06/06/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

“I just think we need more accountability and more transparency…”  

John Thune

H-m-m-m

“Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all…”         

Alexander the Great

          The  June 6, 2022, meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Lukas Driesen, and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

          Agenda item #3(01:20.43)  Approve the agenda.

          Agenda item #4(01:51.60)  Approve minutes of the May 2 and May 16th meetings

          Agenda Item #5(02:29.37)  Ward II Council Vacancies – The Council was introduced to Mr. Kyle Vanderhall resident of Ward II who appeared to be considered for one of the Ward II vacancies.  Mr. Vanderhall was not a registered voter within the city of Alcester, but was interviewed in Executive Session in by the Council and of course our pseudo-council member FOPAT.  (04:26.80)  listen to Mayor Header’s explain of Executive Session and secrecy to Mr. Vanderhall.  (07:47.27) Now folks the council went into Executive Session for SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel.

 SDCL 1-25-2.1  Executive or closed meetings–Purposes–Authorization–violation as misdemeanor

Executive or closed meetings may be held for the sole purposes of:

 (1)    Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. The term, employee, does not include any independent contractor.” 

Note*  While the council is held to non-disclosure of all elements of the Executive Session discussions, all actions arising from decisions must be taken in open session.  It is my information the interviewee if free to disclose what information he/she shared with the council as he/she chooses.

          Agenda item #6(08:05.63)  Public Input

                    Vickie Larsen(08:13.03)  Comments:

                   Alcester Bar Lease versus Sale   (08:26.26)          

                   Water bills                                   (09:05.00)        

                   Council working as janitors      (10:43.97)

                   Councilwoman Reppe  (11:45.40)  Comments:

                     Event center restaurant heat (fried wires?)       (12:00.53)

                     Parking Issues                                                   (14:00.00)

                     Cell phone abuse                                               (14:40.53)

                     Deeds to cemetery plots                                    (15:24.97)

                     P.O.S. System (point of sale)                            (15:29.10)

                     Alcohol on Golf Course BYOB                        (15:46.77) 

          This discussion gets interesting due to past behaviors.  Take special note of Mayor Haeder’s comments on stealing from the city: (17:59.93), “…you bring your own alcohol, you’re, you’re stealing from the city…”  So Mayor Haeder, where was your moral outrage October 26, 2019, mid-November 2019 during the BYOB birthday bash held at the Golf Course by FOPAT?  At that time you were a seated Alcester City Councilman, what was your definition of stealing or better yet embezzlement by a city employee?  At that point Sir you had access to Alcester Ordinance 4.0304 Operating Agreements, Alcester Ordinance 4.0308 Possession of Alcoholic Beverages, and 4.0313 Penalties, so you knew an employee stole/embezzled from the city of Alcester, unless you are a complete and utter dolt.  When you saw the Circuit Court filings –  State of South Dakota v. Patricia Rose Jurrens pursuant to SDCL 35-1-5.6 just how did YOU respond or did you even respond?  I saw no evidence the council took any action to suspend FOPAT from her duties without pay or to fire her sorry behind.  Were you really taken in with the, “…I didn’t know it was a violation, whine…”?  Come on Mayor Haeder,  Finance Officer Jurrens was in charge of the licensing procedures and knew full well the terms and conditions of alcohol licensure and she certainly had ready access to Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson for city legal advice.  As a seated Alcester City Councilman Mr. Haeder YOU had access to legal advice for the protection of the city of Alcester.

          Councilwoman Linda Talbot  (18:22.80) Comments

           Janitorial costs and job  $1700.00 per month to clean the Albatross.

           (23:08.17) Dress Code at the Albatross  (31:26.43) Really?  Simple-elegant described as tasteful richness of design or ornamentation the sumptuous elegance of the furnishings…plastic tables…run-of-the-mill banquet chairs, Logo T-shirts, shorts, Capri’s with money aprons speak to car-hop elegance in wait staff.  Yeah right.

          Agenda Item #7 – Legal Update  (35:02.13)  Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.3  6:54 p.m. to 7:32 p.m.  (37:46.43) Action taken upon exit from Executive Session to authorize settlement negotiations and settlement at the amount requested by legal counsel.  Unanimously approved  (38:43.30)  Action taken upon council exit from Executive Session authorizing city response to litigation initiated by FCS to quiet Title.

          Agenda Item # 8 (39:40.03)  Police Department Chief Schuller

          Agenda Item #9(44:24.80)  Alcester Bar – Notice to Bidders        

          The council were left wondering, “now what do we do…”  Well Ladies and Gent of the council, SELL that rotting pile of wood and plumbing.  Get the city out of owning property.  SELL the building/ property and get it back on the tax rolls.  Common Sense move!  The building is still not completely fixed regarding the previous repair issues.  The city would be throwing good money after bad with all the force of a catapult and then pompously compete for the same saloon market.  (47:27.53)  Discussion followed what the council would do if they decided to sell the building.  Mayor Haeder remarked about an interest in leasing the Bar building.  Unclear whether the interest was to operate the property as a bar or not. 

