11/12/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

An observation while constructing my argument to the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners and counterpointing Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s quotation of statute in his denial letter.

What I found interesting is the citation of statute struck a chord of recognition. I had been going through the file of my 2016 application to the Office of Hearing Examiners to refresh my memory of process and elements of such a complaint when I came across a letter dated October 4, 2016, allegedly composed by Mayor Glas.

Please note the section which reads the City of Alcester is citing 1-27-1.5 (12) and (22) for denying the release of names. H-m-m why does that look familiar? Oh I know….

Now look a City Attorney Sam’s letter, please note the first paragraph section which reads, “…with respect to the 09/10/2019 request…SDCL 1-27-1.5 (12) and (22) exempt this information from disclosure…”

So did FO Pat get the 2016 citation from Beresford Sam?  So was Mayor Glas and FO Pat already cutting Alcester City Attorney Haugland out?

Ode to Sam*

*inspired by the poem Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Seuss, D. (1960). Green eggs and ham. New York: Beginner Books.

I am Sam! That is WHO says I am-I am Sam? Yeah, I AM Sam!

  • Do you like to eat crow from a can?
  • Sam does not eat crow from a can, Sam? Sam is that WHO says I am?
  • I do not like to eat crow from a can.
  • I do not want to eat crow from your hand!

 

  • Would you like to eat crow from a can?
  • Would you like to eat crow from my hand?
  • I would not like to eat crow from your hand
  • Of that I sure am! Nope, no crow for Sam-I-am

 

  • I would not like crow in a tiny house listening to Straus…
  • I would not like crow on a Second street…
  • I would not like crow on a North Third street…
  • I would not like crow on a Fifth street…
  • I would not like crow on South Main…that would be a pain

 

  • I will not eat crow even ‘on the house’…
  • I will not eat crow with a trial team…
  • I will not eat crow with a marine…
  • I will not eat crow in a lobby, I will not eat crow with a lobby
  • I will not eat crow even as a hobby ’cause

I am Sam! That is WHO says I am, I am Sam?

Right?

 

09/24/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

 

To use the catch-phrase of Joan Rivers,

“Can we talk?”

 

Folks we have a problem!

We have a Ward III Councilman who thinks the law does not apply to him but will waste law enforcement time to deliver a bully-sheet to coerce and intimidate a citizen who is asking uncomfortable questions.  A councilman who has few ethics when it comes to election signs and posters.

We have a Finance Officer who LIES!  When I asked for a copy of the city letter demanding the ambulance pay for water usage and sewer, I was told I (FO Jurrens) do not have a copy.  I exclaimed, “You did not keep a copy of the demand letter you issued to the Alcester Ambulance?”  FO Jurrens reiterated, “No, I did not.”  Yet when I issued a formal FOIA for the demand letter and courtesy copied in a council person, it was confirmed FO Pat did indeed have a copy and the council-person assured me, I would be sent a copy.  To date I still have not received the demand letter NOR the reply to the demand letter.

WHY NOT?

I asked for a copy of the Building Permit for 518 Anderson Street.  Still do not have that one, either.  FO Pat stated to the permit did not have to be displayed.  LIE!  Au Contraire Madame FO, YOU and your ‘familiar’ Geoff Fillingnsess have harassed people who do not tail-gate your bum, insisting they HAVE a building permit, they MUST post it or they will receive a CEASE and DESIST notice.  YOU, YOURSELF issued the building permit below!

(SEE BELOW)  WHAT DOES THAT SAY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE?H-M-M-M-M?

  • Building permit is not displayed on the WASS building site, so by your own words they must CEASE and DESIST until it is displayed properly.
  • Building permit is still not displayed on Alcester Councilman Lance Johnson‘s illegal building project.
  • So Councilman Lance Johnson and the PIES GUYS must CEASE and DESIST until it complies with permit display!

518 ANDERSON STREET STILL NO PERMIT DISPLAYED

09-23-2019 NO PERMIT POSTED LANCE JOHNSON-III.JPG09-23-2019 NO PERMIT POSTED LANCE JOHNSON-II.JPG09-23-2019 NO PERMIT POSTED LANCE JOHNSON-I.JPG

 

“NOTICE   THIS CARD MUST BE POSTED IN A CONSPICUOUS PLACE, FACING THE STREET, ON THE PREMISES ON WHICH THE WORK IS TO BE DONE,  AND MUST BE MAINTAINED THERE UNTIL COMPLETION OF SUCH WORK.

 NOT IN A WINDOW IN THE BUILDING NEXT DOOR OR ACROSS THE STREET!

NOT FACING AWAY FROM THE STREET! 

…AND…

NOT FACING THE INSIDE OF COUNCILMAN LANCE JOHNSON’S DRAWERS! 

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.

05/06/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the May 9th, 2019, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council to order with Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Lance Johnson and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present.

