04/07/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Council you were warned.

Today has been a perfect example for erosion. Folks I have asked repeatedly in Public Input, when is the retaining wall going to happen, NO ANSWER. I commented about the failure of SunnySide Storage Units to put in the retaining wall on the variance side of their property which was a provision of the variance. Is it laziness on Mr. SunnySide or the procedural incompetence of our building permit issuer (Finance Officer). It appears our building permits are in a sorry state of compliance and oversight.

If the above building falls off the edge of the SunnySide cliff, someone is going to be sued. Will it be Mr. SunnySide for digging where he should not have, the failure of Mr. SunnySide to install the retaining wall, the Finance Officer who made a promise to Mr. SunnySide she could not fulfill and she did not have the authority to assure he had a slam duck building permit, the city council who approved the variance or will it be all three.

Folks, if this were your property, your building sitting on the edge of oblivion at the next rain, how much compensation would you ask for $50,000 each for the two separate properties affected by the failure of the city to follow through on their building permit?


EROSION and SEDIMENT CONTROL and STORMWATER MANAGEMENT FY2020 – Special read Introduction pages 14-19, 29-31 and 43-50. Under #2.11 Property Rights, page #12; Sub#3.2, page #14; Sub 3.4,page #15; and Sub 3.18, page 19-20.


Alcester City Offices




SunnySide Storage Units

Attn: Robbie Huber

4000 S Bedford Av

Sioux Falls, SD 57103

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

12/21/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

The December 21, 2020,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Marcus Ireland, and Councilwoman Darla Reppe in person, Councilwoman Melissa Kay (et al.) via telephone with Mayor Dan Haeder, Councilman David Larsen and City Attorney Sam Nelson.  Once again Questionable Quorum.

If you skip school it is called playing hooky, so what is it called when the Mayor skips a council meeting?  Did he quit smoking and was too grouchy to preside over the meeting, or he got a call from the fire department and he went up in smoke, or the Finance Officer has his book of excuses and misplaced it?  Oh that must be it, ’cause when I email the ‘Keeper of the Books’ Finance Officer for information I now get a robo-type response from FO Pat.

My Question-12/09/2020 – 3:37 pm. I asked, “What was the stated reason why Councilwoman Melissa Kay participated telephonically in the December 7, 2020, meeting?”

FO Answer – 12/09/2020 – 6:24 pm Reply, “I will let you contact Melissa Kay directly for your answer”

My Question – 12/15/2020 1:14 pm .  I asked, “Please confirm the next council meeting. “

FO Answer – 12/15/2020 2:03 pm.  Reply, “December is the same as the other months of 2020 – First & Third Monday….December 21, 2020″

My Question – 12/22/2020- 9:55 pm.  I asked. “Who is the President of the Alcester City Council and is there a Vice-President?  I seem to remember Councilman David Larsen was President of the Council, is that correct.      What prevented Mayor Haeder from performing his job as mayor at last evening’s council meeting?  Who installed Councilwoman as mayor pro tem?  That information should have been shared with the gallery and the residents at the beginning of the meeting, as well as the ‘need’ for tele-participation of Councilwoman Kay and the last minute evacuation of the agenda.”

FO Answer – 12/22/2020 – Reply, “Mayor Dan,  Please address Ms Larsen’s questions…Thank you in advance..Pat”

The meeting opened at 6:00 p.m., the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and Councilwoman Linda Talbott operating as mayor pro tem called for approval of agenda as she cut out agenda items left and right as listed below:

Agenda Item #9– Legal matters of Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.3 if needed, S.D. Codified Laws § 1-25-2 (“(3) Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters;”) H-m-m litigation, is the city being sued?

Agenda Item #12– 2021 Resolution of Fees -requested changes for 2021 So which of the fees are going to cost us more?

Agenda Item #13 – Covid 19 Quarantine Policy – Discussion with motions.

Agenda Item #14 – Masks- Discussion with motions.

