“Don’t lie to me unless you’re absolutely sure that I will never find out the truth”
Mayor Dan Haeder called the April 5, 2021, city council meeting to order with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Council members present were Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, and City Attorney Sam Nelson with Councilwoman Melissa Kay with Councilman Marcus Ireland participating via telephone.
Agenda Item #3 – Mayor Haeder called for Approval of the Agenda.
Mistake #1 – Agenda Item #6 should never had been on the list, given the identity of the Ward III Candidate.
Agenda Item #4 – Approval of March 1, 2021, and March 15, 2021, council minutes. Approve without change.
Agenda Item #5 – Public Input – Vickie Larsen brought up the #1- need for a storm shelter replacement. The city instituted a storm shelter at the auditorium and when they sold the building they had an obligation to find a suitable alternative in my opinion; #2 – improperness of alderman interviews before the first May meeting (little did I know all the facts on that one) (0:04:32.42); #3 – the custom computer and Finance Officer Patricia Jurren’s contention the custom computer is an IBM clone. All computers after IBM could be described as clones (0:04:55.60) Below you find the product of my FOIA/Sunshine request of February 17, 2021, regarding the custom computer, take special note of the scrawled notations on the invoice page and the costs. Folks I did not received any answer to my questions during or after my input.
Agenda Item #4 – 4th graders driving golf carts in the cemetery; #5 – tracking water usage of the Alcester Fire Department and an apparent personal use of free (straight off the backs of the Alcester taxpayers); and Finally #6 – the failure of Sunnyside Storage to complete a retaining wall on the south edge of their property on Sixth street.
Agenda Item #6 – Executive Session – Interview pursuant of SDCL 1-25-2-1 Alderman Interview with a motion to approve Ward III Alderman, term until next election. Who put this on the agenda FOPat or the real mayor. I had already raised the question of the error in procedure. At Councilwoman Melissa Kay’s instigation with the active participation of City Attorney Sam Nelson and council actively disenfranchised Ward III residents by terminating a valid appointed councilwoman fulfilling her oath of office. Councilwoman Melissa Kay, City Attorney and the council continued their deliberate participation of the Ward III disenfranchisement by failing to seat a replacement from October 5, 2021, to April 5, 2021. Now after discussion among the council, the city attorney and Mayor Haeder and without naming the candidate, the group decided by consensus to delay any appointments to the Ward III seat to the May 3, 2021, meeting. I wondered why the rush to seat a Ward III council person before the proper time. There was a guy seated behind me and of whose identity I was blissfully unaware. Mayor Haeder looked around me and ask if the person who was going to be interviewed could make the May 3 meeting and received an affirmative response from the guy behind me. Had the council continued under FOPat’s thumb-print pressure, this individual would have been seated and able to vote on futher ward openings. Guess What, I have since learned the identity of the guy, and wonder-of-wonder it is none other than Dale Jurrens. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What part of CONFLICT of INTEREST do you not get? So tell me, (and we are likely to surpass the Armstrong, Iowa, story here) if the Finance Officer is sleeping with her Alderman does that count as overtime or does that qualify as merit pay? And is that for one or both of them. How does the city insurance work, do they both get insurance paid? Does FOPat give him orders or as Ward III council person does Councilman Dalie give her orders? So if there is a spat between FOPat and Councilman ‘Dalie’, do we have to pay City Attorney Sam Nelson to arbitrate and who pays that bill? Just askin’.
Agenda Item #7 – Paint South Dakota – No volunteers project dropped.
Agenda Item #8 – Legal – Sam Nelson Mr. Nelson dealt with the property nuisance issues, and brought up two legislative issues. One pertinent to Alcester is HB 1084 dealing with covenants (0:14:07.07) (0:15:29.07)where the time has been extended to 40 years to protect homeowners from sh*thousers. City Attorney Sam says this does not apply to the variances given by Pat to her buds Lance, Mike and etc. I disagree. Keep in mind here that FOPat and then-Ward III councilman Lance Johnson went to seek the counsel of Mike McGill fellow Beresford Lawyer to none other than our Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and I do believe upon Mr. Nelson’s recommendation. Isn’t that nice? “…We are all on one team…” except when it comes to protecting our property values from being decimated by barns/garages, sh*t house steel mansions and infected alien attorneys.
