03/07/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
― Laurence J. Peter, The Peter Principle

The  March 7, 2022, meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples and Councilman Lukas Driesen.  Absent was Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #3 – Approve  Agenda which was accomplished without change.

Agenda Item #4 – Approve the minutes of the February 7th and February 21st meetings of the council was achieved without any changes or corrections made.

Agenda Item #5 – Call to fill Ward II vacancy went unanswered, evidently no one wanted a Pat on their back!

Agenda Item #6 – Public Input  – I (Vickie Larsen) answered the call for public input.  I asked the question, who approved the verbiage of the advertisement in the local paper for a vacancy in the city finance officer.  Listen to the non-answer I received from Mayor Haeder. (02:56.50), “…I don’t know if anybody had an opportunity to look at it ( the advertisement for a finance office employee)  I asked about the water rates yet again, no answer.  I have  received comments from folks who only used 200 gallons yet were billed for $110.00 =/- and another about someone who is not yet living in the house, but received a bill for $191.00  I asked about the status of active lawsuits and once again received a non-answer. (03:25.13) and finally I commented on remarks made by a Brosz employee and Mayor Haeder regarding trusting our past chip seal providers/bidders for street sealing to provide the materials they bid with. 

Agenda Item #7 – Legal Updates unavailable.  Evidently City Attorney Sam Nelson did not receive an invitation to the council party last night.

Agenda Item #8 – Police Department  Chief Schuller gave his report, reorganization of police statistics, explained lines of jurisdiction.  (0:19:45.37)  Councilwoman Darla Reppe asked the question about the legality of law enforcement sitting at the side of the road with their lights off.  Councilwoman Reppe related an incident where she was coming into town one evening after dark on 301st street/6th street and came upon law enforcement parked along the road with lights off.  She stated she was startled and worried about hitting the law enforcement vehicle ’cause she couldn’t see it.  I would point out the speed limit notification of 25 MPH speed limit (residential city) is posted twice.  One furthest east is a warning of speed limit and the second sign is the point where the speed limit is 25 MPH.  These signs are posted just below the hill on the east side of the cemetery as one travels west which should slow a vehicle enough to avoid colliding with a vehicle at the side of the road.

(0:25:33.63)  Executive Session called for Police Department SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel.  Council went into Executive Session at 6:25 PM and came out of Executive Session at 6:41 PM having spent 16 minutes in Executive Session.  No action taken.

Agenda Item #9 – HUD Discussion – Discussion took place concerning what I believe was a ZOOM meeting with regarding HRC and housing needs within the city of Alcester.  The Alcester HRC was developed to build housing with a plan that once the that housing unit/units was fully occupied it would be sold with the profits from the sale to build more units.  It was meant to revitalize those portions of the city with aging and dilapidated homes being torn down and replaced with new low to medium income housing.  (0:27:46.87)  Councilman David Larsen made the comment that good ideas came out of the meeting with the suggestion of a survey of needs.  However (0:28:18.13) Councilman Larsen notes that there is a cost to that (a survey) and at (0:28:35.57) Councilman Larsen says, “…the… heh, heh…I am thinking…a couple of thousand dollars…”

Agenda Item #10 – Finance Office Update

          Approval of February Warrants was passed. 

          Property taxes and property valuations were discussed in line with the upcoming Board of Equalization meeting in conjunction with the Alcester City Council meeting on March 21, 2022.  (0:48:49.20) Councilman David Larsen asks the question of FOPat and her response.  (0:49:32.10)  Councilman Lukas Driesen asks the question about the continuation of the ‘curb tax’ or as FOPat calls it the street maintenance fee assessed on our properties.  (0:49:46.00)  Hear FOPat’s answer.  Folks FOPat’s answer is not entirely correct.  She does not ultimately control that fee.  This fee can be revoked by an Initiative.  In South Dakota, people are allowed to propose or refer legislation at the state and also local government levels.  Persons seeking to propose or refer an ordinance or resolution shall first register with the city clerk’s office before the petitions are circulated for signatures.

See additional information SDLRC 9-20 – https://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/2036508

Agenda Item #11 – Golf Course Surplus Property.  Items deemed as surplus property were discussed and listed as surplus property valued over $500.00 were itemized as the cart shed and the Rheem A/C unit and per requirement were listed for the advertised sealed bid process. 

          The balance of the surplus items under the $500.00 value were to be listed on market place and in printed advertisement for April 18, 2022, meeting.

          The council also appointed an appraisal committee consisting of three residents of Alcester who are property owners.  This committee will appraise the items of surplus in accordance with SDCL 6-13-1, SDCL 6-13-2, SDCL 6-13-4 and SDCL 6-13-5.

          The council voted unanimously on all three questions of Agenda Item #11.

Agenda Item #12 – Community Center – the purchase of room dividers has moved forward.  The problem that I have, the council has approved the $1894.00 per each of the room dividers but the connectors and the freight was not disclosed to the council or the public.  (1:19:14.97)

          Mayor seems to be blissfully ignorant of what the staff job descriptions of the community center are as he repeats the motion and attempts to match up a wage with a position title.

Agenda Item #13 – Volunteer Roster  Additions and deletions were made and approved by vote.

Agenda Item #14 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel  Council went into Executive Session for purposes of SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel at 7:42 PM, asked FOPat and Wanda to join them at 8:15 PM and Exited Executive Session at 8:51 PM. 

Total time spent in Personnel Executive Session, one (1) hour and nine (9) minutes.  No public action taken!

Agenda Item #15 – Adjourn  8:52 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 Lukas Driesen

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517