SDCL 16-16-18Oath of attorney–Form and administration.*

“The oath of attorney shall be administered by a justice or judge of any state appellate court or court of general jurisdiction or by a justice or judge of any federal appellate or district court. The form of the oath of attorney shall be in substance as follows:

I do solemnly swear, or affirm, that:

I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of South Dakota;

I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;

I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceeding which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land;

I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement of fact or law;

I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my client, and will accept no compensation in connection with a client’s business except from that client or with the client’s knowledge or approval;

I will abstain from all offensive personality, and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;

I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay any person’s cause for lucre or malice.”

Source: SDC 1939, § 32.1111; Supreme Court Rule 9, Order No. 1, 1957; SDC Supp 1960, § 32.1109; SL 1994, ch 407; SL 1996, ch 316.

The  January 23 2023, meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder at 6:00 p.m. with Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Lukas Driesen, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples and Councilman Kyle VandenHull arriving 10 minutes late, Attorney Austin Felts present  and with City Attorney Sam Nelson absent.  The council and gallery recited the Pledge of Allegiance. 

(00:01:06.23)  AGENDA ITEM #3 – APPROVE AGENDA  Prior to the meeting I spoke with council members concerning the placement of Public Input later in the agenda.  (00:01:23.53)  Councilwoman Darla Reppe responding to my request to move the Public input back towards the top of the agenda.  Councilman Lukas Driesen agreed with Councilwoman Reppe.  Folks listen to FOPAT’s response to that move.  (00:01:41.23)  FOPATsays, “…well we have guests here…this is why Imoved it back…other people came in…it’s up to you, but that’s why…that’s the way I had it the way we did…”  Who is we FOPAT, the fecal tumor in your right-hand back pants pocket and you?

          Folks we have a major problem!  It is the mayor’s duty and responsibility to set the agenda for presentation to the council:

SDML “The chief executive officer of a first or second class municipality under the aldermanic form shall be a mayor. The mayor shall hold office for a term of not less than two nor more than five years as determined by ordinance (§9-8-1).

The mayor shall preside at all meetings of the council but shall have no vote except in case of a tie as long as the vote does not create a liability or appropriate money. He shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the laws and ordinances, and take care that such laws and ordinances are faithfully executed. He shall annually and from time to time give the council information relative to the affairs of the municipality, and shall recommend for their consideration such measures as he may deem expedient. He shall have the power to sign or veto any ordinance or resolution passed by the common council, and the power to veto any part or item of an ordinance or resolution appropriating money (§9-8-3). The veto, with written objections, must be filed with the finance officer within ten days after final passage (§9-19-10). The vetoed ordinance or resolution must then be presented by the finance officer, with the mayor’s written objection, to the council at their next meeting for reconsideration. If the ordinance or resolution passes by a two-thirds vote of all the aldermen, it shall be published and become effective (§9-19-11).*


 NOT, I repeat NOT the city bookkeeper!  When the FOPAT decided to place the public input behind issues that would cost money, she robbed the residents who wished to comment on issues which would cost them increased taxes.  SHE attempted to rob the residents of Alcester of their voice!  Public Input is toward the front the agenda line-up for a reason.  Residents want to come in, make their feelings know, maybe get an answer and leave.  With Public Input placed later in the agenda, the public is forced to stay and be herded in and out of open session when the council moves into the never-ending executive sessions which typically run from 45 minutes to90 minutes long as is the practice of Mayor Haeder and FOPAT.  Folks having spent many of those journeys into isolation in the hallway I can tell you in the past there were not chairs or seats for the public.  Lately a rack of folding chairs has been present, but most folks are optimists with the idea an executive session is just a short discussion and they will be rescued from hallway Hades after 10 minutes or so.  I have watched folks who wanted to participate or watch the whole meeting through have left in disgust and not return for the rest of the meeting.

          We the taxpayers relegated to a position far behind and subservient to “guests” of FOPAT.  Oh how I would love to jump up on a table like Sally Field character Norma Rae, raise my hand in protest and holler but alas I cannot physically jump that high.  But I can raise my hand and voice in protest.  I can holler in print.

          Mayor Haeder in the last meeting threatened Mr. Clossen when he dared protest.  Mayor Haeder made a statement about three (3) minutes for public input.  Really Danny-Boy, three (3) minutes?  When you go into executive session a couple hours per each meeting to discuss your 35-40% opinions?  Really?

