07/20/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Dan Haeder opened the July 20, 2020, meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 p.m. with council members David Larsen, Marcus Ireland, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott, Melissa Kay and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.

The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor Haeder called for approval of the agenda.  Agenda was approved as written without change

Agenda Item #4 – Alderman Vacancy  was called.  At this point there were no scheduled applicants until Vickie Larsen again submitted her name for consideration for Ward III seat placement.  At this point Executive Session was called for the interview process.  Ms. Larsen was amenable to open session questioning but the council felt more comfortable to go into executive session.  Executive session commenced at/around 6:10 p.m.  Ms. Larsen was excused at 6:18 p.m. for council discussion and the group resumed open session at 6:37 p.m.  Upon resumption of the meeting, I discovered my camera had not be shut down, so at that point and at the request of council members I cleared the memory card at that point which is the reason the video commences at the appointment part of the meeting.  I was sworn in and seated as the Ward III Council person at the council table.

Agenda Item #5 Public Input- I raised a concern about children playing on East Bound Sixth Street just below the hill.  Drivers traveling from the west, eastbound on sixth street cannot see the kids when they are just below the crest of the hill.

Agenda Item #6 Legal Updates which includes two properties in process of violations.  Other Code Enforcement letters have been sent out.

Agenda Item #7 Planning and Zoning Proposed Readings of Amendments to the Zoning Regulations.  2020-08 regarding a planned development District for the City of Alcester and 2020-09 regarding Residential District and permitted Uses.  Copies of which should be notices in the newspaper.

Agenda Item #8 Personnel Policy Manual-The 2020 revision version with adjustments in language, adjustments in policy and restatement of policy.  Still in the revision stage.

Agenda Item #9-Executive Session – Discussion of Contractual Matters.  Session began at 8:13 p.m. with exit from closed session at 8:45 p.m.

NOTE:  Video stops at this point because access logistics were not planned when I was seated.  I will try to make sure logistics will be corrected for video engage after executive session shut down in the future.

Agenda Item #10-Mayor and Alderman Salary Adjustment-  This discussion was briefly discussed and will be more fully discussed at the next meeting.

Agenda Item #11-USDA Loan Payoff  Pay off loan balance of $36K+ out cash funds.  Motion passed 4 ayes with one nay.

Agenda Item #12– Wastewater Surcharge or Rate increase- put off to next meeting and to hear options.

Agenda Item #13– Finance Office-Move day July 28-29 to old high school.

          Change council meeting date to September 8,2020.

          Declare items surplus

Agenda Item #14– Executive Session- Not needed

Agenda Item #15 – Adjourn    9:19 p.m.

10/24/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

So–Fo Pat

I hear tell ya think yer doin’ well.

An’ good things are comin’ to you.

I wish I had yer confidence ma’am an’

you had to do-wacka, do-wacka, do-wacka-do.!

 

I see yer runnin’ free,

An yer work days in yer office been few.

I wanna recall yer good luck Tom an’

give you some do-wacka, do-wacka, do-wacka-do.

I see you truckin’ down the street with yer travelin crew

ya got a Johnson in the front and a Glas in the back tailgatin’ you

Yeah, an way back ya got my money in yer sack,

with yer key in the ballot box and yer ears pinned back

root-doot-doot-doot-doot-do-wah!

 

I hear tell ya think yer doin’ well,

An’ good things are comin’ to you.

I wish I had yer confidence ma’am an’

you had a do-wacka, do-wacka, do-wacka-do*

(*inspiration Roger Miller’s 1965 song (and You Had A) Do-Wacka-Do “Do-Wacka-Do Lyrics.” Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 25 Oct. 2019. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/598190/Roger+Miller>.)

 

 

I hear tell FO Pat is running around trying to get support for Councilman Lance Johnson’s Fifth Wheel Fiasco.

Councilman Johnson has violated the CCR’s that run with the land at 518A Anderson Street. Unfortunately the CCR’s allow for a change after twenty-five years which appear to be imminent for Lots One (1) through Eleven (11) of Block Seven (7), Lots One (1) through Three (3) and Lot Seven (7) of Block Eight (8), Lots One (1) through Four (4) of Block Nine (9) and Lots One (1), Two (2) and Seven (7) though Ten (10) of Block (10) of Numsen Addition, being a part of Tract Three (3) in the Northeast Quarter of the Northwest Quarter (NE1/4NW1/4) and in the Northwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter (NW1/4NE1/4) of Section Twenty-Seven (27), Township Ninety-five (95) North, Range Forty-Nine (49), West of the 5th P.M., City of Alcester, Union County, South Dakota according to the recorded plat thereof.

 

 

Specifically note #items 1, #4, #5, #14, and #15 listed in the covenants. Read for yourselves.

To the folks living in the above mentioned Blocks, unless you want some boxcar type dwelling or storage garage next to your $200K home, vote against the change in CCR. It must be a public vote of A MAJORITY OF THOSE NEIGHBORS AND LAND OWNERS affected. It is not a vote of the council.

Tell FO Pat NO, tell Councilman Lance Johnson NO, A covenant change can mess with the value of your home and property investment—check it out for yourselves. It is your right!

 

Just tell FO Pat to take her DO AND WACKA-IT DOWN THE STREET!

06/11/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Glas proclaims we have air in our water, no problem!  Really?  Mayor Glas with the ‘profess-tional, cee-ment mind with the minor IQ” where is that thar air (if it is air) coming from?  Did you have it tested? Where is the air coming from, could it be a broken line that is sucking air or methane from the soil and into the water?  Oh by the way Mayor you don’t like me getting involved or helping a fellow resident, Do your darned job!  Investigate the issue, not your own bellybutton!

Folks Mayor Glas, FO Pat and the council handed over $4800 in my opinion in an illegal, violation of the existing, in-force Alcester Personnel Manual.

Policy #3:  Employee Classifications Appointive Official:  An individual who holds a position in the municipality as specified by SDCL 9-14-1 (repealed)

Policy#5 Hours of Work

5-3.1 City Finance Office  Monday through Friday, the finance offices will be open from9:00 to 12:00pm  The finance office will re-open at 1:00 pm and remain open until 5:00 pm.  The finance officer will start the work day at 8:00am and will open the city office for public business at 9:00am.

5.5 Flex time -The governing body (council) reserves the right to authorize flexible work hours within the 40 hour work week in situations where it is appropriate or necessary.  Employees must still adhere to the standard 40 hours work week unless flex time or overtime has been approved by the mayor. The mayor authorized flex time is subject to review and final authorization will be from the city council at the next city council meeting.

5.6  Overtime Eligibility – Employees may be required to work overtime when determined necessary by their supervisor or the governing board.  Overtime is defined as time that is worked in excess of the first 40 hours within the standard work week and does not include hours paid but not worked such as holidays, vacation pay days or sick days.  The mayor shall have the option of selecting compensatory time off or overtime pay and the finance officer shall be advised of the decision prior to the performs of any such work.

All overtime must be authorized by the mayor prior to the working of such hours except in emergency situations.  Overtime is to be authorized only if the work cannot be otherwise done during normal work hours.  Insofar as possible, the opportunity to work overtime shall be distributed as equally as practicable by the municipality among the employees in each department.  Accrual of overtime without prior authorization may result in disciplinary procedures.

Overtime compensation for all overtime eligible employees shall be at the rate of one and one-half of the employees regular hourly rate.  As stated above, time paid for but not worked(holidays, etc) does not count toward hours worked for the purpose of calculating overtime hours.

5.7 Comp time – Authorized comp-time shall be administer within the same guidelines and be accrued at time and one half.  Comp-time must be used within 30 days from the time in which it was accrued.

The maximum amount of comp-time that may be accrued is 16 hours.

5.8 Exemptions to Overtime – The following employees are exempt from the overtime standards as mentioned in the above sections:

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

2) Police and fire personnel (if less than 5 within the dept)

3) Swimming pool personnel (if operated less than7 months)

5.10  Time Sheets or cards – Each employees time sheet is a record of their regular hours worked, overtime worked and vacation or sick leave used for the purpose of calculating and issuing pay checks.  Every employee must sign their time sheet to verify that all entries are accurate,  Intentional falsification of time sheets may result in disciplinary action.

