“A GOVERNMENT BIG ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT, IS BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING YOU HAVE”
I want especially to draw your attention to certain items in Resolution 2021-10 so I have highlighted portions of the document along with definitions and my comments:
SECTION 1 – RECITALS, AUTHORIZATION AND SALES
1.01- Recitals and Authorization:
1.01 (e) – this Council hereby determines that it is in the best interests of the City to authorize the issuance and sale of its Sale Tax Revenue and Refunding Bonds, in one or more series (the “Series 2021 Bonds” together with the Series 2018 Bonds and any additional parity lien bonds authorized hereunder, the “Bonds”), in a principal amount not to exceed the sum of $640,000.00 for the purpose of (i) refunding the Series 2011 Bonds. (ii) funding costs of capital improvements as authorized by the Ordinance, including construction of a community center (the “Projects”), and (iii) paying the costs of issuances of the Series 2021 Bonds, including an underwriter’s discount not exceeding 2.00% of the principal amount of any series of the series 2021 Bonds, original issue discount not to exceed 2% of the principal amount of any series of the Series 2021 Bonds) and bond insurance premium, if any. The Series 2021 Bonds are issued on aparity(essentially using the same standards) with the Series 2018 Bonds.
1.03 – City Officers Authorized to Execute Documents. “The Mayor and Finance Officer are hereby authorized and directed to execute and deliver a Bond Purchase Agreement and the documents require thereunder (archaic expression meaning in agreement of the thing mentioned), the Official Statement, the Series 2021 Bonds and any other documents required to complete the financing contemplated hereby. Execution and delivery of such documents by the Mayor and Finance Officer shall constitute (give legal form) to evidence that such items are consistent with the terms of this Resolution and have been duly authorized, executed and delivered by the City and are enforceable against the City in accordance with their terms, subject to customary exceptions relating to bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency and other laws affected creditors’ rights. The Mayor and Finance Officer are further authorized to take such other actions as may be required to effectuate (put into force)the terms and intent of this Resolution. In the event of the absence or disability of the Mayor or Finance Officer, the acting Mayor or the acting Finance Officer is hereby authorized to act in the place and stead of the Mayor or Finance Officer, respectively, and to tall all actions and execute all documents approvedhereby (as a result of this document).”
1.04 – Official Statement. “If determined(who is determining?)necessary, the Mayor and Finance Officer are authorized, in cooperation with AMKO, to prepare one or more Official Statements to be distributed to prospective purchasers of the Series 2021 Bonds. The Mayor and the Finance Officer are hereby authorized and directed to approve, and , if requested, to execute a final Official Statement.”
SECTION 2 – BOND TERMS, EXECUTION AND DELIVERY
2.01 Execution, Authentication and Delivery. “The Series 2021 Bonds shall be prepared under the direction of the Finance Officer (in my opinion our FO cannot direct a garage band let alone competently prepare a legal ‘promise’ to pay a lender their principal and interest)and shall be executed and authenticated on behalf of the City by the signatures of the Mayor and the Finance Officer and countersigned by an attorney resident and licensed to practice in the State of South Dakota…”
2.04 – Redemption ” The Series 2021 Bonds may be subject to redemption prior to maturity, at the option of the City, in the years and at the redemption prices set for in an exhibit to a Bond Purchase Agreement…“ (Call Date – a credit enhancement feature which makes the Bond more attractive to the Bond purchaser such as a higher interest pay rate during the time when the outstanding amounts are at their highest. Call-able loans generally pay a higher interest rate than non-callable loans ie. the city will most likely pay a higher rate of interest for a call-dated Bond loan than a non-call dated Bond )
2.05 – Appointment of Initial Registrar “The City hereby appoints the City Finance Officer as bond registrar (city employee who maintains the Issuers list of the names, addresses, and other identifying information of Owners of Bonds 2021 Series), transfer agent(she will make sure the investors receive their dividends on time yeah ya really trust that one?),and paying agent(Indenture Trustee or any other Person that meets the eligibility standards for the Indenture Trustee specified in Section 6.11 that has been authorized by the Issuer to make payments to and distributions from the Collection Account, including payment of principal of or interest on behalf of the Issuer.( the “Registrar”)”
2.06 – Registration “The effect of registration and the rights and duties of the City and the Registrar with respectthereto (to this or that)shall be as follows:
2.06(a) – The Registrar shall keep at its principal office a bond register in which the Registrar shall provide for the registration of ownership of Series 2021 Bonds and the registration of transfers and exchanges of Series 2021 Bonds entitled to be registered, transferred or exchanged. (Really? FOPat has trouble getting payroll out in a timely manner and you want to trust her to handle this?)