Agenda Item #9 – Department Head Updates –
No Dept. head from Streets;
No Dept. head from Water/wastewater but had input from FOPat who stated water is a enterprise fund and the city it to make money off our water. (01:29:15.97) Return to my input on the water usage by the Fire Department. Folks the city (the residents of Alcester) pay for the water from Southern Rural Water. The city has allowed the fair to use water from the city at no cost, in fact they watered the fairgrounds to get the grass to grow a couple of years ago. The city allows the Fire Department to use water without cost to fight fires, Okay. But to fill personal swimming pools, not on your life. So did Fire Chief Kast approve this?
No Dept. head from cemetery, Chief Jeff was present with his report, Councilman David Larsen gave report on the Golf Course and the library. Committee Chairperson reports did not happen cause no committee chairs were prepared or present.
Agenda Item #10 – Post Hole Digger – Motion to purchase a post hole digger from Axel Ericson for $1200.00 with three (3) attachments. We now have the ‘tools’ to dig post holes.
Agenda Item #11– Ordinance/Policy Clarifications – This involves interpretations of parking Chapter 7.05 (0:43:11.47) (0:43:24.23) and (1:00:07.9)
Agenda Item #12 – Re-Evaluation 2021-03 Face Coverings – no action needed
Agenda Item #14 – Water Meter Installation discussion of fees. (1:29:15.97)
Agenda Item #15 – Gravely Mower (1:47:39.10) FO Pat took it upon herself to have the mower put into the discard bin for scrap value. (1:48:11.07) the bin is gone according to report. FO Pat made the decision to surplus the mower WITHOUT council approval. So who is Mayor? The city bookkeeper is not the mayor nor is she a member of the council. Apparently FOPat does not think she needs council approval of disposal of city property.
Agenda Item #16 – Life Guard certification pay back. Given what I am hearing about paychecks, I wish the lifeguards good luck in getting reimbursement from the finance officer in a timely manner.
Agenda Item #17 – Sirens tested and will have a statewide tornado drill on April 21.
Agenda Item #18 – Finance Office Updates
Evidently the city is no longer using a direct deposit service for the employees and as I understand it the mayor cannot seem to sign the payroll checks in a timely manner.
Agenda Item #19 – Community center Update.
Agenda Item #20 – Fair board Update.
Agenda Item #21 – Executive Session if needed, it was not. Fancy that!
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 Haederenumerated 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.
IF YOU OWN LAND IN THIS OPEN INVENTORY DEVELOPEMENT, GET TOGETHER, SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN ATTORNEY, JOIN A CLASS ACTION GROUP. STOP THE SH**HAUSES AND THE SELF SERVING VARIANCES HANDED OUT BY THE CITY COUNCIL AND FINANCE OFFICER.
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.
The January 4, 2021, Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder, Councilman Marcus Ireland, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person with City Attorney Sam Nelson. Councilwoman Linda Talbott absent, no explanation but can be available by telephone.(01:14.57)
Above is the oath of office which I affirmed on July 20, 2020, to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of South Dakota. I promised to the very best of my ability to work for all the residents of the city of Alcester not just those located within the confines of Ward III. I meant that promise, but in the performance and fulfillment of my promise it was alleged by a l.i.t. (lawyer-in-training) I failed to do what I promised. I asked the October 7, 2020, Executive Session in which these allegations were delivered be open session and video-taped, I was told I did not have that right. I was dismissed based upon the opinion of the l.i.t. without proof other than her opinion. The form of Executive Session used in Alcester, meeting is closed and no record is made. It gets down to she said, she said. It is now my time!
The meeting was opened with the recitation of the pledge of allegiance…ironic.
Agenda Item #3 Approval of the Agenda was dispatched with just one amendment.(02:36.83) by Councilwoman Kay. Agenda Item #18 Executive Session ( if needed) for SDCL 1-25-2. SDCL 1-25-2 refers to the whole statute and should be specific to one of the purposes listed below:
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; or
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 the public 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 prevents 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.