5.11 Time Clocks – Time clocks are used by the municipality for recording work time for all employees specified by the governing board.  Each employee required to use a time clock must punch in and out promptly and have the finance officer initial changes necessary to correct time records.

It is absolutely forbidden to punch another employees time card.  Such action may result in disciplinary action.

Policy# 6 Compensation

6.3 Time Sheets Each employee is responsible to ensure that his/her time sheets are correct ad submitted on time.  Signed vacation and sick leave slips must accompany all time sheets (see appendix one).  Any misrepresentation of time worked or falsification of any time sheet may result in disciplinary action.

Policy# 7 Leave of Absence

Policy #8 Separation from Municipal Service

8.4 Exit Interviews It is a policy of the municipality  of Alcester, for the appropriate authority to conduct an exit interview prior to an employee’s separation from municipal employment.  The exit interview is conducted for several purposes, including 1) to resolve all outstanding matters between the municipality and the employee, 2) to advise the employee of the affect their separation will have upon all benefits and what benefits they have coming upon separation, 3) to aid the municipality in gathering information to help improve the municipality’s working environment and other employment relationships.

8.5 Misconduct Defined The following is a partial listing of employee misconduct that may result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge.  This list is not intended to completely list all employee misconduct that may result in the above, but rather is provided as a guideline by which employees can judge actions that will not be tolerated by the municipality:

  1. Incompetent, inefficient, unreliable, unwilling or incapable of fulfilling his/her job duties as assigned.
  2. Inadequate performance of duties.
  3. Neglect of duty.
  4. Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor offense which might adversely reflect on or create doubt about the moral character, credibility or reliability of the employee.
  5. Theft or misappropriation of municipal property.
  6. Insubordination.
  7. Failure to observe drug and alcohol policies of the municipality.
  8. Failure to observe harassment policies of the municipality.
  9. Knowing or willful violation of municipal ordinance.
  10. Unauthorized absences.
  11. Habitual tardiness.
  12. Abuse of sick leave.
  13. Sleeping/loafing during work hours.
  14. Disclosure of confidential information.
  15. Offensive or inconsiderate conduct, or use of abusive language in public, or toward the public, municipal officials or fellow employees while on duty.
  16. Personal acceptance or appropriation of any fee, gift, tip or other gratuity or remuneration received solely for the performance of official duties in connection with municipal employment.
  17. Knowing, intentional, or repeated falsification of any application for employment or any municipal record, report or time sheet.
  18. Willful alteration, destruction or waste of municipal property, facilities, equipment or  records.
  19. Serious or repeated disorderly conduct or horseplay.
  20. Threatening, intimidating, coercing or interfering with supervisors or other employees.
  21. Deliberate attempts to injure another employee or fighting on municipal property while on the job.
  22. Unauthorized possession of fire arms, explosives or any dangerous weapons while performing municipal work.
  23. Recklessness resulting in a serious accident while on duty, whether on or off municipal property.

Policy #9 Disciplinary Action and Grievance Procedure

Policy #10 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy

Policy #11 Americans with Disabilities Act

 

Policy #12 Appointive Officials

12.1  Definition An Appointive Official is an individual who holds a position in a municipality in SDCL 9-14-1 (see  policy 12.2)

12.2 Appointive Officials to be Appointed

12.2.1  Second and Third Class Municipalities – The appointive officers in second and third class municipalities are the finance officer (auditor, treasurer) and other such officers as provided by municipal ordinance.

12.4  Applicable policies to municipal officials

The following sections of this manual shall apply to municipal officials:

  • Policy #1 all sub-sections,
  • Policy #2 all sub-sections,
  • Policy#3 all sub-sections,
  • Policy #4 not applicable,
  • Policy #5 Applicable if such officials are covered by FLSA,
  • Policy #6 all sub-sections,
  • Policy #7 all sub-sections,
  • Policy#8 not applicable,
  • Policy #9 not applicable,
  • Policy #10 all sub-sections,
  • Policy #11 all sub-sections.

Folks this is the policy manual which is in effect now, and was in effect at the start of FO Pats Comp Time Grab in 2014.

Ask the question at what rate of illegal compensation was FO Pat offered?  The time and one half rate at the time of her falsification of time in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018?  Or was it at the 2019 raise rate?  From 2014 who authorized FO Pat’s raises, Finance Officer Pat Jurrens, Mayor Glas or the council who authorized the budget without asking questions?

insert

If you are in doubt, check out 2019-01 Ordinance change Read it Well.  Policy 8.5 misconduct.  Still in favor of the settlement of $4800 pay out? 

Gee I wonder who placed this jewel in front of the council? 

 

06/08/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Yup, give the Finance Officer Jurrens time and a half ($4800 unsubstantiated need and hours) for pickin’ weeds, painting walls, scopin’ out the thrift stores for atrium furnishing, and etc.

We have folks who have cloudy water in the down town area.  This isn’t the first complaint!  The first complaint was dealt with eyes rolled up and a suggestion about mental health.  Really?

Now I was called, I went to the site of cloudy water complaint-the same site ol’ Mayor Tom witnessed and admitted to the cloudy water and told the homeowner to go to the store for water.  I SAW the water coming out of the cold water tap (it was milky white), I took a sample of that water and I talked to neighbors.  It was my understanding Mayor Tom couldn’t care less or be bothered to check in to the situation.

I did some research.  https://plumbingtoday.biz/blog/why-is-my-faucet-water-cloudy Below is what I found:

I called Mayor Glas at about 3:30 p.m. asked him about telling the homeowner to go to the store.  I asked the Mayor if he was going to have the water tested?  He said after some hemming and hawing, Monday.  I asked Mayor Glas if the city was going to pay for the water.  Oh folks that didn’t go over so well.  In fact Mayor Glas hung up on me.  SO JUST EXACTLY WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR WATER CONTAMINANTS?  WHO DO WE CALL?  h-m-m-m Mayor Glas?  Do we have pipe breakage, do we have raw sewage seeping into our water lines on the west side of town or do we have both?

Folks if you have cloudy water let the Mayor Glas know, call 605-934-2188 it is his JOB! Send an email to alcestercityfo.com  Tell him if he can’t get the water tested until Monday, open up city hall and dispense water to the taxpayers who are already paying for water, DRINKABLE WATER!

 

06/03/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

At 6:00 p.m. Mayor Tom Glas called the regular Alcester City Council meeting to order with Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilman Lance Johnson and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  The group began business with approval of the night’s meeting agenda and the approval of the May meetings.

Agenda Item #5 Marc Macy was called upon to make his presentation for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Agenda Item #6 was called for the first reading of Alcester City Ordinance 2019-02 dealing with conditional uses which would allow placing just a garage on a lot for storage (?).  This was a garage ordinance originally called 2019-01, after my argument there was already a 2019-01 ordinance which I call ‘protect Pat’s Job attempt’, an argument from Pat I was wrong on the numbering and AFTER I proved I was correct,  the amending ordinance was changed to 2019-02.  Ya know all FO Pat had to do was to pull her file on ordinances (which she is required to keep) she could have prevented the confusion of two (2) 2019-01 ordinances, the delay of first reading and of course knowingly calling me wrong.

Agenda Item #7-a presentation made by Amanda Ericson and Carmen Kast for the Fireman Water Fight scheduled for June 15, 2019, during the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and to ask permission to close off Second Street from Iowa to Dakota.  Permission was granted.

Agenda Item #8– I commented on three items, which were included in my hand-outs to the council.

First was the Ordinance numbering which was dealt with the Agenda item  6.

Second was the failure of the Mayor and FO Pat Jurrens to provide FOIA for access to completed public records absentee ballot application and listing poll book.  FO Pat argued I was wrong and could not access these documents.  I had already provided information from the Secretary of State to back up my claim.  I was refused access and was given a listing of the absentee ballot names and was informed that Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson had spoken with the South Dakota Secretary of State representative Christine Lehrkamp.

