04/05/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

“Don’t lie to me unless you’re absolutely sure that I will never find out the truth”

(ongoing criminality?)

Mayor Dan Haeder called the April 5, 2021, city council meeting to order with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Council members present were Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, and City Attorney Sam Nelson with Councilwoman Melissa Kay with Councilman Marcus Ireland participating via telephone. 

Agenda Item #3 – Mayor Haeder called for Approval of the Agenda.

Mistake #1 – Agenda Item #6 should never had been on the list, given the identity of  the Ward III Candidate.

Agenda Item #4 – Approval of March 1, 2021, and March 15, 2021, council minutes.  Approve without change.

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input –  Vickie Larsen brought up the #1- need for a storm shelter replacement.  The city instituted a storm shelter at the auditorium and when they sold the building they had an obligation to find a suitable alternative in my opinion; #2 –  improperness of alderman interviews before the first May meeting (little did I know all the facts on that one) (0:04:32.42); #3 – the custom computer and Finance Officer Patricia Jurren’s contention the custom computer is an IBM clone.  All computers after IBM could be described as clones (0:04:55.60)   Below you find the product of my FOIA/Sunshine request of February 17, 2021, regarding the custom computer, take special note of the scrawled notations on the invoice page and the costs. Folks I did not received any answer to my questions during or after my input.

Agenda Item #4 – 4th graders driving golf carts in the cemetery; #5 – tracking water usage of the Alcester Fire Department and an apparent personal use of free (straight off the backs of the Alcester taxpayers); and Finally #6 – the failure of Sunnyside Storage to complete a retaining wall on the south edge of their property on Sixth street.

Agenda Item #6 – Executive Session – Interview pursuant of SDCL 1-25-2-1 Alderman Interview with a motion to approve Ward III Alderman, term until next election.  Who put this on the agenda FOPat or the real mayor.  I had already raised the question of the error in procedure.  At Councilwoman Melissa Kay’s instigation with the active participation of City Attorney Sam Nelson and council actively disenfranchised Ward III residents by terminating a valid appointed councilwoman fulfilling her oath of office. Councilwoman Melissa Kay, City Attorney and the council continued their deliberate participation of the Ward III disenfranchisement by failing to seat a replacement from October 5, 2021, to April 5, 2021.  Now after discussion among the council, the city attorney and Mayor Haeder and without naming the candidate, the group decided by consensus to delay any appointments to the Ward III seat to the May 3, 2021, meeting.  I wondered why the rush to seat a Ward III council person before the proper time.  There was a guy seated behind me and of whose identity I was blissfully unaware.  Mayor Haeder looked around me and ask if the person who was going to be interviewed could make the May 3 meeting and received an affirmative response from the guy behind me. Had the council continued under FOPat’s thumb-print pressure, this individual would have been seated and able to vote on futher ward openings. Guess What, I have since learned the identity of the guy, and wonder-of-wonder it is none other than Dale Jurrens.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  What part of CONFLICT of INTEREST do you not get?  So tell me, (and we are likely to surpass the Armstrong, Iowa, story here) if the Finance Officer is sleeping with her Alderman does that count as overtime or does that qualify as merit pay?  And is that for one or both of them.  How does the city insurance work, do they both get insurance paid?  Does FOPat give him orders or as Ward III council person does Councilman Dalie give her orders?  So if there is a spat between FOPat and Councilman ‘Dalie’, do we have to pay City Attorney Sam Nelson to arbitrate and who pays that bill? Just askin’.

Agenda Item #7 – Paint South Dakota – No volunteers project dropped.

Agenda Item #8 – Legal – Sam Nelson  Mr. Nelson dealt with the property nuisance issues, and brought up two legislative issues.  One pertinent to Alcester is HB 1084 dealing with covenants (0:14:07.07) (0:15:29.07)where the time has been extended to 40 years to protect homeowners from sh*thousers.  City Attorney Sam says this does not apply to the variances given by Pat to her buds Lance, Mike and etc.  I disagree. Keep in mind here that FOPat and then-Ward III councilman Lance Johnson went to seek the counsel of Mike McGill fellow Beresford Lawyer to none other than our Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and I do believe upon Mr. Nelson’s recommendation. Isn’t that nice? “…We are all on one team…” except when it comes to protecting our property values from being decimated by barns/garages, sh*t house steel mansions and infected alien attorneys.

Agenda Item #9 – Department Head Updates –

No Dept. head from Streets;

No Dept. head from Water/wastewater but had input from FOPat who stated water is a enterprise fund and the city it to make money off our water.  (01:29:15.97)  Return to my input on the water usage by the Fire Department.  Folks the city (the residents of Alcester) pay for the water from Southern Rural Water.  The city has allowed the fair to use water from the city at no cost, in fact they watered the fairgrounds to get the grass to grow a couple of years ago.  The city allows the Fire Department to use water without cost to fight fires, Okay.  But to fill personal swimming pools, not on your life.  So did Fire Chief Kast approve this?

No Dept. head from cemetery, Chief Jeff was present with his report, Councilman David Larsen gave report on the Golf Course and the library.  Committee Chairperson reports did not happen cause no committee chairs were prepared or present.

Agenda Item #10 – Post Hole Digger – Motion to purchase a post hole digger from Axel Ericson for $1200.00 with three (3) attachments.  We now have the ‘tools’ to dig post holes.

Agenda Item #11– Ordinance/Policy Clarifications – This involves interpretations of parking Chapter 7.05  (0:43:11.47) (0:43:24.23)  and (1:00:07.9)

Agenda Item #12 – Re-Evaluation 2021-03 Face Coverings – no action needed

Agenda Item #14 – Water Meter Installation discussion of fees. (1:29:15.97)

Agenda Item #15 – Gravely Mower (1:47:39.10) FO Pat took it upon herself to have the mower put into the discard bin for scrap value.  (1:48:11.07) the bin is gone according to report.  FO Pat made the decision to surplus the mower WITHOUT council approval.  So who is Mayor?  The city bookkeeper is not the mayor nor is she a member of the council.  Apparently FOPat does not think she needs council approval of disposal of city property.

Agenda Item #16 – Life Guard certification pay back.  Given what I am hearing about paychecks, I wish the lifeguards good luck in getting reimbursement from the finance officer in a timely manner.

Agenda Item #17 – Sirens tested and will have a statewide tornado drill on April 21.

Agenda Item #18 – Finance Office Updates

Evidently the city is no longer using a direct deposit service for the employees and as I understand it the mayor cannot seem to sign the payroll checks in a timely manner.

Agenda Item #19 – Community center Update.

Agenda Item #20 – Fair board Update.

Agenda Item #21 – Executive Session if needed, it was not.  Fancy that!

Agenda Item #22 – Adjourn  8:22 P.M.


Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland     605-370-1193

03/15/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

“Without dreams, there can be no courage. And without courage, there can be no action.” 

Wim Wenders

Mayor Dan Haeder called the March 15, 2021, city council meeting to order with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Councilmembers present were Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, and Councilwoman Melissa Kay with Councilman Marcus Ireland via telephone.  No city attorney present.

Mayor Haeder called for Approval of the Agenda.

About five minutes into the meeting chiming started. A phone.

At 6:02 p.m. Mayor Haeder opened the Alcester Board of Equalization with just one appeal of valuation.  Karen Huenink was present to make appeal the valuation of the Huenink home.  The council meandered through the process of figuring out the percentage rise in value, the basis used to increase the value, and trying to answer the question, “…how did they know about updates/upgrades to raise the valuation?” (0:12:29.23) to which FOPat answered through building permits and routine valuation hikes.

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input  Bret Doering (0:29:39.20)was present to voice his appreciation and to personally thank our police department for their quick response to the break-in of his car-wash operation.