Prior to the meeting an emboldened Tom Glas elected to attack me, telling me I was not to talk during the meeting.  I responded asking him, “does that apply to Pat Jurrens and Wanda Halverson”…”are they banned from talking during council meeting?” “Yes?”  “No?”  “What?”

I can only suppose it was my remarks about the deficient Alcester City Council Meeting Agenda which prompted the Tom Glas temper tantrum.  Glas’ proposed agenda or was it FO Pat’s agenda is a masterpiece of proposed open meeting violations and incompetence.

Mayor Glas started the council meeting with his usual, “it’s that time”, coming to his feet to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which always evokes an errant thought for me.  Aha!  This is “Mayor Tom’s” anatomical, repositioning sphincter response to relieve pressure on his cerebellum.

The May meeting of the Alcester City Council has historically been two separate meeting in one night.  Typically this first meeting after the April election is where the ‘old’ council would finish up prior business and adjourn.  Upon adjournment the retiring council members exit giving up their places at the table to the incoming members. The new meeting is called to order with newly elected/appointed members reciting the oath of office and seated at the council table.  These are two separate meetings with the council receiving pay for each meeting.  However this night Mayor Glas or was it FO Pat’s ill-conceived aura of safety of position chose to imbed the Planning and Zoning committee meeting into opening meeting.  And by now I have lost many of you.  The Alcester City Council is ALSO the local planning and zoning committee.

Note on the agenda page 1) there is no public input for the initial meeting, no public input for the planning and zoning committee meeting and note there is no formal opening of the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting to let the gallery know a separate meeting has been opened, nor was there a formal adjournment on the agenda to close the Planning and Zoning Committee meeting.  Poor procedure!   Better never than late, Mayor Glas under duress added a public input at 9.5 on page 1) of the Alcester City Council meeting  agenda. However he neglected to add Public Input under the Planning and Zoning Hearing committee meeting.  Bad FOrm Mayor Tom and FO Pat!  FO Pat must not have found a form to co-op for a compartmented triple meeting.

The council made short work of the approval of the agenda, it’s deficiencies and dispatched the approval of Minutes with alacrity.

Tena Keiser and Amanda Ericson presented Alcester Police Chief Jeff Christie with a check representing the fundraiser proceeds for the police department.

At this point there was still time before the 6:30 p.m. start time for the Planning and Zoning committee public hearing.  Mayor Glas elected to move onto Agenda item 9.5 Public Input for the Initial Alcester City Council meeting.  I responded to Public Input and another dust-up began.  I commented on the violation of open meeting with the lack of proper Public Input both for the council meeting and the planning and zoning public hearing, plus the appearance of a violation of open meeting with Page 1, agenda item #9.  Mayor Glas butted into my short public input time with his argument public input was the Public Hearing.  I pointed out it was a public hearing, but no provision was made for specific public input.  Mayor Glas chose to argue semantics defined as a part of language, its structure, morphology, syntax, pho and logic concerned with meaning. (evidently he heard ce-mentics and alas he lacked a concrete argument!)

At this point Alcester Attorney Sam Nelson of Frieberg, Nelson & Ask of Beresford took over questioning my ‘authorities’.  I cited SDCL 1-25-1

“…The chair of the public body (city) shall reserve at every official meeting by the public body a period for public comment limited at the chair’s discretion, but not so limited as to provide for no public comment…” 

Note the word “shall”.  ‘Shall’ is used in statutes according to Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged Sixth Edition (1891-1991), page 958 to mean “…generally an imperative or mandatory…”  Mr. Nelson and I continued with a spirited discussion of Executive Session as referenced in page 1) agenda Item 9 as defined in SDCL 1-25-2.,1

“… Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee…” 

My position being, compensation time is NOT a subject for executive session, it is an open session discussion with a determination whether the council is falling down a rabbit hole.  I based my opinion that Mayor Glas, FO Pat Jurrens and the Alcester City Council were Abusing Executive session, using past, numerous and lengthy personnel discussions.  That many discussions of qualifications, competence, performance, character, or fitness of city personnel?  And FO Pat is almost always is present with the council in the closed session…do you s’pose?  ‘Cause bookkeeping is not personnel, the book keeper is but not her position!

There was no formal adjournment of the Alcester Planning and Zoning committee. It is good there was no action on the draft of Ordinance 2019-01’cause Ordinance 2019-01 was already enacted on February 4. 2019, with the express purpose of changing FO Pat’s job from appointed to a quasi protected hire. Competency?  The Finance Office is charged with keeping a file of the Ordinances.  So what Happened FO??

CCI05082019.jpg

Now the third meeting has been opened and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson has administered the oath of Office to the council members.