Since I had spoken to a different person in the SD Secretary of State office, I contacted Ms. Lehrkamp, explained the situation and she agreed I should have     access.  I made plans to bring this to the council’s attention during input.  On Monday, June 3, 2019, I contacted Ms. Lehrkamp asking for a written statement I could present to bolster my argument and she provided me with the statement.  Upon my introduction of the FOIA issue, FO Pat objected, I argued the statement in my handout and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson stated he read the Ms. Lehrkamp’s statement, I was correct and I was to be given access to the FOIA information.

Third was the issue of no visible pool rules. I spoke of the absence of the large pool rules sign, the fact children were going down the slide head-first and a garden hose strung across the pool deck and wound around the slide ladder which creates a clear danger to pool users.  After speaking with city representatives of Beresford and Canton     I was told there should be a life-guard stationed at the ladder of the slide and a life-guard in the pool at the foot of the slide.

One again FO Pat waded in with an argument noting the size of the slide, to which I responded we got the slide from Beresford who had the two life-guard slide rule.

I went to the pool this morning, saw the copy paper sized, laminated farce of a sign attached to the slide and not a large visible sign that parents, children and life-guards can clearly see without walking to within two feet of the slide.

Agenda Item #10– The council spoke to the Mayor’s and FO Pat’s decision to sic a South Dakota Circuit Judge on non-conforming residents.  Oh and yeah,  Mayor Glas asked for what I will call a not-so-secretary security de-tale of one volunteer to walk around town with him to inspect properties.  Councilman Lance Johnson leaped at the change.  Amazing, this is the guy who lives across from 518 Anderson where the curb and gutter vandalism took place and has not been resolved.

Agenda Item#11 Alcester Ambulance came to request the city forgive the water charges for the ambulance building.  The Council voted to not charge the ambulance for water usage.

Item Agenda #16– Finance Office  A couple of notable departures from code and duties.

First was Mayor Glas major faux pas.  This ‘sage of cee-ment and construction” was advised the roof on one of the park shelters needed repair.  Well ol’ sage tom went to Schoeneman to price steel.  Oh not the sine-wave of course.  Well he got pricing on a single sheet unit of steel but not the screws, nails, wood and etc. to cover the roof A-N-D then he did the math times six (6) to cover the whole roof?  Are ya kidding?  Who does that? MAYOR TOM GLAS, that is who!  But it gets better, he is given a verbal opinion of cost, Mayor Glas FAILED to GET-IT-IN-WRITING!  Who does that?  Mayor Tom Glas, that is who!

Next is the Executive Session for personnel, now everyone aside from the council, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and FO Pat Jurrens were ushered out.  So there we were Gordon Richards and myself standing in the atrium of the Auditorium with Wanda Halverson guarding the council door against Vandals, Huns and who know what interlopers.  Folks the council is abusing Executive session.

Now I figured the council was dealing with the recent demand for payment from a former employee, but the reason to go into executive session was personnel which was inappropriate for a lawsuit question.  Occasionally we would hear a word or two erupt into the silence in the atrium, such as “I make a motion!”  Really! Making a motion in executive session, A BIG NO-NO!  Yes folks that did get my attention!  What was it about, wait for it, wait for it.

The Council was declared out of Executive Session at 9:00* and slam, bam, you’re gonna get the dough FO Pat.  Immediately a motion was made to PAY FO PAT JURRENS $4800.00 settlement for her “illegal comp time”  Alcester Voters $4800.00 for comp time (time and a half) for exempt administrative hours, HOURS THAT WERE NOT APPROVED AS TO NECESSITY, ADVANCE WRITTEN APPROVAL, HOURS NOT PROPERLY ACCOUNTED FOR,  AND ETC.

The city offices are closed on Tuesday noon to five with the door closed and the telephone not answered ’cause the ‘girls’ cannot get their work done!  Yeah well yesterday was a Tuesday, what part of weed pulling, flower bed tending is in FO PATS job description?  Who pays $25.00/hour for a finance officer to pull weeds and make pretty-pretty?  What idiot pays FO Pat time-and-a-half for pulling weeds, painting walls, shopping -for-atrium-decor?  Judging from the payroll checks signed by Mayor Tom Glas he is the idiot!  Mayor Glas whose ‘Oversight’ is the “I forgot and made a mistake Oversight” NOT the “I am watching you Oversight” WHO in Hades is “OVERSEEING” Mayor Glas and the Finance Office.

I would recommend that decision be referred and not be paid out.  So I would advise FO Pat not to spend that $4800!  With that gem of governance, the council adjourned at 9:01 p.m.

*Mayor Glas in his rush to get FO Pat her unapproved comp time/over-time, barely allowed those of us waiting in the no-open-meeting-for-us atrium-land to be seated in the council room, much less get the camera rolling to record his shining hour.

01/07/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the January 7, 2019, regular Alcester City Council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present; Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Lance Johnson and Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

The mayor called for Agenda Approval.  Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson moved to approve the agenda with no changes, Alcester City Councilman Melissa Kay seconded the motion and with no further discussion the group voted unanimously to approve the January 7, 2019, agenda with no corrections or additions.

The mayor then asked for council approval of the minutes from December 3rd, regular Alcester City Council Meeting and December 10th special Alcester City Council meetings.  Councilman David Larsen moved to approve the minutes of both meetings without any additions or corrections with a second to the motion from Councilwoman Darla Reppe, council voted unanimously to approve the motion.

Input-I had and I did.  First up was my commentary on ‘professionalism’ in the finance office and FO Pat’s ‘cost cutting’.  Prior to the January 7, 2019, meeting I distributed photocopies of a September 20, 2018, three page letter authored by Finance Office Jurrens sent to the Office of the South Dakota Hearing examiners defending herself against my complaint she violated open records to the table placements of the Alcester City Council. What was interesting is according to FO Jurrens, “…Ms. Larsen questions my (FO Pat) qualifications to competently do the job as City Finance Officer.  I am a graduate of the University of South Dakota, Beacon School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy…I am knowledgeable of Government Accounting, Financial States and operation QuickBooks…”  Folks this is a letter to the Office of South Dakota Hearing Examiners by a representative of Alcester City.  I pointed out to the council the use of letter head for all three pages.

patties professional letter 09-20-2018

Folks please note, there are no page numbers to distinguish the page order, the lack of title for Chief Hearing Examiner Duenwald and the familiar use of comma in a formal business letter plus numerous grammatical errors most high school students learn to avoid when they are crafting a term paper.  Folks if I used a red pencil to mark the errors I would have run out of red graphite.  In addition even if I did not have a BA degree from Northern I learned as a sophomore in my high school Secretarial Science Course, one only uses letter head for the first page, uses page numbers and uses footers in a formal letter.

I researched the USD Beacon School of Business, I couldn’t find it.  Then I noticed there was a BEACOM School of Business, not Beacon.  Really such an exemplary honors student does not know her alma mater Beacom from Beacon?  Evidently one can see the ‘light’ and one is left in the grammatical dark.

On to page 2 of the September 20, 2018, letter to the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners where FO Pat says, “…Regarding Ms. Larsen comment about using my work email address researching something on Pinterest-the research was completed on my off-work time but for fund raising projects for the City.  The City of Alcester had a financial shortfall for a special project and research was conducted for ideas to re-use pallets and other fund raising ideas…”    FO Pat writes the research was completed, so when was it started?   Fund Raising?  Really Fund Raising?  FO Pat the good citizens of Alcester DID NOT hire you to organize bake sales, given lessons in Pinterest pallet art con termites nor your rampant Conflict of Interest position as Chamber of Commerce President!  You, yourself crow you are proficient in Government Accounting, Financial Statements and operating QuickBooks  Accounting Software.  How is it the City of Alcester even developed a financial shortfall for a special project under YOUR professed proficient Accounting and Financial prowess?  Who ‘creates’ the budget out of the erratic mumblings of Mayor Concrete Google Master?  Granted the council gives their okie dokie but their okie dokie is predicated on your so-called ‘expertise’.  But I have to hand it to ya Madame FO, you seem to be adapting yourself to taxing Peter to fund Pat!

