12/20/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

This Ol’ Pat, she played one,

She played Knick, Knack on our H-h-m-m

With a Knick, Knack FO Patty’s Whacked,

Give A Pig a home,

Ol’ FOCat is on the roam.

The December 20, 2021, city council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Pro Tem and President of the Council David Larsen, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott, Cyndi Peeples and Lukas Driesen present.  Absent were Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and Mayor Dan Haeder.

Agenda Item #3 – Approve the agenda.  Missing from the agenda under Agenda Item #7 – Department Chair updates was #7(h) Liquor Store which was added.  Also missing from the agenda under Agenda Item #6 – Police Department #6(d) was a blank description a motion to be made.  Sloppy work.  This  Agenda Item #6(d) was a motion to establish a separate post box  for the Police Department.  This item was not named until the Police Department agenda came up for consideration.  Again Sloppy work.  The Agenda was approved with the addition of Agenda Item #7(h) but not included was the specific description of Agenda Item #6 (d).

Agenda Item #4 – Council Interviews  Still…no one wants Pat on their back and so the vacant seat on the council remains vacant.  H-m-m-m!

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input

Vickie Larsen was the first to respond to the call for public input.  I posed three questions/subjects to the council. 

#1) (00:01:54.97)Was there a written apology to the resident whose private telephone number was shared publicly by the ‘girls in the finance office”?  There was no written apology made to this resident.  So there was no write up or punitive action taken against the finance office for release of private records.  WOW  Mayor Haeder needs to be sanctioned for his abysmal lack of oversight and the ‘girls in the finance office’ need a formal reprimand for handing out private telephone numbers.

 #2) (00:02:12.10) Prior to the December 20, 2021, meeting I placed two ‘forms’ documents at the council members and city attorney Sam Nelson dealing with a written Application for Overtime Prior to Working the Overtime and the written and signed Approval form from the Mayor allowing the Overtime prior to overtime being taken.  These forms need to be in place and evidenced by Agenda Item #10 Community Center (Alcester Albatross) Agenda Item #10 (a)(b)(c) Personnel.

#3)  (00:03:09.57)The (02/2022)Golf Expo Registration Fee of $500.00.  Folks this is for a 10 FT X 10 FT booth space at the Austad’s Sioux Falls Golf Expo.  This is for a vendor’s space to promote products and services.  I explained to the council that this venture is going to cost the taxpayers more than $500.00.  Having had experience in doing these types of Expo shows in the McCormack Place in Chicago, Expo shows in Reno, NV and in Sioux Falls and Sioux City venues, I explained about the rental of fixtures (i.e. tables, chairs, table drapes, floor coverings and powered presentations) purchase of banners, purchase of promotional brochures, wages of the personnel manning the booth, travel times, mileages over the two day Expo and a reliable website touting the golf course and community center.  ***Any guesses on who is going to primp, fawn, sniff and poke her nose to ‘man’ the booth and collect overtime?

***I would like to go back to a previous input comment made in the November 15, 2021, video to Public Input when I asked the question about a check cut for a snow truck before our Street Department head ever left the city and inspected the vehicle (14:35.20).  No credible answer from FO PAT.  I went on to ask why City of Hawarden had presented the City of Alcester a bill for $97.02 (15:08.83) for a water locate?  FOPat’s response (15:28.57) “Sometimes water locates are difficult to find…And they (Hawarden) have a little bit better equipment to locate that…we cannot locate it…”  When I asked if a resident asked for the locate FOPat answered, “…water line repair…” non-answer.  Check out the video.

          Gee what an Oxymoron, ol’ FOPat handed over a signed check to an employee who left town to inspect a snow truck in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  which had not yet been approved by the council then remarks our city employees have difficulty doing water locates so we have to call Hawarden to come into town to show our guys how to do their job. 

This Ol’ Pat she played two

She played Knick Knack on our city crew,

With a Knick, Knack FO Patty’s whacked,

Give that Pig a home

The ol’ FOCat is still on the roam.

Cosette Heman (0:07:48.83) responded in Public Input, thanking the street crew for their response to her curb stop issue.

