07/25/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

Folks a quick heads up. Scam

Friday, July 22, 2022, I got a telephone call from a 605-934-XXXX number claiming to be Amazon Prime at 5:06 p.m. telling me there was suspicious purchase on my credit card. I hung up.

Today I got another telephone call from a 605-934-XXZZ number claiming to be Amazon Prime at 2:42 p.m. telling me there was a suspicious purchase on my credit card. Again I hung up.

Oh and watch out for T-mobile charges on your credit card. There is a scam out there on that one, too.

Do not push any buttons to talk to a representative, ’cause that is just like the Fisherman setting the hook.

Take Care, Beware!

Vickie

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07/19/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

The  July 19, 2022, meeting was called to order by Council President Lukas Driesen with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Kyle VanderHull and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson. Absent Mayor Haeder.

Agenda item #3(0:00:41.83)  Approve the agenda.

Agenda item #4(0:01:15.53)  Public Input

          Vickie Larsen

          (0:01:23.60)  When did the council get their agenda?Monday evening before the Tuesday council meeting.  Why is that?  FOPAT too busy measuring laps for napkins?  Too busy giving interviews with Kelo about the drought and rainfall? Just too busy to get the agenda to the council so they could independently research the agenda items in advance, so the council would have to rely on her input on each agenda item? 

          (0:01:35.50) FOPAT FAILED to post change of meeting on the website.  Evidently still too busy to do the job for which she was hired!

          (0:01:43.43) BAR BID City needs to sell the bar, get rid of the money pit.

          (0:0154.93)  TOO much council time is spent on hiring for the community center, hand that over to the manager. (and I do not mean FOPAT)  Too much council time is spent on interviews and subsequent executive sessions.

          (0:02:32.37) DISCRETIONARY TAX ORDINANCE 2022-03 This should have been published on the website so the public could read for themselves the language of this discretionary tax formula.  I read the thing and found some questionable language.  I questioned one of the citations within Ordinance 2022-03, SDCL 10-06-140 which was set forth and then repealed (source sl 2020, ch 39, § 15 eff. June 30, 2025; SL 2021, ch 44, §44.) in essence a pre-repeal of the thing which City Attorney Sam Nelson explained.  However when I was re-reading the document for writing this blog I noticed some other failures on the part of FOPAT Jurrens.  The first copy provided to the council was numbered incorrectly and had to be corrected, instead of Ordinance 22-03 it should have been Ordinance 2022-03.  This is a regular happening, FOPAT presents a legal document to the council without proofreading the thing.  Geesh how sloppy can you get?  Well I do have an answer to that.  In that same legal document where it says, “…BE IT ORDAINED by the Alcester City Council that Chapter 10.03 of the Revised Municipal Ordinances, City of Alcester (2018) amended to read as follows…” Folks the Ordinances published on the city website are the 2014 Municipal Ordinances.    

Pat Kast, Alcester Fire Department (0:09:10.10)  Mr. Kast requested a key to the Alcester Community Center to keep in the possession of the Alcester Fire Department in case the Fire Department needed afterhours access to the Alcester Community Center in the event of a Fire Call.  Mr. Kast explained during council session access keys were kept in the truck for the emergency access use, but since that statement Mr. Kast has advised me that access keys are no longer stored in the truck for security reasons.  Mr. Kast also mentioned accessibility for the movement of the fire trucks in the event of a fire emergency.

          Councilwoman Darla Reppe (0:13:43.00)  Councilwoman Reppe discussed the swimming pool, the low (short) pool hours of operations, behavior issues with some boys (if this continues the police will be called), a cemetery stone needs to be moved, liquor store bathroom floor repair, with a notation that the video gaming computer, the televisions, pizza ovens and the bar glasses, etc. are personal property of Deems. In addition the inventory of the bar according to the contract will be purchased by the city.  This has been a past practice and generally has been included in the lease contract.