Agenda Item #15 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel S.D. Codified Laws § 1-25-2 (“(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;”)

The motion was made by Councilman Ireland and seconded by Councilwoman Reppe with no discussion Councilmembers Talbott, Reppe, Ireland and telephonic Kay voted to accept the disemboweled agenda.   Thus starts the video.

insert video

Agenda Item #4 – Public Input was called.  I responded with comments on Website still not up and operable, False Swearing regarding a memoranda, telephonic participation which includes Executive Session and non-presence quorum.  I also informed the council I have folks (no names for obvious reasons) who ask me about city issues. (02:35.43).  Councilwoman Kay asked, “what do I do when people come to me?” apparently miffed because folks ask me questions.   (03:08.17)  I am honored these folks come to me for information and it will always be my practice to do them the courtesy of answering their questions honestly!  I told Councilwoman Kay that many folks feel comfortable asking me, they do not always feel comfortable asking the person listed as their ward representative or go to the Finance Officer who cannot be bothered to respond to certain residents of the city.  A tactic which I consider fool hardy for a city employee actively hookin’ the city to adopt merit pay (pay-for-performance).  So if ya’ll have more than two ‘perp’ walks per year, I strongly believe ya’ll can kiss that merit pay goodbye ’cause ‘perp’ walks ain’t no performance for which ‘we the people’ will pay!  Councilwoman Kay pressed on, (03:41.67) telling me to, “bring it up to the ambulance people because the city has no say in any of it (meaning the ambulance)”  So Councilwoman Kay, why does Mr. Jeff Nohava have agenda time?  Mr. Nohava is not a resident of Alcester, shoot Mr. Nohava is not even a resident of South Dakota!  (04:59.80) Councilwoman Linda Talbott asks the question is Jeff Nohava going to be here.  At that point Mr. Nohava is a no show.  FO Pat volunteers the information (05:02.10) Mr. Nohava is not present, maybe a later meeting…give an update.  Now folks during my sixteen years on the ambulance we were required to give Union County a statement of financial condition on an annual basis which is public information.  I do have some questions of Mr. Nohava.  I have witness a couple of runs of the Alcester EMS and I am curious.  First the Alcester ambulance shows up, loads a patient, drags their heels leaving the scene, then the Hawarden Ambulance shows up and the crew piles out.  Chit, chat between the two crews, then the next thing I see is the patience being off-loaded and back to their front door.  Both ambulances leave the scene and the patient.  I have seen this scene play out on another occasion where both ambulances showed up.  My question?  Do both ambulances bill the Alcester patient?  Mr. Nohava said on a previous council meeting he was working on solving the network issue.  This is where many Alcester patients were forced to go to Hawarden which was out of their network and their insurance would not pay.  Have you solved that issue yet, Mr. Nohava? 

Councilwoman Reppe brought up a notification of a hole in the road at the juncture of Lincoln Circle and Lincoln Drive.

Agenda Item #5 – Alcester EMS -Jeff Nohava- NO SHOW! 

Agenda Item #6 – Wastewater – New pumps to arrive sometime in January.

Agenda Item #7 – Police Dept.- Police Office Austin Schuller presented a statistics report and reported the PD was granted two of the three items requested: Tasers, *Radios and *Body Cams.

Agenda Item #8 – Friends of the Library Bank Account- Signatory authority was removed for Michele Norling and signatory authority was awarded to new hire Paige German.

Agenda Item #9 – Legal Updates and executive session SDCL 1-25-2.3 Legal/Contractual Matters (if needed)  Poor Form  So is the city involved in litigation? DELETED NO ATTORNEY, Sam was absent and Legal Guru Councilwoman Kay is just handing out opinion for free.

Agenda Item # 10 – Second Reading for the Rezoning Ordinance.  Routine Motion, Second, no discussion and 3 ayes present on camera, not to be confused with in-camera.  Wait quorum is four, H-m-m?