Going on to my FOIA request for an accounting for work hours, on call hours, over-time hours of two members of the police force.  FO Pat further states in her September 20, 2018, letter to the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners that, … each letter (my FOIA) asks for a full and complete copy of…total hours worked…active…on-call…salary…total over-time earnings…date of payment…” going on to explain to the Office of Hearing Examiners that, …Ms. Larsen, due to her interaction with the Police Department is aware of names…I personally witnessed her interaction with each member of our Police Department and called them by name…Another reason a physical examination of the weekly timecard is necessary…This is not information that can be run in a report from the TimeClock Software…”  REALLY? 

WINDOW PEEPER DOG LICENSE

She witnessed my interaction with each member of the Police Department, HOW does FO Pat get anything done if she has our police department under surveillance to see when I talk to them. These particular employees ‘punched’ in for work on their cell phones.  No time cards!  The software should have the ability to create a report of hours, type of hours and rates of pay, and etc.  In addition QuickBooks the accounting program used by the City of Alcester, is the same QB program I use it in my business.  I am able to create wage reports in QuickBooks and I didn’t work for a ‘software’ company hawking QuickBooks.

In addition to the FO Pat’s answer to OHE File Number PRR 18-03 Larsen vs. City of Alcester, I provided a list of questions I verbally posed to the City Council.  I have started following this procedure so I don’t forget my questions, the council can read my questions and I can get answers instead of the usual mayoral shrug-off.

ALCESTER CITY COUNCIL QUESTIONS

WHERE IS THE STREET MAINTENANCE FEE MONEY NOT USED FOR CHIP SEAL? (2018)

Answer:  special account

HOW MUCH CHIP SEAL WILL THE RESIDENTS GET NEXT YEAR FOR THEIR TWO YEARS WORTH OF FEES?

Answer:  2 shots

WHERE IS THE FLOW DETAIL ON THE DONATION RECEIVED BY THE CITY OF ALCESTER FROM THE CANTON BARN FUNDRAISER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE VICTIMS OF THE ALCESTER NURSING HOME CRASH?

Answer:  Non-answer

WHAT IS THE OUTCOME OF THE CURB VANDALIZATION ON ANDERSON STREET ALONG THE NORTH JOHNSON PROPERTY?

Answer:  Beyond the temper tantrum of Councilman Lance Johnson calling me, lady followed with my short reactive set-down of, “Mr. Johnson, my name is Mrs. Larsen…”  Councilman Lance Johnson said he didn’t own the property.  I had already checked with Beacon-Schneider parcel ID 01.11.10.1035 Lot B, Block 10, Tr 3, Numsen’s Addition, Alcester City (12/20/2013 property was divided into parcel 01.11.10.1035 Lance Johnson Family Trust and parcel 01.11.10.1036 Randy and Pam Heuer).  Councilman Johnson YOU as an Alcester City Councilman and it is your DUTY to notify the city of acts of vandalism!

LANCE JOHNSON

HAS THE REPAIR OF THAT CURB BEEN EFFECTED AND PAID FOR BY THOSE WHO RIPPED OUT THE CURB?  CITATION ISSUE?

Answer:  Undecided

Going on down the agenda:

6. Legal Updates to the Personnel Policy-stalled, Legal Updates to the Police-no action yet.  No action taken.

7. 2019 Legal Retainer-Same as 2018 with Frieberg, Nelson and Ask.  Unanimous Approval.

8. Official Newspaper 2019 Named-introduction of Mr. Gordon Richard, writer/reporter for the Alcester Union-Hudsonite.  Unanimous Approval.

9. Office Bank 2019 Named-Premier Bank  Unanimous Approval.

10. Ordinance changes regarding Cats-No action ’cause the humane folks do not take feral cats just our Fluffy’s.

11. Ordinance change Appointed Officers (2019-01)-Still a ‘work in progress’.  This ordinance change is to all intents a purposes change FO Pat from an appointed position to a hired position.  Evidently she doesn’t want done to her what Rick Johnson did to her predecessor Mike Kezar, where Mayor Johnson declined to ‘appoint 30 year veteran Finance Officer Kezar and where then Councilwoman Jurrens cast her ‘bye-bye’ to remove Mr. Kezar.  Evidently FO Pat recognized Karma when she spotted it comin’ at her at raceway speeds and tryin’ to take evasive actions.  The council also discussed the verbiage used to terminate or fire a city employee.  This ordinance had its first reading (not on the agenda?).

12.  Pleasant Hill Cemetery-perpetual care monetary minimums, cash assets, paperwork and grounds keeping were issues discussed.  Questions but no answers.  No action taken.

13.  Nuisance Property Discussion-Mayor Glas’s hobby horse.  He complains about several mattresses in his backyard view.  Really, chuckle, chuckle.  Mayor Glas change the zoning and charge a sizable entertainment tax on those mattresses and apply the income to our street maintenance so we can repair our streets without taxing Peter to Pay FO Pat!  Say you could even make a video and put it up on the city website?  Oh that is right we do not have a website ’cause it is not a priority for FO Pat, however she is still working on those Pinterest pallets for fund raising.  Well now a pallet has been defined as a mattress, so FO Pat could collect those ‘pallets’ for her fund raising efforts.  Shoot she can display them next to the walls where she is hawking paintings in the Alcester City Council Meeting room and put up her sign—Pat’s Pinterest Palace of Paintings and Pre-Used  Poly Pallets.

There was an open session disgust-tion of the Code Enforcement Officer by Mayor Tom Glas and Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson.

18. (a) Finance Office warrants (bills to be paid)  Unanimous Approval

(b) Resolution for City Fees-Key Fee here is the Finance Office Staff Fee goat rodeo              courtesy of an action initiated by yours truly.  I will discuss this lil’ ‘ol fee in a future          installment.  In addition to the FO staff fee, Golf fees and pool fees were among the            changes.  Unanimous approval.

(c)  2019 Election Vacancies:

          Mayor-5 years, * 50 legal signatures to be safe

          Ward I-3years 15-20 legal signatures to be safe,**

          Ward II-3 years 15-20 legal signature to be safe **

          Ward III-3 years 15-20 legal signatures to be safe **

          Petitions take-out-01/25/2019,

          Petition hand-in-  02/22/2019,

          Voter Registration-03/25/2019,

          Election-04/09/2019

                        * at least 3 times the Ward signature number

                        ** my opinion if more than one candidate

(d) 2019 Salaries:

          Executive session was called-Council went into Executive session at 7:22   p.m.             and was out 7:26 p.m.  Unanimous approval of the 2019 Salaries

(e) HRC- Housing Redevelopment Commission

          Open Terms – 5 year term- held by president

                                    -3 year term- held by vice president

24.  Adjournment

        Unanimous approval  Meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.

 

10/01/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

“Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation.”
Atifete Jahjaga

Mayor Glas called the October 2, 2018, meeting of the Alcester City council to order in the Alcester-Hudson City-School Library at 6:00 p.m. with Alcester City Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Alcester City Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Alcester City Councilman David Larsen, Alcester City Councilman Dan Haeder and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present. Absent were Alcester Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Alcester Councilman Lance Johnson.  Since a quorum was still intact, the meeting remained in session.

The meeting commenced with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda Item #3Approval of the Agenda.  The agenda item order was changed by moving Agenda Item #17 – Executive Session 1-25-2 (3) Pending Litigation.  Councilman Haeder moved to approve the agenda with the change moving Agenda Item #17 – Executive Session to just after Agenda Item #11 – Golf Course Updates, Councilwoman Darla Reppe seconded the motion, and with no further discussion the group voted four ayes, zero nays to  approve the agenda as changed.

Agenda Item #4Approve Minutes of September 5, 2018 and September 14, 2018.  Councilwoman Melissa Kay moved to approve the September 5, 2018, council minutes and September 14, 2018, council minutes as written and distributed to the council via email.  No discussion and the quorum council voted four (4) aye and zero (0) nays.

Agenda Item #5 – Dee Cole Welcome.  Librarian Cole welcomed the group and gave an update of library usage, added WI-FI access, programs and hours of operation.