          Councilwoman Linda Talbott (0:18:20.13)  Councilwoman Talbott spoke to the POS program finally at the Community Center and in use.  Gotta wonder why FOPAT delayed that program so long?  Councilwoman Talbott asked about the status of Direct Deposit and FOPAT’s answer (0:18:33.77)  “…uhm, I have not…”  So FOPAT what is the problem?  You’ve been dragging your heels, so apparently you do not have the knowledge, smarts or skill to implement that program??   Come on Mayor Haeder cannot seem to fulfill his job signing the checks or attending meetings.  Why should the employees have to wait for or have their paychecks delayed ’cause the Mayor and the FO cannot get their jobs done on time.  If Mayor Haeder cannot do his job, he should step aside and let someone else take over the duties he is shirking!  As for FOPAT you take your orders from the council and they have directed you to set up employee direct deposit, it is not your call madam bookkeeper.  I am sure there are well qualified accounting students looking for a job and are willing to work!  (0:18:57.03)  Councilwoman Talbott relates she has been approached by several folks whose requests for agenda placement have been denied.  Listen to FOPAT’s response (0:19:04.80), “…I’ve never done that…”  Councilwoman Talbott continues on, “…Well I have had complaints from different people…”  (0:19:13.37)  Warranty work on the community building’s —big cracks.  FOPAT says she is, “…staying on top of that…”  I’ll just sit back and let that remark ‘sink’ in.  (0:19:56.77) Councilwoman Talbott remarked she had received complaints the new council meeting date was not updated on the city website. (0:20:26.33)  Get a load of the great, depth of compassion FOPAT’s answer to the fact Candice worked all weekend.  FOPAT answer, “…by her (Candice’) choice…”   (0:20:40.33)  Councilwoman Talbott replied Candice worked all weekend, that they needed her and she put in a lot of hours for nothing.  Councilwoman Talbott used the word Nepotism but the fact is the City Council interviews all prospective employees and makes the decision to hire.  Candice is not related to any council members that I am aware of, therefore nepotism does not come into the equation.  (0:21:27.73) The unidentified speaker commenting on the golf course signage was Carmen Kast. I apologise for not identifying her on the video.

          Councilman Lukas Driesen (0:22:44.90)  Received complaints about golf course sprinkler repair, contaminated clippings around newly planted trees and FCS Dust Control issue on Broad Street.

          Agenda Item #5(0:24:16.77)  Wastewater Facility Upgrade – What is behind Door $1.8 Million shortfall?  This was an extended discussion of the Short Fall in funds for the Facility Upgrade.  Listen carefully to the discussion which concerns all residents of Alcester and unfortunately some more than others.  Last meeting the council was presented with choices for the Wastewater Facility Upgrade, Spend a boat load of money with a ghastly shortfall of funding and go broke, rebid the project taking the chance it will be cheaper and the economy will not have gone to Hades in a hand basket and put the accompanying collection system on hold for five years (redo of the infrastructure of new pipes on the West side of town or lose what little funding we have, still have nothing for the future.  What a choice.  Since around 2012 our city’s spending habits have been frivolous and wasteful and now, here we sit.  Our council is faced with an untenable situation.

Agenda item #6(1:06:09.3)  Police Department  

          Monthly recap and introduction of SRO proposal and work with the school.  Again listen carefully to the need for an additional officer.

Agenda Item #7 – Legal Updates (1:25:37.13) 

          Executive session SDCL  l-25-2.3  No action taken

          In executive session at 7:31 p.m

          Out of executive session at 7:40 p.m.

Agenda Item #8  – (1:33:17.57) Ordinance 2022-03 Discretionary Taxation

Folks the Ordinances published on the city website are the 2014 Municipal Ordinances.  There is no Revised Municipal Ordinances, City of Alcester (2018)  There is however 2018 Revised Alcester Zoning Ordinances but chapter 10.03 deals with fences.  So which is it?  Is it just laziness on the part of  FOPAT or just half-assed-ness?   The council voted using this document as their guide for their vote.  However the document has a glaring error in it and so would appear not to be a valid document.  Now the council must repair this error and spend council time fixing FOPAT’s blunder.

Agenda Item #9(1:34:03.07)  Covid Guidelines language change  Approved unanimously

Agenda Item #10(1:36:00.97) Chairperson Updates

 Agenda Item #11(1:43:40.47)  Golf Course  Once again hiring.

 Agenda Item #12(1:45:01.33)  Finance Office Updates  August meeting date change ’cause FOPAT wants to attend a book study so the city must stop what it is doing and change dates?  Second August meeting moved to August 16, 2022, at 6:00 p.m.

Public hearing scheduled for August 1, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.