Agenda Item # 11 – Second Reading for the  Supplemental Appropriations Ordinance.  This is where Finance Officer Pat Jurrens was ignoring her own budget and spending here, there, and everywhere.  Auditor says you cannot have a negative budget.  So they do what is called supplemental appropriations,  This means the Finance Officer, Mayor and Council dig into those departments in the city which generate which are called enterprise funds, water, sewer, solid waste, golf course and bar.  You want to know why it is so hard to save for upgrades in water, sewer and solid waste because the money is routinely siphoned off to maintain the “I wants a three D printer” spending  instead of the “city needs a reliable upgrade for sewer and solid waste” spending.   

Agenda Item #12 – 2021 Resolution of Fees DELETED

Agenda Item #13 – Covid 19 Quarantine Police DELETED

Agenda Item #14 – Masks DELETED

Agenda Item #15 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel DELETED

Agenda Item #16 – Adjourn  6:17 PM

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

11/16/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder with Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Marcus Ireland, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  At-home-tele-conferencing the meeting was Councilwoman Melissa Kay.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and approval of the agenda was called.

Approval for the minutes of the now infamous meeting of October 7, 2020, was called with correction and approved with yet another version-in-error of what went down.

As you read through this specious concoction of fact, falsehood, quasi-legal opinion by a Bambee barrister with ambulance tailgating tendencies and whose only licensure at South Dakota Bar is her driver’s license indicating she is over 18, can drink but should not drive.  At no time was any evidence of wrong doing presented other than Councilwoman Vickie Larsen had an opinion, voiced it, voted on the prudent side for the people of Alcester and Councilwoman Vickie Larsen is not an ovis aries following FO Peep nor the rest of the ‘council gang’!  I know comes as a shock to the council, but ya’ll do not HAVE to vote unanimously.  There is no mandate, council members have to vote unanimously on routine city business unless it is a special circumstances situation. 

          “At 6:09 p.m. Councilwoman Melissa Kay made a motion to enter into      Executive Session pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2.1-Personnel; Councilwoman        Linda Talbott seconded it.  During discussion Councilwoman Vickie Larsen stated  if the Executive Session was related to her-she would request her        legal counsel. (one would think with both FO and Mini FO taking notes alleged to be minutes of the meeting could get it right but evidently not)      When discussion of the motion to go into Executive Session was called I     answered,

          Vickie, “Yes, if this is to discuss the discipline of a city council member and that person is me, I waive my right to executive session, I want it done in   open session and on camera.”

          Mayor Haeder , “How does anyone feel about that?”

          Councilman David Larsen, “We won’t know until we are in Executive         Session, will we?”

          City Attorney Sam Nelson, “No, uh forgive me for disagreeing to the extent the way you characterized it Vickie.  Executive session is not necessarily a personal right to you but is a privilege of the council with the exception of certain statutes and is the council’s decision as a whole to whether they want to enter Executive session for the purposes of discussing, uh, you.  I believe under statute an officer or elected officer qualifies as personnel so, uh, the discussion could be held in Executive session whether you wanted it to be or not.  However, any vote or any action would need to be, uh, taken in open session.”

          Vickie,  “No I was advised just (inaudible) I insist on open session and open discussion and you have in front of you a Bill of Particulars, Uhm, I want to know what the problem is, please fill those out so I may have those.”

          Mayor Haeder cuts in, ” So there is a motion on the floor, we are going to act on this motion right now.  So, uh, if there is no further discussion aside from what has already been discussed, I ask for how do you vote?”                    5 ayes1 no

          Vickie, “I object I want this evidence on the camera, I want to video tape it!”

          Mayor Haeder , “and that means we are in Executive session at 6:09 P.M.”

          Vickie “I am going to refuse until I have legal counsel!”

          Councilman David Larsen, “that was a short meeting,”

          City Attorney Sam Nelson, “Do you have one (attorney) on stand-by?”

