11/01/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Let It All Hang Out*

The Hombres – 1967

written by Jeff Paris/Moon Calhoun

A preachment, dear friends, you are about to receive
On John Barleycorn, nicotine, the temptations of Eve”
(Bronx cheer)* to Finance Office

No RV parkin’ near the sewer line

Dang that cat needs a tag, ’cause the city’s broke

Water drippin’ out the water tower spout

But we don’t care, let it all hang out!

Mayor Haeder called the November 1, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Lukas Driesen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present for the city.  Present in the gallery were Gordon Richard-reporter, Jennifer Schuller, Amanda Ericson, Brian Johnson, Aaron Larsen, Theresa Deem, Vickie Larsen-blogger and city ‘what-evah’ Wanda Halverson.  The assemblage recited the Pledge of Allegiance and so it goes, we’re gonna let it all hang out! 

Clingin’ to a metal chair with my knees

Sun is still shinin’ in the street

Nobody knows (not even the Mayor) what the agenda is about

It’s too much man, we’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda item #3 – Mayor calls for Approval of the Agenda.  No changes in the line-up, so they’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #4 – Mayor calls for Approval of the Minutes of October 4, 2021, and October 18, 2021, and so with no challenges or corrections in FO Pat’s version of the minutes the council voted to accept.

No one steppin’ up to take a Ward II chance

No council interview to make FO Pat spill her Victoria’s Secrets

No time to waste on a fade out

It’s a cause lost, so we’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #5 – Interviews of the vacant Ward II council seat.  No takers, FO Pat must be losin’ her touch in her search for protections against Patty Whackers.

Agenda Item #6 – Alcester Chamber of Commerce – Amanda Ericson appeared on behalf of the Alcester Chamber of Commerce to request street closure for the Christmas Tree Lighting event.  Her request was granted by the council but with the codicil Mayor Haeder wanted to consult with Chief of Police Austin Schuller.

Pinned up with my button plea

I listened to the following opinioned input

Much of it held some clout

It smacked and walloped, but we’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input.

(12:42.00) Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples voiced her concerns with the public Facebook criticisms of the Finance Office.  Councilwoman Peeples stated, “…First people I met when I moved here were the city Finance Officer Jurrens…Chief Jeff Christie and Police Officer Austin Schuller.  They are the reason I fell in love with this town…”  (16:27.10) Councilwoman Peeples went on to comment on the signs that were put into place by the Commercial Club-now known as the Chamber of Commerce.  These signs are in a condition which fails to give a welcome message.

(17:57.53)  Vickie Larsen was next.  I asked if Chief Austin’s On-Call was paid.  I was told he had received his On-Call pay November 1, 2021, two weeks after the council voted to pay the On-Call time.  I questioned why the payment was delayed since the council voted to pay the debt on October 18, 2021.  I asked why FO Pat delayed payment.  She used a variety of excuses why she deliberately failed to pay Chief Austin.  From she didn’t want to do a special payroll, so she delayed the payment.  Oh and yes (18:38.80) FO Pat, “…I don’t appreciate that comment…”Yo, FOPat do ya realize the penalty of delaying payment to an employee?  Folks check out the FLSA.  Usually government entities cannot be sued but if any delay in payment is deliberate or punitive, immunity may be waived.  In addition, if a city employee takes this action on her own initiative she may be liable for damages actual and punitive and may rise to criminal. 

>I noted the Freedom of Information for the credit card itemized billings were missing a month or two, but that I would be sending which months were missing in the warrant records I was given access to on Monday, October 11. 2021, at 10:00 a.m. 

>I asked whether former Police Chief Jeff Christie was paid for his On-Call time.  Mayor Haeder answered, (19:10.46) “I believe his account was completely settled up when he left.”  In other words, Mayor Haeder did not know firsthand and was working off FO Pat’s ‘word’ Chief Christies’s On-Call time was paid, on time and in full.  