Agenda Item #6 – Police Department

Police Chief Schuller gave updates on calls and incidents over the past weeks.  At Chief Schuller’s completion of updates (0:12:02.30) Councilwoman Linda Talbott moved to go into Agenda Item 6(b) Executive Session under SDCL 1-25-2(1) Personnel while still within the Police Department Agenda time.  The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Peeples and with a unanimous aye vote the gallery including FO Jurrens and Wanda Halverson were excused out of executive session and into the hallway at 6:12 p.m.  At 6:22 p.m. the council was declared out of executive session and the gallery along with Jurrens and Halverson were allowed back into the room with no time for me to set my camera back up and start of recording which caused a delay in recording of meeting in my video.

          Agenda Item 6(c) Police Chief Schuller began his discussion of the progress of the Police Policy Manual (0:13:12.13) which included updates of recording and body camera devices, discretionary body camera usage, use of deadly force, definition of deadly force, use of naloxone/narcan and sick leave as it relates to FO Pat’s administrative reporting of worker compensation filing in a timely manner and within the frame standards.

          Agenda Item 6 (d) unspecified police department line item.  One can only speculate here why this item was left blank on the agenda and its connection with the Executive Session regarding Personnel.  This line item was the necessity of a (0:27:42.27)separate and independent Post Box for the Alcester Police Department.  Council approved the separate and independent Police Department Post Box and the costs involved with the establishment and ongoing rents for that Police Department Post Box.

Agenda Item #7 – Chairperson Updates If Needed

a)  Streets – (28:54.23)Nothing other than the proposed 2022 Street Purchases of skid steer brush and skid steer front deck mower $3000.00 scheduled to appear on next month’s agenda along with proposed X758 Mower, snow blower, ballast box and cab for $2225.

          Still no action taken to paint walk lines at the east side of the school and children crosswalk.  I advised the council of this lack months ago in public input and Mayor Haeder blew me off.  Mayor Haeder you were warned of this failure regarding the safety of children going to and from school.  Any incidents arising out of your and the council’s failure to act may be costly in life, limb and pocket books.  The term I refer to is the joint and several liability in a tortuous act or non-act.

b)  Cemetery – nothing

c)  Water – nothing

d)  Wastewater – nothing

e)  Library – Covid issue

f)  Golf Course – nothing

g)  Finance Office –

h)  Liquor Store – (0:34:28.57) Still no plumbing fix.  Pat is waiting to contact someone after the new year.  Theresa Deem had asked for a copy of the lease (34:49.33) but Pat (administrative) appears to be dragging her heels with the lease copy and fixing the plumbing in a timely manner.

Agenda Item #8 – Golf Expo $500 fee.  Folks this is an Expo which could be defined as a large public exhibition of art or trade goods.  Now since Alcester City is not an exhibitor of art it must be the exhibition of ***trade goods***the city is looking at peddling.  Now it is not just the booth fee of $500.00 with or without taxes that is in play.  It is the contents of the booth, the ***trade goods*** which involves the golf course and of course the great white albatross.  Speaking from experience of exhibiting our paddles, oars, boats and RV’s  in Reno, Chicago and the small venues of Sioux Falls and Sioux City over our 44 year business existence.  We had to rent or ship tables, chairs, fixtures, carpeting, product, banners, brochures and set-up our booth a day prior to the opening of the Expo.  We still had mileage, food and lodging to included with those costs. The city will have all those same costs above and beyond the $500.00   We set-up our booth the day before, we manned the booth ourselves with the occasional sales representative for the three days of the exhibition and we did the tear down and pack out at the end of the exhibition.  So folks the city is looking at all of these additional costs.  Now Councilman Larsen says (35:37.67), ” a table and two chairs are provide with the booth rent”.  So Councilman Larsen you gonna sit with an unadorned banquet table and two folding chairs and present the golf course and the great white albatross as a venue you want to hold a wedding, celebration, funeral or tournament?  So you did volunteer for one day, just who is going to ‘man’ the booth for the other day.  Who is going to set up and who is going to tear down and who is gonna jump up and down and holler pick me, pick me?  The Overtime twins, Fricksy and Fracksy?  At what pay rate is that now?  Break even, not hardly.