          Vickie,  “Not tonight”

          City Attorney Sam Nelson, “Excellent, Uhm, I don’t know that you are        entitled to legal counsel, Uh, per the statute…discussion is allowed under         SDCL 1-25-2.”

          Councilman David Larsen, “Should we even be talking of this in Executive session?”

The above is a transcript of the opening salvo of a discussion of the agenda item discipline of a city council member.  Too bad FO, Mini FO and Councilwoman Kay did not take the class where meeting minutes are to be fact and not opinion based.  Better work on this Councilwoman Kay for your bar exam, first draught versus bottle maybe?

Agenda Item #5 Public Input- So Alcester City Council ya’ll just approved the October 7, 2020, minutes in gross error and with what appears to be tortious interference and particular when the camera showed a couple of broad grins on council members when the Discipline of a Councilmember was called.  Councilwoman Kay you wanted me to name a complainant and I refused giving you a name.  Given the manner and nature in which ya’ll came after me, did you really think I was going to throw someone employed in Alcester and dared complain about the Vindictive squad to the wolves? 

Second on my list for Input, was an expression of gratitude for the 30 plus years of loyal service by former Alcester Finance Office Mike Kezar to the city and citizens of Alcester and the lack luster reception my suggestion elicited.

Third on my list.  Yeah, well you remember when I asked Mr. Nohava and the council about EVOC certification of the “volunteers”.  I had the occasion to watch in horror as a firefighter came screaming down first street enroute to a fire call.  As I watched this moron whip around two cars, all but running them off the road at the intersection of first and Iowa with little regard to safety.  This is not the first time I have seen this happen.  Perhaps a re-run of EVOC training would be a benefit.  Oh yeah, by the way running the four-way flashers when you run a four way stop in your private vehicle does not mean jack.  In addition, if you injure someone you personally become liable meaning actual expenses with punitive awards.

Agenda #8 street signs.  Has gone from one sign to two signs with the promise of scattering slow children signs like the seeds of dandelions.  I think we need a slow adult sign or better yet a dangerous FO alert sign.  FO on the loose, if you see them wandering please let the mayor know immediately.

Agenda # Finance Office

Cares money, it appears only the mayor read the document outlining the purpose of the Cares money and he was bored.  It became apparent from body language the other council members either had not read the document or they lacked the comprehension app.   Not for entertainment computers for the dump guy.  Keep in mind that FO Pat can track where you are with these little ol’ devices.  Do you trust her?  Listen to the exchange if the we don’t get reimbursement for the 8 cutesy computers, the cost of $2400 plus cost will come out of the general fund.  There goes street/water improvements, we are just going to have suck it up buttercups and drink brown water.

Adjourned at 6:50 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

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

10/19/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

“Fear not those who argue, but those who dodge”

credited to Marie von Ebner Eschenbach

(03:06.03 and 06:05.67 meet Kay Cam and introducing ACCN ((Alcester City Council News))

Mayor Dan Haeder, opened the October 19, 2020,  meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 p.m. with council members Darla Reppe, Melissa Kay, Marcus Ireland, David Larsen, Linda Talbott and City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #3 Approve Agenda. Motion, second, no discussion and unanimous vote aye.

Agenda Item #4 Input

          Me – Credit card cash back on the Council Oversight Inspection (Oxymoron) of the August books.  At the time of my oversight inspection, I asked Finance Office Jurrens about the anomaly of refunds to the tune of      approximately $200 to $400 in the golf course books.  Got a non-answer from Finance Officer Jurrens. City-wise it is water deposit which is refunded with interest after a year if water payments are made and on time.  However the Finance Office does not extend refunds to renters unless they move and without interest which seems discriminatory to me.  I have to wonder if the renters on the city council have received their water deposit back h-m-m? It was not a water deposit but a credit card cash back situation.  This is a situation where something is purchased at the golf course, the patron asks if the cashier will add $30.00 over  the price of the purchase, charge it to the credit card and give the patron $30.00 change back and once again I received (09:51.40) “…we do not keep any customer information…”  non-answer from Finance Officer Jurrens…h-m-m.        

