04/18/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

Once again folks, Let the council know what you think.

The  April 18, 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, Councilman David Larsen and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #3(01:05.77) Approve agenda unanimous vote.

Agenda Item #4(01:37.23) Ward II vacancy – no one wants to have Pat on their back.

Agenda Item #5 – (01:51.47)  Sealed Bid Openings for the Metal Clad Building and the Rheem Air conditioner.  Regan Homandberg submitted a bid of $1200 for the building and was accepted.  No action on the Rheem Air Conditioner.  (06:50.47) FOPAT addresses the city attorney for advice on the Rheem air conditioner, isn’t that the Mayor’s job?

Agenda Item #6 – Public Input – none

Agenda Item #7 (08:04.63) Affordable Housing – FOPAT (08:13.17) says, “…ok I talked with Harley at SECOG…” regarding the fee for the feasibility study.  Indicating a grant agreement could be entered into with a matching amount to what the city would be paying.  By the way  Madam FO Ms. Harley Ferguson of SECOG is a profession colleague, not a “Ladies Night Out” familiar!  (10:06.33)  Councilman David Larsen queries, “…How long will this take?…” with regard to the feasibility study.  Folks I took a class in which we had to do a feasibility study, factors considered were economics, technical, legal and scheduling for the success of the project depending upon the cost and return on investment and a plan B for unanticipated factors of implementation.

          Similar to what should have happened with the Alcester Community Center, but does not appear to have happened.  Things which should have been explored such as details of the project, product, service and business plan.  What is the local market, what is the broader market, what is the marketing strategy in detail?  What are the staffing needs, scheduling and timeline for completion and launch.  Financials, how much money budgeted and how much real money involved.  (11:20.50) Motion was made and passed for the grant application with (12:14.60) Motion to approve Resolution 2022-01 for matching funds and ending with (12:46.83) approval of study fee match.

Agenda Item #8 (12:55.23) Legal Updates   (13:56.67) South Dakota Statutes covering the nuisance cause of action.  In other words the legal justification for condemning property which I believe is covered in SDCL Chapter 21-10, more specifically 21-10-3, 21-10-4, 21-10-5, 21-10-6 and so on. 

          Interesting point here as I was researching the Nuisance Statutes was 21-10-25.4 dealing with water pollution or land overflow not affected by protected status such as the repeated flooding of a private residence as a result of poor engineering and 21-10-26 Logging slash definition which semantically could be applied to wood arising out of tree trimming.  Kind of like what the Mayor has in his back yard, logging debris consisting of tree tops, limbs, cull logs and other separate vegetation which would house rats, mice and other vermin. 

          (15:42.10)  Councilman David Larsen asked about city reimbursement if (the city) had to pay for clean up, legal costs and liabilities.  City Attorney Sam replied (15:56.33) upon the court determination of nuisance the city could appropriate the property and sell to recoup demo costs, taxes, liens and or any interests accrued.  Now folks think about it, you are looking at a vacant lot with no house on it or just a dilapidated garage would you purchase a lot valued at $5243 with no house or just a garage but with say $20,000.00 demolition cost, back taxes and legal fees of goodness only know how much.  Oh and don’t forget the building permit to put something back on the property.  So for the sake of argument and rounding, the city would be asking you to subsidize their choice to spend somewhere between $25,000.00 to $30,000.00 for an appraised lot worth only $5243.00 or less?  So in answer to Councilman David Larsen’s question will the city be reimbursed for their clean up costs, their legal costs and oh yes let’s not forget the loss of tax revenue for unknown number of years, Nope, no way, not worth it! 

Agenda Item #9 – Wastewater Facility Upgrade  (0:18:33.80)  FOPAT makes the statement, “…UH my personal recommendation would be is…I would…looking at doing this in a relatively quick time…”  As FOPAT states this is her personal recommendation, not a financially based recommendation but her Personal recommendation.  I do not know about you folks but I place absolutely no value in her personal recommendation.  I do, however, wonder why that map (0:20:48.87) she handed out to the city council, “…to refresh their minds…” does not appear on the city website and contrary to giving the public access to all materials (excepting those dealing with executive session material) dispensed to the council.  How can we ask intelligent questions on something we are being kept in the dark about?  (0:21:21.50)  Oxymoron when asked why can’t the water be laid with the sewer.    FOPAT says, “…you can’t use sewer money for a water line…”  So tell us how are sewer bills figured?  Aren’t those figures derived or based upon water usage?  (0:26:40.33) Councilwoman Darla Reppe asks, “…so we don’t have all the money, does this mean our water bills will go up again…?”  Short answer, Yes your water bills will go up again.  Folks call Mayor Haeder at 605-934-2287, 605-770-7929 or ask FOPAT at 605-934-2517.  Apparently they have all the answers along with a death grip on our pocket books. 

Agenda Item #11 – Police Department (0:36:23.17)  Truck decal upgrade.  Present decal is cracking and shedding.  Question of truck wiring and corrective measures. 

Agenda Item #12 – Library – summer hire. 

Agenda Item #13 – Committee Chair Updates – (0:48:37.00)  Chair reported no report but FOPAT reported she had a complaint about a wastewater back up (0:48:55.10), Mayor Haeder promotes Tide Pods.  Note white powder pods probably should not be used because they pack-up and cause blockages of the sewer system.

Agenda Item #14 – Golf Course and Community Center. (0:55:26.43)  Hire of an outside worker.  (0:57:24.93)  14B Councilman David Larsen comments of meetings with Employee Mike Croy regarding request for raise due to increased responsibilities in job description.  (0:59:08.13) Councilwoman Linda Talbott wants to talk about the raise issue in Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel under Agenda Item #16.  Council discusses this for a minute or two and agrees to push the executive session discussion into Agenda Item #16.

Agenda Item #15 – Finance Office – (1:00:21.57)  Assistant Finance Officer position was offered and the person wanted some time to think it over.  No action taken.

Custodian Hire, LeAnn Haisch at $11.00 per hour.

Agenda Item 15D  Motion to pay Quam, Berglin & Post for the audit.    (01:03:39.00) Audit cost spread:  $4250.00 out of general fund, $2125.00 out of Water Fund and $2125.00 out of Sewer Fund for a total $8500.00?  (01:04:30.40)  Councilwoman Linda Talbott asked the question, “…how much has that gone up…?”  FOPAT answered, ” …over the last three years, $500.00 year…”  Then the question was asked, WHY?  (01:04:55.20)  FOPAT answers, “…I haven’t asked…”  Really?  (01:05:20.97)  Council before you take a step as suggested by FOPAT and City Attorney Sam, revisit the past.  The council did change auditors for a cheaper auditor.  Yeah well safe to say, “you git what you pay fer” (01:05:43.20)  Let’s take a trip back in time, FOPAT.  Remember back on November 7, 2016?  Let me refresh your memory FOPAT, that was the meeting where you stiffed Mr. Berglin $500.00 ’cause you couldn’t figure out Quick Books, a program you former employer sold.

I was there while FOPAT made Dwight Berglin cool his heels beyond his schedule time, until Mayor Glas finally called Audit Review.  OMG Finance Officer Pat had to slide close to Mayor Glas so she could page through the Mayor’s copy of the review to get him on the correct page.  It would have been hysterically funny watching Mayor Glas lick his finger, press down and carefully rolling the page over with an utterly vacant look on his face, as if he hadn’t been the sitting Mayor.  Again the lack of segregation of duties was an immediate concern of the audit.  As Mr. Berglin left the meeting, the question was asked, “…do we need to approve this (meaning the audit review)…?”  finance Officer Pat Jurrens replied, “NO”.  Then finance Officer Jurrens went on to discuss the bill for the Audit cost of $9500.00 .  She related  because of ‘anomalies’  in the QuickBooks Program, our accountant told her there would be an extra charge of $500.00 due to the extra work Accountant Berglin had to perform.  Finance Officer Jurrens claimed she was not advised of the QuickBooks foible.  Really this is supposed to be in her scope of duties and alleged expertise!  So the City of Alcester, to our shame, allowed the accounting audit bill to be short paid by $500.00 ’cause FOPAT couldn’t  figure the QuickBooks program out and Mr. Berglin accepted $500.00 less for his extra work.

Folks it appears FOPAT is hell-bent on a re-run of history.  Please note in the video where she pushes to have the accountant appear to ‘explain’ the increase in fee. (01:06:17.70) The extra fee was because Mr. Berglin had to school you in accounting FOPAT.  So FOPAT do you not get and expect an annual COLI (Cost Of Living Increase)?  So why piss and moan about paying the $500.00 increase of cost of doing business?  Perhaps if you managed the city’s accounts better, our accountant would not have to spend so much time at the card game called Memory and what you call the city accounts.