July 5th meeting rerun (1:05:45.43)  The city cannot give preferential licensure to their lessee.  Two entities have already applied and if the city has two licenses both the Quickstop and the Total Stop must be awarded the license because they complied with the rules.  Mayor Haeder opines about competition (1:12:33.37)

Bar bid opening 6:30 P.M. July 16, 2022.

Off-sale Liquor License hearing  7:00 P.M. July 16, 2022

 Agenda Item #13 –  (1:48:26.07) HRC Update

Agenda Item #14 (1:48:487.97)  Union County Fair

Agenda Item #15(1:50:57.37)  Executive Session if needed  Not needed.

Agenda Item #16  –  Adjourn  7:58 P.M.

Some concluding remarks.

          I would like to return to FOPAT’s response to Councilwoman Linda Talbott’s report of complaints about Alcester City Finance Officer refusing them agenda placement (0:19:04.80), “…I’ve never done that…”  I would like to respond to that denial with a childhood response, Liar, Liar Pants on fire.  I myself have requested agenda placement, I have been refused by FOPAT and told to bring it up in public input where the time is limited and no action to be taken.  You see folks if an issue or complaint makes it on to the agenda, it would have more standing that just complaining during public input.  If the issue is on the agenda, the council can the address the issue and act on it at the meeting if they so choose.

          I would also like to address the problem of hearing during council meetings.  There have been too many times recently where the council is failing to speak up so that the gallery can hear.  I have mentioned this a couple of times, but last night’s meeting was particularly bad.  Two gentlemen in the gallery with me could not hear and told me they could not hear anything.  This is why you hear me raise my voice and ask the council to speak up in the video.  I suggest at least two microphones be purchased and placed within the council room so those individuals who absolutely could not hear what was being said.  Place those microphones on the tables between the council members so all can hear. 

          I would also repeat my stance if the mayor cannot or will not fulfill his duties as mayor, step aside and make room for someone who will execute the duties of the office of Mayor. 

Let the City Council Know!

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                             605-934-2287     

Councilwoman Darla Reppe              605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot             605-254-3074

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples          605-934-2096

Councilman Lukas Driesen              605-934-

Councilman Kyle VandenHull          605-934-

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517

07/05/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

Instead of giving Mayor Haeder and FOPAT the keys to the City, it would have been better for us to have changed the locks

inspired by the words of Doug Larson, American Columnist

          The  July 5, 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(01:10.67)  Approve the agenda.

          Agenda item #4(01:44.37)  Approve minutes of the June 6, 2022, meeting.

          Agenda Item #5(02:18.13)  Ward II Council Vacancies – The Council was introduced to Mr. Kyle VanderHull resident of Ward II who appeared to be considered for one of the Ward II vacancies.  Mr. VanderHull having achieved his voting resident status within the city of Alcester, having been interviewed in Executive Session in by the Council and of course our pseudo-council member FOPAT was appointed and installed as a Alcester City Councilman until the next election.  (02:18.13)  

          Agenda item #6(06:33.70)  Public Input

                    Vickie Larsen(06:42.07)   *  Mayor Haeder’s contact number, not answering.  H-m-m   Mayor says (06:56.07) he has a Robocall Stop.  Gotta wonder is it one of them thar “white lists”  “Whitelist” is a tool or an app. that will allow calls only from numbers in your contact list.  Y’all don’t s’pose the residents of Alcester are not in Mayor  Haeder’s contact list.

                             * (07:14.00)  Bar Bid.  Repeating myself from a previous blog and for the benefit of those who don’t listen and have comprehension issues. I DID NOT say ban the bar!  I said sell the building/property!  Well Ladies and Gents 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 ack 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 compete for the same saloon market. 

                                      I would suggest to any 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 ease or the rent would be applied. 

                                Let the City Council Know! The City needs to END OWNERSHIP of the Bar properties.  Issue TABLED               

          Kama Johnson – (10:07.30) Ms. Johnson offered up her opinion of surplusing and selling the building and property the city owns on Main Street known as Alcester Bar.  Man you got FOPAT to do that for you?  WOW  However what you failed to recognise ma’am, is the fact city owned property doesnot generate property taxes which pays for streets, infrastructure, school programs and so forth. (13:23.40)

It is to be noted Ms. Johnson not only was/is a bartender in the facility now leased by Deem Enterprises but she also sat on the city council while working for the Alcester Bar under the lease of  the Deems and took part in Jump on the back and whack-a-Murphy on the premises of the Alcester Bar.  Mrs. Theresa Deem has already notified  the city in writing and public declaration at a city council meeting she is vacating the lease as of August 2022.