Folks these examples are all within the first four pages of the document titled “RESOLUTION NO. 2021-10”. The Resolution 2021-10 document has 12-14 pages depending how you count. I embedded the text of the Resolution 2021-10 document in the 07/26/2021 A Voice From the Gallery or you should be able to get a copy of the document from the city office (free) as well as the document must be published in the newspaper and on the Alcester City website.
One interesting item, City Attorney Sam Nelson was not at this meeting to advise the council members face-to-face before they voted. The council just had to take the word and expertise of the Mayor as they relate to the legal language of this document. In fact Mr. DeRaney made the statements with regard to his explanation of the Resolution 2021-10 Document, its language and its specifications (0:10:58.33)* and (0:11:02.10)* that “attorneys wrote the document and that he was not an attorney“ and we all know Mayor Haeder and Bookkeeper Jurrens are most assuredly not attorneys.
While I realize Resolution is not an easy read, I ask the Council members to please re-read the document, I ask the citizens of Alcester to please, please read the Resolution 2021-10 document and if you do not totally and completely understand and agree with what this document is allowing the Finance Officer and Mayor to do please take steps to stop it!
*These time stops can be found in the video published within the 07/26/2021 A Voice From the Gallery publication.
Interesting read, “Anatomy of a Bond issue: The Participants and the Steps” Donna Kreiser and David Unkovic public finance lawyers with McNees Wallace & Nurick, LLC., This article was published in the Winter 2014 edition of the Municipal Law Section Newsletter of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, March 12, 2014
“Although there is no progress without change, not all change is progress”
Mayor Haeder called the July 26, 2021, special 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 Councilman Curtis Keiser. Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent.
Mayor Haeder called for approval of the special meeting agenda. The agenda was approved as presented.
Agenda Item #4 of the special meeting agenda was Public Input. I asked for the amount of sales collected in 2020 which is relevant to the ability to pay the amount of the bond in the 2021-10 Resolution. After a long pause (0:02:12.10), Finance Officer Jurrens was able to pull up the amounts for which I asked, $206,000.00 in first and second penny sales tax for 2020. I then asked for the source of the funds which would used to pay for the bonds in Resolution 2021-10 to confirm intent and understanding that the funds must come from city sales tax. Finance Officer Jurrens responded with the answer the bonds were to be funded using the first and second penny of city sales tax.
Second response to the Public Input was Bob Anderson (0:03:31.60), who wanted to endorse Austin Schuller as Chief of Police for the city of Alcester. Mr. Anderson cited many the reasons why Acting Police Chief Austin Schuller would be the best choice for our community’s Chief of Police.
Agenda Item #5 of the special meeting agenda was consideration, authorization and approval of issuance of Resolution 2021-10 a Parameters Resolution Bond using Sale Tax Revenues in the payment of the bond. While the council members had copies of the Resolution and accompanying documents, an update copy of the Resolution and accompanying documents was handed out prior to the start of the Special Council Meeting. Mr. Mark DeRaney, representative of the independent municipal advisor AMKO Advisors, LLC has met with the City of Alcester advising them in matters relating to the funding of the Community Center Building project. Mr. DeRaney was present to answer questions concerning the Agreement Documents/Resolution 2021-10 to the City Council members and members of the gallery. Mr. DeRaney spoke to the $640K maximum amount of the bonds, the “Call Date” (payoff of Bond cannot happen before this date), 3.5% interest, the refunding amount due on a present $55K on the present golf course debt, term of bond 20 years and the payment schedule of semi-annual interest payments with annual principle payment.