The agenda was amended to place agenda item #18 between agenda items #7 and agenda item #8. So was the agenda approved by the quorum of four.
Agenda Item #4Approval of the Minutes of December 7, 2020, and December 21, 2020, again without discussion or delay.
Agenda Item #5 – Public Input- Vickie Larsen addressed the following topics in public input: cemetery, snow plow speed, building permit, executive sessions handout, website, Nohava, who is the council president and vice-president.
– cemetery– (04:47.70) Discussion on this point is the driving over a gravesite with digging equipment. During the process of excavating for a new grave, the cemetery grave digger appeared to have backed his trailer with the grave digger over the top of a grave, leaving large ruts in the surface of the grave. I asked for the name of the culprit. I got a non-answer from FO Pat, “a guy” Really? I asked for a name FO Pat replied I think his name was “collie” another non-responsive answer. The city now owns and manages the cemetery and FO Pat does not know who digs the graves. The grave this dimwit backed over, Coach Sievert’s resting place and no one at the city level seems to care .
-Snow plow speed-(05:41.90) I reported I saw the snow plow (loader w/bucket) plowing the street in front of my home on Lincoln Drive at an excessive speed and that it was NOT Lonnie Johnson driving. Again note the badger line I got from Councilwoman Kay. “Did I witness this” Yeah I did and it was not Lonnie Johnson driving the heavy equipment. I also had reports from others in the community who witnessed the same excessive speed of the plow apparatus. I asked the question, what happens when the bucket snags a upheaval of the curb and gutter? Bucket gone, curb ripped up and something worse? Please note the feedback Lonnie (11:13.80), Lonnie (11:30.93) and of course Councilwoman Kay’s badger banter (12:45.27). I stated I did not recognize or know who was driving the plow apparatus, just it was not Lonnie Johnson. Mr. Johnson asked the question, “was that between your property and Orville Embrocks…” I did not realize at the time he was referring to an event a couple of years ago, where he snagged the water shut off pipe for my house, failed to let us know about it until after pipes burst in a severe cold snap and water began flooding out of my garage and they could not shut the water off because of the damage to the water shut off at the curb.
– Building permit on the Sunnyside Storage- This is where a retaining wall was called for on the building permit and the wall was not built. I asked the question was the final inspection done, it has been reported to me that several building permits were issued and fees were charged, but there was no final inspection by the Code Ordinance officer. So why isn’t the Finance Officer following up on this. I believe there is to be a report of approval of the work issued to the permit holder to clear the permit and so the city cannot come back and accused the permit holder of failures. Who is not doing their job?
-Executive Sessions– the present council and councils going back to 2012 do not have a working grasp of proper Executive Sessions. I found a tutorial on Executive Sessions from a 2015 Association of School Boards of South Dakota which gave a simplified explanation of Do’s and Don’ts of Executive Sessions to keep the council from violating the Executive Session statute 1-25-2. It takes Executive Sessions from proper Motion entering Executive Session to ending an Executive Session. The Mayor and each council person got a copy of the handout and city attorney Sam Nelson got a copy with the copy write permission from the author of the piece. (http:// http://convention.asbsd.org/wp-content/uploads/ts-of-Executive-Session.pdf)
– Website– still waiting- asked FoPat – still no launch date. I did ask if it would be in 2021.
– Jeff Nohava– I asked if the ambulance had a covid clean process. Mr. Nohava stated the ambulance complies with the protocols. I have seen how the ambulance has complied with other protocols in the past. Yeah.
– I emailed this question to the Finance Office, “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? Folks this is FO Pat’s response, her email to,” Mayor Dan, Please address Ms Larsen’s questions…Thank you in advance..Pat. So I asked again, Councilman David Larsen responded he was and I was told by another council person that Councilwoman Linda Talbott was the vice-president of the council. I had asked this question because when I got the boot, I did not know if the president and vice-president positions had changed. Now we all have the answer. Simply put the President of the Council takes over in the absence of the Mayor. The Vice-president takes over if both the Mayor and President of the Council are indisposed. So why was the question so far out of the FO purview she had to email Mayor Haeder to respond? Makes a body wonder, doesn’t it.