               In response to your comments on your definition or your belief in the lack of competition between the Albatross and Alcester Bar (15:02.93), ma’am explain your stance on how a Package Off Sale Liquor License awarded to Alcester Groceries (Total Stop) would have been or would be direct competition to the Alcester Bar.  Everyone you said would be heart-broken at the loss of a downtown bar (formerly a grocery store until sometime around 1988) because they love the feel of their butts on a barstool would not be affected by packaged off sale so there would be no competition.  And as ol’ Mayor Haeder opines, (1:12:25.57) “…there is ah certain statement that says competition is actually good for business… now, heh, I’m sure that people that are competing would not necessarily agree with that 100% but certainly sharpens people up…and the competiting ah competing businesses are operating a little more lean …undecipherable…so there is something to that…”  So Mayor Haeder did you get those pearls of wisdom in Engineering 101 or did you find them in the same cracker jack box your certification came in.

          Terry Hedden- (16:04.57) Mr. Hedden offered up his anti bar sale stance commenting on his patronage and patronage of his father-in-law (?)  Originally the bar was located in the general spot where the drive-up window of the bank is located.   When the bank expanded, the drug store and Lefty’s Bar were relocated.  The bar went to the empty grocery store located on the south corner of Second and  Iowa in the late 1980’s.  So while it does have some memories they are short lived in the scheme of history.

          Councilwoman Darla Reppe – (14:32.53) Commented on a dangerous drain at the pool and the status of the Fair location.

          Councilman Kyle VandenHull – (19:28.67) Commented on the presence of a sink-hole in the NW corner of  Second Street and Iowa Street.

Agenda Item #7 – Legal Updates (20:49.13)  City Attorney Sam Nelson gave updates on the demolition of 505 Ofstad, quit claim deed and costs. 

          307 Iowa Nuisance letter went out

          Discretionary Tax Formula action creation of an Ordinance 2022-03.  Council moved to adopt this Ordinance.

          Fairground negotiations.    Mr. Nelson has spoke with States Attorney Miller and his commission.  In addition Mr. Fred Preator (Appraisal Solutions Inc?) was consulted.  Costs to be split with the county but not to exceed $7000.00 and all discussions will be confidential until discussions with FCS have been completed.

Agenda Item #8  – (0:31:00.67) Fair Ground negotiations Update – NONE

Agenda Item #9(0:31:18.17)  Police Dept. Updates

          Executive Session for SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel

                   IN                         6:35 p.m.

                   OUT                     7:03 p.m.          

Increase in pay for Officer Grayson Lass per employment agreement between Grayson Lass and the city of Alcester upon employment and prior to certification.  The Executive Session only included Chief Schuller and Officer Lass.  Finance Officers were not included and were delegated to the hallway with the rest of the gallery.

Motion to Increase Officer Lass’ pay to $18.28 effective June 4, 2022, per employment agreement.

Agenda Item #10 – Wastewater Facility Plant Upgrade (0:38:10.77)

          Banner representative Tanya Miller was present to give an update on the bid put out for award.  Per the presentation by Ms. Miller there was nasty surprises.  The original Engineering opinion on the cost of the project was projected with a price tag of $3,100,000.00.  The One and Only bid received was $4,917,384.00.  According to Banner Representative Miller the city has three options:

         Door #1)  Award the bid and fund the additional project cost with: a)  Wasterwater Department Reserves/City Reserves (what reserves). The State also suggest local ARPA funds may be a source of funding to reduce the shortfall. b)  Request project funding to cover the additional cost in an October 1, 2022, SRF loan application.  Project funding to be determined in January. 

       Door #2)  Do not award the project.  Instead, rebid the project at a later date.  DANR typically likes to see projects rebid within a year.

     Door #3)  Do not award the project.  Shelf the plans and rebid the project   sometime in the next few years.