Agenda Item #9(0:41:01.07) $ 3.800.00

Cement Work Golf Course Maintenance Building

Councilman Larsen insists this concrete work MUST be done now.  Are ya kidding me.  Councilman Driesen raised the cold weather concrete pour as ill-advised.  Common, the maintenance building couldn’t braved its gravel flooring for two or three months more.  There is no heat in the building, so ya’ll gonna use hot water.  Really???  I do not have the background in masonry that Councilman Driesen has but my father working as a mason and worked laying block, brick and pouting concrete and I was conscripted into assisting on occasion.  I remember mixing cement, sand and water in a wheel barrow with a shovel and hoe, loading it into bucket and handing it down to my father standing in a hole where he was laying block.  It makes an impression, believe me.  Now the cure rate of cement is interesting.  Did ya’ll know concrete is never totally cured.  Cure defined by the ACI (American Concrete Institute)  curing–action take to maintain moisture and temperature conditions in a freshly place cementitious mixture to allow hydraulic cement hydration and (if applicable possolanic reactions to occur so that the potential properties of the mixture may develop,   (See ACI 308.)

The rate of moisture maintenance decides whether the concrete cracks, surface skins blisters and scales or flakes off.  Of course there is always the decision to add chemicals to the mix or on the surface or insert rebar in areas where heavy equipment will be driven, stored or worked on.  So the trade off (0:45:21.20) Councilman Larsen, risk $4500 for three months?  Remember it is your neighbors and friends who end up paying for a redo,  are three to four months worth the risk?  The council chose to ignore the concerns of Councilman Driesen. (00:45:11.13)

Agenda Item #10 – Alcester Community Center (The Great Alcester Albatross)

This Ol’ Pat she played three

She played Knick, Knack but oh no-not for free,

With a Knick, Knack FO Patty’s whacked

Give that Pig a home,

Ol’ FOCat is still on the Over-Time roam.

a) (00:50:41.27) Executive Session for SDCL 1-25-2(1) Personnel, wait for it folks, wait for it.  Remember back when the Police Chief had to all but beg for his on call time and the responses from FOPat and Wanda.  Well now we hear the rest of the story!!  Council went into Executive Session to discuss personnel at 7:00 p.m. and talked and talked with FOPat and Wanda in the session which ended at 8:22 p.m.  There was little open session discussion with an immediate jump to Agenda Item #10(c) which was left blank surprise, surprise. This time however instead of the usual lack of action there was a motion to approve (00:51:16.80) Overt-time payments to Finance Office Patricia Jurrens in the amount of $854.13 and to Finance Office employee Wanda Halverson in the amount of $170.67.  This overtime was not approved in advance and according what little discussion made public the council was upon Reporter Gordon Richard asked if this motion came out of the Executive Session and Mayor Pro Tem Larsen stated (00:51:56.07)they were advised by City Attorney Sam Nelson, they had to follow the policy manual.  Thus the need for the two forms I handed out to the counsel.  Keep records of bona fide as evidence of mayoral approval of OverTime. (00:52:09.10) 

OVERTIME 5.7

“…Except in emergency situations, all overtime MUST be authorized by the Mayor.  Overtime is to be authorized only if the work cannot be otherwise done during normal work hours…Overtime without prior authorization MUST be paid, but may result in disciplinary action.”

Okay folks, here it is.  So where did this OT happen?  I have my opinion, it sure as heck not in the city offices.  Here is the question which comes first doing one’s job in the city office during office hours on city business OR sticking their snouts into a venue outside the city offices and under the direction of a bona-fide manager/operator.  So folks just what is the definition of administrative duties as they relate to overtime.  Pat and Wanda both work in administrative positions and are exempted from overtime. 