Agenda Item #6 – Stacy Johnson, Barb Johnson- Parking on Iowa Street.  These ladies brought their parking violation issue to the city council seeking redress.  These ladies received parking tickets on September 11, 2018, for parking in a no parking zone on Iowa Street.  At issue was the placement of the ‘No Parking’ sign placement.  At the place the ladies accessed Iowa street (a one-way street) the no parking sign was not visible and thought to be out of placement.  Alcester Street Department Representative Lonnie Johnson stated he used the MUTCD for placement of signs which is an acronym for the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.* The council visited among themselves, sought  input from the police department and opinion from City Attorney Sam Nelson and based upon input and opinion of legal theory declined to set aside the tickets, keeping the violations in force and payable.

* The state of South Dakota adopted the Millennium Edition of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices as it official manual for traffic control. Perhaps the city would be well served if in the future they direct the street department to paint the curb in addition to No Parking signage as suggested by MUTCD.

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input 

  • (00:26:29) I responded with a complaint the August 21, 2018, Alcester City Council Meeting Minutes were not published in the newspaper. This is the second occurrence of failure to publish minutes in a timely manner.

First failure incident involved the failure to publish notice for city council vacancy February 23, 2018, petition deadline. I had contacted Alcester Union-Hudsonite Shane Hill to confirm receipt of notification for publication, he confirmed he had not received an email from Alcester Finance Office Pat Jurrens.

This time it was the minutes for the August 20, 2018, minutes which did not appear but were approved in the September 5, 2018, Alcester City Council Meeting Minutes which appear in Volume 131, Issue 36, Thursday, September 13, 2018, edition of the Alcester Union-Hudsonite.  So where are the minutes…not published.  I called the Alcester Union-Hudsonite publisher Shane Hill and asked him.  He took my number and said he would get back to me.  Uhm, he didn’t get back to me but instead apparently telephone the Alcester Finance Officer to give her the heads up.  ‘Cause Finance Officer Jurrens upon   my input, explained to the council she included something in their ‘packet’.  SDCL 9-18-1 states,

“Governing body to publish minutes of meetings including statement of expenditures–Rate of payment for publication.  The governing body of each municipality shall publish, within twelve business days, the minutes for each meeting of the governing body including a detailed statement of all expenditures of money and the name of each person paid and the service provided.  The municipality shall pay for the publication of the minutes no to exceed ninety percent of the legal line rates for weekly newspapers and not to exceed the legal line rate for daily newspapers as provided in  17-2-19…”

and SDCL 9-18-1.1 states,

“Time for delivery of copy to official newspaper.  The finance officer shall maintain a record of the minutes published pursuant to § 9-18-1 and deliver a copy to the official newspaper within five business days from the date the meeting was held…”

  • Derek MacIntosh introduced himself as candidate for Union County Sheriff and spoke to his experience and his goals.
  • Alcester City Councilman Dan Haeder wanted to clarify in light of blow-back the city position on the feral cat round-up to, “…the use of all legal means…”.

Agenda Item #8 – Street Updates  Street Department Representative Lonnie Johnson stated he had no updates.  The subject of Joe Zweifel’s complaint about the street condition at 305 W. Third Street.  Apparently there seems to be no long term fix such as complete street rebuild in the vocabulary of the Mayor just periodic asphalt treatments.  Other suggestions by members of the city council was curb and gutter re-do at home owners expense which council members seemed oblivious to the cause-effect of the weighted robotic garbage truck which seems to pull the street material away from the curb and gutter.

At which point Executive session was called for contract discussion.  Alcester City Councilman David Larsen made the motion to go into executive session with a second coming from Alcester City Councilwoman Darla Reppe, discussion was to contract concerning the street.  Executive session commenced at 6:55 p.m. and was called back into open session at 7:10 p.m.  It was at this point there was not going to be any chip seal put down this year.  Apparently vacating the vote taken at Agenda Item #7 in the April 2, 2018, awarding  the seal coat bid to Road Guys at $1.75 per square yard of CRS-2P based upon 20K Square yard purchase and to be put in place between June 1, 2018 and September 1, 2018.  No chip seal…so where is the money, was there a cancellation fee and who defaulted?  So are we going to have twice the coverage in 2019?

Agenda Item 9 – Wastewater/Water  Dale was not available so Lonnie Johnson gave a summary.  So what is going on the Water tower cleaning, painting and where is the light, huh Mayor, Finance Officer Pat?

Agenda Item 10 – Police Department  Police Chief Christie gave updates which included police calls were up and 40% of those calls involved drugs.  The new radios were up and running thanks to the grant that purchased them.

The question of On Call Pay was raised (01:03:25).  This discussion was done in open session, evidently arising out of executive session discussions covering several months of dithering about with apparently a decision to move forward with an Overtime rate inclusion in the 2019 budget  and carrying a retro-active decision implementation.  According to the discussion among the four Alcester City Councilpersons, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens the ON CALL decision was not shared with Alcester Police Chief Christie nor apparently with the public in open meeting.

(01:09:17) I immediately spoke up and most definitely out-of-order with the question, “When was this vote taken…was it take in executive session” at which Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson addressed Mayor Glas advising him and the council, “…you do not have to answer questions from the gallery”.  I smiled.  After a couple more minutes of discussion on writing police policy concerning On-Call, set time to allow the safety committee to meet and to set the date for a special full city council meeting Alcester City Attorney Sam asked Mayor Glas to, “…go back to the On-call…”  Upon Mayor Glas’ okie-dokie, Alcester City Attorney Sam stated that in previous closed session discussions he had briefed the council on possibilities with regard to the On-Call solution with a $2k compensation.  Imagine that!

Folks our law enforcement officers past and present operated in On-Call capacities which involved additional on duty hours after they had been on duty for a full tour.  On-Call meaning our officers were not on the clock but had to be available to respond on-call for another eight to ten hours.  They could not leave the city, they could not have an after duty beer, they could not take their spouses to a movie and dinner and they were NOT paid for this additional time nor were they given comp time in any form.  In addition police officers, paid fire men and women are exempted from Overtime pay.  Folks how many of you would be willing to work under conditions like this?   

Mr. Nelson they did not have to answer me then, if the Alcester City Council is voting in executive session they most assuredly have to answer to me and my fellow taxpayers NOW!

Agenda Item #11 – Updates  Alcester City Councilman Dave Larsen gave updates on the golf course.

Agenda Item #17 – Moved Executive Session regarding pending litigation.  Alcester City Councilwoman Darla Reppe moved to go into Executive session, Second came from Alcester City Councilman Dan Haeder and with no further discussion the four voted to close the session at 7:42 p.m. and opened the session at 8:00 p.m.  No action taken in open session.  Included in the closed session were Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens and Alcester Finance Office employee Wanda Halvorson.

Agenda Item #12 – Finance Office 

Warrants were approved.

Issue of American Legion Auxiliary request for storage was not acted upon until the Auxiliary provides specifications of what they need.

SRTS issue.  A meeting will be set up for all parties.  Definition- All parties exception the homeowners.  An extension for final payment has been extended by 6 months with conditions concerning mitigating determination of problem.

Police Personnel Manual.  Finance Office Pat Jurrens is to have the draft copy of the police manual to Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson but according to Finance Officer Jurrens it is “a work in progress”.

Special Projects – Response letter to Office of Hearing Examiners/Vickie Larsen – 8 hours* and Tree Trimming Database/Letters- 134 letters- 12 hours.

Agenda Item 13 – Fair Board Update Date provisionally set for 2019 August 1-4

Agenda Item 15 – Alcester Community Building Update  another show-me-the-money meeting to be scheduled for public input.

Agenda Item 18 – Adjourn approx. 8:35 p.m.

*My Explanation in future ‘A Voice From the Gallery’

05/09/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

At 6:00 p.m. Mayor Glas half-Glas’d the regular meeting of the Alcester City Council into session with Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Dan Haeder and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson was AWOL.  I use the term half-Glas’d in place of the more colorful phrase half-a**’d describing the quality of performance of execution of duty.

Agenda item #3 Mayor Glas called for Agenda approval.  Here is where it gets interesting ’cause listed on the agenda under new council agenda item #2 titled administer oaths of office which list:  Linda Talbott, Ward I; Melissa Kay, Ward I; David Larsen, Ward II; Lance Johnson, Ward III; and Darla Reppe, Ward, III.  When Mayor Glas called for agenda approval, Councilman Lance Johnson was AWOL and Linda Talbott was not present and from conversation in the hallway it appears Finance Officer Jurrens and Mayor Glas were aware these folks were not going to be present or had been put off with a whisper of-needing-a-notice-of-vacancy published.  Interesting?  You betch yer sweet bippy!