(19:18.40) Jennifer Schuller voice her displeasure of the delay in payment to Chief Austin for his On-Call time.  She spoke of On-Call time covering a span from June 6, 2021 to September 25. 2021.  She spoke of the FO Pat’s failure to post the job opening for several weeks. (20:26.93) Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Alcester City Safety Committee responded to Jennifer Schuller’s comments, acknowledging the city dropped the ball.  (21:53.43) We should have been doing our job.  (22:56.27)  Mayor Haeder states it is going to be paid, it is being paid acknowledging the city failed Chief Austin.  (23:49.90)  FO Pat injections. “I’m going to stand up for our office because our office took the brunt of all these negative comments that were made…there was not communication from the public safety committee or the mayor”.  WOW such loyalty, you sure did through your bosses under the bus.  Too bad your employee evaluation cannot be made public.  Maybe the public would like to file their own evaluation of how ya’ll are doin’ your job.  FO Pat goes on to say, “…we didn’t know…”,   Yo Pat welcome to our world, you commented one time in the office at the auditorium when I was in the hallway waiting, “what the council doesn’t know…”!  (25:39.27)  Mayor says, “we’re not trained…there’s no class we can go to”  Tell us again Mayor Haeder, ’cause FO Pat knows about them and so should City Attorney Sam Nelson.  It’s call SDML (South Dakota Municipal League) and the city of Alcester is a member.  In fact folks there was a conference just this past October.  Point of fact, October 7, 2021, Thursday at 9:00 a.m. there was a workshop/class for Elected Officials:

“9:00 a.m.  Elected Officials Workshop 1. Public Nuisances: Problems and Solutions Dave Pfeifle, Director, SDPAA ` Ryan Sage, Assistant City Attorney, Sioux Falls • Authority to Access Property for Inspection and Photos • Entry onto Property for Abatement • Junk Car Removal Process • Bring your questions for discussion! 2. Connecting With Your Community, Even During Crisis Heather Hitterdal, Owner, H Squared Communications A variety of projects require public buy-in to succeed. The best intentions don’t matter if the project never gets off the ground because of public controversy. Heather will help you engage the community with accurate and timely information that will inspire trust, acceptance, and support.” https://www.sdmunicipalleague.org

In fact I know Pat Jurrens, a June 2012 council appointee filling the Ward II city council vacancy attended a SDML workshop on Property Maintenance in Pierre.  By-the-way the city paid for her registration and she only attended one class on her way fishing.  Pat Jurrens has also attended the SDML Finance Officers School and Municipal Elections workshop so her whiny excuses, “I didn’t know” should have the Pinocchio rule applied or is there an app for that.  (31:43.90) Mayor Haeder states, “we should have thought about this three months ago…”  IT WAS YOUR JOB, MAYOR!

(33:44.43)  Councilwoman Linda Talbott asked about the interviews and how should she handle the documents arising out of those interviews.  Put them in a safe place and keep them out of the hands of the Finance Office.  ‘Cause I have found in the past, things just ‘disappear’.

(34:44.47)  Theresa Deem asked if the hours of the Golf Course Bar were going to be enforced.  Note the tap-dance Mayor Haeder did about enforcement.  He never said a word about the employee who allegedly sold multiple packs of beer, locked up but left the patrons still sitting on the patio of the golf club house.  (39:23.67)  After a lengthy discussion on city and state laws on alcohol, it was acknowledged it is against the law to send a patron out with a glass of booze in their hand.  OMG shades of the BYOB Birthday party and sending out open bottles of booze with the clean-up crew of one.

(42:26.77) While the Alcester Community Center is not officially open, they have been granted temporary occupation.  Now the building must be inspected by certified professionals in the various fields of inspection to be allowed to have public events or occupations.  Guess who did the inspections?  Why is was none other than Geoff Fillingsness, the city code enforcement officer who is employed at $25 per hour by the city of Alcester to do property maintenance inspections.  What is wrong with this picture? Is he really going to tell Pat he cannot inspect her…building?   Yeah right.

(43:28.03) Mayor Haeder had input regarding the HRC.

Agenda Item #8   Legal Updates-nothing consequential.

Agenda Item #9 – Redistricting Resolution- No action taken, draft was not completed.