Mayor Glas handed out his and Pat’s 2019 committee assignments.  Page 2) under agenda item #4.  Councilwoman Melissa Kay was visibly upset as she read down the sheet of assignments.  Councilwoman Kay had held the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and the Chair of the Public Safety Committee but under the 2019 Committee assignments she had been removed.  Councilwoman Kay questioned Mayor Glas, asking him what she had done wrong to be removed from the Chair of these two committees?  (48:58:53)

Councilwoman Kay looked to Chief Christie and asked him for input. (50:39:00)  I believe Police Chief Christie asked permission to respond to Councilwoman Kay’s question.  Mayor Glas ignored him, a heated discussion was still taking place between Councilwoman Kay and Mayor Glas who by this time was making some questionable comments. (50:48:57)  Councilman Haeder asked Mayor Glas if Alcester Police Chief Christie could respond to Councilwoman Kay’s question.  Mayor Glas responded Alcester Police Chief Christie had to wait until public input!

ARE YOU KIDDING Mayor Glas?  What cognitive cripple would not allow Police Chief Christie respond to a DIRECT question from Councilwoman Kay!  Past mayors usually tried to match up councilpersons capabilities with committees. The best Mayor Glas could come up with was, “…I tried to mix everything up…”  Yeah Mayor, you surely did!

Next agenda item was Fire Chief Pat Kast report, notifying the council of the fire hydrant situation.  In a recent fire situation an inoperative fire hydrant was discovered which exacerbated an already dangerous situation. The fire hydrants are the responsibility of the city and Mayor Glas!  The uptake is the city is going to have to repair and replace fire hydrants.  Keep this in mind folks for the Finance Office spending spree!  The city did vote to pay two fire school tuitions.

Alcester Ems gave a report concerning the snow removal issue and the water bill.  I have been a member of the ambulance crew and I worked with the financial/billing side of the operation.  The ambulance has reached a point where the ambulance vehicle needs to be replaced.  In the past the only funding the city provided to the all volunteer ambulance was a cell phone.  I was surprised to hear the city did not supply free water to the service.  Contrary to FO Pat’s comment the ambulance had billing capability, the billing amounts had to cover fuel, medical supplies, linens, laundry, AED pads and leads, blood sugar kits, Epi Pens, IV supplies, saline and etc.  FO Pat do you think we get those out of a cracker jack box?  Do you realise what med supplies cost?

Reports and Updates from Street, Swimming Pool, Water tower, Water and Waste water.

Agenda Item #10 page 2).  The Crown Victoria that Mayor Rick Johnson got for a bargain price, has died and not worth repairing.  Therefore there is a need for a new police car.  The city has the ability to purchase a new Dodge Charge at $24K with delivery on or around January 2020 with some funding coming from the Second Penny Sales Tax according to Book Keeper Pat.  Check out the state of the sales tax income for the year.

David gave an update for the golf course.  Clubhouse personnel was hired but the groundskeeper position is still open.

Agenda Item #12 page 2) – Executive session SDCL 1-25-2.2 Litigation  This was notice the city had received a certified letter of demand for wages past due.  Not like the comp time FO Pat has been angling after but actual wages earned.  The council spent twenty-two minutes in closed session to discuss strategy?

Finance Office report:

Summer Equipment

-plastic chaise lounges, picnic tables, benches  $5,450.00**

-fold-up picnic tables   (10)                                     $1,599.00**

Garbage cans 300 gallon (2)                                    $   900.00**

Additional expenses

water tower maintenance                               $9,750.00*

audit required                                                    $6,000.00*

city website                                                         $   700.00/year for 3 yrs*

new police car                                                   $24,000.00*                                                            involves second penny sales tax

* unanimous vote for expenditure

** non necessity

We have failing fire hydrants but by golly we have to have our plastic chaise lounges and fold up picnic tables.  Mayor Glas did brag in a campaign speech something to the effect, “Just look what Pat and I have done for the city!”  Yeah right! More like, “Just look what Pat and I have done TO the city!”

Meeting adjourned at 9:38 p.m.

 

03/23/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

“Government is instituted for the common good:  for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”

John Adams

Silencing the Voters

I am political!  Growing up Lutheran I practiced the Golden Rule, RSV Mathew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them;  for this is the law and the prophets.”  Please note the use of ‘practiced’ is my free admission I do not have this lesson totally learned so I continue to “practice” with the faith I will someday be good at it and I will be able to fit through the narrow gate.

I have held many positions as a Girl Scout Leader, to a volunteer EMT, but the one thing I am not is a liar.  You can believe me when I say telling the truth can be painful, it has cost me friends, it has cost me business, my political voice/position and I am sorry to say cost my husband, Peter a mayoral election and placed a great target upon my back.