Councilwoman Darla Reppe (0:31:32.30)reported three issues.  John Wegh (0:31:43.47) local funeral home director contacted Councilwoman Reppe concerning street and alley approach failures to his business.  Councilwoman Reppe went on to report contact with the parents of lifeguards (0:34:28.17) employed by the city were concerned about WSI and lifeguard certification fees.  Most communities pay for the certifications, Alcester pays for one-half of the certification fee.  The fees are reported to be around $300.00.  The council considered the question, if the city wishes to retain lifeguards it would be in their best interests to pay the whole fee but in a contact situation where the lifeguard must work for a specific amount of time once they have certified at the expense of the city.  Councilwoman Reppe mentioned the continuation of an exposed pipe (0:41:23.90) in Lincoln Circle in which a street pipe was exposed and presented a safety issue.

Councilman David Larsen (0:42:55.83) asked a question regarding the garbage route which has presented some safety issues for our older residents who must schlep their garbage cans across the street to have the garbage truck pick up their garbage “to preserve the street”.  Evidently the garbage truck is not ambidextrous, its arm only swings one way.

Agenda Item #6 – Email Scam-  Emails were sent to some residents with Mayor Haeder listed as the sender.  He was not.  Emails requested help using the purchase of gift card.

Agenda Item #7 – Proper Police Department contact procedure. 

Agenda Item #8 – Proposed Street Maintenance – Mayor says be patient, it is not going to happen right away.  Folks prior to 2012 the street department would make their recommendation to the mayor, the street committee would also go out in the spring of the year to evaluate street conditions with those reports compared to previous years treatments and decisions would be made to take care those problem areas on a 3-4 year revolving plan.  Now it is not just the streets but the utility infrastructure under those street which needs attention.  My opinion the city needs to adopt a schedule and a plan of action with funding to repair our streets from west to east.

Agenda Item #9 – Library Board- the council voted to seat Cosette Heman for the three year term given up by Pam Hughes.

Agenda Item #10 – Paint South Dakota 2021- Still needs a chairperson and volunteer crews.  Deadline is April 15th, 2021 for implementation.  Will be placed on the April agenda.

Agenda Item #11 – Surplus chairs- Evidently Alcester EMS is in need of chairs, so the city elected to donate 20 chairs to the organization.

About 64 minutes into the meeting phone chiming continues on and off every minute or so. Again the chiming starts at about 68-69 minutes into the meeting. Yeah Wanda’s phone messaging her. Can we not find a solution to the chiming phone causing interruptions?

Agenda Item #12 – Personnel Policy Manual Changes.  Several observations here.  Human Resource Guru Councilwoman Kay and FOPat have been pushing the merit, longevity and of course the all-time favorite employee evaluation.  Motivation?  Well let’s see, when an employee starts at the top of the wage scale raises are limited to cost-of-living raises.  So after much, much discussion and conversation dealing with personal experiences and expectations from the mayor Resolution 2021-05 amendment to the Personnel Policy was moved to first reading.

Resolution 2021-06 amendment to the Personnel Policy was introduced with a cautionary warning from Councilwoman Darla Reppe who had done some research on the issue.  Councilwoman Reppe had been warned the city should steer clear of any policy change as outline in this resolution because it becomes a major problem. Vote was taken with four aye and one nay (Councilwoman Reppe)

Resolution 2021-07 Amendment to the Personnel Policy, was presented for first reading.  The Mayor asked, “What is the highest annual salary for an employee right now…” (1:29:56.77) FOPat answered, “… it is between the Chief and myself…” (1:30:14.57)  then Mayor Haeder asks, “…what number is that…” (1:30:22.33) and after a long, calculating pause Mayor Haeder paraphrased, “…we’ll call it $50K” (1:31:10.23) Resolution approved for first reading with amendment to percentages cut in half.

Agenda Item #13 – Legal – Settlement Cap for SRTS Lawsuit against City of Alcester, McLaury Engineering by Christensen.  Cap of $10K by city or rather city liability insurance(01:43:37.40) Mayor Haeder says, “…I don’t feel bad about them (Alcester liability insurance carrier) paying…” and like amount to be matched by co-respondent McLaury Engineering.  Vote approved the cap settlement amount with the attorneys to be advised of the vote.

Agenda Item #14 – Reminders and Updates

Agenda Item #15 – Executive Session needed by Councilwoman Melissa Kay 1-25-2.1 Personnel.  Councilwoman Kay instructed Wanda Halverson to stay in the session.  Into Executive Session at 7:49 P.M. and out of Executive Session at 7:55 P.M.

Agenda Item #16 – Adjourn  City Council Adjourned at 7:56 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland    605-370-1193

03/01/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Councilwoman Melissa Kay smugly asked the question during public input where Councilwoman Darla Reppe had dutifully, faithfully reported (00:19:03.37) continuing concerns about a ‘Sh**hause in their neighborhood, “…DO THEY (concerned homeowners in Ward III and residents of Alcester) KNOW THERE IS A VACANCY IN WARD III…”.(00:20:04.57)

Councilwoman Melissa Kay,  I Vickie Larsen can answer your question.  Of course they do, but having seen the treatment meted out to me (fellow resident and short-lived-Ward III councilperson who was fulfilling her promise to work for her constituents and neighbors) by the great judgmental maw of a self-proclaimed Human Resource, a lawyer-in-training and waving the Solomon-like wisdom of all her thirty-two years, they can have no confidence they would not be subjected to the same treatment.

 And so it begins.  The March 1, 2021,  Alcester City Council meeting was delayed until telephone contact was made with Councilman Ireland and finally called to order at 6:02 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Darla Reppe and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person.  Councilman Marcus Ireland, was counted present via telephone and City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent.

Agenda Item #3 – Approval of Agenda –  Call to approve the agenda…well kind-of.  After some hemming, after some hawing and some wandering downstream of the call for agenda approval at hand, Mayor Haeder was steered back from a correction issue of the February 1, and February 15, council minutes to address the approval of the agenda.  One thing to note here is the approval of the agenda as presented.  Motion (0:02:58.07)  The council approved the agenda as presented with no changes in order or amendments.

Agenda Item #4 Approval of the February 1, 2021 and the February 15, 2021, Regular Council Meeting Minutes.  Correction was made in paragraph four of the February 15, 2021, minutes of Regular Alcester City Council meeting, “…Dale Larsen made a motion to approve the Tax Abatement…” was changed to “…David Larsen made a motion to approve…”  Perhaps proof-reading would be a good practice particularly when posting albeit draft minutes of a city council meeting on the city website.  Minutes were approved, however I did find it disconcerting the council did not notice the error prior to the meeting. 

Agenda Item #4 – Public Input –

Vickie Larsen asked about the status of a FOIA/Sunshine request hand-delivered to the Finance Officer at the city office on February 17, 2021, requesting a true and complete parts list for the custom computer for the city shop. (0:04:36.47)  Vickie Larsen also asked about the launch of the website and her inability to access the new website.  Some folks had access, while other residents I polled did not have access, yet.  I had already determined it was not a computer problem but some sort of other processing issue.  I did contact my internet provider with the issue.  When I returned home last evening after business hours, I discovered my internet provider had returned my call but since it was after hours I elected to contact them this morning.  It was when I check my access again, I discovered I now had access which I shared with my internet provider. 

Councilman Marcus Ireland raised the concern of the Christmas lights continuing to be lit in the park. (0:06:38.10)  Shut them off.