Agenda Item #10 – Sterling Snow Truck –  (47:35.30)  The Mac is out but now we have a better (?) pick.  It is a 2006 Sterling A9500 for the great price of $39.900.00.  Lonnie Johnson, street department was traveling to Cedar Rapids Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. to have a-look-see.  According to Pat we looked at it on-line and for the edification of the council Pat made copies.  I went on line and looked at the pictures, I sure hope the Sterling stays in Cedar Rapids.  My problem is the warrant and check (?).  Pat says, “…we couldn’t tell from the pictures…” (about the cracks?)  Right fender had a spider webs of what appeared to be cracks in the fiberglass.  This was on the website showing the vehicle.  I believe there were 16 pictures of the interior and the spider-web on the right fender.  Those were not on the handouts.  Unfortunately when I went back to the site to save those photos the unit was no longer on the site.

It is still smokin’ in the big window council room

So FoPat and Wanda how does Face timing with social media mess you up?

Eatin’ you Panera baguettes, bistro soup and Greek sandwiches

Suck it up mesdames, let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #11 – Community Center Staff Hire (54:30.43)

Agenda Item #12  – Community Center Cleaning Contract (01:04:25.87)

Voted to spend $1300 a month for cleaning.

Agenda Item #13 – Community Center Equipment (01:06:48.00)  $19,160.36

Dinnerware , Tableware, food service items.  Now folks I really gotta share this with you ’cause it shows how hard the Finance Officer works.  FO Pat met with Mr. Nyreen and Mr. Nygard October 11, 2021, in the city offices while I was present.  The conversation I heard went like this, FO Pat saying, “…should we use plates for salads or bowls for salads…” and “…we’ll go up to Maxwells tomorrow afternoon make final decisions…”  She spent almost an hour and a half  put her two cents in on what kind of dinnerware, tableware and other items.  Council voted to accept the $19,160.36 price tag.  Oh yeah lest we forget the purchase of 33 dozen dinner plates was included in that figure.

Agenda Item #14 – Wastewater Facility Upgrade  (01:12:35.07)  Council voted to approve boring bid of $6250.00 with a $15.00 per foot. 

Agenda Item #15 – HRC  (01:20:58.53)

Agenda Item #16Finance Office Update  (01:31:21.37)

Agenda Item #17Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel (01:33:03.33) 

27 minutes of disgusting personnel. 7:34 p.m.- 8:01 p.m.

Agenda Item #18 – Adjourn  8:02 p.m.

Writ’ the story all day, took notes all night

Eyes tired,  Brain numb, can’t stop now

For sure, there ain’t no doubt about FO Pat’s snout,

Kept an open mind and now I’m gonna let it all hang out!*

*inspired by the lyrics of the song, (Let It All Hang Out) 1967 performed by The Hombres written by Jeff Paris/Moon Calhoun

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the folks who attended the city council meeting Monday night, November 1, 2021, to support Police Chief Austin.  You have read, heard and viewed what went on in that meeting.  The Facebook conversations referred to in that meeting, were from individuals offering up their opinions as individuals not entities or organization.   

Mayor Haeder and the council hold the power of the Finance Office, not the other way around.  When FO Pat Jurrens is directed, told, commanded to do something within her job description, she is to do it forthwith!  Not delay, dally or defer to a time when she feels like doing her job.

When I have been questioned by Mayor Haeder or the council at the council meetings, they ask me why am I speaking of the issue?  I usually respond it is something I myself has witnessed or gathered irrefutable proof.  I do have folks who come to me because they feel council listens yet does nothing.  People are afraid for their jobs or retaliation from the Finance Office or Council members if they push back.  I have a bit of advice, for any city employee or any city official who elects to harass a citizen in their workplace, particularly if the citizen is a federal employee.  Be very careful!

Oh yeah, Wanda you happily collect overtime for what-ever-it-is you do but our police officers cannot not!

After what I have witnessed, heard and overheard, it appears we need the Busy Bees come and fumigate our Finance Office and we will gladly pay $1300. 00 for that service.

Heard a man lying through his teeth

Watched a woman honing her on-going criminality skills

Making Charles Ponzi look like a girl scout a sellin cookies

Sorry ’bout that, but I am gonna let it all hang out.*

*inspired by the lyrics of the song, (Let It All Hang Out) 1967 performed by The Hombres written by Jeff Paris/Moon Calhoun

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 Lukas Driesen

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517