I saw the agenda item #2 entry and wondered at Ms. Talbott’s inclusion in the Oath of Office Administration because there was no notice of vacancy for Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom-Lyle’s Ward I seat.  On Monday, May 7, 2018, I visited Alcester Union-Hudsonite publisher Shane Hill, asking him if the paper had published a notice of vacancy advertisement because I could not find any notice of vacancy in the paper.  He checked his emails from Finance Officer Jurrens and found only the notice of vacancy received in January 2018 for publication January 18, 2018, and January 25, 2018, well in advance of the February 23, 2018, deadline for return of nomination petitions. That last-minute comment about notice-of-vacancy just prior to the start of council meeting makes my paranoid self wonder, had my seat belt even been clicked into place at the news office before Finance Officer Jurrens was given the heads up, she was found out!  H-m-m

After I returned home from my visit with Publisher Hill, I remembered chit-chat immediately prior to the April 2, 2018, council meeting this was Councilwoman Sundstrom-Lyle’s last meeting and because Finance Officer Jurrens had announced in an earlier March meeting there would be no city election, I presumed Councilwoman Sundstrom-Lyle had resigned.  That begged the questions

why no notice of vacancy and how was it Ms. Talbott’s name appeared on the agenda to be administered the oath of office? 

I telephoned Mrs. Sundstrom-Lyle asking if she had resigned, she told me, “…no she had just run out her term of office…”  So that left the only other legal option for Ms. Talbott’s name on the agenda for Oath of Office was Ms. Talbott presented a nomination petition. by deadline.

On Tuesday, May 8, 2018, I delivered in-person a FOIA to the City of Alcester requesting a copy of the nomination petition presented to Finance Officer Jurrens before the deadline of February 23, 2018.  Just in case, I also presented a simple form statement which stated that Finance Officer Pat Jurrens could not provide the requested election petition because_____which was to be filled out by Finance Officer Jurrens including her signature and date.  Upon my presentation of the FOIA, Finance Officer Jurrens told me Ms. Talbott had not presented a nominating petition so she (Finance Officer Jurrens) could not honor my FOIA.  I presented her the denial of FOIA document and asked her to please fill it out, sign and date it.  After Finance Officer Jurrens asked the question, “why would I (FO Jurrens) do that…?”, I replied it was a denial condition of the FOIA and at which point she complied.

So folks, another shining, troubling example of half-Glas’d, government!  Ms. Talbott DID NOT fill out a nominating petition, Ms. Talbott DID NOT submit a nominating petition prior to the February 23, 2018, deadline, Ms. Talbott was NOT appointed by Mayor Glas IN OPEN city council meeting, Ms. Talbott was NOT ratified by the Alcester City Council in OPEN city council meeting, so how in bloody Hades can she be administered an oath of office.  This begs the question,

 

Did the Alcester City Council Know?

 Did Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens deliberately keep this information from the Alcester City council?

 Why would the council knowingly approve an agenda (if they read it in advance) they knew to be in error?

Why didn’t the council ask questions why Ms. Talbott was not present?  (00:00:15)

The Agenda was approved unanimously, five ayes without question or discussion.

Agenda Item #5- Alcester Bar.  The great stool discussion would be funny if it was not your and my tax dollars being wasted on Madam Woolworth.  It appears the City of Alcester is subsidizing the Deems with tax dollars to the detriment and direct competition with other three Alcester City liquor sellers.  (00:02:30)

The was a prolonged discussion of should we (taxpayers) pay for stools, shouldn’t we (taxpayers) pay for stools, what kinds of stools, should we buy two-part stools, should they swivel, should they not swivel and if we get stools that don’t swivel how are the bar belles going to stay on their stools.  Seat-belts?  The great stool debate, are ya kidding me?  Oh I know, “Let’s buy elevated versions of ‘them speshal’ office chairs they got in the Alcester finance office!” Ya know one of ‘them’ chairs with them bouncy balls instead of ‘reglar’ seats, so’s to take pressure off the brain?”  Why them ol’ bartenders could tell for ‘sartin’ they over-served a customer ’cause that ol’ bar beau or bar belle couldn’t stay on the stool.  ‘Cause you know in the past Madam seemed ‘to think’ our police officers were Uber drivers and 911 was the Uber ‘quik’ call number!

Not once has the council asked for the financials of the Deems on what they had spent on bar upkeep unlike their stiff, rooster legged reaction to Agenda Item #7 in the new council session (00:17:30). Ya sure don’t see the council getting testy about Madam coming to them on a regular basis with her hand out, hollerin’, ‘hey buddy can ya spare a dime?’ an’ ladies and gents, Madam sure doesn’t mean ten cents!

Agenda Item #6-Planning and Zoning Hearing.  The gallery had questions on parking on the grass, no longer a light industrial class, and once again the great semantic corrugated debate. (00:24:30)   Mayor Glas arguing the metal roof on house were not corrugate and that galvanized was a kind of metal.  I pointed out corrugation was process much like extrusion which shapes the steel, copper or aluminum sheets into stronger and ascetically attractive roofing.  I also explained to Mayor Glas that galvanization was a secondary process to metal.  (00:26:12)  Changes to wording were discussed and handed off to the planning committee to correct the wording.  One word here, the council seemed inclined to half-glas’d the issue with the wording on a case-by-case basis.  Translation:   if we like you, if you’re our good ‘bud’, or if your nose is placed between our posteriors and the big, inflated, bouncy ball of my office chair, I will find in your favor.

Agenda Item #8– Adjourn the old council

*********************************************************************************************

Agenda Item #1-Open New Council

Agenda Item #2-Oath of Office  The Oath of Office was administered to Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, and Councilman David Larsen.

Agenda Item #5-Public Input

  • Derek Lykken asked, “… how people were expected to know when the city council met and how they could find out about city business…” Council responses to Mr. Lykken’s questions were via the internet (?), the front door of the auditorium, and the city offices.
  • Mike Kezar asked the question, “in the event of the mayor’s (non-voting member) absence and the president of the council (voting member of the council) took the meeting over, did the president of the council retain his vote while he was presiding in the absence of the mayor and what would happen in the event of a tie. Council members just looked at each other in confusion.  It had been practiced, in the council president’s position as mayor pro tem in the mayor’s absence, he would not have a vote with the exception of a tie.  Per Roberts Rules, “…The chair cannot, however, vote twice, first to make a tie and then give the casting vote…”
  • I distributed documents as to procedure for the ‘special assessment’ aka the curb tax with which we were served. According the South Dakota Municipal League’s, Guide to Special Assessments the city must include certain information to the property owners.

In my opinion Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens office half- Glas’d the municipal checkbook and budget by failing to observe the restriction on the second penny sales tax which protected the property tax paying residents of Alcester from municipal pick-pockets.

Agenda Item #7Alcester Fire Department request.  This agenda item dealt with the Alcester Volunteer Fire Department’s request for additional funding support to the fire department for five of the department’s volunteers to go to Fire School.  The question was raised how much do we give the Fire Department, where do they spend their money, do we have financial statements from the Fire Department.  We need financial statements from the Fire Department. It seemed to me the council was under the delusion the Fire Department could exist nicely on the stipend the city was providing to them.  Finance Officer Pat Jurrens again played the seventh council  member by injecting her opinion that she had suggested several fund-raising options to Chief Kast and expressed her irritation at his response to her suggestions.  (00:15:56)

Agenda Item #8(c)-Slide (pool) discussion.  It is to be noted here the free slide being offered by Beresford is a mobile (on wheels) contraption and the pool for safety reasons needs to be roped off at the point of drop in order to protect swimmers in the water from the body dropping off the slide.  What I see is one more toy the city is going have to store because it was not appropriate for our pool size and design.  The other question is WHY did Beresford permanently remove this slide from their pool?