I am political!  In 1999 I learned when one has rung the bell at the top of the rope of public embarrassment, public embarrassment no longer controls my behavior.  I started going regularly to the Alcester City Council meetings after Rick Johnson was elected mayor.  Upon Rick Johnson’s seating, I started writing regular letters to the editor to give my fellow residents and taxpayers highlights of the council meetings.  One of the first things Rick Johnson did as mayor was to appoint Finance Office Mike Kezar for only four months which was ratified by the Alcester City Council of which Patricia R. Jurrens was seated.

March 17, 2014, Special meeting.  The council opened bids on Beck Drive, Pat Jurrens Pet Project.  Pohlman Excavation came in with low bid at $194,353.06 which with additional fees blowing up the cost of Beck Drive to around $250K excluding the paving fee of what I believe $60K to be the city’s expense.  The deal was the HRC/City of Alcester would be paying interest payments only until lots were sold in which the price of the lot sales would be applied to the principal.  To date Folks, only ONE lot has sold.  I do believe the interest rate amount has exceeded the reasonable price of the remaining unsold lots.  Care to guess who is going to be called upon to pony-up more taxes to pay for a street on the far side of town?

03-27-2014 Beck Drive

It was but a week or so, the Finance Officer position was posted.  LO and BEHOLD Pat R. Jurrens long, harassing critic of Finance Officer Kezar applied for the Finance Officer appointment.  In the June 2, 2014, council meeting Patricia R. Jurrens was appointed to Alcester Finance Officer with a TRAINING SALARY OF $40K PER YEAR commencing June 30, 2014, and current Finance Officer Kezar to expected to train her at his $38K salary.  In addition there was talk of a $2K bump in Patty Rose’s salary after training, within a year.  WOW!

06-12-2014 Training Salary

Upon the September 2014 Mike Kezar’s ignominious ejection after 30 some years of public service to an agenda driven upstart.  FO Patty Rose Jurrens subsequently to be referred to as FOPRJ (pronounced FO-purge) began her campaign against the citizens of Alcester by offering up changes in ordinances, changing finance office job descriptions form SDML to FOPRJ code, spending money like it was being printed on the Finance Office Copy Machine, concealing payroll figures and exceeding her employment terms.

SDML Finance Officer description

In 2013 with the advent of Rick Johnson as mayor, the city of Alcester was subjected to a petty tyrant with absolutely NO Working Knowledge of city government beyond campus cop.  On July 6, 2015, with the appointment of Tom Glas to mayor, the city of Alcester was subjected to “Mr. Magoo goes to city hall” where NO Working Knowledge was elevated to a doctorate level.  In addition to Tom Glas’ appointment, the city of Alcester was gifted with a weak mayor who allowed and continues to allow the city Finance Officer to act as a proverbial Rabid Cat Off a Leash!

When the Alcester Union-Hudsonite was sold to Shane Hill, I was black-balled from the newspaper.  Some folks didn’t like my letters-to-the editor, I guess applied pressure on Publisher Hill and undeniably it was Publisher Hills prerogative to reject my letters.  If those folks thought they could SILENCE me, they found much to their chagrin they just issued a challenge to the Mouth That Roared.  I found the internet and A VOICE FROM THE GALLERY was not silenced just as the voters will not be silenced!

I am political!  It is time for a strong mayor who will re-take the reins of city government from the Finance Office.  It is time for a strong mayor who can speak to city government, public policy and practices with knowledge without the tired comment, “…when I was in construction…”.  Alcester is a municipality not four inch slab concrete without the rebar base of oversight! It is time for our city to operate in the black without assessing exorbitant fees on the property owners for extra street maintenance fee or comp time (from which our Finance Officer who is exempt and appears to have accumulated and used comp time illegally(without prior signed approval)).  It is time to elect a mayor who will bring Alcester back into compliance! It is time to elect a mayor who will guide our recalcitrant Finance Officer back into compliance!

 

” A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was gitting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him and warn’t ever going to grow dim or doubtful.”

Mark Twain

Register to vote!  If registration at the city level becomes an issue, feel free to contact me or contact the Union County Auditor.  Do not be silenced!

It is time to retire the present milk-toast mayor and elect a strong Mayor who will actually work for the residents of Alcester and help to corral the cats off their leashes!

Vickie A. Larsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10/16/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

I felt some items from the October 1, 2018, Alcester City Council meeting needed additional attention.  First and foremost is the fact it is the Mayor’s job to set the agenda, not the finance officer’s position to decide any agenda item or fill up the agenda with her own ‘agenda’ items.

I would also like to point out what Mayor Glas deems necessary to conduct a city council meeting; one sheet of paper (which I presume is the agenda), one bottle of water, a pen and of course his name plate (see October 1, 2018 city council video)

Agenda Item #8 – Street Updates I have already shared the news that there will be no chip sealing of Alcester City Streets.   