Once Mr. DeRaney finished speaking, Mayor Haeder put the Resolution before the Council. Remember now City Attorney Sam Nelson was NOT present and the most up-to-date version of the Resolution Document was placed before the council immediately prior to the presentation and vote giving the council very little time to read and comprehend what it was they were approving.
Note this Link information gives background information on municipal bonds (muni). This information is generally aimed at the Bond investor rather than the Municipal Bond Issuer (the city), the Solicitor (the issuer’s regular lawyer), the Bond Counsel (legal firm specialising in Bonds) and the Financial Adviser (entity structuring the bond issue) however it does explain the steps in the process for both sides of the Bond issue. It also covers certain issues to be aware of in the Resolution language and process.
Mayor Haeder called the for the motion to approve. (0:28:01.20) Roll call vote was taken, Councilwoman Reppe-Aye, Councilman Johnson-Aye, Councilwoman Peeples- Aye, Councilwoman Talbott-Aye, Councilman Keiser-Nay and Councilman Larsen-Aye. Resolution passed with Four (4) Ayes and One (1) Nay.
Agenda Item #6 – Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel Councilwoman Linda Talbott felt the need for an Executive Session dealing with Personnel (0:29:24.37) The Council voted to go into Executive Session for the purposes of discussing Personnel. I would like to insert a comment on the appropriateness of continuing closed sessions for personnel discussion meaning action to be taken on one specific employee not a general discussion. SDCL 1-25-2.1 “SDCL 1-25-2.1-Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. The term “employee” does not include any independent contractor…”
Executive Session was entered into at 6:29 P.M.
Executives session was declared back into Open meeting status at 6:56 P.M.
No action was taken in ‘open meeting’ as a result of this Executive Session.
Agenda Item #7 Adjourn the 07/26/2021 Special Meeting of the Alcester City Council.
Council was adjourned at 6:57 P.M.
“Minor details–like pennies–add up. A good banker isn’t careless with ‘pennies’ a good lender isn’t sloppy about details.
Just as a good mayor isn’t carless about form, procedure and full information and a good council doesn’t tolerate sloppiness by the failure of the Mayor and/or Finance Officer disclose FULL AND COMPLETE Agenda information prior to votes, failure of proper procedure and failure about necessary details.
Mayor Haeder called the July 19, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:00 P.M. with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members present were Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Brian Johnson and Councilman Curtis Keiser. Absent were Councilman David Larsen and City Attorney Sam Nelson.
Mayor Haeder called the July 19, 2021, Alcester City Council meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance.
NOTE- Folks I was accused of prolonging meetings when I was a council member and it was one of the unfounded accusations used to remove me from my council position. Please note in this video the number of times Mayor Haeder detoured through the maze of his experiences in this non-council meeting or that non-council meeting or his personal philosophy on weeds and etc.
Agenda Item #3 -Approve Agenda- Oh, Oh there was a glitch in the Agenda, City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent and the agenda needed to be amended. Now folks the usual method of making an amendment is to first approve the amendment with a motion which specifically states the change in the agenda, a second to the motion to amend, discussion of the change and a vote to amend. Second the council must approve the agenda with the amendment attached which requires a motion, a second to the motion, further discussion and finally a vote to approve the agenda. (02:36:07)
The quasi amendment to the agenda was specifically related to Agenda Item #9 under parenthetical items 9(b) through 9(g) which follow:
Agenda Item #9(d) Ordinance Update of TITLE 3 – HEALTH AND SANITATION, Chapter 3.02 COLLECTION OF GARBAGE – 3.0201- License for Commercial Collectors, 3.0202- License Terms, 3.0203-License Fees, 3.0204 – Issuance of License, 3.0205 – Criterion for Issuance of License, 3.0206 – Renewal or Continuation, 3.0207 – Vehicle, 3.0208 – Equipment, 3.0209 – Garbage Rate, 3.0210 – Collection(A collections schedule shall be approved by the City Council of the City of Alcester for garbage as well as yard waste and other recyclable matters and may be modified from time to time only with prior approval of the City Council of the City of Alcester), 3.0211 – Recyclable Collection Plan, 3.0212 – Revocation of License, and 3.0213 – Penalties.