          I had delivered to the council examples of other city and public board agenda which listed Public Input in the Item #5 slot.  The council moved, seconded and voted unanimously to move the Public Input to the #6 slot of the agenda and then approved the agenda with the amendment. Vote X4 Ayes Unanimous.


          a) Updates – Landon Nygard and Kelsey Ericson Why the updates?  The agenda already has a line item #Chairperson Updates item f) Golf Course and Community Center.  Why the front seat agenda position on hiring, firing and raising wages?  Why is Mayor Haeder and FOPAT wasting city council meeting time for routine business matters?  WHY do we have to listen to a new menu, taking inventory and what is going on with the building contractors who screwed up and because there was NO oversight the city is screwed for the cost of their failure to do the job right but the now we have to foot the cost of fixing the failure up to code.  WOW  Now we really and truly have FOMayor and FOPat.  Acronym?  Failure Of Mayor and Failure Of Pat.  (00:03:19.83) Landon Nygard gave the update.

          b)  Grossenburg Meal Ticket Promo (00:09:20.30)  Vote X4 Ayes Unanimous.

          c)  Executive Session (00:12:37.33)  SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel  Raise for Kelsey Erickson from $15.53per hour to $17.00 hour?  In Executive session at 6:13 p.m. Vote X4 Ayes Unanimous.  (00:12:41.00) IN AT 6:13 P.M.  OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 6:38 P.M.

          d) Approve modification to 2023 (00:14:55.37) The business coming out of the Executive Session was to Move Lincoln Burke back to dishwasher at a wage decrease to $11.00 per hour and to Increase Kelsey Erickson wage to from $15.53 per hour to $17.00 per hour effective immediate.  Vote X4 Unanimous.


Councilwoman Darla Reppe asked the question (00:29:04.07) who would Officer Conrad consult or take direction from within the city of Alcester?  Listen closely to the response.  FOMAYOR says (00:29:31.37), “…Talk to the Finance Officer…”  ARE YA Kidding?  Ask FOPAT?  FOMAYOR are ya really calling open season on this potential police officer by telling him he should ask FOPAT?  She is just a bookkeeper!  Motion was made and seconded to hire Jeff Conrad as part-time police officer at $18.81 per hour to start immediately.  Vote X4 Ayes Unanimous.

(00:35:56.90)  AGENDA ITEM #6 – PUBLIC INPUT –

VICKIE LARSEN (00:36:05.67)  I spoke to Public Input on the agenda, I spoke to the need to have a permanent Wards map on the Alcester City Website, I spoke to the subject of (00:37:19.93) BWNR – Board of Water and Natural Resources under the Agenda Item #Wastewater Facility Plant Upgrade vote and expenditure which dealt with permission to allow Collection Systems Project Funds to be used for Treatment Facility Improvements Project.  I shared that According to an April 14, 2022, article which reported DANR Announces Funds For South Dakota Water And Wastewater Projects where DANR Secretary Hunter Roberts says, “… grants and loans were awarded from DANR’s Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program, Clean Water State Revolving Fund Program, Consolidated Water Facilities Construction Program, and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the following area projects:

• Alcester received a $250,350 Clean Water State Revolving Fund loan and a $1,418,650 ARPA grant to televise its entire collection system to determine the condition of aging pipe and allow refinement of the areas identified for upcoming sanitary sewer improvements. In addition, this project will include open-cut sanitary sewer replacement in multiple alleys. The loan terms are 2.125% for 30 years…”*


and I spoke to the issue to taking time away from city business in the council meeting to waste it on the community center and its drama and downfalls.

KERRY HEDDEN (00:39:29.13)  Mr. Hedden spoke to a possible land trade with Bill Lind in the works or discussions and voiced his opinion.  Mr. Hedden also spoke to the disposition of the old golf clubhouse.

TRAVIS ROBINSON (00:42:34.63)  Fireworks for his wedding.

(00:49:22.47)  AGENDA ITEM #7 – LEGAL UPDATE – SAM NELSON, AUSTIN FELTS  Sam Nelson was not present just Mr. Felts.  Regrettably it appeared he had been thrown in the deep end of small town city meetings.  City Attorney Sam Nelson was away lobbying in Pierre.  Austin Felts a 2022 law graduate and new associate of Frieberg, Nelson and Ask received the onerous…Tag your IT!  Using an analogy of a young woman arriving at a hospital ER with sharp pains, who told the staff she had been gaining weight like mad and now she has these sharp intermittent pains only to be told, “congratulations you are about to give birth”.  Mr. Felts while he wasn’t gaining weight, “felt” the full weight and force bearing down on his shoulders of being a small town legal advisor without a gratuitous heads up.

          Direct Deposit approval, Option A or Option B Council discussed both options with input from Mr. Felts.  The council elected Option A with a Vote X4 Ayes Unanimous.

          Nuisance Update- (00:57:52.27)  307 Iowa Street   Mr. Felts outline some options with the most egregious is in my opinion throwing a man out of his home with a ‘writ’ and demolishing the home leaving the man homeless.  (01:01:30.03) FOPAT it is not for you to explain the council to City Attorney Sam!  (01:02:39.60)  FOMAYOR says the neighbors want this taken care of. So did the neighbors write up a complaint or was it FOPAT sending out Geoff Fillingsness on a mission?    