No one else had any input, but given certain responses given to me, I can see why other members of the public might not be willing to respond.
Agenda Item #6– Alcester EMS- Jeff Nohava- reporting the service has 10 EMT’s/Nurses (RN, LPN), 6 Drivers and 6 Student attending the Akron class. So are these 6 students taking the class in Akron going to be NREMT? Mr. Nohava mentioned the ambulance had received a grant for a Lifepak 15 AED.
Agenda Item #7 – Department Head Updates-
–Streets-Lonnie Johnson reported the need for an upgrade of the electrical panel in the city shop ($1800.00). Electrical Panel upgrade approved. Street Vehicle Discussion- again-so we go from needing another truck with the capability to pull a trailer to the proposed purchase of a 2015 Nissan Rogue S (compact sport utility vehicle) 45,500 miles, no warranty, all wheel drive, 4 cylinder, trailer hitch unknown (per Lonnie) for an “out-the-door price” $15,000 with the now stated purpose to go to conventions, trainings, read meters (do ya’ll have drive-by capabilities now?) (25:40.90)and FO Pat and Wanda drooling.(we get a car, we get a car) Now folks key here is where is the money coming from, Street Department? I will direct you back to Mr. Johnson’s statement about the losing our streets (11:13.80) and the proposal to take $15,000 from the 2nd penny fund (29:56.53) which was originally limited to capital assets expenditures to pay for a run-around car? We keep playing games with the condition of our streets; FDR which was a joke, intermittent patching of streets are like plastering 30 minute wrinkle cream on a 90 year-old woman who worked in the great outdoors most of her life, and too many streets with no curb and gutter to stabilise the street. But we apparently desperately need a “company car” to do what, shop? What are the drawbacks to this model of vehicle, reports of seven (7) recalls on the 2015 model – one of which involved the shift selector knob, complaints of vehicle control and engine failure but it does have a towing capability up to 1,000 pounds when it is properly fitted for towing. Motion was made to purchase the new toy and motion passed. My question is do we have to take a temporary loan out until the second penny sales tax fund has recovered enough to allow a $15K expenditure?
– Cemetery-Parker Dooly- No substantive update other than we need a new mower. Wish list— a Hustler commercial grade mower with a 60 inch deck with add-ons. Instructed to do more research (until the next meeting?)
–Water/Wastewater– Dale Pearson reported the department is working on the wiring and installation of the new pumps.
– Police – Officer Schuller reports the past month’s activity and reports the continuing recovery of Police Chief Christie.
– Golf Course– Councilman David Larsen reported the golf course is closed up for the season.
– Library– Councilman David Larsen reported the library is doing well.
Agenda Item #18 – Executive Session – if needed Councilwoman Kay moved to enter Executive Session 1-25-2 for Personnel, Second came from Councilman Ireland, with no discussion the quorum of four moved in to Executive Session at 6:46 P.M. Everyone but the Mayor and Councilman Larsen, Councilman Ireland, Councilwoman Reppe and Councilwoman Kay was dismissed into the hallway including Alcester City Attorney Nelson, FO Pat and Wanda Halvorson. Mayor Haeder and the four council members remained in Executive Session until Mayor Haeder declared the council of Executive Session at 7:21 P.M. No action was taken.
Agenda Item #8 – Legal Updates – Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson gave a report on city actions against the property owners of 307 Iowa and 205 Ofstad. No Executive Session was not needed.
Agenda Item #9 – 2021 Retainer Agreement – Frieberg, Nelson and Ask. No fees were disclosed during this discussion. There was an amendment regarding the mileage charge for attending regular meetings. The amendment was bungled. Councilman Ireland moved to approve the Retainer with the second coming from Councilwoman Kay. No discussion and a quorum of four aye vote.
Agenda Item #10 – Official Newspaper – Alcester Union-Hudsonite was declared the official newspaper with a quorum of four aye vote.