Agenda Item #16 – Executive Session – (01:09:49.80) 

SDCL 1-25-2.3 Legal –  (3) Consulting with legal counsel or review communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters.

Now folks to the best of my knowledge the SRTS flooding litigation has not been resolved, so it stands to reason this is the communication about proposed or pending litigation. 

 Okay  but what about the SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel issue regarding raise in wages discussion that Councilwoman Talbott wanted moved to this agenda item?  H-m-m?  According to statute similar to initiative constraints – one subject per executive session to be legal i.e. South Dakota Constitutional Amendment Z, Single-Subject Rule for Constitutional Amendments (2018) Time will tell.

Council went into Executive Session for SDCL 125-2.3 Legal at 7:10 P.M. and lasted until 8:18 P.M. 

          City Hall lost power at or around 8:15 P.M.  At 8:18 P.M. Mayor Haeder called the council back into public meeting.  Power was still out.  I kept my camera running without room light for audio recording purposes.  (01:11:57.17)  Mayor Haeder addressed the wage raise for employee Mike Croy.  Since the council did not come out of the Executive Session for SDCL 1-25-2.3 and then failed to go back into Executive Session of SDCL -25-2.1 Personnel, because Mayor Haeder and the council felt free to discuss the raise in wages for Mr. Croy in open session it is obvious discussion of this employee/personnel issue took place under the SDCL 1-25-2.3 Executive Session violating the single subject rule for Executive Sessions.  Mayor Haeder and the council stand in violation of open meeting law.

So just when and how long did  (01:13:08.97) Mayor Haeder and the council discuss the appropriateness if wage increase and the value of this employee?  They agreed to revisit this issue (0:59:08.13) in Executive Session but Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel was never entered into.  Sam?  So the motion was made, seconded and approve to give Mike Croy a wage increase to $15.50 per hour.

Agenda Item #17 Adjournment.  Council adjourned at 8:21 P.M.

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

01/25/2022 A Voice From the Galley

(01:58:37.87) Alcester City Council Meeting 01/10/2022

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

01/15/2022 A Voice From the Gallery

ALCESTER CITY COUNCIL MEETING AGENDA

JANUARY 17, 2022

ALCESTER CITY HALL OLD SCHOOL CENTER – 500 Dakota Street

6:00 PM MEETING

1. Open Meeting

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Approve Agenda

Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

4. Alderman Interviews – if needed

a. Motion to enter into Executive Session pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2(1) – Personnel

Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

b. Motion to appoint _______________________, Ward II Alderman, until next election

Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

5. Public Input:

6. Brosze Engineering – Multi-Community* Chip Seal Project

a. Discussion:

b. Motion to approve participating in Multi-Community Chip Seal Project

Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

  • This includes a $3000.00 per community join feet, as I understand it. Allegedly to get a lower rate on the raw materials, labor and etc. (01:42:45.67) Street Maintenance curb tax increase?

7. Police Department – Chief Schuller

a. Police Updates

b. Rifle Purchase Discussion

Motion to approve purchase, AR 15 16” Barrel, Buck’s Gun Shop, GF, $975 Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

8. Chairperson Updates, if needed

a. Street

b. Cemetery

c. Water

d. Wastewater

e. Library

f. Golf Course

g. Finance Office

9. Downtown Garbage Cans

a. Discussion:

b. Motion to approve Garbage Can purchase, Snyder Industries, SW Fund*

Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

  • Sewer/Waste Fund (01:27:13.67 If I am translating the SW Fund appellation correctly, this is an enterprise fund in which the profits derived from the Sewer/Waste Funds were set up to pay for repairs and upgrades to the Sewer infrastructures not purchase garbage cans for downtown Alcester at $500.00 a pop, a lock down latch for between $60.00 to 70.00 a lid and $900.00 shipping just to get the things here, no matter how cute FOPAT thinks they are or what kind of finders fee Mr. Fischer may or may not get.

10. Finance Office Updates – Pat Jurrens

a. First day to Circulate Election Petition – January 28, 2022

a. Dog/Cat License Deadline – January 31, 2022 (FOPAT poor proofing)

11. Executive Session – if needed

12. Adjourn a. Motion to adjourn Council

Motion by: __________ Seconded by: __________ Yes _____ No _____

Folks come to the meeting, call your Council representative/member let them know how you feel!

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

12/20/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

This Ol’ Pat, she played one,

She played Knick, Knack on our H-h-m-m

With a Knick, Knack FO Patty’s Whacked,

Give A Pig a home,

Ol’ FOCat is on the roam.

The December 20, 2021, city council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Pro Tem and President of the Council David Larsen, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott, Cyndi Peeples and Lukas Driesen present.  Absent were Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and Mayor Dan Haeder.

Agenda Item #3 – Approve the agenda.  Missing from the agenda under Agenda Item #7 – Department Chair updates was #7(h) Liquor Store which was added.  Also missing from the agenda under Agenda Item #6 – Police Department #6(d) was a blank description a motion to be made.  Sloppy work.  This  Agenda Item #6(d) was a motion to establish a separate post box  for the Police Department.  This item was not named until the Police Department agenda came up for consideration.  Again Sloppy work.  The Agenda was approved with the addition of Agenda Item #7(h) but not included was the specific description of Agenda Item #6 (d).

Agenda Item #4 – Council Interviews  Still…no one wants Pat on their back and so the vacant seat on the council remains vacant.  H-m-m-m!

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input

Vickie Larsen was the first to respond to the call for public input.  I posed three questions/subjects to the council. 

#1) (00:01:54.97)Was there a written apology to the resident whose private telephone number was shared publicly by the ‘girls in the finance office”?  There was no written apology made to this resident.  So there was no write up or punitive action taken against the finance office for release of private records.  WOW  Mayor Haeder needs to be sanctioned for his abysmal lack of oversight and the ‘girls in the finance office’ need a formal reprimand for handing out private telephone numbers.

 #2) (00:02:12.10) Prior to the December 20, 2021, meeting I placed two ‘forms’ documents at the council members and city attorney Sam Nelson dealing with a written Application for Overtime Prior to Working the Overtime and the written and signed Approval form from the Mayor allowing the Overtime prior to overtime being taken.  These forms need to be in place and evidenced by Agenda Item #10 Community Center (Alcester Albatross) Agenda Item #10 (a)(b)(c) Personnel.

#3)  (00:03:09.57)The (02/2022)Golf Expo Registration Fee of $500.00.  Folks this is for a 10 FT X 10 FT booth space at the Austad’s Sioux Falls Golf Expo.  This is for a vendor’s space to promote products and services.  I explained to the council that this venture is going to cost the taxpayers more than $500.00.  Having had experience in doing these types of Expo shows in the McCormack Place in Chicago, Expo shows in Reno, NV and in Sioux Falls and Sioux City venues, I explained about the rental of fixtures (i.e. tables, chairs, table drapes, floor coverings and powered presentations) purchase of banners, purchase of promotional brochures, wages of the personnel manning the booth, travel times, mileages over the two day Expo and a reliable website touting the golf course and community center.  ***Any guesses on who is going to primp, fawn, sniff and poke her nose to ‘man’ the booth and collect overtime?

***I would like to go back to a previous input comment made in the November 15, 2021, video to Public Input when I asked the question about a check cut for a snow truck before our Street Department head ever left the city and inspected the vehicle (14:35.20).  No credible answer from FO PAT.  I went on to ask why City of Hawarden had presented the City of Alcester a bill for $97.02 (15:08.83) for a water locate?  FOPat’s response (15:28.57) “Sometimes water locates are difficult to find…And they (Hawarden) have a little bit better equipment to locate that…we cannot locate it…”  When I asked if a resident asked for the locate FOPat answered, “…water line repair…” non-answer.  Check out the video.

          Gee what an Oxymoron, ol’ FOPat handed over a signed check to an employee who left town to inspect a snow truck in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,  which had not yet been approved by the council then remarks our city employees have difficulty doing water locates so we have to call Hawarden to come into town to show our guys how to do their job. 

This Ol’ Pat she played two

She played Knick Knack on our city crew,

With a Knick, Knack FO Patty’s whacked,

Give that Pig a home

The ol’ FOCat is still on the roam.

Cosette Heman (0:07:48.83) responded in Public Input, thanking the street crew for their response to her curb stop issue.

Agenda Item #6 – Police Department

Police Chief Schuller gave updates on calls and incidents over the past weeks.  At Chief Schuller’s completion of updates (0:12:02.30) Councilwoman Linda Talbott moved to go into Agenda Item 6(b) Executive Session under SDCL 1-25-2(1) Personnel while still within the Police Department Agenda time.  The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Peeples and with a unanimous aye vote the gallery including FO Jurrens and Wanda Halverson were excused out of executive session and into the hallway at 6:12 p.m.  At 6:22 p.m. the council was declared out of executive session and the gallery along with Jurrens and Halverson were allowed back into the room with no time for me to set my camera back up and start of recording which caused a delay in recording of meeting in my video.

