04/04/2022 A Voice From the Gallery


Alice Walker

American author

          The  April 4, 2022, meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Lukas Driesen, Councilman David Larsen and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

          Agenda Item #2 –  Pledge of Allegiance

          Agenda Item #3 – Approve Agenda – (01:15.60) The council approved the agenda as presented.  Approved unanimously.  Too bad the council was not advised of the delay the speaker scheduled for Agenda Item #5 Banner Engineering prior to their vote.

          Agenda Item #4 – Approve the Minutes of March 7, 2022, and March 21, 2022.  (01:45.03)  Council approved the minutes of March 7, 2022, and March 21, 2022, unanimously.  (02:34.13) FOPAT belatedly advised the council of the Banner Engineering representative delay.

          Skip to Agenda Item #7 –  Ward II Council vacancy.  No one wants a Pat on their back. (03:07.73)

          Agenda Item #8 – Public Input (03:35.40)  First up was Reporter Gordon Richard (03:47.20) who made remarks concerning the Union County Fair issue indicating he had spoken with Commission Joffer regarding the FCS contact with the Union County Commissioners.

          Second to speak during public input (04:18.33) was Councilman Lukas Driesen who also spoke to the topic of the Union County Fair issue.

          Councilwoman Darla Reppe (05:22.57) followed with her input relating to constituent contacts concerning the Union County Fair issue.  During Councilwoman Reppe’s input Mayor Haeder inject his opinion (09:55.30) “…You (indicating the Alcester City Council members) are the people that actually have to make that decision…”.  Mayor Haeder went on to comment (10:33.20), “…there is more drama in this town than they do in Sioux Falls…”)

          Councilman Lukas Driesen went on to comment (0:11:16.80) on a constituent’s observation the street sweeper should see the streets more often.  Please note here folks FOPATS’s response.

          I, Vickie Larsen was the last to speak to public input (0:11:56.27)  I spoke to the inexcusable failure to have a map for the zoning issue on the website so the public could see where the devil Section 28 was located.  I also spoke to Mayor Haeder’s comment regarding any sale or removal of the Union County Fair from Alcester.  Those two issues lie within the purview of the Union County Commissioners and the voters of Union County.

          Agenda Item #5 – Wastewater Facility Plant- Tanya Miller (0:14:08.43)  During discussion of this agenda item Councilman David Larsen states his concern over the cost of our waste water facility. (0:28:39.23)  Mayor Haeder comments (0:31:23.27) “…We don’t, we don’t have a choice, we need sewer….”  Mayor Haeder continues in his remarks (0:34:23.63), “…People need sewers, people need roads, people need water…”  So Mayor, did the people “need” community center, could they have lived without it?  H-m-m?

          Agenda Item #6 – 6:30 p.m. Community Center Employees  

          Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel  started at 6:30 P.M.  Three groups of employees appeared before the council in executive session with the council, FOPat and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.  The first group of six was in the session for about one (1) hour, the second group of three was in about 1/2 hour and the third group of two was in the executive session for about 1/2 hour.  Yes folks the executive session lasted for two (2) hours and five minutes.  The council was declared out of executive session at 8:41 P.M.

          The council then voted on three new hires.

          Agenda Item #9 – Police Dept.   Chief Austin Schuller gave updates and statistical reporting.

          Agenda Item #10 – Legal Updates – City Attorney Sam Nelson   Mr. Nelson  reported the condemnation would be handled in the April 18, 2022, meeting.  Mr. Nelson discussed HB 1033, Make an appropriation for the provision of housing infrastructure loans and grants; HB 62, which dealt with an appropriation for eligible water, wastewater, storm water, and nonpoint source projects and to declare an emergency; and HB 1076, which would permit certain municipalities to elect aldermen at large.