  • WHY?
  • WAS THE 2018 MONEY BUDGETED FOR STREETS SPENT?
  • WHAT WAS IT SPENT ON?
  • WAS THE APPROXIMATE $37K FUNDS RECEIVED THROUGH THE STREET MAINTENANCE SPECIAL ASSESSMENT SPENT?
  • WHERE WAS THE $37K STREET MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENT SPENT?
  • IF NOT SPENT, WHERE DID THAT $37K GO? GENERAL FUND OR THE STREET FUND?

Notice our city streets especially where recent patching appears.  Many of our streets carry a black stripe about 18 inches in width which abuts the cement gutter and runs, almost the length of the block.  Wonder why?  The next time you take your robot-arm-friendly-trash container to the curb, think about where the wheels of the robotic garbage truck are juxta-positioned in relation to the curb and gutter as it latches onto your trash receptacle, now consider how heavy that Great Robotic garbage truck is (approx. 33,000 lbs empty to 51,000 lbs full (9 ton load)) and finally, consider the weight of vehicles for which the streets were designed all those years ago. Notice the squish effect in those areas of the streets not yet ‘patched’.

Agenda Item #10 – Police Department  As I have already discussed in the 10/01/2018 A Voice From the Gallery, I spoke up and was dinged for being out-of-order.  I invite you to go back to the October 1, 2018, video at (01:09:17) and listen to what Alcester City Attorney Sam said to the council, “…you do not have to answer questions from the gallery…”  and as I reported, a few moments later Alcester City Attorney Sam thought better of his response and requested time to, “…to go back to the On-Call…” and upon permission Alcester City Attorney Sam stated, “… in previous discussions (closed session) he had briefed the council on possibilities with regard to the On-Call Solution with a $2K compensation…”

Now folks let’s go back in time to the salary versus wage discussion the council had concerning the rate of pay and for Alcester Police Chief Jeff Christie where Alcester City Attorney Sam offered his opinion concerning what I would term the safer course of wage payment (CTA) for the Alcester Chief of Police would be a per hour wage over the then current offer and past practice of salary payment.  Again, I do believe all discussions relating to per hour wages versus salary were in closed session.  I believe that portion of the closed session was in violation of South Dakota Opening meetings statute because the council and Alcester City Attorney Sam were discussing changing a department payment schedule NOT discussing a specific employee.

I also believe Alcester City Attorney Sam the portion of the closed session/sessions discussing police payroll payments to which you referred (01:09:17), involving the over-time exemption rule and method of compensating our police officers for the hours they spend on-the-job was a generic discussion type of payroll payment not an individual police officer was another violation of South Dakota open meeting statute.  In addition, I believe Alcester City has the ability to compensate our police officers with overtime pay “at Alcester City’s discretion”.  Folks imagine working as a small town police officer where 60 or 80 hours on duty time is required.  Imagine the $18.00 per hour wages for only the 40 hours the council deigned to pay, now do the math!  Federal 2018 minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and South Dakota 2018 minimum wage is $8.85 per hour.  So at some point in those 80 some hours required of Alcester Police Chief and police officers, our law enforcement could be making less per hour than what Alcester pays a first year pool staff, non-WSI.

Now Alcester City Attorney Sam opined during the MUTCD (Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices) conversation something about Federal jurisdiction within a municipality.  I must have missed the change in US sovereignty after I graduated.  As I recall in an over-simplified form the Federal government holds sovereignty as outlined in the United States Constitution and grants sovereignty to the individual states who in turn grant sovereignty in form to its counties and municipalities.  I do believe the tenth amendment addresses this sharing of power and sovereignty protection to states, counties and municipal governments.  Simply put the Federal government relegates power to states, states relegate power to counties and cities.  The kicker being as I understand the power trickle- down theory in which states, counties and cities may amend Federal statute but ONLY to make the law more restrictive not less restrictive.  Analogy- the state of South Dakota says bars must close at 2:00 a.m., Alcester Council says,  “Madam Woolworth says she cannot possibly clear the bar at 2:00 a.m., so we will allow her to close at 2:30 a.m. and we will make an ordinance that affirms a 2:30 a.m. closing in place of the state mandated 2:00 a.m. closing.  Alcester does NOT have the authority to over-ride state statute (SDCL 35-4-81.2) by loosening the restrictive 2:00 a.m. state closing time to a less restrictive 2:30 a.m. closing.

Now onto Agenda Item #12 – Special Projects  

  • Agenda Item #12(E)(I) Wow! It appears I have achieved special projects status.  I asked for FOIA (Freedom of Information or South Dakota Sunshine) to obtain payroll reports of the total hours and line item break-downs of regular hours, over-time hours per and payments made per week over an approximate two year period for Alcester Police Chief Doty and Alcester Police Officer Dylan Nelsen.

In the past I have made FOIA requests for additional information not presented to or  made available to the residents of Alcester or the gallery.  In addition I always wondered when the push back was going to happen, so I was not overly surprised at the tactic Alcester Finance Officer took upon my June 12, 2018, FOIA request for the payroll reports.