          Agenda Item 6(c) Police Chief Schuller began his discussion of the progress of the Police Policy Manual (0:13:12.13) which included updates of recording and body camera devices, discretionary body camera usage, use of deadly force, definition of deadly force, use of naloxone/narcan and sick leave as it relates to FO Pat’s administrative reporting of worker compensation filing in a timely manner and within the frame standards.

          Agenda Item 6 (d) unspecified police department line item.  One can only speculate here why this item was left blank on the agenda and its connection with the Executive Session regarding Personnel.  This line item was the necessity of a (0:27:42.27)separate and independent Post Box for the Alcester Police Department.  Council approved the separate and independent Police Department Post Box and the costs involved with the establishment and ongoing rents for that Police Department Post Box.

Agenda Item #7 – Chairperson Updates If Needed

a)  Streets – (28:54.23)Nothing other than the proposed 2022 Street Purchases of skid steer brush and skid steer front deck mower $3000.00 scheduled to appear on next month’s agenda along with proposed X758 Mower, snow blower, ballast box and cab for $2225.

          Still no action taken to paint walk lines at the east side of the school and children crosswalk.  I advised the council of this lack months ago in public input and Mayor Haeder blew me off.  Mayor Haeder you were warned of this failure regarding the safety of children going to and from school.  Any incidents arising out of your and the council’s failure to act may be costly in life, limb and pocket books.  The term I refer to is the joint and several liability in a tortuous act or non-act.

b)  Cemetery – nothing

c)  Water – nothing

d)  Wastewater – nothing

e)  Library – Covid issue

f)  Golf Course – nothing

g)  Finance Office –

h)  Liquor Store – (0:34:28.57) Still no plumbing fix.  Pat is waiting to contact someone after the new year.  Theresa Deem had asked for a copy of the lease (34:49.33) but Pat (administrative) appears to be dragging her heels with the lease copy and fixing the plumbing in a timely manner.

Agenda Item #8 – Golf Expo $500 fee.  Folks this is an Expo which could be defined as a large public exhibition of art or trade goods.  Now since Alcester City is not an exhibitor of art it must be the exhibition of ***trade goods***the city is looking at peddling.  Now it is not just the booth fee of $500.00 with or without taxes that is in play.  It is the contents of the booth, the ***trade goods*** which involves the golf course and of course the great white albatross.  Speaking from experience of exhibiting our paddles, oars, boats and RV’s  in Reno, Chicago and the small venues of Sioux Falls and Sioux City over our 44 year business existence.  We had to rent or ship tables, chairs, fixtures, carpeting, product, banners, brochures and set-up our booth a day prior to the opening of the Expo.  We still had mileage, food and lodging to included with those costs. The city will have all those same costs above and beyond the $500.00   We set-up our booth the day before, we manned the booth ourselves with the occasional sales representative for the three days of the exhibition and we did the tear down and pack out at the end of the exhibition.  So folks the city is looking at all of these additional costs.  Now Councilman Larsen says (35:37.67), ” a table and two chairs are provide with the booth rent”.  So Councilman Larsen you gonna sit with an unadorned banquet table and two folding chairs and present the golf course and the great white albatross as a venue you want to hold a wedding, celebration, funeral or tournament?  So you did volunteer for one day, just who is going to ‘man’ the booth for the other day.  Who is going to set up and who is going to tear down and who is gonna jump up and down and holler pick me, pick me?  The Overtime twins, Fricksy and Fracksy?  At what pay rate is that now?  Break even, not hardly.

Agenda Item #9(0:41:01.07) $ 3.800.00

Cement Work Golf Course Maintenance Building

Councilman Larsen insists this concrete work MUST be done now.  Are ya kidding me.  Councilman Driesen raised the cold weather concrete pour as ill-advised.  Common, the maintenance building couldn’t braved its gravel flooring for two or three months more.  There is no heat in the building, so ya’ll gonna use hot water.  Really???  I do not have the background in masonry that Councilman Driesen has but my father working as a mason and worked laying block, brick and pouting concrete and I was conscripted into assisting on occasion.  I remember mixing cement, sand and water in a wheel barrow with a shovel and hoe, loading it into bucket and handing it down to my father standing in a hole where he was laying block.  It makes an impression, believe me.  Now the cure rate of cement is interesting.  Did ya’ll know concrete is never totally cured.  Cure defined by the ACI (American Concrete Institute)  curing–action take to maintain moisture and temperature conditions in a freshly place cementitious mixture to allow hydraulic cement hydration and (if applicable possolanic reactions to occur so that the potential properties of the mixture may develop,   (See ACI 308.)

The rate of moisture maintenance decides whether the concrete cracks, surface skins blisters and scales or flakes off.  Of course there is always the decision to add chemicals to the mix or on the surface or insert rebar in areas where heavy equipment will be driven, stored or worked on.  So the trade off (0:45:21.20) Councilman Larsen, risk $4500 for three months?  Remember it is your neighbors and friends who end up paying for a redo,  are three to four months worth the risk?  The council chose to ignore the concerns of Councilman Driesen. (00:45:11.13)

Agenda Item #10 – Alcester Community Center (The Great Alcester Albatross)

This Ol’ Pat she played three

She played Knick, Knack but oh no-not for free,

With a Knick, Knack FO Patty’s whacked

Give that Pig a home,

Ol’ FOCat is still on the Over-Time roam.

a) (00:50:41.27) Executive Session for SDCL 1-25-2(1) Personnel, wait for it folks, wait for it.  Remember back when the Police Chief had to all but beg for his on call time and the responses from FOPat and Wanda.  Well now we hear the rest of the story!!  Council went into Executive Session to discuss personnel at 7:00 p.m. and talked and talked with FOPat and Wanda in the session which ended at 8:22 p.m.  There was little open session discussion with an immediate jump to Agenda Item #10(c) which was left blank surprise, surprise. This time however instead of the usual lack of action there was a motion to approve (00:51:16.80) Overt-time payments to Finance Office Patricia Jurrens in the amount of $854.13 and to Finance Office employee Wanda Halverson in the amount of $170.67.  This overtime was not approved in advance and according what little discussion made public the council was upon Reporter Gordon Richard asked if this motion came out of the Executive Session and Mayor Pro Tem Larsen stated (00:51:56.07)they were advised by City Attorney Sam Nelson, they had to follow the policy manual.  Thus the need for the two forms I handed out to the counsel.  Keep records of bona fide as evidence of mayoral approval of OverTime. (00:52:09.10) 

OVERTIME 5.7

“…Except in emergency situations, all overtime MUST be authorized by the Mayor.  Overtime is to be authorized only if the work cannot be otherwise done during normal work hours…Overtime without prior authorization MUST be paid, but may result in disciplinary action.”

Okay folks, here it is.  So where did this OT happen?  I have my opinion, it sure as heck not in the city offices.  Here is the question which comes first doing one’s job in the city office during office hours on city business OR sticking their snouts into a venue outside the city offices and under the direction of a bona-fide manager/operator.  So folks just what is the definition of administrative duties as they relate to overtime.  Pat and Wanda both work in administrative positions and are exempted from overtime. 

EXEMPTIONS TO OVERTIME 5.9

“…The following employees may be exempt from the overtime standards:

1)  Appointive officers (if determined to be FLSA exempt)

2)  Police Departments with less than five (5) officers

3) Swimming pool personnel (if the pool is operated for less than 7 months in a calendar year)*

4)  Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer and Outside Sales Employees.

* Folks the city in the recent past paid OT to pool employees and our pool is operated less than 7 months.

The council also hired more help for the Albatross, both at minimum wage.

Agenda Item #11 – Resolution 2021-20 Clean Water Systems Application for Financial Assistance

The council voted to apply for Financial Assistance.  Now it should be note here this is one of our enterprise fund and by which we should be making a profit to afford upgrades. 

Agenda Item #12 – Supplemental Appropriation Ordinance 2021-19 

FO Pat’s remedy for not effectively doing her job.  Now folks it is not totally unusual to have to move money around in extremely instances.  But it is becoming more and more the usual doing of business is to rob the enterprises funds and the second penny sales tax income to pay for Patty’s Pretty’s.  The council voted for the Supplemental Appropriation to keep Alcester from being in the red for the auditors. But it is only a matter of time before that happens and make sure we know who to thank for his lack of oversight and her lack of financial competency.