          Mayor Haeder – (10:02.67)Street striping regarding parking spaces on Iowa.  (10:02.67) Report of someone living in an RV behind a house.  Legal? or Not?

          Councilman Ireland –  City street light on the corner of 6th and Lincoln flickering. 

          Police Chief Christie – signs for deaf child playing area…Covid grant money.

Agenda Item #6 (out-of-order) – surplus AED to be surplus transferred to Alcester Fire Department.

Agenda Item #5 – Planning & Zoning Public Hearing 6:15 PM. Public Hearing committee?  Now folks the Planning and Zoning committee of Alcester is made up wholly and solely of the sitting Alcester City Council.  There is a problem with this.  Let me show you.

(22:17.80)  No formal move into Planning & Zoning committee by the council.  How about that Sam?

(23.03.23)  FO Pat references maps the council has, gallery has not been provided maps to follow along on.  Oops, hey Sam I think a public hearing indicates audience participation.  How can they possibly participate without proper documents and time to absorb the information?  You know, Sam kind of like a three page confidential memorandum (?) thrown out and one is expected to read and defend against its drooling ravings in less than five minutes?

(26:20.23) Still no formal move into Planning and Zoning committee.  Audience still is unaware of any move from Council to P & Z committee and totally confused and effectively barred from participation because no one has given them permission to address the committee or council.  In fact I believe even the council was oblivious to procedure.  Hey Sam, where are you?

          Councilman David Larsen makes a motion…Uhm there has been no public input during this “Hearing”, no permission given to the public at this point to voice their opinions during this hearing, there has been a obfuscation of whether it is the Planning & Zoning Committee and the City Council and now a motion for a vote has been made!  Yoohoo Sam?

          Finally it occurs to madam legal guru, law school student (?)–hey we have not allowed the public to participate in this little soiree.  Finally the question is asked, if there is any opinion from the gallery.  WOW!  No answer from the gallery, so no harm no foul right?  What the public doesn’t know?   A day late and a diploma short.

          So which entity took the vote?  Planning and Zoning Committee or Alcester City Council.  Yeah mayor, minutia is important.  Oops? Do Over?

Agenda Item #7 – Street signs


Blundering on to Agenda Item #7 – Street signs –  Councilman David Larsen explained the street signage issue to the council.  Uhm let’s see who was sitting on the council when the question was first broached back in May 5, 2014, (minutia again Mayor)  Mayor Rick Johnson came to the council (Agenda Item #33) with a document to be signed.  Problem was the signing the document would involve self-warranting by the city and major financial exposure, that was a big problem! (dropped) Original joint powers was related to DOT PH0020 (187) PCN 06JK

          Second run at the street signs came up on March 5, 2018, agenda item #6 with the following present council members serving during that meeting:  Dan Haeder, David Larsen, Darla Reppe and Melissa Kay.  These very same council members of today listened (?) James Ainslie from Pierre tell them they could tag on to the Mitchell project bid Dot PH0020(187) PCN-06JK.  Say Councilwoman Kay remember how you voted?  Here let me help ya out.

            Agenda Item #6 Road Safety Improvement Project DOT 929-08/2015 Joint Powers PH0020 (187) PCN-06JK – this involved sign replacements as translated by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens.  The council was provided a copy of the contract required for participation in this project for replacing street signs.  Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens prefaced her explanation (video 00:08:35) with reference to the Alcester City Council of Four years ago took the line that they were unwilling to cover the liability of sign replacement if for some reason the signs were destroyed.  H-m-m so who was on that council?  Let’s see Mayor Rick Johnson,  Mark Dykstra, Mike Burke, Kama Johnson, David Larsen and of course COUNCILWOMAN PAT JURRENS!