EXEMPTIONS TO OVERTIME 5.9

“…The following employees may be exempt from the overtime standards:

1)  Appointive officers (if determined to be FLSA exempt)

2)  Police Departments with less than five (5) officers

3) Swimming pool personnel (if the pool is operated for less than 7 months in a calendar year)*

4)  Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer and Outside Sales Employees.

* Folks the city in the recent past paid OT to pool employees and our pool is operated less than 7 months.

The council also hired more help for the Albatross, both at minimum wage.

Agenda Item #11 – Resolution 2021-20 Clean Water Systems Application for Financial Assistance

The council voted to apply for Financial Assistance.  Now it should be note here this is one of our enterprise fund and by which we should be making a profit to afford upgrades. 

Agenda Item #12 – Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance 2021-19 

FO Pat’s remedy for not effectively doing her job.  Now folks it is not totally unusual to have to move money around in extremely instances.  But it is becoming more and more the usual doing of business is to rob the enterprises funds and the second penny sales tax income to pay for Patty’s Pretty’s.  The council voted for the Supplemental Appropriation to keep Alcester from being in the red for the auditors. But it is only a matter of time before that happens and make sure we know who to thank for his lack of oversight and her lack of financial competency.

Agenda Item #13 – Finance Office Updates

a)  Pat mumbled something about the SPOT CHECK and scheduling times to inspect?

b)  Lawler bill for the Albatross Kitchen Single Door Cooler $2,875  golf fund-Council approved.

c)  Banner Engineering bill for design installment payment $40,592.30 – Council approved.

d)  Year end warrants  allows Mayor Haeder to sign checks and pay warrants – Council approve upon comment from Mayor Pro Tem Larsen some of those checks will be ours. (1:02:21.13)

Agenda Item #14 – Adjournment at 8:35 p.m.

Ol’ Pat she played four

She played Knick, Knack got OT, Cooler and the Expo exhibit floor.

With a knick, knack FO Patty’s whacked

Give that Pig a home

Ol’ FO Cat is still on the winky-fluff roam!

          There a couple of things from the past I would like to take this opportunity to address.  When I draw things to the attention of the council, I expect them to take note and take action.  For example the city was johnny-on-the-spot putting up signs on Lincoln drive on the east side of the school for crosswalk.  A safety issue!  However the city FAILED to paint the crosswalk after seal coating the area.  Even though signs are posted, there needs to be a marked pathway across the street for the students to recognize where they should walk across the street.  I warned the city and they did nothing.  I was given information that a child was almost hit as he crossed the street going to school.  To the city, I informed you and you failed the safety of students.  After the warning you continued in your failure to direct the street department to paint the crosswalk!  In your failure to act, you set yourselves up for a joint and several liability for any injuries or deaths which could arise out of your failure to mark safety zones. 

          I would like to reiterate chapter 5.7 Overtime which appears and was approve by the Alcester City Council in 2020.  I want to point out the last statement of that portion.

“OVERTIME WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION MUST BE PAID, BUT MAY RESULT IN DISCIPLINARY ACTION.”

I hereby demand disciplinary, punitive action to be taken against the Finance Officer in light of  her ongoing filings for overtime.  Finance Officer has access and direct knowledge of the Alcester City Employee Personnel Manual 2020 and has violated it knowingly to her own benefit.   I hereby demand disciplinary, punitive action against Mayor Haeder for his failure to institute and use written, dated and signed applications for Overtime by eligible employees stating the emergent necessity of Overtime and his failure to institute and use written, dated and duly signed forms approving the Overtime and rate of Overtime pay to all eligible employees of the city of Alcester.  Again Mayor Haeder has access and direct knowledge of the Alcester City Employee Personnel Manual 2020 and has violated it knowingly.  

          Folks, read it for yourselves.  Ask your Ward Representative for a copy of the Alcester City Employee Personnel Manual 2020.  Better yet insist this document be placed on the website.  You have that right, you are paying the bill!

BEGS THE QUESTION, HOW MUCH OVERTIME DOES IT TAKE TO FIGURE FOPAT’S OVERTIME?

(Updated 12/22/2021)

                                                                                           Vickie A. Larsen

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