Agenda Item #13 – Finance Office Updates

a)  Pat mumbled something about the SPOT CHECK and scheduling times to inspect?

b)  Lawler bill for the Albatross Kitchen Single Door Cooler $2,875  golf fund-Council approved.

c)  Banner Engineering bill for design installment payment $40,592.30 – Council approved.

d)  Year end warrants  allows Mayor Haeder to sign checks and pay warrants – Council approve upon comment from Mayor Pro Tem Larsen some of those checks will be ours. (1:02:21.13)

Agenda Item #14 – Adjournment at 8:35 p.m.

Ol’ Pat she played four

She played Knick, Knack got OT, Cooler and the Expo exhibit floor.

With a knick, knack FO Patty’s whacked

Give that Pig a home

Ol’ FO Cat is still on the winky-fluff roam!

          There a couple of things from the past I would like to take this opportunity to address.  When I draw things to the attention of the council, I expect them to take note and take action.  For example the city was johnny-on-the-spot putting up signs on Lincoln drive on the east side of the school for crosswalk.  A safety issue!  However the city FAILED to paint the crosswalk after seal coating the area.  Even though signs are posted, there needs to be a marked pathway across the street for the students to recognize where they should walk across the street.  I warned the city and they did nothing.  I was given information that a child was almost hit as he crossed the street going to school.  To the city, I informed you and you failed the safety of students.  After the warning you continued in your failure to direct the street department to paint the crosswalk!  In your failure to act, you set yourselves up for a joint and several liability for any injuries or deaths which could arise out of your failure to mark safety zones. 

          I would like to reiterate chapter 5.7 Overtime which appears and was approve by the Alcester City Council in 2020.  I want to point out the last statement of that portion.

“OVERTIME WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION MUST BE PAID, BUT MAY RESULT IN DISCIPLINARY ACTION.”

I hereby demand disciplinary, punitive action to be taken against the Finance Officer in light of  her ongoing filings for overtime.  Finance Officer has access and direct knowledge of the Alcester City Employee Personnel Manual 2020 and has violated it knowingly to her own benefit.   I hereby demand disciplinary, punitive action against Mayor Haeder for his failure to institute and use written, dated and signed applications for Overtime by eligible employees stating the emergent necessity of Overtime and his failure to institute and use written, dated and duly signed forms approving the Overtime and rate of Overtime pay to all eligible employees of the city of Alcester.  Again Mayor Haeder has access and direct knowledge of the Alcester City Employee Personnel Manual 2020 and has violated it knowingly.  

          Folks, read it for yourselves.  Ask your Ward Representative for a copy of the Alcester City Employee Personnel Manual 2020.  Better yet insist this document be placed on the website.  You have that right, you are paying the bill!

BEGS THE QUESTION, HOW MUCH OVERTIME DOES IT TAKE TO FIGURE FOPAT’S OVERTIME?

(Updated 12/22/2021)

                                                                                           Vickie A. Larsen

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

11/01/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Let It All Hang Out*

The Hombres – 1967

written by Jeff Paris/Moon Calhoun

A preachment, dear friends, you are about to receive
On John Barleycorn, nicotine, the temptations of Eve”
(Bronx cheer)* to Finance Office

No RV parkin’ near the sewer line

Dang that cat needs a tag, ’cause the city’s broke

Water drippin’ out the water tower spout

But we don’t care, let it all hang out!

Mayor Haeder called the November 1, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Lukas Driesen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present for the city.  Present in the gallery were Gordon Richard-reporter, Jennifer Schuller, Amanda Ericson, Brian Johnson, Aaron Larsen, Theresa Deem, Vickie Larsen-blogger and city ‘what-evah’ Wanda Halverson.  The assemblage recited the Pledge of Allegiance and so it goes, we’re gonna let it all hang out! 

Clingin’ to a metal chair with my knees

Sun is still shinin’ in the street

Nobody knows (not even the Mayor) what the agenda is about

It’s too much man, we’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda item #3 – Mayor calls for Approval of the Agenda.  No changes in the line-up, so they’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #4 – Mayor calls for Approval of the Minutes of October 4, 2021, and October 18, 2021, and so with no challenges or corrections in FO Pat’s version of the minutes the council voted to accept.

No one steppin’ up to take a Ward II chance

No council interview to make FO Pat spill her Victoria’s Secrets

No time to waste on a fade out

It’s a cause lost, so we’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #5 – Interviews of the vacant Ward II council seat.  No takers, FO Pat must be losin’ her touch in her search for protections against Patty Whackers.

Agenda Item #6 – Alcester Chamber of Commerce – Amanda Ericson appeared on behalf of the Alcester Chamber of Commerce to request street closure for the Christmas Tree Lighting event.  Her request was granted by the council but with the codicil Mayor Haeder wanted to consult with Chief of Police Austin Schuller.

Pinned up with my button plea

I listened to the following opinioned input

Much of it held some clout

It smacked and walloped, but we’re gonna let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input.

(12:42.00) Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples voiced her concerns with the public Facebook criticisms of the Finance Office.  Councilwoman Peeples stated, “…First people I met when I moved here were the city Finance Officer Jurrens…Chief Jeff Christie and Police Officer Austin Schuller.  They are the reason I fell in love with this town…”  (16:27.10) Councilwoman Peeples went on to comment on the signs that were put into place by the Commercial Club-now known as the Chamber of Commerce.  These signs are in a condition which fails to give a welcome message.

(17:57.53)  Vickie Larsen was next.  I asked if Chief Austin’s On-Call was paid.  I was told he had received his On-Call pay November 1, 2021, two weeks after the council voted to pay the On-Call time.  I questioned why the payment was delayed since the council voted to pay the debt on October 18, 2021.  I asked why FO Pat delayed payment.  She used a variety of excuses why she deliberately failed to pay Chief Austin.  From she didn’t want to do a special payroll, so she delayed the payment.  Oh and yes (18:38.80) FO Pat, “…I don’t appreciate that comment…”Yo, FOPat do ya realize the penalty of delaying payment to an employee?  Folks check out the FLSA.  Usually government entities cannot be sued but if any delay in payment is deliberate or punitive, immunity may be waived.  In addition, if a city employee takes this action on her own initiative she may be liable for damages actual and punitive and may rise to criminal. 

>I noted the Freedom of Information for the credit card itemized billings were missing a month or two, but that I would be sending which months were missing in the warrant records I was given access to on Monday, October 11. 2021, at 10:00 a.m. 

>I asked whether former Police Chief Jeff Christie was paid for his On-Call time.  Mayor Haeder answered, (19:10.46) “I believe his account was completely settled up when he left.”  In other words, Mayor Haeder did not know firsthand and was working off FO Pat’s ‘word’ Chief Christies’s On-Call time was paid, on time and in full.  

(19:18.40) Jennifer Schuller voice her displeasure of the delay in payment to Chief Austin for his On-Call time.  She spoke of On-Call time covering a span from June 6, 2021 to September 25. 2021.  She spoke of the FO Pat’s failure to post the job opening for several weeks. (20:26.93) Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Alcester City Safety Committee responded to Jennifer Schuller’s comments, acknowledging the city dropped the ball.  (21:53.43) We should have been doing our job.  (22:56.27)  Mayor Haeder states it is going to be paid, it is being paid acknowledging the city failed Chief Austin.  (23:49.90)  FO Pat injections. “I’m going to stand up for our office because our office took the brunt of all these negative comments that were made…there was not communication from the public safety committee or the mayor”.  WOW such loyalty, you sure did through your bosses under the bus.  Too bad your employee evaluation cannot be made public.  Maybe the public would like to file their own evaluation of how ya’ll are doin’ your job.  FO Pat goes on to say, “…we didn’t know…”,   Yo Pat welcome to our world, you commented one time in the office at the auditorium when I was in the hallway waiting, “what the council doesn’t know…”!  (25:39.27)  Mayor says, “we’re not trained…there’s no class we can go to”  Tell us again Mayor Haeder, ’cause FO Pat knows about them and so should City Attorney Sam Nelson.  It’s call SDML (South Dakota Municipal League) and the city of Alcester is a member.  In fact folks there was a conference just this past October.  Point of fact, October 7, 2021, Thursday at 9:00 a.m. there was a workshop/class for Elected Officials:

“9:00 a.m.  Elected Officials Workshop 1. Public Nuisances: Problems and Solutions Dave Pfeifle, Director, SDPAA ` Ryan Sage, Assistant City Attorney, Sioux Falls • Authority to Access Property for Inspection and Photos • Entry onto Property for Abatement • Junk Car Removal Process • Bring your questions for discussion! 2. Connecting With Your Community, Even During Crisis Heather Hitterdal, Owner, H Squared Communications A variety of projects require public buy-in to succeed. The best intentions don’t matter if the project never gets off the ground because of public controversy. Heather will help you engage the community with accurate and timely information that will inspire trust, acceptance, and support.” https://www.sdmunicipalleague.org

In fact I know Pat Jurrens, a June 2012 council appointee filling the Ward II city council vacancy attended a SDML workshop on Property Maintenance in Pierre.  By-the-way the city paid for her registration and she only attended one class on her way fishing.  Pat Jurrens has also attended the SDML Finance Officers School and Municipal Elections workshop so her whiny excuses, “I didn’t know” should have the Pinocchio rule applied or is there an app for that.  (31:43.90) Mayor Haeder states, “we should have thought about this three months ago…”  IT WAS YOUR JOB, MAYOR!