Mayor Haeder enumerated concerns brought to him.  Complaint about the taste and smell of city water.  Complaint about street repair.  Complaint about water bill.  (0:07:03.70)

Councilwoman Darla Reppe raised additional concerns over the existence of the Sh**hause in Ward III. (0:19:03.37)  Councilwoman Reppe noted this was her fourth individual contact about the Burk Sh**hause.  The question posed to Councilwoman Reppe was can’t we do something about this, to which city bookkeeper Jurrens reiterated the same bad information from 2019 when she and then Councilman Lance Johnson were hawking permission for his countrified version of a sh**hause without the fog.  There are Regulations, Agreements and Conditions with Land attached to title documents which were put into place to protect the property interests and assets of land owners in a development that had not been fully sold.  Those Codes and Covenants run with the land and cannot be bargained away by a self-serving city councilmember or members!  Now you are going to be told about Mr. McGill a Beresford lawyer whose name was given to Alcester Councilman Lance Johnson and Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens by our own City Attorney Nelson.  Well folks these jewels from a gumball machine met with Mr. McGill of legal ‘fame’ not skateboard fame, whose briefs in this case have holes in them and of course, he was not the author of those Regulations, Agreements and Conditions with Land.  The author of those controlling Regulations, Agreements and Conditions with Land was authored by Mr. Charles Haugland and in his capacity relating to and in association with the Alcester Development group.  The  key here is intent of the document and the time frame.  Mr. McGill again of legal fame and not skateboard fame purports the time limit has expired but since I do not have access to his ‘opinion’ because it is protected by attorney/client privilege.  However I would argue the so-called ‘clients’ of Councilman Lance Johnson and Alcester Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens were in fact employees of the city of Alcester.  Mr. McGill failed to notice the there was provisional language within the documents which simply stated, at the end of twenty-five years the Regulations, Agreements and Conditions of  Land will automatically renew in ten year increments barring a vote from the owners of that development to change those Regulations, Agreements and Conditions of  Land.  This was to protect those land holders whose life-time assets were tied up in their homes against devaluation of their residential property worth due to slaughtered houses, whore houses, Half-way houses, drug factories and etc. being erected in their back, side or front yards. 


Agenda Item #6 – Paint South Dakota -SKIPPED

Agenda Item #7 – Open Bids -Two contenders TopKote and RoadGuy with Road Guy getting the bid.  There was discussion with a particularly interesting aside (0:26:13.97) by Mayor Haeder with regard to FDR Full Depth Reclamation process applied to certain street sections.  This involved the process of grinding up the ‘asphalt’ and re-using that product along with two applications of chip seal to hold the construct.  The problem of what appears to be follow through on the process.  Oh sure they sure did grind something up, the problem is that there was very little asphalt remaining on the street to reuse.  Something akin to grinding up chicken for chicken salad and the only ‘chicken’ ya’ll have is two wings and leg instead of a breast.  Problem #1 not enough ‘meat’.  Now the recipe calls for two applications of chip seal to ‘cement’ or solidify the reclaimed asphalt.  So gents tell me, did the two applications of chip on the FDR streets happen or was it a half-muled job?  I believe the agreement was for Road Guy to apply two coats of chip seal to the FDR, did that happen or was it skimped?  Tell me?  Seeing poor ol’ FDR layin’ in the ditches tells me we had the two wings but dang-it-all we didn’t have the prayer!  At 6:30 P.M., Finance Officer Jurrens announced to the Mayor it was 6:30 P.M. (00:29:36.43)  So readers what was the significance of 6:30 P.M.?  Oh well this was apparently a planned diversion from the agenda item line-up.  But… but the council approved the agenda as presented.  Now this 6:30 P.M. diversion to Agenda Item #12?  Who asked for that, why wasn’t it on the agenda and why couldn’t City Attorney Sam Nelson present this in person? (0:29:51.13)  So what is so blistering important are we paying City Attorney Sam Nelson for executive session telephonic consult time?  Was he alone or was he Sam et.al?  Just what are we…what are we paying for phone-a-lawyer? Why poor ol’ Agenda Item #6 must really feel left out in cold unknown.   So now the council skips to Agenda item #12,  Boy-howdy with all this here skippin’ I thought we should be a singin’ “Skip to My Lou” .  Unfortunately when I looked up the lyrics and their meaning, I thought it might not be politically correct.  Oh what the hey, why not.  ‘Cause all this time I thought this here song was about skippin’, lawsy no it is not.  The meaning ranges from partner-stealing to having a play party where singing and dancing with instruments was evil.  Betcha, ya’ll didn’t know that one. 

Agenda Item #12 – Sam…Phone home folks are waitin’ for ya.  Motion, Second, Vote to go into Executive Session-out-of- order.  Mayor declares council in Executive session at 6:32 P.M for 1-25-2-3 Legal matters.  (0:31:13.87)   At 7:09 P.M. Mayor Haeder declares the council back in open session. (0:31:27.87) No action taken or discussed.

Agenda Item #6 -Here we go Skippin’ back to Painting SD.  I didn’t see or hear of any partners being stolen so it must have been a pickin’ and grinnin’ session that we should be singing to.  Groups needs a volunteer to head up a nominating committee.

Agenda Item #8 – Employee appreciation -03-05-2021 $10 chamber cash for employees of 2020. (0:37:52.00)

Agenda Item #9 – Department Heads Reports- The Oxymoron

This is where Finance Officer Jurrens gave the report with the exception of the Golf Course and Library.    

Streets-FOPat told the council our expensive wheel loader is broken, on its way to Sioux City for repair, and said repair something to the tune of $5000.00.  Frozen waterlines under street.

Cemetery– Report on the update in records (0:49:53.53) (0:50:13.60)  No updating in cemetery registrations or records.

Water/wastewater-Danielle from Banner called about future project.

Police Department– log reports given to council

Golf Course-repairs, golf cart purchase/swap and cart shed possible swap to summer rec.

Library-Used book sale

Committee chairs– Councilwoman Melissa Kay- discussion of employee review, referring to audit report for five employees in the finance office.  The recommendation by the audit report has not changed for the past years.  The recommendation is for more oversight not for more employees.  Now the problem in Alcester is that our ‘oversight’ council are not schooled in municipal finances and procedures and rely 100 % on the veracity in information shared by the employee who the oversight directly involves.  (The Committee Chair Update Discussion was presented by Councilwoman Kay in her self-admitted guru toga and proforma  HR.  But qualified her remarks to the upcoming discussion in agenda item #11.

Agenda Item #10 – Ordinance 2021-04 – Second reading. (1:06:05.90)  Second reading approved.

Agenda Item #11 – Longevity/Performance-  Keep in mind the city of Alcester is a municipality, it is not a for profit business and as a government  entity it has different standards and regulations in operation.  In explanation, a longevity raise sometimes is given a long term employee who has reached the wage ceiling of their job description. “According to the Bridget Miller  Contributing Editor Aug 20, 2015 and HF Daily Advisor, There is no mandate an employer must take years of service into account in employee raises.  Here are some of the arguments against awarding longevity raises.

  • If the company has kept up with market rates, there’s no need to use longevity as an excuse to raise salaries of long-term employees to market levels.
  • This is an extra cost that some deem unnecessary because it’s not merit-based and may be rewarding individuals who are no longer performing well.
  • Some argue that it makes more sense to solely reward performance. If the longevity raises take money away from raises that could more directly impact productivity, it can be questioned whether it is money well spent. (If it is implemented in conjunction with performance-based rewards, however, this argument may not have as much weight.)
  • There are other ways to reward long-term employees, such as increased vacation time or other benefits and perks—and many of these will cost the company less money…”

Folks Human Resources involves a lot of things but most important is just plain old common sense…for those of us who have worked as an Employee, as a toilet cleaning maid, a braided rope/molding line worker, office personnel in a freight company, waitress for the local cafe, as a teacher, an EMS volunteer and then as an Employer with 30 employees whose livelihoods are dependent upon me, we already have an innate training in what works and what doesn’t. It is called life experience. So Councilwoman Kay lets address the whole HR Guru thing shall we:  Let’s visit your written, unfounded accusation/opinion Councilwoman Kay of October 7, 2020, and in your words madam, “Ms. Larsen held herself out as a human resource guru;…”   In open session I made applicable references as the owner of a small business and an employer as well as an employee, not in closed session! A note here folks as you watch the video, count how many times Mayor Haeder or a council member has voiced their life experiences and their job experiences.  