The story goes like this, “In the May 5, 2014, regular meeting of the Alcester City council…MAYOR RICK JOHNSON announced he signed up for ‘free street signs and wanted council permission to sign an agreement ASAP.  Councilman Larsen and Councilman Dykstra asked to see the agreement since MAYOR RICK JOHNSON failed to share advance information with the council.  Upon reading the city would be liable for the cost of materials and engineering if it didn’t maintain the signs and records.  The council said NO!  Given his responses to questions, it became clear MAYOR RICK JOHNSON failed to ‘read’ the agreement he was so anxious to sign because apparently he missed the payback clause and the cost of payback! WOW…”*

Imagine Finance Office Pat Jurrens ‘FORGOT’ all about her starring role as Alcester Councilwoman during that discussion.  Imagine that!  WATCH OUT FOR THE FO BUS BOYS!  Mayor Glas and FO Pat want those street signs up to code and BY Golly Gummed Up catastrophe it NEEDS to be done!  Now folks the council voted to approve this time but the scary thing is Councilman Lance Johnson voted to do the visual sign replacement with the second coming from Councilwoman Melissa Kay, discussion happened and the good folks realised they needed to amend the motion to allow Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens to sign the document (presumably) WITHOUT presenting the final document to the council for approval.  Watch video of this (video 00:23:51)  Anyone have a problem with this scenario?  We really want to trust a pair that have trouble getting the agenda right not once but at least twice.  Or get the date of the regular city council meeting correct BEFORE putting it out for publication? *Vickie A. Larsen, a View from the Gallery,  published May 15, 2014, The Alcester Union-Hudsonite newspaper. “

            The next time the sign issue comes up is on December 3, 2018, Agenda Item #7 where the project is now called DOT PH 8034 (31) PCN 04K9 city street sign replacement with Council members David Larsen, Dan Haeder, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott and legal guru Melissa Kay.  Sign agreement did we lose money on this and what happened? H-m-m

          Agenda line item #7 – street updates.  Under street subsection (c) sign agreement which came in last week, surprise to Lonnie!  Alcester was invited some time ago to participate in city sign updates around 2012, 2013 I believe.  At that time the council determined the signs were too expensive, the existing signs were still serviceable so they declined the offer.  Now they have changed their minds and want to participate under the Hutchinson County agreement  PH 8034(31) PCN 04K9.  Go Figure! Vickie Larsen, A Voice from the Gallery, 12/03/2018

          Question is what is it going to cost us  (we the people now)?

          According to the South Dakota Department of Transportation 2020-2023 Tentative funds under Hutchinson County (past projected joint powers agreement (PH 8034 (31) 04KP  Fed Funds 1.144, fiscal year 2021 and total cost (Mil$) 1.525 costs reflect anticipated inflation.

Agenda Item #8 – Legal Updates- 307 Iowa and 204 Ofstad.  Play it again Sam, what is that about a possible conflict of interest.  Who is advising the man who is supposed to waive his conflict of interest rights? You or the city?

Agenda Item #9 – Health Insurance – It appears the Finance Office mini-fo, ((avoicefromthegallery September 21, 2020 (02:11:43 )) “…I just want to be compensated…”  Hey don’t we all.  Evidently the city has exited the past insurance stance of “take it or leave it” with no cash payouts.  H-m-m.

Agenda Item #10 Executive session – not needed-  NO DAH  the issue of Vickie the Council member is no longer a worry?

Agenda Item #11– Streets Update – a one-time burn

Agenda Item #12 – Old School Center – enter ordinance 2020-16 

Agenda Item #13 – Website – still scheduled for launch on November 1, 2020, WooHoo!  You will be able to pay your water bills online, you can read the ordinances, you can read the minutes from the meeting within a day or two. Yup really. Cannot wait to see All of our ordinances without having to pay the Patty Fee!