(33:44.43)  Councilwoman Linda Talbott asked about the interviews and how should she handle the documents arising out of those interviews.  Put them in a safe place and keep them out of the hands of the Finance Office.  ‘Cause I have found in the past, things just ‘disappear’.

(34:44.47)  Theresa Deem asked if the hours of the Golf Course Bar were going to be enforced.  Note the tap-dance Mayor Haeder did about enforcement.  He never said a word about the employee who allegedly sold multiple packs of beer, locked up but left the patrons still sitting on the patio of the golf club house.  (39:23.67)  After a lengthy discussion on city and state laws on alcohol, it was acknowledged it is against the law to send a patron out with a glass of booze in their hand.  OMG shades of the BYOB Birthday party and sending out open bottles of booze with the clean-up crew of one.

(42:26.77) While the Alcester Community Center is not officially open, they have been granted temporary occupation.  Now the building must be inspected by certified professionals in the various fields of inspection to be allowed to have public events or occupations.  Guess who did the inspections?  Why is was none other than Geoff Fillingsness, the city code enforcement officer who is employed at $25 per hour by the city of Alcester to do property maintenance inspections.  What is wrong with this picture? Is he really going to tell Pat he cannot inspect her…building?   Yeah right.

(43:28.03) Mayor Haeder had input regarding the HRC.

Agenda Item #8   Legal Updates-nothing consequential.

Agenda Item #9 – Redistricting Resolution- No action taken, draft was not completed.

Agenda Item #10 – Sterling Snow Truck –  (47:35.30)  The Mac is out but now we have a better (?) pick.  It is a 2006 Sterling A9500 for the great price of $39.900.00.  Lonnie Johnson, street department was traveling to Cedar Rapids Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. to have a-look-see.  According to Pat we looked at it on-line and for the edification of the council Pat made copies.  I went on line and looked at the pictures, I sure hope the Sterling stays in Cedar Rapids.  My problem is the warrant and check (?).  Pat says, “…we couldn’t tell from the pictures…” (about the cracks?)  Right fender had a spider webs of what appeared to be cracks in the fiberglass.  This was on the website showing the vehicle.  I believe there were 16 pictures of the interior and the spider-web on the right fender.  Those were not on the handouts.  Unfortunately when I went back to the site to save those photos the unit was no longer on the site.

It is still smokin’ in the big window council room

So FoPat and Wanda how does Face timing with social media mess you up?

Eatin’ you Panera baguettes, bistro soup and Greek sandwiches

Suck it up mesdames, let it all hang out!

Agenda Item #11 – Community Center Staff Hire (54:30.43)

Agenda Item #12  – Community Center Cleaning Contract (01:04:25.87)

Voted to spend $1300 a month for cleaning.

Agenda Item #13 – Community Center Equipment (01:06:48.00)  $19,160.36

Dinnerware , Tableware, food service items.  Now folks I really gotta share this with you ’cause it shows how hard the Finance Officer works.  FO Pat met with Mr. Nyreen and Mr. Nygard October 11, 2021, in the city offices while I was present.  The conversation I heard went like this, FO Pat saying, “…should we use plates for salads or bowls for salads…” and “…we’ll go up to Maxwells tomorrow afternoon make final decisions…”  She spent almost an hour and a half  put her two cents in on what kind of dinnerware, tableware and other items.  Council voted to accept the $19,160.36 price tag.  Oh yeah lest we forget the purchase of 33 dozen dinner plates was included in that figure.

Agenda Item #14 – Wastewater Facility Upgrade  (01:12:35.07)  Council voted to approve boring bid of $6250.00 with a $15.00 per foot. 

Agenda Item #15 – HRC  (01:20:58.53)

Agenda Item #16Finance Office Update  (01:31:21.37)

Agenda Item #17Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel (01:33:03.33) 

27 minutes of disgusting personnel. 7:34 p.m.- 8:01 p.m.

Agenda Item #18 – Adjourn  8:02 p.m.

Writ’ the story all day, took notes all night

Eyes tired,  Brain numb, can’t stop now

For sure, there ain’t no doubt about FO Pat’s snout,

Kept an open mind and now I’m gonna let it all hang out!*

*inspired by the lyrics of the song, (Let It All Hang Out) 1967 performed by The Hombres written by Jeff Paris/Moon Calhoun

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the folks who attended the city council meeting Monday night, November 1, 2021, to support Police Chief Austin.  You have read, heard and viewed what went on in that meeting.  The Facebook conversations referred to in that meeting, were from individuals offering up their opinions as individuals not entities or organization.   

Mayor Haeder and the council hold the power of the Finance Office, not the other way around.  When FO Pat Jurrens is directed, told, commanded to do something within her job description, she is to do it forthwith!  Not delay, dally or defer to a time when she feels like doing her job.

When I have been questioned by Mayor Haeder or the council at the council meetings, they ask me why am I speaking of the issue?  I usually respond it is something I myself has witnessed or gathered irrefutable proof.  I do have folks who come to me because they feel council listens yet does nothing.  People are afraid for their jobs or retaliation from the Finance Office or Council members if they push back.  I have a bit of advice, for any city employee or any city official who elects to harass a citizen in their workplace, particularly if the citizen is a federal employee.  Be very careful!

Oh yeah, Wanda you happily collect overtime for what-ever-it-is you do but our police officers cannot not!

After what I have witnessed, heard and overheard, it appears we need the Busy Bees come and fumigate our Finance Office and we will gladly pay $1300. 00 for that service.

Heard a man lying through his teeth

Watched a woman honing her on-going criminality skills

Making Charles Ponzi look like a girl scout a sellin cookies

Sorry ’bout that, but I am gonna let it all hang out.*

*inspired by the lyrics of the song, (Let It All Hang Out) 1967 performed by The Hombres written by Jeff Paris/Moon Calhoun

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

10/27/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Stand and Deliver

Eric Clapton

“Stand and deliver

You let them put the fear on you

Stand and deliver

But not a word you heard was true

But if there’s nothing you can say

There may be nothing you can do” *

September 18, 2021 City Council MeetingAgenda Item #9 – (38:06.87) On Call Pay  Police Chief Austin Schuller presented his claim for his unpaid on call time of  $1.36 per hour compensation for his on call status. Folks as the council tried to grasp of paying their chief of police what was due him and I suspect what was withheld from for Police Chief Christie by Finance Officer Jurrens and Mayor Haeder. 

Listen carefully to the discussions:   (51:41.80)(55:47.77)(1:01:56.80)(1:03:04.47) (1:03:25.23) and (1:04:15.87).  Now pay special attention to FO Ass’t Wanda Halverson.  Where does Wanda get off comparing her duties of filing, sweeping and shopping with the duties and obligations of law enforcement? 

At the October 18, 2021, council meeting video marker (1:03:04.90) Wanda says,

“can I say something?…Nobody else gets on-call pay, they (?) get calls all weekend long… you don’t want your water treatment plant uh plant flooding.

Chief Schuller who actually had the floor,

“you get to go to Sioux Falls whenever you feel like…when you are off?”

Wanda,

U-h-m, not all the time…No…not if there is something going on…We (who is we?) usually stay at home and make sure nothing is needed…  (Here Wanda raises her voice) I’M JUST SAYING NOBODY  ELSE GETS TO GO TO…YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN… NOBODY ELSE GETS ON-CALL DUTY AND THEY ARE…HE ( who is he?) DOESN’T GET ON-CALL PAY.”

Councilwoman Linda Talbott says,

“…but this is in our policy…”

Wanda,

“…But isn’t everybody else…shouldn’t everybody get on-call pay?  If one department does…I get stupid ones (phone calls) at home…there’s a dog running-at-large…I need the dump key…the..the shed over there…the park shelter… the shelter.”

Councilman David Larsen breaks in with,

…Let’s, let’s figure out much that is…” (?)

Folks. I want to go back to Alcester employee Wanda’s reference to a phone call “…I need the dump key…”  Hell-O?  So folks is the city office just handing out dump keys to anybody to dump anything.  REALLY?  The dump-site has hours in which waste is accepted, those manned hours should be published at the dump-site, the city offices-site and the city web-site.  The city web-site does publish the Rubble site hours, so there ya go.  Shouldn’t need a key if ya’ll show up during open hours.