So let’s compare, shall we Councilwoman Kay.  Let’s do compare shall we?  You stated in Linkin that you had taken an HR Training course and that you supervised numerous employees in a cleaning company.  So let’s compare my employee/employer working years of 51 years to your employee working years of 14 based upon a work force entry age of 18 for each of us.  So do I get any points for workforce experience and on-the-job-trainings and learning?  So Councilwoman Kay, I have never, ever held myself as a HR guru or any other kind of guru.  I have spent 37 years more time in the workforce that you have existed—-so you might say I have some experience you do not.  I was an employee long enough to appreciate the golden rule of employer and employee.  As you deal with your employees, think back to your experiences as an employee.  Value the lesson! Alcester work force does not require an sitting HR person, just common sense and the ability to walk in the shoes of your employee or your employer.

One last thing on this subject as the council considers performance interviews of the city employees, I propose the same interview forms be applied to our council members so we may grade and consider their performances, knowledge of their job duties and descriptions and how well they are performing.

Raise, no raise or a boot down the road so-to-speak?

Agenda Item #13 Finance Office Update Approve Warrants, Seasonal Wages. Alternate garbage routes and etc.

Agenda Item #14 – Alcester Community Bldg

Agenda Item #15 – Volunteer Roster- nothing

Agenda Item #16 – Executive Session-Councilwoman Kay stated she had something but was electing to deal with the person via telephone.  H-m-m!

Agenda Item #17 – Adjourn  Council was adjourned at 8:47 P.m.   

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland     605-370-1193

02/15/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

          The February 15, 2021,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person.  Councilman Marcus Ireland and Councilwoman Darla Reppe, were counted present via telephone and City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent but I understand(by hear-say not through any announcement) available by phone if needed.  H-m-m

          Agenda Item #3 – Approval of Agenda –  Call to approve the agenda, motion was made, second was made and with no discussion the motion was approve by a five (5) count unanimous aye vote.  Three in person and two by telephone.

          Agenda Item #4 – Public Input – I (Vickie Larsen) started out. 

Why a custom built computer?  Why not use one of those extra Cares Computers?

Now compare what was said in council (01:04:08.93) Identical, really? I will deal with that one in another blog.

Website–where is it? (0:04:48.93)

Contact number for Councilman Ireland still not published for constituents. (0:05:14.50)

Cemetery roads clean off (0:05:34.17)

Question on city-owned bar as it related to mask mandate (0:06:02.70)

Wake Up call Armstrong City Council legal troubles (0:06:23.07)

(0:08:13.10) Councilwoman Kay questioned my comment as to the article related to ongoing criminality…”So are accusing someone of criminality?”  Madam Councilwoman is that the only question in your playbook?  If I were to accuse someone of criminality, it would be plain and you wouldn’t have to guess.  In addition, I would have concrete proof should I ever make a public accusation.  My answer (01:08:15.78)  was No!  Councilwoman Talbott squawks (0:08:19.87) “…you just said…it is going on here…”  Councilwoman Talbott I suggest you listen before you squawk! 

But since you brought it up Councilwoman Talbott, let’s compare shall we?

Folks you decide, You fill in the questions marks!

Yes or No

Source : https://esthervillenews.net/news/local-news/2021/02/13/multi-year-investigation-leads-to-arrest-of-armstrong-officials/

Mayor Haeder reported input (0:08:59.17) regarding pet licensing and increased fees.  (0:09:31.10)

Councilman Ireland reported input on complaints on the wreaths on the lights in the park.(0:10:59.67)  Folks thought it was tacky.  (0:11:33.03) further comment/discussion on keeping lighting in the park.  I believe at the time the ‘north to south’ leading to the shelter house sidewalk was formed in the park there were regular lights placed along that walkway.  So there were already lights existing in the park before the wreaths were attached.

          Agenda Item #5 – Property Tax Abatement – Extend an abatement to an elderly disabled resident.  Motion made and passed.

          Agenda Item #6 – Department Updates –

Police Department had no update.

Street Department report was presented by Patricia Jurrens in the absence of Mr. Johnson.  This involved putting on a touch for additional street lights on Lincoln from Anderson street southward to First Street westward.  Madam  Bookkeeper made her suggestions known to the group.  Discussion was introduced as a ‘safety issue’ for walkers.  As you can hear from the discussion very little information was handed to the council, just a couple of pictures with some hand drawn stars for placement.  As the discussion progressed it became apparent the council was having trouble following the rationale and the discussion twisted and turned more than the road.  It was shared Southeastern Electric Cooperative was provider of record for that part of the city.  However Ms. Jurrens opined where the poles would be placed and that if the city agreed to wood poles there would be no charge other than the added electricity. 

          Now here is where it becomes interesting.  Mayor Haeder opines to, “… go with the wood poles, ’cause it will be free…” (0:20:59.27)  Not free, sir!  Councilman David Larsen asks the question, “…do we need a motion…” (0:21:36.50) and Mayor Haeder says don’t think so.  Silence.  No councilmember asked the question how many light poles are we talking about?  No councilmember asked the question how much electricity per pole is going to be charged against the city?  Is there going to be a charge for the pole?  Really silence.  Now no vote?  The council should have made the motion to accept the deal of free poles and installation, state the number of poles and where they would be placed.  Keep in mind the city has set back right-of-way approximately 33 feet from the center of the street outward.  If the area the poles were to be placed was on the east side of Lincoln Drive which I do believe is outside of the city limits and the city has no control over.  Yup, I do believe it would have a real good idea to have a true, complete and accurate record of what this council is doing.


          Agenda Item #7 – Discretionary Taxing Formula Ordinance  2021-04 – After some brief discussion, no attorney present Mayor Haeder called the question to approve the first Reading of Ordinance 2021-04.  Councilman Ireland asked for clarity’s sake that it was his understanding that the formula was not being changed just adapting language which would agree with South Dakota/City Statute.  Then the group approved the first reading.

Agenda Item #8 Finance Office –

          Electronic Readers, Water meters.  One of the hand held readers quit working.  Bookkeeper Jurrens thought it just needed a new battery.  Easy peesy, right.  Now FoPat is coming to the council with a radio meter read proposal  at a project today’s cost of $125K,  But guys, we can do drive-by-reads.  However Folks we are likely to get hit with the purchase of a vehicle to drive the street to read meters.  There is to be a meeting Wednesday to talk to representatives from Core & Main out of Sioux Falls at 11:00 a.m.  Now folks how will affect US?  Think about the meters we are presently using, Now think about the cost of new meters, installation to enable radio reads.  Guesses?  It appears these new meters can be installed in the city right-right-of-way, generally the city pays for the initial cost with the cost spread across increased water rates for residents.  Any questions you can think of?  Ask you council!

          City Records to be destroyed, Council sure did vote for that!

          Reminders and Updates –

          Petition deadline-  Folks get your election petitions in by February 26th.

          Election day, April 13, 2021.  Be aware that South Dakota Municipal League strongly advises against Finance Officers and their minions not circulate absentee ballots, supervise signatures or influence any voting procedure.

          Board of Equalization meets March 15, 2021. 6:00 p.m.

          2021 Chip Sealing bid Opening March 1, 2021.

Agenda Item #9 – Executive Session –  Not necessary- Personnel must be having a quiet two weeks.

Agenda Item #10 – Adjourn Meeting

          Meeting adjourned at 6:31 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland    605-370-1193

01/18/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

The January 18, 2021,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:01 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder, , Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person with City Attorney Sam Nelson.  Councilman Marcus Ireland was counted present via telephone.

The meeting was opened with the recitation of the pledge of allegiance.

Agenda Item #3 – Approval of the Agenda was dispatched

Agenda Item #4 – Public Input – Vickie Larsen addressed the following topics in public input: cemetery, snow plow speed, website, and comment on felon participation on ambulance:

                    -I  noted I had received notification of incidents involving monument damage after my presentation.