Agenda Item #11– Official Bank- Premier Bank was declared as the official bank of the city of Alcester with no discussion and a quorum of four aye vote.
Agenda Item #12 – Covid 19 Quarantine Policy- discussion. Working off the SD Department of Health version of a quarantine policy discussion was initiated with Councilwoman Melissa Kay apparently not sufficiently read-in to discuss. So why make any motions or decisions until the policy is in black and white and documented? Tentative language was discussed but not in document form for the meeting. Councilwoman Kay appeared to want to shove the policy through seemingly to cut corners of procedure, pushed for motion. So the council approved in a quorum of four aye vote on a Quarantine Policy.
Agenda Item #13 – Masks- To mandate or not to mandate, that is the question. FO Pat does not want to wear a mask! (1:44:36.07) FO Pat says she is a team player. As I said in the session, if the city mandates Masks the city office is the ‘face’ of the city. Lead by example, Madame FO you are the example. The language for any mandate will be available at the next meeting to be approved or amended.
Agenda Item #14 – Finance Office Updates
– Warrant approval- December warrants were approved by a quorum of 4 aye vote.
– CRF submissions – Covid Relief Fund $116,623.80 in claims submitted by Alcester. Need a complete listing. How many of the listing are wish list versus Need claims?
– 2021 Resolution of Fees dither-dither-pass
– 2021 Municipal Elections – Sign up
*Councilman David Larsen leaves the meeting due to indisposition at 8:46 P.M.
– 2021 Wages and Salaries called. I questioned the ‘quorum of three issue’. City Attorney Sam disagrees, saying it is in statute. I asked which statute? I was told by City Attorney Sam, you can look it up. Nice response Sam. You know I have often wondered why Ol’Glas and FO Pat wanted to dismiss a seasoned, city attorney as Mr. Haugland. Now I had suspected Pat had a ‘working’ relationship with the Frieberg firm and wanted to send some ‘tit for tat’ business their way. So the city replaced a seasoned attorney well versed in municipal law with a young ‘whipper-snapper’ whose Bar membership was shiny with new and in need of practical on-the-job-training in the area of municipal law. Councilman Ireland was kind enough to share the statute of SDCL 9:8:8 which I have read and will be researching and Yes, Mary Jane I still do read! I yield to the SDCL 9:8:8 with its most recent update of 2017. Still have a problem with merit raises for ‘perp’ walk experience. The motion to allow a 3% cost of living raise for full-time and part-time employees was passed with a ‘quorum of three (3)’ aye vote.
-Reminders and Updates.
Agenda Item #15 – HRC update – the Sh*House is near completion and no rent increase for the four-plex. I can see why they might not raise the rent on the four-plex when their view is now a Architectural Oxymoron.
Agenda Item #16 – Community Building Update. Report by FO Pat devolved into a We did this, We have that, we will , we will. There was an amusing moment when Councilwoman Kay asked the question, ‘who is we’. Shoot I figured the ‘WE’ was Pat and the Lint in her pocket.
Agenda Item #17 – Update of the Volunteer Roster- Add three, omit two. Again a quorum of three (3) vote of aye.
Agenda Item #19 – Adjourn – Again a quorum of three (3) vote of aye.
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.
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 ayes—1 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.
In the absence of Mayor Dan Haeder, President of the Council David Larsen opened the August 17, 2020, meeting of the Alcester City Council at 6:00 p.m. with council members Marcus Ireland, Darla Reppe, Linda Talbott, Melissa Kay, Vickie Larsen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.
The group recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Agenda Item #3 Agenda approval was given with no changes and recorded with a unanimous six (6) aye vote.
Agenda Item #4 Public Input – Since there was no public, the city councilors mentioned items not included in the agenda: Councilman David Larsen announced a vacancy on the Library Board due to a resignation. Comments were received concerning vandalism in the Park and the lights in the park. Announcement was made the Alcester Auditorium has officially been sold and the keys turned over on August 17, 2020.