          Now going back to Wanda’s whine fest over ON-CALL duty.  I will again refer back to Mayor Haeder’s favorite public response when citizens of Alcester complain about certain decisions of the city council, “Suck-it-up buttercup!”  So in the Mayor’s own vernacular Ms. finance office employee, Suck it up Buttercup. 

Actually,  “suck it up, buttercup”  is another way of saying, “quit whining, and put your big girl (Duluth brand?) panties on” 

            So Wanda, nobody else got that $100 medical insurance stipend that you did ’cause you were already on a family policy through your spouse’s work place.  In the past, medical insurance for city employee’s was take it or leave it, not go screeching down the aisle let’s make a deal.

          By the way does the city withhold the proper taxes for those windfall stipends or it is up to W-the-WNR to claim those stipends she gets as income.  Folks, “Stipends are fixed amounts that are paid to an individual to offset certain expenses…Smaller stipends are sometimes offered to defray specific costs like phones.  For example a monthly $30 phone stipend allows the employee to pay for a phone of their own choosing.  BUT using your own telephone, private email or computer with a city app. has inherent problems.  For instance, if the city records are subpoenaed for cause, so to may your personal telephone, your personal computer, your personal email and ALL information they contain.  Now that would be entertaining for the good citizens of Alcester to read any subpoenaed transcripts of emails or computer contacts of say the finance officer or the mayor.  So why do the council members not have city-generated emails where citizens can contact them and the city snoop patrol not have access to private emails.  Laziness?

          Because stipends are not wages for services, Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld.  Stipends are still considered taxable income.  Since employers are not required to withhold taxes on a stipend, employees of the city receiving stipends should maintain records of those quarterly stipends you receive throughout the year.

          Back to the On-Call issue. 

  “Policy 5:  Hours of Work – 5.6 ON CALL TIME:  ‘Police Department:  The Chief of Police  (not the mayor, not the finance officer nor Wanda Halverson)will schedule on-call time.  Officers who are on-call will comply with the same standard of care and conduct as the on-duty officers.  While on-call, officers will remain within 15 miles of the City of Alcester, and avoid situations where they would not be able to receive and respond to calls from dispatch.

          Officers who are on-call will respond to calls for police services as quickly and as safely as possible.  When responding to calls for police services, officers will consider the nature of the call, the need for immediate assistances, road conditions, weather conditions, traffic conditions and other circumstances that may pose risks to public safety.  Response times will reflect these conditions.’”

After Wanda’s whining the council spoke of dealing with ON-CALL FOR ALL or ON-CALL FOR NONE.  That is bull***t.  Come to the November 1, 2021, 6:00 p.m. meeting and make your voice hear.

You wanna be your own driver

Or keep on flogging a dead horse?

Do you wanna make it better

Or do you wanna allow it to be made worse?

*

Do you wanna our law enforcement to be free

Or do you wanna them to be slaves?

Do you wanna then to wear those FO $$ chains

Until they’re lying in the grave?

*

Stand and Deliver

You let her put the fear on you

Slow down that river called follow the leader council  voting

If there’s nothing you can say (according to the mayor)

There may be something you CAN do.

*

Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver

*

Stand and Deliver your view on November 1, 2021.**

Do we want safety for and with our law enforcement team or do we want this:

    October 18, 2021, Video marker (1:01:53.73) Councilman David Larsen opinion,

“If there’s a school shooting, county’s going to have to take care it…If someone is burglarizing my house, I’ll take care of it!”

Vigilantism?

Folks you want to take back control?

Tell the council!  Do not just tell them, trusting something will be done.  Look them in the face, make them look at you and then tell you to your face to Buck it up Buttercup. 

The Buck stops with WE THE PEOPLE

Stand and Deliver!

Make Alcester Great Again!

Come to the meeting Monday, November 1, 2021 – 6:00 p.m.

**Inspired by the song, Stand and Deliver, Written By Van Morrison – Performed by Eric Clapton

Release Date December 4, 2020

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

09/20/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.

Walter Elliot

Mayor  Haeder called the September 20, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:01 p.m. with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Council members present in the council room were Councilwoman Linda Talbot,  Councilwoman Darla Reppe and City Attorney Sam Nelson with Councilman David Larsen and Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples taking part in the meeting via telephone/cell phone.   Absent were Councilman Brian Johnson and Councilman Curtis Keiser.

Agenda Item #3 – Mayor Haeder called for Agenda Approval which passed unanimously with four votes.  Please take note here the inherent problems with a telephonic council meeting.  Aside from the fact the Mayor cannot effectively determine the telephonic council persons are alone during executive sessions.

Agenda Item #4  – Council Resignations of Brian Johnson and Curtis Keiser due to cause.  Both men tendered their resignations via email letter stating why they were resigning from the council.  To paraphrase; lack of common business sense, lack of spending controls, pig-pet trolling, political symposium plugs coming out of the Alcester city office business, making time for meetings which turn into marathon exercises of “well back in Salem, we did this”…”well back in Emery, we did that” and other marathon memory meme’s.

          Councilman David Larsen made the motion to accept the resignations of Brian Johnson, Ward II and Curtis Hunter, Ward III and thanking both men for their service. (?) (04:23:20)   Councilwoman Darla Reppe  (04:35.10) seconded the motion as it was spoken and no correction to the name.  (05:13.23)  Mayor Haeder announcesunanimous approval vote to accept the resignations of Brian Johnson and Curtis Hunter.  NOT ONE WORD OF APPRECIATION TO THE TWO MEN from Mayor Haeder.  ‘Spose they will get a plaque? 

          (05:43.00) Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples asked the Mayor to repeat the names of the folks who made the motions and who seconded the motions.  She could not hear over the telephone.  Councilwoman Peeples made the point that telephonic participation in a city council meeting is minimal at best.  No see, no hear, and can lose connection in a heartbeat.

          The group went on to approve advertisement for two more city council members.

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input  (06:57:23)  Gordon Richard introduced himself as a reporter and  asked Mayor Haeder for a statement or statements regarding the cause for the two resignations so soon after appointment to the council.  Mayor Haeder told Mr. Richard that he really should ask the two former councilmen.  They had given their resignations via email.  (08:04.33)  Mr. Richard asked if the emails could be public information. The  Mayor turned to the actual lawyer and asked the question if the email would be public and city attorney Sam Nelson responded he felt it would be public accessible. (08:34.60)   With Mr. Richard’s question answered Mayor Haeder asked for more public input. 

          I responded (08:53.83)  covered several subjects included my FOIA for Water information, my FOIA for Credit card information.  I thanked the resigning councilmen for their service and I asked if Wanda was on the clock taking notes? (09:47:90)  Folks the Finance Officer is present, on-the-clock and taking council minutes is her duty.  In the past our city Attorney took notes on the minutes of the meeting.  So now it has been the habit to have Wanda Halvorson sitting presumably on-the-clock taking notes, the city Finance Officer is on-the-clock presumably take minutes and we have a City Attorney on-the-clock who could be taking notes on the minutes.  So we have a two employees from the finance office city in the council meeting at a wage of somewhere between the two of them is $50-$60/hour straight time, Overtime is $75-$90/hour and a city attorney who is booking out at $130 per hour.  So if one takes the September 7, 2021, meeting as an example, the fee for 4 hours worth of council meeting would cost the city $200-$240 straight time, $300-360 Overtime and legal time $520.00 for just one night.  Think about if folks, the city has now gone to two regular meetings per month for 24 meetings per year.  In addition, in the month of August, I believe there were at least 2 special meetings in addition to the two regular meetings.  Now figure that into your calculations.  Worth it, I do not think so.  I then made mention of some gifting, which has apparently taken place, of inappropriate gift which step over the line of sexual harassment.  I mention this because this had been reported to the council.  The council apparently took no action.  Now Folks presuming this event is accurate, the council was indeed informed and took no action the theory of ‘joint and severally’ kicks in.  Simply put if a criminal action takes place, it is reported to the superiors and the superiors take no action, the city can be sued and each individual council member can be personally named and redress can be exacted.  I find this behavior distasteful and criminal.  Nor do I think the later response made after I brought it up is inappropriate because it negates the duty to act and makes sport of the complaint. (17:32.30)  City Attorney Sam starts in on the Water Bill FOIA, he has his opinion and I have mine. (11:27:77)  Good Gravy Sam , I am not asking how many baths a week are drawn or who is sharing the bathtub! I had one more comment to Councilman David Larsen, I left copies of the Facebook accounts listed under the Alcester Golf Course and Alcester Golf Club mentioned in the previous meeting at his place on the council table. One additional comment to add which did not happen in the council meeting and is adverse to FO Pat’s comment regarding Rick Huber handled the Facebook pages, was the fact Mr. Rick Huber states he gave everything he had from the Golf Course to the city secretary when he left his position.

