07/19/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

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(b) Property Nuisance (307 Iowa Street),

Agenda Item #9(c) Ordinance to Vacate alley,

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 Terms3.0203-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 5.01 OFFENSES 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 #8 – SD DOT Input  Commentary from public expires on July 21,2021.  Link to information on this long term plan is https://dot.sd.gov/projects-studies/planning/long-range-plan

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

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