Agenda Item #9(e) Ordinance Update of TITLE 5 – OFFENSES, Chapter 5.01OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC WELFARE – 5.0101- Interfering with Public Improvements, etc., 5.0102 – Intentional Damage to Property (you mean destroying political signs?), 5.0103 – Disorderly Conduct (you mean (H) Commits any act which tends to corrupt the public morals or outrages public decency is guilty of disorderly conduct which is hereby prohibited.), 5.0104 – Open Containers,5.0105 – Indecency, 5.0106 – Public Urination and Defecation Prohibited, 5.0107 – Bikes, Roller-Skates and Skateboards Prohibited in the Business District. (SO WHO IS GOING TO POLICE THIS ONE?)
Agenda Item #9(f) Ordinance Update of TITLE 7 – TRAFFIC CODE, CHAPTER 7.05 PARKING AND STOPPING – 7.0501- Parking Prohibited in Certain Places((J)No person shall park any creational vehicle in any street within the City for a period longer than seventy-two (72) hours. Recreational vehicle(s) shall be tagged by a law enforcement officer and a warning issued to remove within seventy-two(72) hours. Failure to do so will result in removal by the City at the owner’s expense. For purposes of this Section, recreational vehicle is defined to include, but shall not be limited to the following-Cargo trailers, Travel trailers, Pickup campers or coaches, Motor-homes ,Camping trailers, Boats and boat trailers, Snowmobiles and snowmobile trailers, Jet ski and jet ski trailers, golf carts and golf cart trailers, all-terrain vehicles and all-terrain vehicle trailers, Dirt bikes and dirt bike trailers and Any other recreational equipment or cases, boxes or items used to store or transport such recreational equipment. ),7.0502 – Standing for Loading or Unloading Only in Certain Places, 7.0503 – Parking Zones, 7.0504 – Penalty, 7.0505 – Non-Parking Areas, 7.0506 – Obstruction of Traffic, 7.0507 – Parking in Central Business District Prohibited During Snow Season, 7.0508 – Parking During Snow Removal Alert Prohibited, 7.0509 – Ticketing and towing Vehicles, 7.0510 – Abandoned Vehicles, 7.0511 – Parking and Storage of Certain Vehicles, 7.0512 – Towing Costs, 7.0513 – Establishment of Parking Spaces for Disabled Persons, 70514 – Parking spaces for Disable Marking, 7.0515 Parking spaces for Disabled Eligibility for Use, 7.0516 – Report of Improper Use of Special Plates or Certificates-Revocation of Privilege, 7.0517- Use of Privileges by Persons as a Person without a Physical Disability as Violation of Chapter, 7.0518 – Unauthorized Parking in Handicapped Space as Violation of Chapter.