Agenda Item #6   Police Department

Full-time Police Officer candidate was presented.  Tracy Grayson Reid Cannon-Lass has applied for the position and agreed to the terms and conditions of employment.  The council voted to hire Grayson Lass as he prefers to be called.  Officer Lass will be paid $17 per hour until he is certified and then he will be paid $18 per hour.  Welcome to Alcester Officer Lass.

Agenda Item #7   Medical Cannabis

A)  Approval of the Licensing of Medical Cannabis – 2nd Read approved unanimously

B)  Approve of Zoning for Medical Cannabis – 2nd Read approved unanimously

Agenda Item #8   Legal Updates –  None

Agenda Item #9   Chairperson Updates-

          Golf Course patrons approached the city to form a Golf Course advisory Board.  This board would be limited to opinions only with no power.  The proposed make-up of this board would be; 2- male, 2-female, 1- council member and 2- members of the community.

          The library needs a handicap friendly door.  The $1200 total cost of this proposed modification would be shared 50/50 by the school and the city of Alcester.

Agenda Item #10   Office Building Door  Update is that City Glass effected a fix for the door so that it can be opened.  No confirmation of cost sharing between the city and the board.  Two entities have been contacted for quotes, quotes shared during the meeting were ADG (Automatic Door Group) proposed a bid of $8990 while City Glass proposed a bid of $9885.  Since there are still some issues yet to be addressed on this project and the ultimate proposed cost share, the council elected to wait to make a decision.

Agenda Item #11  Finance Office Updates

A)  Budget second reading approval was unanimous.

B)  Work Comp Volunteer Roster added coverage for select groups beyond Fire and Ambulance was approved

C)  Test Results  for THHM and HAA were within acceptable limits.

D)  TextMy Gov was presented by Finance Officer Jurrens.  In spite of FO Jurrens apparent approval the council to its credit decided we already have a Website along with several other avenues of communication with the residents of Alcester, we do not need a $3K per year program with a $1200 fee in addition to the $3K for the first year sign up.  Council stated NOT INTERESTED–TOO SPENDY.

E)  Reminders.

Agenda Item #12  Alcester Community Center

A)  Bond Closure  –  AMKO with Premier Bank taking on the 20 year commitment at 2.5% interest.

B)  Center Rental Agreement  –  Council approved unanimously.

C)  Cart Rental Storage Agreement    –  Council approved unanimously

Agenda Item #13  –  Executive Session  – SDCL -25-2.1 Personnel

Evidently the council did not want to take up my proposal to speak to my concerns about personnel.  GO Figure!  Evidently the council is not concerned about an on-going problem.  Council went into Executive Session at 7:33 P.M. with Councilwoman Reppe, Councilwoman Talbot, City Attorney Sam Nelson and Mayor Haeder in the session.  At 8:04 P.M. Finance Officer Jurrens was called into answer questions.  The Executive Session remained in session with the additional of Finance Officer Jurrens remaining in the session until 8:48 P.M.  NO ACTION WAS TAKEN ON THE SESSION RESULTS.

Agenda Item #14  City Employees

 A)  Hire James Anderson for the duties of part-time Utility person for Landfill, cemetery, mowing and snow removal.  Unanimously approval to hire at $15.00 per hour.

B)  Hire Mitch Merrick for the duties of part-time snow removal and mowing at unanimously approved hire at $15.00 per hour.

Agenda Item #15  Adjourn

Council unanimously approve adjournment at 8:51 P.M.

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 Brian Johnson – Resigned

Councilman Curtis Keiser – Resigned 

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517

02/12/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

A forward here to explain the nature of the video.  This was a come and go affair not a seated gallery who posed questions to the architect.  This affair was set to run from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  In actual fact the gallery roams at will and around 5:00 p.m. all activity ceased but the architect Kyle, Gary McKellips, Pat Jurrens and myself remained until 5:30 p.m. to allow for any late comers.  For brevity of boredom, I have edited out the final half hour of no movement beyond just the videographer and three presenters.

“…We can sit on the patio/veranda at the golf course and watch the Alcester-Hudson football game…”

Now ain’t that speschal. Say isn’t there an admissions fee to games to help fund the athletic programs in the school?

I attended the pre-bid informational session with local and not-so-local contractors, electrical trades, plumbing trades, landscaping trades and of course construction trades at 2:00 p.m. in the school library. COOP Architecture was present and running the session, Alcester City Employees present were city bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens, Dale Pearson and Lonnie Johnson. Also in attendance were the funding entourage of Gary McKellips and Tom Walsh. Those attending were asked to sign in and were presented with an agenda at that time. Most already had quasi-blueprints and mechanical drawings.

There was a question-answer period in which several of the group asking for clarification on the two separate but con-joined buildings (i.e. the ‘shed’ and the ‘community event’ structure.

Later at 4:00 p.m, I attended the ‘Ask the Architect’ session in the city council room sans chairs. I planned on video-taping the session laboring under the assumption it was to be an informational meeting addressing community questions concerning the structure, financial concerns and a general opinion the city offices and council chambers should remain downtown Alcester within a gallery seating type venue.  O-O-P-S!

Sadly and disappointingly this session was anything but informational. Sure there were architectural renditions of a vision but it came very evident that,

“common sense is a flower that doesn’t grow in the gardens at 308 Iowa or 410 Hidin’ in the bushes Drive”

Anyone watching the amendments to the design, the two rooms originally labeled office and conference room with a static grand total of 883 square feet of space has to think WOW! Approximately 440 square feet of space per each room where current city office rooms run slightly less, square footage-wise. However the current finance office would benefit greatly if they removed the chest deep freezer from the room.

AND SHORT-SIGHTEDLY

There is NO provision in the community center for a REAL however ad-libbed council chamber.

JUST A CHANGE IN LABELS NOT DESIGN OR DIMENSIONS.

SAMPLE COUNCIL CHAMBER

FINANCE OFFICE AND COUNCIL CHAMBERS NEED TO STAY DOWNTOWN!

 

01/27/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

The January 27, 2020, special meeting of the Alcester City Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Glas, Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder*, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilman Lance Johnson present. Absent was Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

The council along with the gallery recited the Pledge of Allegiance and with that the meeting began.

First order of business after the call-to-order and the pledge was approval of the agenda. Mayor Glas called for a motion to approve the agenda (03:48:80). Glas mentioned an ‘error’ and the two fives would become 5A and 5B, so Councilman Johnson moved to accept the agenda without adding the change in the agenda, a second came from Councilman David Larsen with no correction to the agenda, and with no discussion the council voted unanimously to accept the agenda.

Agenda Item #4 – Public Input. I responded I had public input and with my announcement, Mayor Glas commented(04:27.80), “…Let’s try to hold it down to a couple minutes…” to which I responded…”…well it will take what it takes…”(04:31:87),” and I proceeded with my comments. There was no other public input.

Agenda Item #5 – (A) Approve Architect Agreement, CO-OP Architecture (AIA B101). FO Pat did an introductory quasi summary, most of which related to the 500+ pages of just one of the agreements. FO Pat noted there was a tele-conference between CO-OP Architecture, Tom Freiberg, Sam Nelson, Mayor Glas and FO-Pat to discuss the contract.

Agenda Item #5– (B) Community Center Plans and Specifications. This item was re-listed by Mayor Glas as Agenda Item 5B but it was not approved as such, there was no motion on Agenda Item 5B, there was no second on Agenda Item 5B, there was no discussion on Agenda Item 5B and no separate vote on Agenda Item 5B. So as I see it, Community Center Plans and Specifications renamed by Mayor Glas as Agenda Item 5B and approved as such by the council in their approval of agenda was not dealt with at all.