OR

     Door #4)  The Finance Officer initiates another property tax $100.00 per    household per month for a bulk purchase of outdoor toilets which will be emptied weekly by a port-a-pot tosser much like the Fischer’s side arm truck and we all pray there are no accidents but that is going to DEPEND on the        condition of our streets.  Yes I am being facetious.  So now we have no streets which have been waiting on the infrastructure of the sewer and wastewater which apparently is not going to happen.  I wonder can we sell/trade the Albatross for indoor bathrooms? 

Councilwoman Talbott asks about (0:57:47.03) the sewer moneys going into a Fund.  Better put a hold on those funds so they cannot be ‘borrowed’ as our other funds have been borrowed.

Got have a decision by July 27, 2022

Agenda Item #11(0:58:59.07)  Alcester Bar – Notice to Bidders. Vickie Larsen (0:59:30.50) clarifies selling the bar property does not demolish the bar just replaces the city as owner of the property.  Get the city out of the rental business.

FOLKS LET THE CITY COUNCIL KNOW YOU ARE TIRED OF THROWING GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD.   MS. JOHNSON WANTS THE BAR, LET HER BUY IT!

Agenda Item #12 – (1:04:26.70)  Package Off-Sale Liquor License  Notice of  Hearing.

Liquor Licenses – 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.  

Public hearing scheduled for August 1, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.

(1:05:45.43)  The city cannot give preferential licensure to their lessee.  Two entities have already applied and if the city has two licenses both the Quickstop and the Total Stop must be awarded the license because they complied with the rules.  Mayor Haeder opines about competition (1:12:33.37)

Agenda Item #13 –  Street Hire Cash Hemingson (1:23:29.70)

Agenda Item #14 – Street Mitchell Drive (1:25:42.87)  Mayor Haeder’s pet project to fix Mitchell Drive ahead of all the folks who have been patiently waiting and paying the street maintenance tax.  Way to go Mayor Haeder.  Got to commend you on your priorities.

Agenda Item #15 – Golf Course and Community Center  (1:38:49.47)  Hiring more for the Albatross. 

          Hire Tyler Johnson       $10.00 per hour  Cook

          Hire  Stormi Carlson     $ 7.00  per hour  Server

          Hire Conor Lusk            $12.00 per hour  Cook  (1:47:56.97)  Why the devil is FOPAT Jurrens yapping away?  She is not a councilmember!  How dare she speak.  How dare Mayor Haeder not shut her down.  Why does she think she has a say in anything but measure laps for napkins?  Pat says, “…the only comment that I…I understand…appreciate how difficult to find people for certain positions, uhm, but you have to look at, at your other employees up there and they’re also doing a good job for you and if you are wanting to give a pay raise to one employee, are you going to (unintelligible) to another employee and asks for (unintelligible) and just caution giving these onsy, twosy pay raises…especially to a temporary employee and this is nothing bad against Conor ’cause I’ve enjoyed him and he’s a wonderful employee but he’s a temporary employee and so you’re giving a benefit to (unintelligible)…”  Why is she speaking, why is she still speaking? 

          Hire Wanda Halverson    $7.00 per Server  (1/2 time Community Center, 1/2                                                                           finance office?)

Agenda Item #16  –  Josh Carlson surplus roofing.  Tabled no action

Agenda Item #17  –  Burn Permit for the American Legion (1:58:17.30)

Agenda Item #18 – Covid Policy Update (1:59:25.90)

Agenda Item #19  – Finance Office (2:06:31.17)   Waste-water warrants $188.068.50.  June Warrants.  July meeting change from July 18, 2022, to July 19,2022.

Agenda Item #20 – HRC  Special Meeting (2:17:09.07)

Agenda Item #21  Union County Fair  (2:21:51.27)  No report -Just discussion

Agenda Item #22 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel    

Not Needed, elected to have discussion in open meeting.  (2:26:34.33)  FOPAT supposed to POS Point of Sale program update/upgrade  Need this for sales operations at the Community Center.  FOPAT not getting the job done and not getting the upgrade to the community center. (2:26:53.70)

Agenda Item #23  Adjourn (2:33:30.87)  Meeting Adjourned at 9:00 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                             605-934-2287     

Councilwoman Darla Reppe              605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot             605-254-3074

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples         605-934-2096

Councilman Lukas Driesen              605-934-

Councilman Kyle VandenHull          605-934-

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517