I did not receive a denial but I did receive the next best thing a provisional billing from Finance Officer Pat Jurrens of the City of Alcester for, “…$40.00 per hour for Eight (8) hours of research time to pull time cards and check stubs…to produce copies…” for a grand total of $320.00.  I sent a reply that I would just access them without asking for copies.  I received another copy of the provisional billing stating, “…the cost would remain the same…”  Really?  Then I found there are NO TIMECARDS to pull, the employees use their cell phones or as I witnessed a week ago Alcester City Finance Officer Pat Jurrens logs them in on her computer.  In the course of this Pat-a-cake push back scenario, I requested the name of the accounting program and the name of the payroll program(QuickBooks and CheckMark respectively)both have the capability of producing reports detailing in an Excel-type format, the information for which I asked.

So feeling I had paid out enough line, I set the hook and filed a complaint with the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners detailing my official request and the City of Alcester reply.  This constitutes the 8 hour special project charge against the Finance Office.  Really?  Now Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens expects $40.00 per hour

JUST TO DO HER JOB?  REALLY?

  • Agenda Item #12(E)(II) – Special Projects-Tree trimming Database/Letters-134 – 12 Hours. Oh my dear sweet, old Aunt Tillie!  Are ya kidding me?  12 hours to write a form letter reciting a tree-overhang violation?  Folks, think about it, obviously FO Pat has not.  Type up one form letter citing the code violation, save form letter to file, copy the list of residents from the water bill data base onto Avery Labels times 2 (one label for the letter and one label for the envelope), fold copies, insert into envelope, seal envelope, stamp and trot on down to the post office and that takes twelve hours.  Oh that is right we have a Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness, just what does he do now for his fee again?  Somehow I do not think he is running around in a golf cart with his young finance office live-in kid-at-your-back protégé eyeballing branch height and Kodaking the weed heights.  Nope I just do not think so, but I have noticed a pole on the street sweeper and I do not think that it is for a flag!

Again Special Project-Twelve hours? FOR DOING HER JOB? I am relieved the city has a janitor, I would hate to see how many hours it would take for the Special Project of changing the toilet paper in the City Offices restrooms!

 

 

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’

08/20/2018-II A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the August 20, 2018, special meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. with Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilman Lance Johnson present.  Not present was Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

After the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the council approved the agenda which included Seven agenda items.  Generally a special council meeting is called to take care of emergency business, you be the judge.

Agenda Item #4 CBDG Loan for Dan Waag.  Councilman David Larsen moved to go into executive session per FO Pat Jurren’s agenda and under SDCL 1-25-2-4 Contracts.  SDCL 1-25-2-4 says,

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

             (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;

             (2)      Discussing the expulsion, suspension, discipline, assignment of or the educational program of a student or the eligibility of a student to participate in interscholastic activities provided by the South Dakota High School Activities Association;

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

             (4)      Preparing for contract negotiations or negotiating with employees or employee representatives;

             (5)      Discussing marketing or pricing strategies by a board or commission of a business owned by the state or any of its political subdivisions, when public discussion may be harmful to the competitive position of the business.
However, any official action concerning such matters shall be made at an open official meeting. An executive or closed meeting shall be held only upon a majority vote of the members of such body present and voting, and discussion during the closed meeting is restricted to the purpose specified in the closure motion. Nothing in § 1-25-1 or this section may be construed to prevent an executive or closed meeting if the federal or state Constitution or the federal or state statutes require or permit it. A violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

Folks the action of CBDG loan does not fit the purpose of Contract executive session but Finance Office Pat Jurrens practices, “what the council doesn’t know keeps me (Pat Jurrens) in power”.  Follow the action on the video.  Councilwoman Melissa Kay made the second and with a unanimous aye vote the council entered into closed session at 7:20 p.m.  At 7:30 p.m. the council came out of executive session with the statement we need a motion to approve the CBDG Loan to Dan Waag.  Councilman Lance Johnson made the motion to approve the loan, NO AMOUNT, NO INTEREST AND NO TIME FRAME was included in Councilman Johnson’s aberrant motion.  Councilwoman Linda Talbott seconded the motion, and with NO PUBLIC DISCUSSION, the council voted unanimously to approve the Loan.  Folks I had to ask for the amount of the loan, the interest on the loan and the duration of the loan.  The loan was for $5000 at 2% interest and is to run for 5 years.  Again, folks the history of the CBDG loans in Alcester has been the CBDG loan was a second to a primary loan through a financial institution.  It was suggested in the past that the CBDG loans were to be no more than 10% of the primary loan to protect the city funding position.  Apparently Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens feel the risk of loan failure is an acceptable risk to city moneys. Finance Office Jurrens made the comment she would see that a promissory note would be presented to Mr. Waag.