Agenda Item #6 – Community Center Advertising. Councilwoman Melissa Kay moved to approve this agenda item, Councilman Lance Johnson seconded the motions and under discussion Councilman David Larsen made some observations and remarks. (20:31:60)

During this discussion Councilman David Larsen wanted to make it clear that he was in favor of the project but with strong strings attached. In these remarks Councilman Larsen insisted that the finance office and the council chamber existence were non-negotiable in his opinion.  No mention of the police department.  So what are they to do, run around like a taco truck type mobile office to maintain law and order?   Councilman Larsen states that,

“the finance office needs a better place…the office is cramped…small and should be across from the council chamber because of all the hauling of stuff the finance office staff has to do for council meeting… and in the five months of summer operation the city could save $120 per week by having the finance office accept those few (2-4) greens fees that may come in the morning hours (8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.) …”

In addition the city council chamber needs to be more sound proof… we have 3 million votes for the community building and while a vote of citizens is okay it would be a waste of time and money… astute citizens…”

Argument

  • the finance office needs a better place, the finance office is cramped, the finance office is small.  Vickie’s Answer:  Find a building downtown that has more space. Present finance office is around 180 square feet give or take. Clean out the superfluous junk out of the finance office. Take one desk out of the finance office.
  • the finance office should be across from the council chamber.  Vickie’s Answer:  The Finance office does not have to be across from the council chamber, if all that heavy lifting of a bunch of stuff for council meetings, get the finance officer a grocery cart.
  • if the finance office received the green fees, the city could save $120 per week by the finance office accept 2 to 4 greens fees.  Vickie’s Answer:  Dump the second Finance officer in favor of a golf course employee who can take greens fees, read meters, do mailings and pick up the mail. You will save more like $15,000 per year.
  • the council chamber needs to be more sound proof.  Vickie’s Answer:  Yeah, it does! According to the technical article of February 1, 2016, titled, “6 City Council Chambers Design Mistake to Avoid… council chambers revolve around communication…Audio, Video and Technology should be considered early during the design process…Failure to consider these items now will result in problems down the road…Acoustics…Just like any other gathering place or presentation space, speech intelligibility is critical in a City Council Chamber…contemplate camera angles…(Base 4 Tech, LLC dba Vibe Design Group) (vibedesigngroup.net/6-city-council-chambers-design-mistakes-to-avoid/).”  So tell me where is the gallery supposed to sit in the COOP Chamber room? Going by the supposition the existing finance office/council chambers (measures approximately 325 sq.ft. for council chamber and 200 sq.ft finance office for total of 525 sq. ft.) and the projected COOP finance office/council chamber (appears as 883 sq.ft. which if divided equally between the two rooms will allot the finance office 441.5 sq.ft and the council chamber 441.5 sq. ft.)  

In Councilman David Larsen’s remarks he says, (20:56:45), ” we have 3 million votes for the community center…a vote of the citizens is okay but an astute citizen…would be a waste of time and money…”

Stepping back to a question posed by Councilwoman Melissa Kay about what happens if we do not raise the shortfall money for the community project, can we get a loan. Finance Officer Pat Jurrens answered no because we (the city) already have a loan for $500,000 for the community center project. Listen to the video. In addition and so the citizens are aware, it is my understanding there are strings to those 3 million votes to the effect if the matching moneys are not coughed up the deal is dead. So that is imaginary votes or money?

Now going back to that part of the statement “…we have 3 million votes…”.  Please tell me that you do not mean 3 million dollars translate into 3 million votes and they hold more weight than our 830 some votes as a tax-paying citizens. Evidently I am not one of those “astute citizens”.  I in my world 3 million dollar/votes, do not dictate how to spend our tax dollars nor burden our children with a debt the city cannot pay but in my world a  finance officer we cannot trust according to indictments would be summarily dismissed.

Motion on Agenda Item #6 was made by City Councilman David Larsen, seconded by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, no further discussion with a unanimous vote of aye.

Agenda Item #7- Approve Architect Agreement COOP Architecture-Councilwoman Melissa Kay made the motion to approve the agreement with the second coming from Councilwoman Linda Talbott, no discussion and a unanimous vote of aye.

Agenda Item #8– Executive session-was not needed. Amazing!

Agenda Item #9 – Adjourn-Councilman David Larsen moved to adjourn, second came from Councilman Lance Johnson, no discussion and a unanimous vote of aye the January 27, 2020, meeting was adjourned at 6:24 p.m.

* Alcester City Councilman Dan Haeder purchased a home on the east side of Park Street which places him in Ward III. According to statute he cannot represent Ward II IF his place of residence has changed, that he would have to resign his seat. I asked him about this back in late December and he said that he had discussed it with the council. I am left to wonder about the delay in residency.

09/16/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Please note the placement of the wire basket of folders on the council table. It certainly is convenient for Mayor Glas and Councilman Lance Johnson to hide behind. Just so ya’ll know Pat, I can always crank my tripod up but the good folks in the gallery cannot clearly see the faces of Mayor Glas and Councilman Lance Johnson or hear the Mayor and Councilman Johnson as they mumble their way through a meeting. Co-incidental, nah I don’t think so!

Mayor Tom Glas called the September 16, 2019, meeting of the Alcester City Council to order at 6:00 pm with Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman Lance Johnson, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, and Councilwoman Darla Reppe. Councilman David Larsen was absent as was Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #3-The council approved the agenda with one correction to the Executive Session. The Executive Session was for 1-25-2.3 NOT 1-25-2 what-evah!

1-25-2.   Executive or closed meetings–Purposes–Authorization–Violation as                             misdemeanor. Executive or closed meetings may be held for the sole                              purposes of:

(3)  Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from                                     legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual                                  matters;

The agenda change was approved with the change. Why is it that FO Pat cannot seem to get executive session correct? However Councilman Johnson. “so move” just does not cut it. Ya’ll got to STATE the motion. For all we know when ya’ll say “so move” Councilman Lance Johnson, you could be a tellin’ ol’ Mayor Glas to move his little ol’ self over, ’cause he’s a crowdin’ yer space.

The agenda did not address the minutes from the September 4, 2019, meeting so neither did the council. So the September 4, 2019, minutes are left in the fridge just like left-over pasta till the council can ‘get-to-them’.

Agenda Item#4 Input-

  • I raised the issue that the Alcester Food Pantry DOES NOT have a CBDG Loan, it is the Alcester Health Services Foundation. I pointed out FO Pat’s error and suggested she take better care in the naming CBDG Loan recipients accurately within city documents.
  • I went on to remind the group of a FOIA regarding the listing of folks receiving notices from the Pat and Geoff Property Maintenance Protection Squadron (Snoopy staffen).
  • Lastly I addressed Councilman Lance Johnson, handing out a copy of his letter of intimidation to the council members. I warned him about bullying and intimidation and I would not tolerate his behavior. I was never on any property belonging to the Johnson Family Trust, I was just looking for a genuine building permit which as of last night STILL is not posted IF it exits.

Next up during Input was Jon Serck from the Alcester Ambulance who started out with an apology to the council for a letter sent in response to a letter to the ambulance from the city dunning the ambulance for water and sewer usage.

Folks for almost 16 years I volunteered with the Alcester Ambulance as an EMT and treasurer/bookkeeper. In fact I was one of a group of volunteers who worked very hard to re-vive the defunct ambulance with donations arising out of fundraisers, residual funds from the previous ambulance and a lot of hard work. The former ambulance vehicle was given away, the ambulance garage building had been combined with the police department and there was no equipment left. So we started with nothing and we had to prove ourselves (rightly so) to the former crew. We had an uphill struggle. We scheduled certification classes, Beresford ambulance graciously allowed us use of some of their equipment with which to practice our skills for testing and we sat for the national certification tests, practicals and written. In 1996 we passed our testing and we were nationally certified EMT’s.

But we still needed an ambulance vehicle, medical supplies and a place to store our rig. We purchased a used ambulance for $15K, bought sheets blankets, medical supplies, radios, pagers and so on with the donated moneys. Alcester Fire Department graciously allowed us to store our ambulance in their garage. Union County came through with annual funding of around $10K and Alcester City eventually footed our cell phone, back up to our radio. In the entire time I spent volunteering with the Alcester Ambulance and handling the accounts the only monetary support from the city of Alcester was one cell phone and a place on the volunteer insurance roster.

We managed to save our money to purchase a new reliable ambulance, upgrade our equipment, build our own building, upgrade radios, upgrade AED and add a computer with the capability to connect with the hospitals.

NOW I find out in last night’s meeting that FO Pat has been charging the VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE for sewer and God only know what else. Now folks the way the sewer is charged, it is inextricably tied to water usage. Therefore NO WATER CHARGE-NO SEWER CHARGE! It is my understanding the Fire Department is exempt from these charges. FO Pat continually rationalizes the Ambulance can bill. Stryker cot $10K-$20K, 12 lead AED $3K-$10K, New Ambulance $250K, required continuing education, upgrades in training and etc. The ambulance cannot slap a special assessment like FO Pat does (for now) and raise real estate taxes.

Agenda Item #5 2020 Budget second reading with a change separating the community building from the golf course.

Agenda Item #6 once again tabled to the October 2, 2019, meeting at the golf-course due to a new player in the auction field.

Agenda Item #7-destruction of water and sewer records with a snide shot from Pat about the Former Finance Officer saving records longer that she thinks he should have. Amazing, this coming from a woman who allegedly tossed a letter dunning the ambulance for water and sewer.

Executive Session Agenda Items #8-With no attorney present the council went into executive session for litigation purposes. So who is giving out legal advice, FO Pat? So for about 20 minutes the council visited about litigation with an occasional burst of laughter. GEE what is funny about litigation?

Agenda Item #9 Meeting was adjourned BUT, BUT Check out the Video. Pat continued to discuss business with a quorum present.

WAY-TO-GO!