                    -Website- still waiting- asked Finance Officer Pat Jurrens – still no launch date.

                   – I shared the information with the council concerning felons on the ambulance.  This was shared due the city’s placement of members of the ambulance on the volunteer roster and any possible blow back on the city if the ambulance failed to properly vet their members.

Mayor asked if there was any other public input, then he remembered he had been approached concerning snow plow speed with a video showing what appeared to be excessive speed.

Agenda Item #5 – Alderman Statement – Councilwoman Melissa Kay made a statement to the effect she was not running for re-election as Ward I representative.  (00:13:07.93)

Agenda Item #6 – Department Updates – Report given by Parker Dooley for the cemetery, Report given by Alcester Police Chief Jeff Christie for the police department regarding changes in the police manual involving a proposed Resolution 2021-02 on Use of Force and Report given by Councilman David Larsen for the Library.

Agenda Item #7 – Masks Mandate discussion – No action taken in lieu of additional language and presentation to the public. If you watch the video you will hear me talk in favor of masking. As I stated in the discussion, I remember polio in the 1950’s. I remember seeing the iron lungs and scared to death. I remember my classmate who had contracted the polio virus, who had to learn how to walk with braces on both legs by the fifth grade but he walked. I remember going through the crippled children’s clinic, looking around at the children seated in row after row of folding chairs and like me waiting to be evaluated. I remember seeing the various physical, medical maladies which brought us to that waiting room. I did not ever want to go back to that room. Folks, masks are a temporary solution to a devastating pandemic. I understand those of you against masks have many emotions about the mask mandate. Please take into consideration none of us want to wear masks, just as my classmate did not want to spend the rest of his life in metal braces. He had no choice, polio made the choice for him. While a vaccine for polio was developed in 1953, it took time and education to get everyone vaccinated. Meanwhile, children needed machines to breathe for them, (not the respirators we have now) but entombed up to their necks in a metal cylinder with a mirror hanging over their head. To this day poliovirus is still alive, but we can vaccinate against it. Until poliovirus transmission is interrupted in the remaining endemic countries, all countries remain at risk of importation of polio, especially vulnerable countries with weak public health and immunization services and travel or trade links to those countries. Only active vaccination programs keep a polio pandemic away. Our city council has agonized over taking the masking mandate step, it is not their wish to violate individual rights but they do have a duty to protect as best they can the residents of Alcester. I would respectfully ask you help and let them know you are willing to make the choice to voluntarily mask and not let the Coronovirus-19 or any of its variants make the choice for you. It is better to suffer the masking mandate for a time, than to lose your life, lose your children, lose your parents to a horrible death, or to lose your own quality of life to some unknown permanent medical disability associated with Covid. Thank you.

Agenda Item #8 – Finance Office Report – Approval of the Plat map for the former Alcester School building.  Map is shown below, however the map does not show the complete plat notations.

Agenda Item #9 – Community Building purchase of kitchen equipment.  Councilman David Larsen made the presentation for approval of $20,000.00 expenditure for kitchen equipment for the community building.  After discussion a motion was made to approve a $20,000.00 expenditure to purchase Federal surplus used kitchen equipment.

Agenda Item #10 – Executive Session for 1-25-2 if needed.  Mayor Haeder asked if this action was needed and Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens told him Yes, for 1-25-2.1 Personnel.  A motion was made to go into Executive Session for personnel and was approved at 7:30 p.m.  As the gallery made preparations to leave the council room, Finance Officer spoke to the group telling City Attorney Sam Nelson to remain in the closed session, along with Police Chief Jeff Christie, Police Officer Austin Schuller, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens and Wanda Halverson.   Mayor Haeder shut down his camera.

          As Mr. Gordon Richard and I took up our positions in the hallway, we watched the council as they debated whatever personnel issue Finance Officer Jurrens felt was appropriate for 1-25-2.1.  I noted during the Executive Session both Finance Officer Pat Jurrens and Wanda Halverson appeared to be taking notes which I believe is questionable.  If notes are taken it should be the task of the city attorney as to the appropriateness of the notes.  In addition I understand that in those states which allow recording the executive session, the contents of such a recording can only be opened upon a judicial order.

          At approximately 8:05 p.m. Alcester Police Chief Christie and Officer Schuller exited the executive session.  At 8:16 p.m. Mayor Dan Haeder declared the council out of Executive Session.

Agenda Item #11 – Call for Adjournment.  Meeting Adjourned at 8:17 p.m.   

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

12/07/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

The December 7, 2020,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Haeder with Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Marcus Ireland, and Councilwoman Linda Talbott in person, Councilwoman Melissa Kay (et al.) via telephone (no reason given why Councilwoman could not attend in person) and City Attorney Sam Nelson, absent Councilwoman Darla Reppe.  Questionable quorum.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited after which the mayor called for agenda approval.  Councilman Larsen moved with Councilwoman Kay telephonically seconding the motion to approve the agenda as written (0:02:38.7), discussion by Councilman Marcus regarding Executive Session to discuss an employee and, “will the Executive Session cover that?” (0:02:56.00) Mayor Haeder answer,  “U-h-m, y-e-e-s” (0:03:14:33)  For those of you interested in statement analysis, take special note of the U-h-m and the marked hesitation in Mayor Haeder’s answer.  Agenda was unanimously approved by 3 in person ayes and 1 telephonic aye.

Approval of the minutes of the November 2nd and November 16th council meetings as reported by the Finance Office. Unanimously approved without discussion.

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input – I responded with regard to the vote to place, at the taxpayer’s cost signs of slow children. 

Since there was still time before the 6:15 p.m. P&Z Commission meeting (the Alcester city council is also the Planning and Zoning Committee) and before the schedule Audit Review Presentation by Dwight Berglin the group moved down the agenda to Agenda Item #8 – Street Updates – signs have been put into place.  A request from the Street Department since the utility truck has been repaired ($1K cost) to a drive-able condition, the apportioned money ($15K) set aside in the budget for purchase of another truck be applied to the purchase of a crew cab truck capable of pulling a trailer.  So instead applying that money to actual street repair or rebuild, Mayor Haeder asks, “When does Lonnie want an answer?”  TBD?

6:16 p.m. has arrived with Agenda Item #6 – Planning & Zoning Committee meeting.  Now folks proper procedure for the city council/planning and zoning committee to go back and forth is to have the mayor announce the Planning & Zoning Committee is now in session at 6:15 p.m. so that all parties attending KNOW it is the Planning & Zoning Committee and not the Alcester City Council .  Patrick Andrews from SECOG (South Eastern Council of Governments was present to explain procedures and document for the change in zoning issues relating to the old school property. 

          So folks the city council acting as the Planning & Zoning Committee will absorb the information of zoning, rezoning, public input, and etc. of the old school property and make the decision to recommend the rezoning to itself as the Alcester City Council give the okie-dorkie to enact Ordinance 2020-18 which allows the zoning nomenclature Planned Development District replace the former classification as Residential District and to amend the Official Zoning Map of the City of Alcester.  The Alcester Planning & Zoning Committee moves to recommend the nomenclature and map changes to the Alcester City Council and with a unanimous yes vote and no discussion the Alcester Planning &Zoning Committee recommends the zoning change.

          Now it is here where the Alcester Planning & Zoning Committee should adjourn, state the time of adjournment for the P&Z Committee and re-open as the Alcester City Council so everyone present KNOWS it is now the Alcester City Council up-at-bat.  Nope that boat left the pier, Mayor Haeder and City Attorney Sam missed the boat and were left standing on the pier along with most of the gallery. (0:21:50:47)

Agenda Item #7 – 2019 Audit Report – Presented by Dwight Berglin via telephone.  It is difficult to hear because of the telephonic audio level.  The gist of the report seemed to be violations on the city and finance office parts.  Internal controls still are absent, there was at one point a negative balance arising out of not spending within the budget.  Mr. Berglin made reference to a 2012 case in Dickson, Illinois where Finance Officer Rita Crundwell stole $30M dollars of city moneys over a 6 year period.  Mr. Berglin’s concerns involved lack of clarification of duties, lack of routine internal audits, negative balances, bank record reconciliation, over-spending the second penny sales tax moneys (the 2nd penny sales tax was originally limited to a specific type of purchases ie. capital assets such as property, plant and equipment)   Councilwoman Melissa Kay moved to approve the audit, with the second coming from Councilman David Larsen, unanimous approval with no discussion.