Agenda Item #10 (b)(f)Police Department.  Two things under this agenda item, first in spite of Mayor Glas’ penchant of Executive session/personnel the council proceeded to discuss in open session Officer Nelson’s Resignation, Certification Reimbursement, how much he should pay, how long he had to pay it back and possible garnishment of his wages (01:30:47) including reference to a former officer Tim Peete. BIG NO-NO. 

Secondly the discussion of police officer interviews.  A young candidate was present to schedule an interview because she was going to be out of the state at the time of interviews.  Chief Doty’s plan was to interview prospective officer candidates and submit his pared-down choices for council interview.  Unfortunately Police Chief Doty was called away prior to the meeting which ultimately became Mayor Glas, Finance Officer Jurrens and certain council members opening for aggressive micro-management of the police department.  The group was busy making arrangements to interview all 8 or so candidates and then let Chief Doty know what their choice was.  (01:46:26)

Agenda Item #10 (f)(2)-Set date for Special Police Meeting.

Meeting was set for May 21, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Agenda Item #12 (a)1-6  – Renovating the auditorium.  Finance Officer Jurrens wants to put in new carpeting, new tile, stalls and flooring in the men’s room downstairs.  There was talk of ADA compliant changes, yo how are those folks ADA gonna get down those steps?  Duh?

Agenda Item #12 (b) – Lifeguards.  A discussion took place about the hiring of Ms. Abby Walth as lifeguard.  Councilman David Larsen moved to hire Ms. Walth at minimum wage, at which point Councilman Larsen asked FO Pat Jurrens the minimum wage amount per hour, FO Jurrens replied, “$8.81/hour” AMAZING The South Dakota minimum wage of $8.85/hour took effect on January 1, 2018.  Another half-Glas’d job of disseminating important inFOrmation  Councilwoman Darla Reppe seconded the motion, NO DISCUSSION and the council voted unanimous to hire Abby Walth at $8.81/per hour.  Now the council is going to have a ‘DO-OVER!’ so Abby will be paid the proper wage.  (02:23:27)  So how many other minimum wage city employees have been short-paid since January 1, 2018?

Agenda Item #12(f)-Executive session.  PERSONNEL 1-25-2.1   Go figure!

Well of course!  Executive session began at 8:33 p.m. and ended at 9:08 p.m.

Agenda Item #12(h)Set July meeting date.

Date for the regular Alcester Council meeting was changed from July 2, 2018, to July 10, 2018, at 6:00 p.m.

Agenda Item #17 Executive Session-Personnel   AGAIN!

Evidently the council was not done bashing personnel.  The past four to five years  council have gone into Executive council more times in two months that previous councils went into Executive session in four years barring a lawsuit session.  Check the minutes see for yourselves how many executive sessions and how many times it was for PERSONNEL!

Council went into closed session for ‘personnel’ at 9:22 p.m. and back in open session at 9:35 p.m.

Immediately after opening the session and before the gallery could get back into the room, Mayor Glas appointed Councilwoman Melissa Kay to the Public Safety Committee.  I did not hear the entire appointment because I was just approaching and entering the room and only caught part of the action.  Since it did not appear on the agenda, I legitimately questioned the ‘appointment’ and received some short, terse, and snarky replies that it was for a committee appointment.  Ladies and Gentlemen of the Council, YOU did not do the patiently waiting gallery the courtesy of allowing them back into the room and seated before you resumed business, effectively maintaining closed meeting because the public was not yet present in the room!

Motion to Adjourn

MEETING WAS ADJOURNED APPROXIMATELY 9:40 P.M.

Note:  Certain council actions just after the council comes back into session from closed session are not always captured on camera.  Upon the executive session declared, I remove my camera from its tripod taking it with me into the hallway.  Upon the executive session declared back in open session, I return and re-attach the camera back to the tripod.  A process which sometimes takes moments of council time that is not recorded.

11/16/2017 A Voice from the Gallery

Mayor Glas opened the November 13, 2017, special meeting of the Alcester City Council at 5:00 p.m. with the pledge of allegiance with the following council present:  Mayor Glas, Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom-Lyle, Councilwoman Audri Carlson, Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe and Councilman Lance Johnson with Alcester City employee Lonnie Johnson and city resident correspondent Vickie Larsen present.

This issue was to have been addressed in the November 6, 2017, meeting but as I understand, the figures were not ready from the finance office and Butler had a time limit on the sales offer of Wednesday, November 15, 2017, so the citizens of Alcester get to pay for a special meeting.

Agenda item #3 approve agenda.  The November 13, 2017, agenda was approved without discussion and unanimously.

Agenda Item #4 2018 Bond .  Council members began discussion on a 2018 equipment bond  and the accompanying spreadsheet* provided by Alcester City Finance officer Jurrens. As you can see Mayor Glas’ and Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens wish list tends to be spendy.  Check out the numbers for yourselves, the following spread sheet shows the figures FO Pat handed out to the council.  During this discussion, Finance Officer Jurrens told the council the bond payment would come from and through the second penny sales tax.

*   Spreadsheet Alcester 2018 bond comparison  Folks, the second penny of municipal sales tax was restricted to capital improvement only.  The 2005-2006 city council wanted to restrict this penny of sales tax to initially pay for a new city community building and that council did not want the proceeds to go for equipment.**2nd PENNY SALES TAX ORDINANCEPlease note the last sentence in Section 2, “…The second one percent (1%) shall be earmarked, set aside, and restricted to the funding of Capital Improvements within and for the City of Alcester, Union County, South Dakota…”

 This restriction bars the use of the second penny sales tax for any equipment.  Per definition of Capital Improvement where capital improvement is defined as non-recurring expenditure for acquisition of existing buildings, land or interest in land…construction of streets, highways, utility lines…acquisition of fixed equipment (which are assets which are usually attached to and important to the building’s function)

           Agenda item #5 As the council considered the question of equipment purchase Councilman Lance Johnson stated,

“…put a stop to spending and borrowing!…”

which was echoed by Mayor Glas and Councilman David Larsen.

Finance Officer Pat Jurrens continued to press her agenda by announced two loans involving the second penny sales tax would be paid off in 2019 freeing up $23K to $25K of second penny obligation.  She announced the bond payment would be paid out in two semi-annual payments for ten years at an interest rate of 4.5% to the Premier Bank proposed purchaser of the bond and out of the second penny sales tax.

Councilman Lance Johnson opined,

“wait on purchase of other (wish list) items until 2nd penny obligations paid…” 

With ALL that said, Councilman Lance Johnson STILL moved to proceed with the purchase of the Butler 2015 CAT 242D at $39,900.00 using the (-$7000.00) trade-in on the 2001 skid loader owned by the city, second came from Councilman David Larsen culminating in a unanimous vote of aye.

Agenda item #5c  Councilman Lance Johnson then moved to approve using the trade in option value of $7000.00 Butler offer reducing the total cost down to $32,900.00 rather that the auction risk. Second came from Councilman Dan Haeder with no further discussion the Council voted unanimously to accept the lower sure thing trade-in value as opposed to putting the 2001 unit up for auction risking a lower auction price than the Butler officer of $7000.00.

Agenda item #5d Councilman David Larsen moved to surplus the 2001 skid loader with the second coming from Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom -Lyle and with no further discussion the council voted unanimously to surplus the 2001 skid loader owned by the city.

Agenda item 6 Executive session-none.

Agenda item 7 Adjourn the meeting.  Motion by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, second came from Councilwoman Audri Carlson, no discussion with a unanimous vote of aye..  Meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.

I was asked today the limits of the city’s ability to spend our tax dollars.  Mayor Glas and Alcester Finance Officer failed to place public input on each agenda item requiring such a large expenditure.  The public has a right to express an opinion on purchases involving the large money purchases such as brand new street sweepers, skid loaders, streets and items of similar monetary outlay.  The other remedy to unrestrained spending is referral.  The public can refer such purchases and bring it to a vote of the people!  These current purchases using the second penny sales tax could stop the use of the second penny sales tax dollars to pay off the equipment bond.

LET YOUR CITY COUNCIL KNOW YOUR OPINION, CALL THEM DIRECTLY, WRITE THEM LETTERS, WRITE MAYOR TOM GLAS AND TELL HIM TO REIN IN HIS FINANCE OFFICER.