Agenda Item #9(g) Resolution Personnel Policy Manual, Policy 7- Leave Of Absence Section 7.02 (a). Folks I do not have a final draft copy of the 2020 Personnel Manual as drafted by Melissa Kay. Unfortunately the numbering system was changed in her draft and again from the version outlined in Agenda Item #9(g). Here is what I have: 7.2 VACATION LEAVE :
All qualified employees may accrue and use vacation leave (see policy 3- policy 3 deals with employee classifications-Appointive Official, City Employee, Regular Full-time Employee, Part-time employee, Temporary/Seasonal Employee, and Employee with less than six Months of Service) -Schedule – Lengths of Service w/ days of vacation per year so 0-6 mos. of service would earn 3 days of vacation, 6 mos-1 year would earn 5 days of vacation, 2yrs to four yrs of service would earn 10 days of vacation, 5 yrs to 9 yrs of service would earn 12 days of vacation and 10 yrs and above yrs of service would earn 15 days of vacation. Employees on leave-of-absence without pay or suspensions without pay do not accrue vacation leave benefits. Vacation hours not used during the calendar year in which they are earning may be carried over into successive years. Eligible employees may accrue a maximum of 45 working days of vacation leave. Upon accrual above the maximum vacation leave hours, hours accrued will automatically be subtracted down to the maximum allowable hours without time being granted for leave. It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that hours are used on a timely basis according to this policy. ***
Upon separation from employment, an employee will be paid for any accumulated vacation time. Reimbursement for vacation leave will be at the employee’s salary rate per their last day of employment. When an employee’s vacation time falls on a holiday, such time is not to be subtracted from an employee’s vacation leave balance. Vacation leave must be scheduled with the employees Department Head at the earliest possible time prior to the use of such leave. The City reserves the right, within reason, to disapprove requested time for vacation leave. However, the City will make reasonable effort to accommodate employee requests for time off. Vacation leave will be granted on a first come, first serve basis, based upon operational needs. The minimum amount that may be charged to an employee’s vacation leave is one hour per leave period.
Employees shall requested the use of vacation leave by filling out a leave request form The employees Department Head will either approve or deny the request. The Finance Officer will supply the Mayor and City Council with a full record of vacation time accrued/used for each employee at least one per month.
Comp time must be exhausted before using vacation leave.
Agenda Item #4 – Approve Minutes of June 7, 2021, and June 21, 2021.
Agenda Item # 5 – Public Input
I must apologise for my lack of full clarity in my comments. (0:04:18.73) I will now attempt to clarify my comments. First the Sunshine request/FOIA documents I handed to the council. I have a FOIA/Sunshine request currently open with the Finance Officer Jurrens refusing to comply stating she would not violate personal information. This was the same, lame excuse she attempted when I asked for freedom of information for the list of notices she sent out for over-hanging trees. These were public information. My current Sunshine/FOIA request asked for water-usage information for non-residential properties and which billing is sent out on a post card.
My second point of input involved prodigious weed growth in the west ditch on South Lincoln Drive at the Alkota property. As I listened to my video, I found that I did not fully identify the location. At the spot I was referencing, culverts had been placed in the ditch to accommodate the water run-off from Lincoln Drive. The ditch was lined with larger rocks to prevent soil erosion which obviously cannot be mowed. This area is not a duty for Alkota to maintain because the city of Alcester is using it as a run-off area so falls to the city to maintain and keep it weed free.
My third point of input involved FCS and the moratorium on property taxes made by the city of Alcester when the property was annexed into the corporate city limits of Alcester.
Finally I discussed the garden hose stretched out across the park/carnival ride portion of the fairgrounds questioning the wisdom and waste of water and seed two weeks before the fair. Since the garden hose went to the first street building belonging to FCS, I presumed they were paying for the water. I have spoke to the council before regarding the water usage amounts by entities not paying for water usage. Past audits had strongly recommended water usage be tracked even if the city was not charging for the water. I concluded my comments with the fact we no long pull water from wells, we pay a much high price for the water we get from South Lincoln Rural water than we did from those long ago wells. It appears we still are not tracking it against audit recommendation and in essence we are being wasteful of our water.
Councilwoman Darla Reppe comment on complaints about weeds she had received from her constituents. (0:10:04.23)
Agenda Item #6 – Community Building Bond- Rescheduled meeting for July 26, 2021, at 6:00 p.m.