Agenda Item #5 CBDG Loan to offset interest on Police Truck to the tune of $4500 projected by Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens.  This financial wizardry was the brainchild of FO Pat and not that of the Alcester police department personnel.  Please take note in the video of Councilman Lance Johnson’s opinion to the effect that no discussion was necessary cause he didn’t care what the tax payers thought ;cause it was going to save $4500 over the life of the loan.

Agenda Item #6-Executive Session if needed.  Yeah, that would be a NO.

Agenda Item #7 -Adjourn at 7:40 p.m.

I asked the question while the council was still seated and after adjournment, if Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson was going to craft the promissory note for Mr. Waag.  I was immediately queried by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens, WHY?  I replied, ‘I was curious if Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens were going to use the work product of another lawyer.  Seems to be a temptation of the finance office to use previous attorney’s work product as templates for Finance Office DIY legal document!

08/20/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

08/20/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

From last August 6, 2018, city council meeting Mayor ranted and raved about property maintenance and threatened with fines!

NON-AGENDA ITEM– Mayor Half-Glas’d whizzed on property maintenance, not stiff enough penalties and he wants to HIT offenders hard with still fines. Mayor Half-Glas’d says he feels like he is living in a slum! (01:09:48) 

Mayor Half-Glas’d, I suggest sir, put your money and ‘mayoral (?) skills’ where your mouth is.  If residents are required to abide by the ordinances, so is the city.  That would be you, Mayor Glas.  YOU and your minion FO have a problem, check out the photos:

Photo #108-20-2018 XI CITY POOL INSIDE FENCE WEED VIOLATIONS CITY POOL WEED VIOLATION

Photo #2 08-20-2018 X CITY POOL INSIDE FENCE WEEDS VIOLATION CITY POOL WEED VIOLATION

Photo #3 08-20-2018I CITY PARK-NORTH HORSE SHOE PIT CITY PARK HORSESHOE PIT

Photo #4 08-20-2018III CITY PARK ALLEY SOUTH OF SRTS LOOKING SO DEPOT ALLEY

 Photo #5 08-20-2018VI CITY PARK ALLEY SOUTH DOWN STREAM FLOOD CAUSE LOOKING NORTH DEPOT ALLEY

  Photo #6 08-20-2018V CITY PARK BACK STOP WEEDS CITY PARK BACKSTOP WEEDS

 Photo #7 08-20-2018IV CITY PARK BASEBALL BACK STOP WEEDS CITY PARK BACKSTOP WEEDS

Photo #8 08-20-2018VII CITY PARK TREE OVERHANG VIOLATION LESS THAN 8 FOOT ABOVE SIDEWALK CITY PARK TREE VIOLATION

  Photo #9 08-20-2018IX CITY PARK TREE OVERHAND VIOLATION LESS THAN 8 FOOT CLEARANCE OVER SIDE WALK CITY PARK TREE VIOLATION

 According to last meeting chit-chat Mayor, you and a couple of the boys had been inspecting the alley, the SRTS fiasco and scratching your collective heads other than to tell the residents experiencing SRTS down-stream flooding was their problem. Boys the city IS NOT IMMUNE to it’s own ordinances and that Councilman Lance Johnson IS YOUR PROBLEM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

06/21/2018 A Voice From the Gallery

If I am silent it’s because there is a thunder inside me Or I am just chillin’, it depends.  May the odds be ever in your favor.

author unknown

Before I begin my commentary on the June 11, 2018, special city council meeting, upon advice my comments involving the legal procedure for filling of a vacancy on the council had an error I make the following correction.

First it is important to know that city of Alcester is by definition a second class municipality.   According to SDCL § 9-2-1, “…Municipalities of the second class are municipal corporations with a population between five hundred and five thousand…”.

Second the city of Alcester is by definition as aldermanic consisting of a mayor and what is called a common council, this form of government is generally referred to as a strong council, weak mayor meaning a council of six voting members versus one mayor who does not have the power of vote beyond ties and contrary to Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens apparent belief of a strong mayor, weak council and one terminally pushy Finance Officer operating under the delusion she is City Manager.  According to SDCL  § 9-2-3, “…Each municipality shall be governed by a board of trustees, a mayor and common council, OR by a board of commissioners. (Source: SDC 1939, § 45.0401; SL 1992, ch 60, § 2; SL 2000, ch 34, § 1.)”

Correction

SDCL §9-8-5 Titled Power of council to judge members and govern proceedings-Bribery vacating office.

    “The council is the judge of the election and qualification of its members. The council determines its rules of procedure, and may punish its members for disorderly conduct, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds of the aldermen may expel a member…(Source: SL 1890, ch 37, art IV, §§ 6, 7; RPolC 1903, §§ 1203, 1204; RC 1919, § 6210; SDC 1939, § 45.0704; SL 2017, ch 56, § 6.)”

and

SDCL §9-13-14.1 Titled Filling of vacancy on municipal governing body-No special election.