          Agenda Item #11 – Union County Fair Ground- Mayor Haeder was wound up over scuttlebutt dealing with the Union County Fair and Fair grounds.  (01:53:24.80)  Mayor Haeder says, “…do I need to say that again for the camera?…or for anybody?…” 

          (0:53.51.07) Mayor Haeder says, “…obviously the fairgrounds would be re-located and they would be re-located in Alcester…good lord willing…we would do our best to make sure they were put right here in the city of Alcester…they’ve been here 90 plus years…why would they move?…”   Mayor Haeder you make assumptions on the location of the Union County Fairgrounds, it is up to the Union County Commissioners and the Union County voters to determine the location of the Union County Fair if the fairgrounds were to be sold.  Why would the fairgrounds move?  To be equally accessible to all portions of Union County, obviously! 

          (0:54:21.30) Mayor Haeder says, “we are putting together a committee and the committee is going to be composed of some, some aldermen.  It’s also going to be composed of some commissioners and some fair board people…(Darla Reppe, Lukas Driesen, David Larsen or Linda Talbott)”

          (0:56:43.63)  Mayor Haeder on the question of quorum wanders into the realm of the ignorant quorum says, “…It depends on how we do it…it, it is publicized that there is a quorum present but…no business is actually (here he mumbles something)…you’re not making any motions…you’re not (indecipherable mumbling)…you should be able to talk about an issue…we can have the three of us together…”  Mayor Haeder you would be violating the law, you would be violating open, transparent ‘government’.  You expect us to take you at your word?  Guess again.

          (0:57:11.90)  At this point Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson says, “…I, I would caution you …in a quorum…”  Mayor Haeder’s body language suggests he did not take that caution well.

           Agenda Item # 12 – 2022 Multi Community Chip Seal Project.  The Brosz bid was received and determined to be excessive.  FOPat says she and Lonnie felt the final bid was too high?  At this point the Council needed to determine whether to accept or reject the Brosz bid.  The motion was made to reject the Brosz bid and a unanimously vote to reject saved us a boat load of money.

          Agenda Item #13 – Plat map change for Plat of Tract 4, Railway Addition, an Additional in the NE1/4 of Section 28, T95N, R49W, 5th P.M., City of Alcester, Union County, South Dakota.  Three motions needed to be made and Mayor Haeder managed to stumble his way through the process, saved from a redo by the ability of the council to read the motion accurately.  (1:07:07.87)  Mayor Haeder finally remembers he is to entertain a motion and vote to enter into a joint city council and Planning and Zoning Board meeting.  WOW

          (1:11:42.20)  Railroad right-of-way established in and under 2017 South Dakota Codified Laws, Title 49-Public Utilities and Carriers, Chapter 16A -Intra state Railroad Regulation, §49-16A-77 Powers-Width of right-of-way-Additional land for proper construction-Compensation for lands taken.  “49-16A-77 Powers…Each railroad authorized to construct, operate, or maintain a road within this state, may lay out a road not exceeding one hundred feet in width, and construct it…”

          (1:13:48.13)  Mayor Haeder, you need a motion to recommend approval of the Plat of tract and authorize David Larsen to sign as chair of the P&Z Board.

          (1:14:03.00)  Mayor Haeder, you need a motion to approve the P&Z Board recommendation and approve signers.

          Thankfully those making the motions, faithfully repeated the printed motion listed on the agenda presumably provided by Sam Nelson, city attorney.

          (1:16:59.70)  Butting in on Mayor Haeder, FOPat calls for Agenda Item #14 – Swimming Pool.  WOW!   Gees Louise, then (01:20:25.53) Mayor Haeder appears to ask FOPat’s permission to call for approval of FOPat’s suggestion for pool wages as presented. 

          Agenda Item #15 – Finance Office Updates

          Agenda Item #16 – Executive Session for Personnel  – not needed.  Gee whiz after that marathon 2 hour plus executive session, surprise, surprise they did not have anything more to personnel to talk about.

          Agenda Item #17 – Adjourn – Meeting was adjourned at 9:33 P.M.

Once again folks, Let the council know what you think.  Let them know how you appreciate the Mayor’s opinion of you and your city.  Let the Mayor know.

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