was a valve …”  It shows how much Bookkeeper Jurrens knows about why alarms are put on water towers.    YO Bookkeeper Jurrens the alarm was disabled and you didn’t get the message.  Imagine if there was a fire?  The fire department gets the water from our hydrants, the water drains out of the tower, no water for the hydrants duh!  Then the fire department will have to evacuate the pool and pump water out of the pool.

Agenda Item #10 – Reminders and Updates-

Agenda Item #11 – Alcester Community Center  (0:52:00.07)

Agenda Item #12 – Fairboard report (0:52:15.43) and (0:58:09.97) A parade?  A city council float (1:01:04.87)  and lest we forget the small treasur(er) throw candy in the shape of jewels per Mayor Haeder.  Yup home town jewels! (1:02:00.50)

Agenda Item#13 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 PERSONNEL  at 7:04 PM. Everyone is ushered out.  At 7:27 PM Bookkeeper Jurrens and Bookkeeping Aid Halverson are called into the Executive Session and remained in the session for almost 30 minutes.  At 8:03 PM Bookkeeper Jurrens and Bookkeeping Aid Halverson exit the Executive session to stand in the hallway with me but whispering non-stop until we are called back into open session at 8:07 PM.  No action is taken. Executive session for personnel lasted an hour.

Agenda Item #14 – Executive Session for unknown purposes is not needed.

Agenda Item #15 – Adjourn  Council Adjourns at 8:08 pm

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                       605-934-2287      605-770-7929

Councilman David Larsen            605-934-2434

Councilwoman Darla Reppe         605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot         605-254-3074

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples  

Councilman Brian Johnson           605-214-0282

Councilman Curtis Keiser             605-214-7604

Patricia Jurrens                             605-934-2517