Agenda Item #9 – Wastewater- Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens gave the report noting one grant application was denied, toxicology on our water was clean and the situation with pumps is indeterminate.

Agenda Item #10 – Police Department – Alcester Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens reported in the stead of Chief Christie who was absent.  Most of the subject matter was equipment and the availability of CARES money to help with the expense.

Agenda Item #11– Pleasant Hill Cemetery/Landfill report- Parker Dooley not present so once again Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens made the report.

Agenda Item #12 – Golf Course/Library – Councilman David Larsen gave a report on the Golf Course and the Library.  The gist of the Library portion report was related to the employment of a new librarian.  Not so much as the hiring but of the benefits to a part-time employee as it relates to South Dakota Retirement program.  I want to be very clear the candidate and subsequent new hire for librarian has involvement in the discussion only by being the subject.

          “If you are a permanent, full-time employee of an SDRS participating employer, you are required to participate and make contributions to the South Dakota Retirement System. Permanent, full-time employees are those working at least 20 hours per week and six months per year.” South Dakota Retirement Law, Chapter 3-12C. The Alcester City Council appears to be manipulating benefits and the twenty (20) hour per week issue.  (1:10:52.00) start of the discussion and fudge-factor.  Listen to the exchange as our city council talks around the rules.  (1:12:38.90) Councilwoman Melissa Kay asks, “do we want to designate 20 hours…so she can take…”  Mayor Haeder says, “…Can we get away with…”(1:13:47.20) 

Agenda Item #15 – Rezoning Public Hearing – 7:16 p.m. This is where the Alcester City Council hears from public on the rezoning proposal and votes upon Ordinance 2020-18.  Mayor fails to call for public input, Councilwoman Melissa Kay asks if there is anyone with public comment on the rezoning Ordinance.  No public input.  Council moves onto motions for approve of this Ordinance.  Ordinance is approved.

Agenda Item #13 – Credit Card charge limits – Council to authorize $1000.00 limits for Finance Officer Jurrens, Police Chief, Water Dept. Head and Street Dept. Head with $500.00 limits for Ass’t Finance Officer, Police Officer and Librarian.  Approved unanimously and without discussion.

Agenda Item #14 – Legal Updates – Punitive and Adverse Action going forward on the 204 Ofstad Property and the 307 Iowa Property.  No need for Executive Session.

Agenda Item #16 – Supplemental Appropriations Ordinance  Motions to approve year end fund transfers, what I call robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Approved unanimously.

Agenda Item #17 – Garbage License – Only one bidder, Loren Fischer contract for 2021 through 2023, and again unanimous vote.  The question was raised, “is the garbage can rental included in the cost?”  FO Pat says, “I don’t know”  Why not you were responsible for setting out the terms and conditions of the garbage bid?”  So FO Pat picked up her phone and did the digits. As we all sat waiting patiently for the meeting to continue FO Pat place a call to Loren Fischer, One ringy-dingy, two ringy dingy (1:44:47.03).  FO Pat announces she will try to message Loren Fischer, and once again a delay in the meeting.  Eventually Mr. Fischer texts back that no the garbage cans are not included.

Now folks there is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing here between Agenda Item #17 and Agenda Item #18.  The captions in the video will help to put time frames on the to-ing and fro-ing.

Agenda Item #18 – Finance Officer Report – Spot check accounts, Updates, Resolution for proposed fees for 2021, CARES related spending, City WEBSITE is still not up-something about hosting and domain name.  These should not create any significant delay, so why?

          Approval of warrants- Since Councilwoman Reppe was absent, and Councilwoman Kay was not present their share of warrant inspection and approval did not happen.  So the task fell to those who were present.  As the three council members present struggled to catch up so they approve the warrants, the meeting was delayed.  H-m-m where have I heard, “delay of council meeting”  Oh yeah something from Council woman Kay.  One has to wonder, just how carefully those sums were added up and confirmed under the gun of time frame.  H-m-m!

          Finally the call for approve of current warrants, Councilwoman Melissa Kay abstained on the vote because she was not present and had not seen the warrants.  So we are left with a non-quorum of three to vote.  Ah I see a problem here, but when Councilman David Larsen asked Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson if we could get into trouble with the “vote” (1:58:07.73), Mr. Nelson’s response was, ” …probably not…”(1:58:11.13) So Mr. Legal Guy, does the city get a major fee discount on the Probably not Opinion as opposed to those yes or no opinions?

          Going on to the next vote on warrants.  This is the vote for year-end warrants and the question is posed by Mayor Haeder to Councilwoman Melissa Kay (you know the one who abstained ’cause she had not seen the warrants for the present meeting?) will she be able to vote on the warrants only the mayor will see and sign? (1:59:02.90) and NOW you answer yes.  What changed?  Can you see and confirm future warrants?  So now we have three in person votes of aye and one of site vote of aye.  Amazing!

Agenda Item #19 – Executive Session- for personnel  remember (0:03:14:33) the response?  Yeah folks I do not buy into the premise that a city employee was to be discussed.  The Executive Session at 7:58 p.m. and I exited out into the hallway.  As I stood waiting in the silence of the hallway while bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens remained in the room allegedly discussing an employee with which Mayor Haeder allegedly had spoken.  I noted the city camera was still standing in the room un-shuttered, I noted several city councilmember phones and at least one to two laptop computers still sitting in the room.  In addition there is NO proof that Councilwoman Melissa Kay is alone during this executive session and any of her electronic devices are shuttered. 

          As I waited I noted bookkeeper Jurrens who had been unmasked for the entirety of the meeting, violated social distancing as she went to her desk to retrieve documents, to seat herself at the council table and to stand over the top of City Attorney Nelson and Mayor Haeder in front of the phone with which the council was communicating with Councilwoman Kay. 

          At 8:37 p.m. the council was declared out of Executive session.  I moved back to my seat in the council room.  As I moved toward my seat, a discussion of COVID Guidelines was being discussed.  Folks COVID Guidelines was not on the agenda and when I asked if the conversation was a continuation of the Executive session I was told NO, this was not related. I responded since this was not properly on the agenda they could not be discussing this.  Their response?  Councilwoman Linda Talbott said we are just discussing not voting with other council members chiming in the same mantra.  (2:07:47.03)  What happened to proper rules?  You are wrong, if it is not on the approved agenda, Ya’ll cannot talk about it.  Certainly not for some ten minutes or so.

          At 8:47 p.m. a call for adjournment and approved by vote.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

11/02/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

“the argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence” Ayn Rand

Prior to the official beginning of the meeting a remark was made by Mayor Haeder with regard to the importance of the next day (November 3, 2020, election day)  Check out how on top of things one council member was, “’cause she asked if there was something important going on?” (00:00:18.63)  Listen to the response.  Note here that the set-up for voting was on the agenda.  So Councilman Talbott, that was your first hint it was election day on Tuesday?  

The November 2, 2020, version of a city council meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder with council members Marcus Ireland, Linda Talbott, Darla Reppe, David Larsen, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and of course Melissa Kay seated and ready for city business.

The council and gallery members recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Precursor to approval of the agenda concerning Executive Session (00:03:13.30)  A flashback to a child’s game where in the world is…?  The council was looking for their #2  SDCL 1-25-2.2  I told them School!  After more discussion, they finally figured the conundrum out but does beg the question how many law students does it take to read SD executive session law?  What No Cliff notes for law?