“Filling of vacancy on municipal governing body–Appointment or special election. If a vacancy exists on a municipal governing body, the remaining members shall appoint a replacement to serve until the next annual municipal election, or the vacancy may be filled by special election for the remainder of the unexpired term as provided in § 9-13-14.2. In the aldermanic form of municipal government, the appointment shall be a person from the same ward of the municipality. If electing a person to fill the remainder of the unexpired term at an annual municipal election, the vacancy shall have occurred prior to the publication required by § 9-13-6.  (Source: PolC 1877, ch 24, § 18; CL 1887, § 1039; SL 1890, ch 37, art IV, §§ 6, 7; RPolC 1903, §§ 1203, 1204, 1434; RC 1919, §§ 6198, 6210; SL 1931, ch 200, § 2; SDC 1939, §§ 45.0603, 45.0704; SDCL §§ 9-7-4, 9-8-6; SL 1979, ch 50, § 2; SL 1992, ch 60, § 2; SL 2005, ch 48, § 5; SL 2006, ch 28, § 1; SL 2010, ch 74, § 5.)”

With those citations serving as basis for correction of my previous comment regarding the appointment and ratification of Councilmember Linda Talbott simply put and according to statute not practice, it is up to the five remaining, duly seated members of the council to secure a candidate, appoint and ratify the candidate for interim council member NOT the mayor nor the Finance Officer.

Now to the meeting of the special meeting of the Alcester City Council which appears to act as the Cliff Notes version of a Bigger Problem.

The special meeting was called to order by Mayor Glas with Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman David Larsen, City Attorney Sam Nelson and oh yeah, Councilman Lance Johnson present.

Agenda Item #4 – Police Department

  1. a) Police personnel Discussion- the June 4, 2018,  the language of the Councilman Lance Johnson’s motion to hire Jeff Christie as Alcester Police Chief was restricted to specific contract language regarding salary versus hourly wage.  Historically Alcester Police Chief’s were salaried positions.  It is extremely important to note here certain groups of workers are excluded from over-time pay.  As I understand it, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires all covered non-exempt employees be paid overtime pay at no less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay for all hours of work in excess of 40 in a work week.  However Section 13(b)(2) of the FLSA provides an overtime exemption to law enforcement or fire protection employees of a public agency that employs less than five employees during the workweek in law enforcement or fire protection activities.  So is this Mayor Cheap-Glas’s move to low-ball our police officers pay and hand over quasi-control of our police department to FO Pat?

There are three criteria used to determine if the employee is exempted from the minimum wage and over-time protections. 1) the employee must be paid a pre-determined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction, 2) the salary paid must meet a minimum specified amount and 3) the employees job duties must primarily involve executive , administration or professional duties as defined by the regulations (duties test).

So explain it to us Mayor Cheap-Glas’d, explain in detail why you and your minion FO Pat pushed to reduce the Salary of the Alcester Police Chief to an Hourly wage?  Oh and don’t fob us off on advice of counsel, that tired old response has run its course of credibility.  Oh and while you are at it, explain why conditions are not retro-active (00:05:55), to Police Chief Chris’ salary?

AND of course the city is not barred from paying over-time to our officers.  It does have the discretionary power to pay over-time to its officers.

Agenda Items #5-Warrants and Agenda Item #6 – Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Training were disposed of through vote.  The Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Training was scheduled for the week of July 9 with a morning session as well as an afternoon session.

Agenda Item #7 – Executive session As usual the session was for personnel purposes, as far as the Alcester City Mayor and FO Pat Jurrens there is no other kind of purpose for executive session!  Council went into session at 6:15 p.m. and exited personnel executive session at 6:45 p.m.

Meeting was adjourned at approximately 6:46 p.m.

Folks nothing was introduced on pool slide rules or the imminent danger of injury due to the placement of the slide and rules of use, i.e. pool safety recommendations of  feet first sliding, no head first or backwards sliding, no child under the age of 6 years old without parent in the pool catching, only one child on slide or slide ladder at a time, no toys on the slide and roped off to keep swimmers out of the splash down zone.  I passed out pool slide rules from other sources including a national organization for safety last meeting for the council to read.  Evidently it is not as Finance Officer/Bookkeeper Pat Jurrens puts it, a high priority.  Alcester children it appears are not a high priority.  Imagine your 8 year old or 10 year old suffering a spinal cord injury with the life-long result of tetraplegia or paraplegia because the pool rules were not set or enforced.  Are you willing to bet your child’s future on FO Pat’s ability to distinguish high priority or ignorable priority.  FO Pat’s, Mayor Half-Glas’d and the city’s pocket are not deep enough to restore what may be lost through sheer ego and terminal stupidity!