Alcester Councilwoman Audri Carlson         Alcester Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom-Lyle,

Alcester Councilman Dan Haeder                  Alcester Councilman David Larsen

Alcester Councilwoman Darla Reppe            Alcester Councilman Lance Johnson

                                                          Mayor Tom Glas

 

 

           

 

 

10/03/2017 A Voice from the Gallery

Mayor Glas called the October 2, 2017, regular meeting of the Alcester City council to order at 6:00 p.m. in the Alcester City/School Library with council members Julia Sundstrom-Lyle, Audri Carlson, David Larsen, Dan Haeder, Darla Reppe and Lance Johnson present.

Line item 3 approval of Mayor Glas’ agenda, no discussion with a unanimous aye vote.

Line item 4 approval of the meeting minutes of the September 6, 2017, regular meeting of the council and the meeting minutes of the September 20, 2017, special meeting of the council.  Again, no discussion with a unanimous vote. *(remember this tally on later agenda action)  

Line item 5, the welcome by City/School Librarian Dee Cole.  Librarian Cole informed the council and gallery of the acquisition of a 3D printer, attendance and usage of the Library over the past years, and the move of the city/school Library to the proposed new school.

Line item 6 was sales pitch/information from Randy Smidt from Sanitation Products for a brand-spanking new Elgin Pelican Street Sweeper for a mere 190+K to $200K.  The bid coming from NJPA a national purchasing cooperative.  Councilman Dan Haeder commented the bid was without the extended warranty which had been projected in a previous meeting at $15K.  The projected delivery date contingent on financing after the first of the year.  NOTE:  Financing  Councilman Dan Haeder made the motion to purchase the 2018 Elgin Pelican Street Sweeper at a price of $190+K, Councilwoman Audri Carlson made the second, once again no discussion and the group voted unanimous aye.

Line item 7 was the annexation of city shop parcels.  Failure of Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens to understand this would be a voluntary annexation and all Mayor Glas had to do was sign and file a written annexation for property the city already owned.  Glas and Jurrens failed to understand or seek counsel from the Alcester city Attorney Haugland and failing to understand they did not need Union County Commissioner approval.  Motion from Councilman Lance Johnson, Second from Councilman Dan Haeder, no discussion and once again a unanimous vote aye.

Line item 8, the infamous Developers Agreement!  Mayor Glas on at least two previous occasions openly, publically verbally attacked Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland for not, “…Hopping-to-it…” on drawing up an agreement between the two interested parties of the Nonprofit Alcester Industrial Park and their developer.

FACT CHECK here.   Today, October 3, 2017, I spoke with Industrial Park Board agent Jaimie Schempp for clarification of identities of the parties involved.  Alcester Industrial Park Board agent Schempp acknowledged the Alcester Industrial Board was also in fact the developer.

So to the best of my knowledge, the North Industrial Park has NOT been handed over to the city of Alcester therefore the city should not be footing the legal bill for a developers agreement between Alcester Industrial Park and itself.  Mayor Glas what the devil are ya doin’?  You and your Fo-minion have treated the city attorney with open hostility and blatant disregard of his superior legal expertise to force a financial obligation onto the taxpayers of Alcester.  Do we have to draw you pictures so you can educate yourself to the workings of the city, comic-book style?  As FO-Pat has demonstrated on other warrants,

“…NOT OUR BILL!…”

 

Line item 12,e, i, a & b  From the finance office.  Finance officer Pat Jurrens pulled two charges from the bill submitted by Alcester City Attorney Chuck Haugland.  Ya have to appreciate the irony in this one.  FO-Pat objects to the time spent by Alcester City Attorney Haugland in keeping up with Alcester City Council meetings by reading the rest of the story (thank you, Paul Harvey) in the Vickie Larsen blog “A Voice from the Gallery”.  Yup, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens have failed miserably to keep Mr. Haugland, Alcester City Attorney fully apprised their collective ‘TOM FOOLERY’ otherwise known as Alcester City business by dismissing City Attorney Haugland one hour into the city council meeting and exclude him from council decisions for the rest of the meeting because he costs too much, Really!

Mayor Glas opined that Mr. Haugland could read the minutes in the local newspaper or in the minutes by Finance Officer Pat (When she finally gets around to getting the draft minutes to Mr. Haugland).  When Mr.Haugland argued he needed inclusive access to council discussions so he could determine how they might affect legal liabilities to the city of Alcester, Mr. Haugland was told by Mayor Glas and FO Pat that they would make the determination of possible legal exposure and relay it to him.  Really?  The city bookkeeper is going to give a legal opinion, or Tag-a-long Tom give a legal opinion?  He couldn’t determine a support brick wall versus a decorative brick facing.   Back in Des Moines his legal prowess didn’t work out so well for him, either.  Alcester City Attorney Haugland challenged Finance Officer Pat Jurrens by asking her, “do you read ‘A Voice from the Galley’?  FO-Pat said, “yes, she did read the blog” and then Mr. Haugland asked, “when do you read it,  on city time?”  I do believe the answer was yes.

HOW DARE MAYOR GLAS, ALCESTER FINANCE OFFICER JURRENS AND THE ALCESTER CITY COUNCIL HOLD ATTORNEY HAUGLAND TO A DIFFERENT STANDARD THAT THEY OPERATE UNDER!

LANCE JOHNSON

Then there is Councilman Lance Johnson, the council’s little teapot short and mouthy who ranted and raved about my blog.  Alleging the home truths I shared were inaccurate, this little varmint who after he was initially appointed to Ward III council seat told me, “In a year I will be leaving so you can apply then…”  Then Councilman Lance Johnson in his quivering rage continued his rant at me (who was not a party to the discussion) railing, “You (meaning me) don’t even have the guts to allow comments on your blog”.  Into which morass, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens weighed in with their ill-considered opinions.  I listened in silence and as the tirades of Councilman Johnson, Mayor Glas and Finance Officer wound down, I asked for rebuttal time.  Care to guess what Mayor Glas answered, “No, you can answer in public input”  City Attorney Haugland was attacked, I was attacked and given NO opportunity to respond to the allegations publically without a time limit.

The motion was made by Councilman Dan Haeder to approve paying (10/10/2017 clarification) the August legal warrant hold back of $52.50 and the September legal warrant hold back of $63.00 with no further legal time charged for reading A Voice from the Gallery blog, Second came from Councilman David Larsen.  Once again no discussion with an unanimous aye vote.  Then Councilman David Larsen moved to approve the rest of the warrants, second came from Councilwoman Julia Sundstrom-Lyle, again no discussion with an unanimous aye vote.

Line item 12, (e) ii, a & b  Motion by Councilman Lance Johnson to approve the second reading of the water rate increase, second came from Councilwoman Darla Reppe, again no discussion with an unanimous aye vote.

Line item 12, (e) iii a  Motion to go into Executive Session for Personnel SDCL 1-25-2-1 which is:

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

This appears to be a habit of the council when they do not want an audience while they discuss a thorn-in-their-side rather than one specific employee.

Line item 13 Public Input was called, I responded and Mayor Glas told me I had two minutes.  I had already distributed a second request for FOIA regarding CBDG financials that have been ignored and received no response when I initially served the Mayor on August 7. 2017, and provided copies to the council that same meeting.

I also dealt with Councilman Lance Johnson’s rant telling him that the council could video the council meetings and post them on the city website, I pointed out to the council they were not required to vote unanimously every vote, they could think for themselves and vote nay and I pointed out Finance Officer Pat Jurrens was misusing the city email alcestercityfo for a Pinterest ID.  I received the same blank look and non-action from Mayor Glas, his usual condescending pat-on-the-head and go away.

Line item 19 Adjourn  Councilwoman Audri Carlson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:35 p.m. with a second coming from Councilman Lance Johnson.  No discussion with a vote of 5 ayes; Councilwoman Julie, Councilwoman Darla, Councilwoman Audri, Councilman Dan and Councilman Lance and 1 nay, Councilman David with the pointed salute to a non-unanimous* vote.  Salute!

 

[1] South Dakota legislature-Legislative Research Council (www.sdlegislature.gov), 2017, State Affairs & Government-Meetings of Public Agencies, October 3, 2017.