Agenda Item #7 – Reschedule Public Hearing Alcohol License. Meeting August 2, 2021. At (19:43.23) I asked for permission to speak to the discussion concerning lack of public at public meeting and permission was granted. Councilman Keiser had brought up the subject of computer participation because he was going to be missing some meetings unless he could participate via a device. In the past we had routine participate from home by Melissa Kay, Marcus Ireland, David Larsen and others via telephone. I never heard Mayor Haeder comment about to these folks they really needed to show up in person. SDCL 1-25-1 OPEN MEETING says, “Any official meeting may be conducted by teleconference as defined in § 1-25-1.2. A teleconference may be used to conduct a hearing or take final disposition regarding an administrative rule pursuant to § 1-26-4. A member is deemed present if the member answers present to the roll call conducted by teleconference for the purpose of determining a quorum. Each vote at an official meeting held by teleconference shall be taken by roll call. If the state, a political subdivision, or a public body conducts an official meeting by teleconference, the state, the political subdivision, or public body shall provide one or more places at which the public may listen to and participate in the teleconference meeting. For any official meeting held by teleconference, which has less than a quorum of the members of the public body participating in the meeting who are present at the location open to the public, arrangements shall be provided for the public to listen to the meeting via telephone or internet. The requirement to provide one or more places for the public to listen to the teleconference does not apply to an executive or closed meeting. SDCL 1-25-1.2. TELECONFERENCE DEFINED. For the purpose of this chapter, a teleconference is information exchanged by audio or video medium.”
In addition Mayor Haeder, the City can stream the public hearing meetings via Sling Studio. Surely that technology is not beyond the capabilities of the city bookkeeper. In this day and age of technology the city surely can find a few coins here and there to pay for the ability of its residents to watch the council meeting live streamed. I mean Mayor Haeder, you already video tape the meeting so why not live stream it and put it up on the website.
Agenda Item #9 – Legal Updates – Sam Nelson city attorney. Mr. Nelson was away so the item dealt with on this agenda item was the Banner Agreement (0:23:09.23) concerning to the best of my knowledge relates to the Waste Water Facility.
Agenda Item #10 – Police Department – Police Chief Austin Schuller gave his updates. On a related note, review proposed Ordinance changes. These changes will create more ‘busy’ work for our police department. Maybe ‘Karen’ from the Finance Office can hand out the violation tickets and leave the police work to those who have been trained and certified. Also Mayor Haeder noted if the Police Chief had any questions he could call the Mayor, the Finance Office or the Public Safety Committee. Call the Finance Office, WHY for pity’s sake. Why would our Police Chief call the city bookkeeper for advice. It seems from past behavior she has a tenuous grasp on legal issues. (0:29:14.20)
Agenda Item #11 – Department Head Updates – No department heads were present. Although weeds in the cemetery were discussed along with some choice comments on weed whacking. (0:33:23.20) , (0:34:08.87), (0:34:50.13) and (0:35:14.87) Mayor Haeder seemed to make excuses for this lapse of cemetery care with his comment (0:33:42.17) So just who is supposed to be supervising this employee?
Agenda Item #12 – Library Surplus Property
Agenda Item #13 – Finance Office Update Check written to the Road Guy for the final payment for his bid on Chip Seal. Check written to R&R Construction in the amount of $4,590.00 for Park Street Curb and Gutter Replacement. Mayor Haeder stated he got a good deal (0:42:39.37) Doesn’t the Mayor live on Park street? I thought the property owner had to pay that fee. We paid somewhere around $2,500 when we replaced our curb and gutter on Lincoln. Hired a couple of life guards and the June warrants were approved.
Agenda Item #14 – Alcester American Legion Auxiliary permit to destroy tattered and worn flags. Permit approved.
Agenda Item #15 – Community Center
Agenda Item #16 – Fair Board Update – None Councilwoman Darla Reppe asked about the water leak and Finance Officer Jurrens responded they still did not know where the leak was. Wonderful and the county just finished putting in an asphalt road in that general area. S’pose it (the leak) is under the new asphalt (0:52:02.13)
Agenda Item #17 – Executive Session if needed Nope not needed
Agenda Item #18* – Adjourn at 6:55 p.m.
*Note-there was an after council meeting discussion of the Public Safety Committee concerning applicants for the position of Police Chief. One word of caution to that committee, “don’t hire some rube who is not nor has ever been a certified police officer as police chief no matter how many times it adds up for the city bookkeeper.” The city already tried this in the past and it was a masterful disaster