          I would suggest to the interested party to make some sort of rent-to-purchase offer for one year.  Test the market of bar operation with payments and property maintenance expenses over the twelve month period.  Upon the termination of the lease, rent would be either applied to the agreed upon purchase price commensurate with the upfront appraisal prior to lease or the rent would be applied.  Upon rejection of exercise to purchase, the city would review the nature of and monetary expenditure amounts making the decision to follow through on the sale of the property and declare the bar surplus.

          (55:41.83)  The City needs to make the decision to SPEND or END OWNERSHIP of properties.  (57:43.50)  Issue TABLED

Let the City Council Know!

          Agenda Item #10 – Liquor Licenses  (57:53.20)  Two entities expressed interest through applications in obtaining the Off-Sale Liquor Licenses.  JKVB, LLC doing business as Alcester Quickstop and Alcester Groceries doing business as Total Stop Food Store.   (58:40.53)  Public hearing scheduled for July 18, 2022, at 7:00 P.M.

          Agenda Item #11 – Fairground/FCS Update (59:47.27)  No update

          Agenda Item #12 – Budget Blinds (1:00:15.53)  Authorization to purchase blinds for the community building at a cost of $2240.80 to be taken from the Golf Fund.  City derives NO city sales tax ’cause it is benefiting from city ownership.

          Agenda Item #13 – Resolution 2022-02 (1:02:26.93)  Resolution 2022-02 giving approval to certain sewer facility improvements;  giving approval to the issuance and sale of Revenue Bond to finance, directly or indirectly, the improvements to the facilities; approving the form of the Loan Agreement and Revenue Bond and pledging project revenues and collateral to secure the payment of the Revenue Bond; and creating special funds and accounts for the administration of funds for operation of the system and retirement of the Revenue Bond and providing for a segregated special charge for the payment of bonds.  It is important to note the implications of what I have italicized.

Council approved unanimously without discussion.

          Agenda Item #14 – Golf Course  (1:04:57.07)  Declare Wire Patio Furniture from the Golf Course as surplus, sell and donate proceeds to the Alcester Care and Rehab Center.   Council voted to unanimously declare the furniture as surplus and donate any proceeds from the sale to the Care Center.

          Motion to Hire Lincoln Burke as server at a rate of $7.00 per hour.  Vote was unanimous to hire.

          Agenda Item #15 – Finance Office (1:09:10.50) 

          (1:12:37.55)  Due to lack of quorum the council decided to cancel the June 20, 2022, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council.

          (1:13:57.23)   Apparently FOPAT has taken it upon herself as city expansion/developer suggesting two options in which the city of Alcester may expand its borders.  One I believe to be the property described as containing approximately 72 acres under the ownership of the Alcester Industrial Park Inc.  This option would create a problem for the City Owned Perpetual Care Cemetery, Pleasant Hill.  Perpetual care involves a fund created specifically to maintain cemetery grounds, mausoleums, crypts, and any other aspects of a cemetery and where a percentage of the sale price goes towards the perpetual fund.  Now folks the important thing here is to actually have perpetual available land to sell plots. If the land to the north of the cemetery is sold into residential development that leaves the corn field to the east as the sole perpetual source of burial plots. 

          The second option is the hayfield south of Anderson Street containing some 16-17 acres with a train track traversing the southern edge and with a water run-off from Lee Drive and a natural creek running in the East border.  Oh and lest we forget the topography of a hill and lowland, sans street and the accoutrements of civilized living such as sewer, water and electrical.

          Choices-Choices

          Agenda Item #16  –  HRC  (1:21:52.37)  No significant report

          Agenda Item #17  – Union County Fair  (1:23:25.77)  No report

          Agenda Item #18 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel     (1:25:02.57)

          Into Executive Session at 8:20 P.M.

          Out of Executive Session at 9:12 P.M.  Duration of 52 minutes of discussing personnel with FOPAT and City Attorney Sam in attendance with the council.  M-m-m!

          Agenda Item #19  Adjourn (1:25:47.00)  Meeting Adjourned at 9:13 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                             605-934-2287      605-770-7929

Councilwoman Darla Reppe              605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot             605-254-3074

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples           605-934-2096

Councilman Lukas Driesen              605-934

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517

Union County Commissioners

Commissioner Milton Ustad            Milton.Ustad@unioncountysd.org

Commissioner Rich Headid             Rich.Headid@unioncountysd.org

Commissioner Tom Kimmel            Tom.Kimmel@unioncountysd.org

Commissioner Michael Dailey         Mike.Dailey@unioncountysd.org

Commissioner Kevin Joffer             Kevin.Joffer@unioncountysd.org