Agenda Item #14 – Community Bldg  Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens gave an update, “…we did this, we are going to do that, and so on and so on…”  Ever wonder who the We are?  Fo Pat and the lint remnants in her drawers?

Agenda Item #15 HRC Update – None

Agenda Item #16 – Executive session – not needed amazing

Agenda Item #17 – Adjournment.

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

10/05/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

a taxpayer’s opinion

“Be careful about reading health books.  You may die of a misprint.”

Mark Twain

Mayor Dan Haeder, opened the October 5, 2020,  meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 p.m. with council members Darla Reppe, Melissa Kay, Marcus Ireland, David Larsen, Vickie Larsen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present with Council person Linda Talbott absent.

Agenda Item #3 – Approve the agenda.

Agenda Item #4 – Mayor’s Statement  (00:03:06.67)

Agenda Item #5b – Public Input – Vickie Larsen had brief input remarks. Fire Chief Pat Kast and Ambulance President Jon Serck had remarks:

(00:06:17.83) Pat Kast, Fire Chief(?) “to Mrs. Larsen…Letter sent…what is your plan for the ambulance…?”

(00:07:02.57) Vickie Larsen answer according to South Dakota BLS Patient – Care Guidelines…patient management page #12 “…Key Considerations…1) An adult or emancipated minor who has demonstrated, possessing sufficient mental capacity for making decisions has the right to determine the course of his/her medical care, including the refusal of care…”  https:EMS.sd.gov

(00:07:46.00) “Volunteer’s time?”

(00:08:01.90)  “Volunteers don’t want”

 (00:08:22.60) “…Doesn’t matter where the patient wants to go…”

 (00:08:27.23) “…Medicare and Medicaid won’t pay…”

 (00:09:20.27) “You’re not involved…(in the ambulance)”

(00:10:07.97)  “…The ambulance was “broke”…

 (00:13:00.47)  “…clearly wrote in SD law, we (the ambulance)can do this…”

The above are video markers for people to see and hear the “ambulance opinions and attitude”.  I would identify the two ‘ambulance speakers’ in public input are Pat Kast, Fire Chief – Alcester Fire Department and Jon Serck, President – Alcester Emergency Medical Services per the annual SD Secretary of State statement. Folks these two want your input, voice to voice. Call them let them know. They are asking for your opinion, let them know. Pat Kast 605-934-6250 and Jon Serck 605-360-7255 tell them what you want.

Fire Chief Kast took special pains to point out I was not involved in the Alcester Ambulance anymore.  Wrong Chief Kast! I was brought into this Mongolian Goat Rodeo recently by a company’s accounts payable department looking for payment on a past due bill owed by the ambulance.  I was contacted because I was listed as the Treasurer of the Alcester Emergency Medical Service (Ambulance) and which position I held until 2012.  I paid the bills of the ambulance in full and on time.  I contacted Mr. Serck and Chief Kast with regard to this dunning telephone call and President Serck promised payment had been made in one call, in a second call a week later I was promised payment would be made and in the third call I was told, “the check is in the mail” and I warned it was my name on the block and I did not appreciate my reputation dragged through the muck.  It took another week or so before the payment was received and cleared. 

Then I was called by residents whose medical insurance carrier contacted them asking for bill for their ambulance service which was some two months after service was rendered and the insurance company wanted to clear this item.  The insured called the ambulance and received no response. 

If these folks could not get a response from the ambulance then, why should they believe the ambulance related powers-that-be are going to respond any better now.  When I was on the ambulance, I along with the rest of the crew at that time  gave our time and talents without reservation and without whizzing and moaning about time.  We missed the concerts of our kids, we missed holiday dinners, we got out of our warm beds to go out in snow storms and the wee hours of the morning because we cared for our neighbors and our families.

So yeah, I am not involved with the ambulance anymore!  Now I represent the good people of Alcester and their voiced medical provider choices. 