Agenda Item #3 – was the approval of the agenda. (00:05:20.13)  Some discussion regarding the time and appropriateness of an Executive Session to cover two separate properties and the presence of Geoff Fillingsness, enforcer.

Agenda Item #4 – approval of the October 5th, October 7th and October 19th minutes of meeting.  The motion was made by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Seconded by Councilwoman Linda Talbott but at the call for discussion there actually was a call on the accuracy of the minutes of those meetings by Councilwoman Melissa Kay, although she could not seem to get the correct date.  H-m-m  First it was October 19th but then it was October 7th.  Ironically it was both meetings with inaccuracies in the minutes.  The purpose of minutes of an official meeting is to reflect accurately movements of the meeting without descending into editorializing.  Gee, somebody should have schooled bookkeeper Jurrens about that duty.  Of course one cannot be sure just who is taking those minutes whether it is bookkeeper Jurrens or the junior bookkeeper/receptionist.

Bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens writes in the minutes of October 7, 2020, “At 6:09P.M . …During discussion… (correction)Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen waived her right to executive session and asked the meeting be open and her camera on to record the proceedings, the council said No it was not her right, Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen insisted it was her right as the object of the session.  The council said it was their right to closed session and not hers…Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen then asked the motion be delayed to the next meeting so she could have her attorney present.  The Alcester City Council then asked, “…do you have an attorney on speed dial” Alcester City Councilwoman Vickie Larsen answered, “NO”…The Alcester City Council then asked, “Is your attorney here…” Alcester City Councilwoman Vickie Larsen answered, “NO”  The Alcester City Council then made the statement, “You have no right to council…”  A loud discussion ensued…”

The council finally meandered through their approval of the October 19, 2020, minutes in error and postponing approval of amended minutes of October 7, 2020. (00:07:08.97) Bookkeeper Jurrens lead Councilwoman Melissa Kay by the nose to the conclusion that (00:10:33.53) Vickie Larsen refused to abstain from voting.  Really?  I stated I did not refuse to abstain (00:11:05.50), I was STILL a member of the Alcester City Council and bookkeeper Jurrens is NOT a legal authority. 

Agenda Item #5 – Executive session – Interviews for Ward III Council Seat.  No takers, do ya’ll s’pose I should have volunteered again?

Agenda Item #6 – Pushed back for the 6:30 P.M. scheduled Sealed Bid Opening-

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input – I reminded the group about an accounting error on Bookkeeper Jurrens part regarding cash back on credit card charges at the golf course I had raised in during my audit required oversight session with bookkeeper Jurrens. (00:14:41.20) In the October 19, 2020, meeting bookkeeper Jurrens answered my question with a non-answer that the city did not retain customer information.  I did not ask that question.  I commented the city should not be advancing cash back refunds on credit card purchases just for cash in the pockets purposes.  This is a practice similar to paying for a purchase and writing the check for $50.00 over the amount.  This is a bookkeeping no-no and ripe for fraud accusations against the city and/or customers.  Just a bad bookkeeping practice all the way around!  Once again bookkeeper Jurrens says, “…the city does not retain customer information…”  Non-answer. The second part of my input was to present Alcester Councilwoman Kay with a partially corrected paper of her design. (00:16:27.30) (00:30:35.40)

Agenda Item #8 – street updates

Agenda Item #9 – water/wastewater- pumps on order

Agenda Item #10 – Police Department Update by Chief Christie-  Chief Christie advised the council of military ordinance discover and the clearing of the munitions.  Police Chief Christie emphasized if someone in the community comes across similar discoveries of munitions is DO NOT TOUCH, CALL 911. (00:22:26.23)

Agenda Item #11 – Landfill/Cemetery – received a donation for trees for the cemetery.

Agenda Item #12 Golf Course/Library – short a Library board member, need a volunteer.

Agenda Item #13 Legal Updates – Involving 307 Iowa property, 204 Ofstad property and the Employee Manual Update.  There will be a resolution for the employee manual update at a future meeting.

The properties of 207 Iowa and 204 Ofstad will appear later under Executive session.

Agenda Item #14 – city street sign replacement – Update per Wade Dahl in a 2023 project.  My opinion Alcester should contract in a joint powers agreement to lower prices.

Agenda Item #6 – 6:30 P.M. Bid Opening for Police Office Glock   Bid was awarded to the highest bidder, John Wegh.

Agenda Item #15 – Old School Center – Second reading of 2020-16 Revised.

Agenda Item #16- Executive session – not needed beyond properties.

Agenda Item #17 – Finance Office Updates 

Website- Alliance hosting the site.  Finally!!! (00:16:11.80)

          2021 Operating Agreements – Liquor Licenses

Agenda Item #18 – HRC Update Meeting to happen sometime according to Mayor.

Agenda Item #19 Alcester Community Center – Bookkeeper Jurrens gave a summary. 

Agenda Item #20 – EMS Update  According to Councilwoman Kay the city has no interest in Alcester Ambulance so why is this an agenda item?  H-m-m?

Agenda Item #21 Update on Work Comp volunteer roster nothing to add or delete?

Agenda Item #22  Chit-chat session until Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness finally shows up.

Executive Session for 1-23-2.3 Legal/Contractual matters involving 307 Iowa property and 204 Ofstad property. Motion by Councilman Marcus Ireland, Second by Melissa Kay no discussion and vote 5 X ayes.  6:57 P.M.  I must gather up my camera, tripod, see-through back pack, and  leave the room.  Mayor Dan Haeder supposedly shuts down the city’s camera which is not removed nor is it cloaked.  Leaving the Finance Office computers up and running, leaves all council personal phones in the room, leaves the City Attorney’s computer in the room and at let us not forget bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens still has her fanny parked in her chair of unsolicited advice.  H-m-m?

At 7:30 P.M. Executive session is still on-going when Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness is excused and the meeting continues with Mayor Haeder, Alcester City Council members, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens.

At 7:37 P.M. Mayor Haeder calls the Executive Session out of session, allowing us back into the council room.

At this point I had activated my camera prior to returning to the room trying to forestall the rapid fire resumption of open meeting without allowing us to seat ourselves.  Unfortunately I inadvertently activated close up setting which resulted in a 3 to 5 minute close up of Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s face.  A close up worthy of pore counting ability.  I elected to edit that 3-5 minute section from the video ’cause I really did not think Alcester City Attorney Sam would appreciate that close up.  During that time there was no vote on the matters of the Executive Session. Mayor Dan Haeder called for Adjournment, Alcester Councilman Marcus Ireland moved to adjourn, Alcester Councilwoman Melissa seconded the motion and of course a unanimous vote to adjourn times five ayes. 

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

10/10/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Oh to be an octopus and to have eight arms with which to defend meself agin all comers.

You know I have witnessed many injustices perpetrated by city government since 2012, and their actions and inactions never fail to amaze me.

If you think they will have your back, well let’s just explore that one?

*09/23/2013(Mayor Rick Johnson, Council David Larsen, Mike Burke, Mark Dykstra, Patricia Jurrens, Steve Johannsen and Kama Johnson) “…In the workplace harassment issue the mayor did not hand off to the South Dakota DCI for proper investigation setting the city up for nonfeasance charges, the council did not take action because according to ‘scuttlebutt’ (apparently a councilman divulged executive session) the complaining party resigned so the council figured they did not have to take action, leaving the city open for nonfeasance charges and lawsuit. According to Black’s Law Dictionary“nonfeasance is neglect of duty, the neglect or failure of a person to do some act which he ought to do” creating an actionable liability. In addition at the September 23rd, 2013, special meeting the council went into executive session to discuss personnel issues with Alcester police officer Lisa present around 5:45 p.m. at which time my name was heard in the closed session and I am not personnel, after 15 minutes officer Lisa left the room and executive session continued for approximately another 48 minutes. The council violated executive session which had been called for the sole purpose of discussing personnel not Vickie Larsen. Officer Lisa tendered her resignation in that session and in a later interview with me, she told me the council wanted her to arrest me if I made a fuss..”