 (01:07:55.37)  AGENDA ITEM #8 – WASTEWATER FACILITY UPGRADE TANYA MILLER   Mayor Haeder makes a tenuous start, which explained itself later in this discussion.  Allude to a communication breakdown.  Really, Banner sent a bid letter for which Alcester resident paid a substantial fee which was to be placed with the Alcester Union-Hudsonite the city’s official paper.  (01:08:31.97) The notice-of-bid document was sent to FOPAT, who FAILED to get it to the newspaper for publication.  (01:09:06.23)  Rebid was not advertised per regulations:  ” Advertisement for competitive sealed bids must be published in the newspaper at least twice prior to opening of bids. The first publication shall appear as a legal notice in the entity’s appointed legal newspaper; however the second publication can be in any other legal newspaper in the state. (SDCL 5-18A-14) (AGR 85-24)”



Mayor Haeder asks for action on the re-bid question at (01:26:24.47)  No immediate response.  (01:29:38.63) Finally Councilwoman Darla Reppe makes a fateful motion to DO-THE-RE-BID.  Vote X3 ayes and X1 nay.  (01:33:06.77)  Councilwoman Darla Reppe moves to have Banner draft a letter to the Board of Water and Natural Resource to change purpose of funds. (01:33:33.17)  Mayor Haeder calls for a second to the motion. (01:33:53.20) NO SECOND TO THE MOTION!  (01:34:03.53) AGAIN MAYOR HAEDER CALLS FOR A SECOND TO THE MOTION!  (01:34:10.83) COUNCILMAN LUKAS DRIESEN CALLS TO TABLE. 

IN REALITY THE MOTION DIED FROM LACK OF SECOND.  WHY DID FOMAYOR HAEDER CONSULT WITH LEGAL ON MOTIONS WITHOUT SECONDS.  NOW WATCH THE ARM BENDING BEGIN ON OUR COUNCIL.  (01:35:10.90) And thus the arm bending.  Options none!  We cannot afford the project now.  FOPAT cost us with her failure, the delays have cost and will cost even more now.  In addition to even afford the project we have to ‘give’ important and vital components of a vital project to Alcester and it residents.  Listen to the ensuing coercive language used on the council members.  Mayor Haeder failed the council because he did not call the motion dead, Mayor Haeder failed the council and the city because he did not reign in FOPAT.  FOPAT failed to do her job which cost the city and it residents and not for the first time. Listen to all the time frames, it is like listening and watching a movie when the time of a bomb is clicking down to the blast. (01:36:33.60)  You ever hear the expression of nickel and diming.  Now you have. We give a bill here, and in a couple of days we give another bill and so on and so on.  (01:37:37.30)  Councilman Lukas Driesen is hung out to dry by Mayor Haeder’s non-action on the dead motion and by Mayor Haeder’s failure to consult with the attorney sitting at his right hand. 

Ultimately the council voted to put the city under the guillotine of bad judgment and process.

(01:38:29.10)  AGENDA ITEM #9 –  CHAIRPERSON UPDATES This agenda item has proven to be a woeful waste of time.  Get a monthly report from the department and hand it to the council for their perusal.  In addition combine the street department and water department, hire one department head.

Attorney Austin Felts leaves the meeting.




(01:55:47.33)  AGENDA ITEM #13  – LIGHTING QUOTE  Quotes for replacement the lighting in the city offices. FOPAT has dim bulbs.  Question was raised about approaching Jaimy Schemp representative of the owner of the school building for a shared expense.  No action taken until that conversation happens.

(02.00:37.07) AGENDA ITEM #14  FINANCE OFFICE UPDATES   ELO Audit invoice to be paid.  Vote X4 Aye unanimous.

(02:05:01.73)  AGENDA ITEM #15  EXECUTIVE SESSION IF NEEDED  FOPAT wanted an executive session for personnel-Imagine that.  Could it be she is going to hand in her resignation for her $59,000.00 failure?  Vote to go Executive session at 8:30 p.m.  So much for short  Back into open session at 8:52 p.m.

(02:07:09.67)  AGENDA ITEM #16 – ADJOURN

I would like to leave you folks with a thought.  Finance Officer Pat Jurrens failed to do a simple ad placement which is going to cost the city and its residents in the neighborhood of $59,000.00  I propose the council take the action of deducting the entire cost of $59,000.00 from her wages over the next year and a half.  What do you think?  Let your council members know.

I would also ask that you folks let our council know how you feel about evicting a veteran who served his country then demolishing his home, leaving him homeless.  Get together, support him with help to get the outside of his home into a condition where he will not be harassed within the time frame the council has given him.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                            605-934-2287     

Councilwoman Darla Reppe             605-934-2602

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples           605-934-2096

Councilman Lukas Driesen               605-934-

Councilman Kyle VandenHull          605-934-

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517