 I would ask the question, Is it accurate the ambulance’s medical director is employed by the Hawarden Hospital and now all of a sudden the ambulance is ‘dictating’ all patients are to go to his employer?  Conflict?

 So tell me boys, if I am transported to hospital A by ambulance A. Hospital A takes one look at me, after one hours delay decides, “we cannot handle that” and has me transported to hospital B by ambulance B, HOW MANY BILLS WILL I RECIEVE AND HOW MANY WILL MEDICARE PAY?  H-m-m?

Folks let’s work together so our healthcare wishes are met to our satisfaction and our healthcare bills and co-pays do not bankrupt us. 

Agenda #6 – Street Updates

Agenda #7 – Water-Wastewater –  We have some pump issues which has necessitated a special meeting to provide funding to head off a catastrophe.  The meeting is set for 6:00 p.m.  Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at the council room (500 Dakota Street) and public is welcome.  It will be a short meeting to make the vote on the funding of wastewater pumps there should be an opportunity to be heard through public input because we are voting on monetary expenditure.

Agenda #8 – Discussion on after-the-fact payment to Tim Renken for his coverage of Dale Pearson’s duties.

Agenda #9 – Police Department-Updates software purchase to aid in reporting on the run so-to-speak.

Agenda #10 – Pleasant Hill- Parker Dooley not present

Agenda #11 – Golf Course Update

Agenda #12 – Legal Updates Sam covered the special emergency meeting.

Agenda #13 & #14 Plat maps for sale of railroad property with regard to FCS and Union County.

Agenda #15 – Executive Session – Not needed

Agenda #16 – Finance Office

Updates, Warrants

Health Compensation Resolution Full time Employee Health Insurance   down to Yes the FT employee wants to participate or NO the FT employee does not want to participate and there will be no cash payouts.

Reminders and Updates

New Voting site, since the sale of the auditorium make it no long a    polling place, the new polling place will be located at the city offices on         Dakota Street.

Agenda #17 – HRC  Meeting to be announced

Agenda #18 – Alcester Community Center Update

Agenda #19 – EMS

(01:20:36.77)  “…Ambulance is running with FD on their calls…”

(01:22:54.17)   “…Ambulance responded with Beresford to a grass fire…”

Help me understand here–the ambulance could not crew because of length of times on medical calls, but now the ambulance is crewing for all fire calls and grass fires?  What is the response time for being on a grass fire call compared to the medical call time?  I am confused ’cause during public input it was all about time, so now what is it?

Agenda #20 – Update volunteer roster.  None

Agenda #21 – Executive session – not needed

Agenda #22 – Adjourn  Meeting Adjourned at 7:22 p.m.

Check out your patients rights!

10/06/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

OCTOBER 7, 2020

  1. Open Meeting
  2. Pledge of Allegiance
  3. Approve Agenda
    Motion by: _ Seconded by: _ All Yes: _ Yes No _
  4. Public Input: _____________________________________________________________
  5. Wastewater Equipment Purchase
    a. Review of EP Quote
    b. Motion to approve purchase of Two (2) FlyGT Dry Pit Submersible Pumps with Install Service, $28,580,
    Wastewater Fund
    Motion by: _ Seconded by: _ All Yes: _ Yes No _
  6. Executive Session – SDCL 1-25-2-1 Personnel
    a. Motion to enter into Executive Session pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2-1 – Personnel
    Motion by: _ Seconded by: _ All Yes: _ Yes No _ b. Discipline of a Council Member c. Motion to: ____________________________________________________________
    Motion by: _ Seconded by: _ All Yes: _ Yes No _
  7. Executive Session – SDCL 1-25-2- if needed
    a. Motion to enter into Executive Session pursuant to SDCL 1-25-2-
    Motion by: _ Seconded by: _ All Yes: _ Yes No _
  8. Adjourn
    a. Motion to adjourn Council
    Motion by: _ Seconded by: _ All Yes: _ Yes No _