*05/05/2014 (Mayor Rick Johnson, Council David Larsen, Mike Burke, Mark Dykstra, Pat Jurrens, Kama Johnson )  “…Executive session for personnel 10:10 p.m. Mike Kezar…)  Mayor does not re- appoint , council approves not to re-appoint Mike Kezar… notice for applicants to be published.

*06/02/2014 (Mayor Rick Johnson, Council David Larsen, Mike Burke, Mark Dykstra, Pat Jurrens, Kama Johnson) “…Go over Finance Officer Applications…”

*07/07/2014 (Mayor Rick Johnson, Council David Larsen, Mike Burke, Pat Jurrens, Kama Johnson, Mark Dykstra)  Pat Jurrens resigns to take the Finance Officer job in September.

*09/10/2014 (Mayor Rick Johnson, Council Kama Johnson, David Larsen, Lance Johnson, Wayne VanGelder, Mark Dykstra, Mike Burke)  Patricia Jurrens Of-fish-ally takes the Finance Office.

*11/08/2016 (Mayor Tom Glas, Councilman David Larsen, Audri Carlson, Dan Haeder, Lance Johnson, Kama Johnson and Mark Dykstra)  “…   Finance Office-after making Dwight Berglin cook his heels beyond his scheduled time, Mayor Glass finally called Audit Review. OMG Finance Officer**had to slide close to Mayor Glas to 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 finer, press down and carefully rolling the page over with an utterly vacant look on this face if he wasn’t the sitting Mayor.   Again the lack of segregation of duties was the 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 replied “No”.  Then Finance Officer Jurrens went on to discuss the bill for the audit cost of $9500.00 and she related because of anomalies in the QuickBooks program there was going to be an extra charge of $500.00 due to extra work accountant Berglin had to perform and Finance Officer Jurrens ** was not advised of the QuickBooks foible.  Really this is supposed to be in her scope of duties and alleged expertise!  So the city short paid our accounting bill ’cause Pat couldn’t figure QuickBooks out and Mr. Berglin was forced to aceept $500.00 less for his work?  Folks Alcester is getting a reputation and it is not a good one!…”

*02/19/2018 ( Mayor Tom Glas, Council David Larsen, Lance Johnson, Melissa Kay, Dan Haeder, Julia Sundstrom-Lyle, and Darla Reppe“… In the January 8, 2018, regular council meeting Councilman David Larsen moved to accept the City Attorney Retainer agreement of which all council members had a true and complete copy and Councilwoman Reppe seconded the motion. Councilwoman Melissa Kay asked a couple questions regarding the retainer agreement history and with no further discussion by council members, the question was called with a unanimous (times 6) approval of the retainer agreement between the City of Alcester and Charles Haugland of Gubbrud, Haugland and Gillespie

Now February 5, 2018, the Alcester City Council is terminating the Retainer Agreement with Alcester City Attorney Charles Haugland. During the February 5, 2018, meeting discussion and prior to Councilman Lance Johnson’s motion to terminate the retainer agreement with Gubbrud, Haugland and Gillespie, Finance Officer Pat Jurrens took the floor to comment, (video 02:51)”…after the January meeting (January 9, 2018) Mayor Tom and I (FO Jurrens) went down to the law office to… garbled and inaudible…to notify (Chuck) the council decided it was time for a change in city attorney…”, to which Chuck responded per Finance Officer Pat Jurren’s account, “…he (Chuck Haugland) was done with legal services as of December 31, 2017…” and which Mr. Haugland confirmed with a letter of resignation to the City of Alcester on January 16, 2018.

Folks check out who was sitting* on the council and who the Finance Officer was.  I was not on the council, so who was embarrassing the city?

Standing up for something even if it means standing alone…” 

(author unknown)

10/07/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Dan Haeder, opened the October 7, 2020, Special meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:03 p.m. with council members Darla Reppe, Melissa Kay, Marcus Ireland, David Larsen, Linda Talbott,  Vickie Larsen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  Also present were Jon Serck, Pat Kast and Austin Schuller, police officer.

Now folks a quick explanation for Austin Schuller’s presence.  I have been in this situation before where a police officer has been put on notice to be present in case I got out-of-line.  Office Schuller was I presume ‘commanded’ to be present.  Sorry Austin.

Approve Agenda 

Public Input- none  I really should have but I didn’t.

Oh yes, somewhere along the line I turned and asked Wanda Halverson if she was on the clock.  Tax payers want to know.

Wasterwater Equipment Purchase was called.   The whole purpose for the special meeting, or so I thought.  It passed.

Then what appears to be the real reason for the meeting was called.  To remove Vickie Larsen from office.   The motion was called to go into Executive Session to discipline a Council person and quickly a second came.  I voiced an objection to executive session, I chose to waive any right to executive session if the council was going to discuss me, and I voiced my intent to keep the video camera rolling.

Oh my goodness.  City Attorney Sam Nelson told me I did not have that right.  I objected through the sniggers of the rest of the council and was promptly accused of misconduct and disorderly conduct.  I was told to shut down my video camera, I said no.  Officer Schuller was brought in and I was told to remove the camera or Officer Schuller would.  I want to be sure to state Officer Schuller was under orders of Mayor Dan Haeder and had no choice.  Mayor Haeder was not requesting he was demanding!  I was threatened with removal, I told the council they did not have that authority. 

The session continued with a litany of petty, outrageous accusations authored by Melissa Kay which I will address along with what video I did manage to get in the future.  I have been removed from the council for now!

To those who came to me for help, I will still be there but tonight Mayor Haeder, David Larsen, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbot, Marcus Ireland and lest we forget Melissa Kay successfully removed me from the Alcester City Council.  However I will be there every meeting, I will still be doing research on all proposals and I will still hold each and every council member accountable to you the people.

Oh yes for those of you who want to decide who you want to chose your own medical treatment provider be sure to give your opinion to Jon Serck 605-360-7255 and Pat Kast  605-934-6250 they have requested it in my 10/05/2020 A Voice From the Gallery.  They want  your opinion.  (00:08:22.60) 

10/02/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

  • Please find below a PREVIEW of the agenda sent for Monday, October 5, 2020. This is a preview, some items may be added or deleted prior to posting on the City Hall Door later this afternoon

Changes in agenda , please note.

Agenda Item #13 – Discussion on Plat Map from FCS a)Permission to sign document. Motion by:_____________ Second ______________ * (Discussion?)* Vote All Yes:________ Yes_______ No_____

Agenda Item #14Discussion on Plat Map from Union County Fair Board a)Permission to sign document. Motion by:___________ Second ________(Discussion?) Vote All Yes:______ Yes:______ No:______

Agenda Item #15 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.3 Legal Constractual Matters – If needed Motion by:__________ Second________ (Discussion?) Vote All Yes________ Yes_______No______

Agenda Item #16 – Finance Office a)updates: b)Warrants- Motion by:_________Second__________ (Discussion?) Vote All Yes:_______Yes_______ No______ c)Alliance phone package update d) Health Insurance Compensation for FT employees not taking City Health Insurance. Personnel Policy Update/Resolution Change Motion by:__________Second________ (Discussion?) Vote All Yes-_________ Yes_______ No________ e)reminders and updates Time Change… New Landfill Hours (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) Saturday (8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon))

Agenda Item #17 HRC Update

Agenda Item #18 Alcester Community Center

Agenda Item #19 EMS Update

Agenda Item # 20 – Update Volunteer Roster for Worker Compensation

Agenda Item #21 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2 if needed a) Motion by:_________ Second__________ (Discussion?) Vote All Yes_________ Yes_______ No _______

Agenda Item #22 – Adjourn Motion by __________Second________ (Discussion?) Vote All Yes_________ Yes________ No_____

*indicates my insertion of the word–discussion