Agenda Item #5 Water and Wastewater – no updates- City Attorney Sam Nelson advised the council of past practices of setting rates by ordinance rather than by resolution and suggested a resolution to allow the setting of rates by ordinance. South Dakota Municipal League describes the difference between ordinance and resolution as,
“Municipalities may enact, make, amend, revise, or repeal all such ordinances, resolutions, and regulations as may be proper and necessary to carry into effect the powers granted thereto (§9-19-3).
The word “ordinance” means a permanent legislative act within the limits of its powers of the governing body of a municipality (§9-19-1).
A resolution, on the other hand, means any determination, decision, or direction of the governing body of a municipality of a temporary or special character for the purpose of initiating, effecting, or carrying out its administrative duties and functions (§9-19-1)…The substance of the ordinance follows (§9-19-6).
Ordinances can only have one subject, which must be expressed in its title (§9-19-5). ..All ordinances shall be read twice by title with at least five days between each reading. If passed, the ordinances shall be signed by the mayor or acting mayor or president of the board of trustees, and filed with the finance officer. With few exceptions, ordinances, after being signed and filed, must be published at least once in the official newspaper (§9-19-7). The vote on the second reading of all ordinances must be recorded and published (§9-19-9).
Resolutions differ from ordinances in that any resolution may be passed after only one reading. The resolution must be published at length either separately or in the minutes of the meeting. The votes for and against the resolution must also be published (§9-19-8).
Unless an ordinance or resolution is drawn to take effect immediately upon passage, all ordinances and resolutions become effective on the twentieth day after passage and publication, unless suspended by operation of a referendum (§9-19-13).
Agenda Item #6 & #7 combined discussion as suggested by City Attorney Sam Nelson. Since Item #7 involved contractual matters the council went into Executive Session for the purposes of SDCL 1-25-2.3. The council moved into Executive Session at 6:13 p.m. and came out of Executive Session at 6:30 p.m. Once out of Executive Session the group moved on to open session of Agenda Item #6. A call for motion was made to allow contract negotiations to authorize the Mayor to sign the contract for the community building depending upon agreement of terms and conditions by both parties. Vote was taken with 4 ayes and 2 nays. Motion carried.
Agenda Item #8 – Updates Finance Office School sign contributions from the city to aid city advertising. This discussion had been postponed due to a question regarding public moneys spent as contributions. City Attorney Sam Nelson stated there was no problem regarding the contribution issues. Discussion took place regarding the advertising issue on the sign such as city events, closures and etc. with a motion to contribute $1,000.00 this year coming from Councilman Ireland. Vote was taken with five (5) ayes and one (1) nay. Motion carried. I was the nay vote. My problem is all the advertising points for fee based announcements to appear on the school sign would be on the city website and as easily accessed. Which begs the question, where is the city website and why is it not up? Yet?
Agenda Item #9 – City Assets – I asked for this agenda item to discuss the sale of properties held by the city to put those properties back on the tax rolls. The city has properties in its name which collects no property taxes, sales tax income or property improvement based income for the city. These properties would be appraised and not to be auctioned but placed with realtors for sale for residential use or main street business use.
Agenda Item #10 – Update for Volunteer Roster For Worker Compensation. Approved.
Agenda Item #11 – Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel to discuss the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer, employee or prospective public officer or employee.This was an agenda item I requested. The council went into Executive Session at 6:55 p.m. with only council members: David Larsen, Melissa Kay, Linda Talbot, Darla Reppe, Marcus Ireland and myself in the session. At 7:19 p.m. President of the Council David Larsen declared the council out of Executive Session. At this time the group delayed action on the question.
Agenda Item #12 – Adjourn – The council adjourned at 7:21 p.m.
Mayor pro-tem David Larsen called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present: Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman/Mayor pro-tem David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.
Agenda Item #2 – Pledge of Allegiance
Agenda Item #3– Approve agenda
Agenda Item #4 – Approve Minutes of May 4, 2020, and May 18, 2020.
Agenda Item #5 – Vacancy
Executive Session was called to interview candidates for mayor and for Ward II Council seat at 6:02 p.m.
Council came out of executive session at 6:35 p.m. At 6:36 p.m. Ward III Councilman Dan Haeder resigned as Ward III council representative. It is uncertain why Councilman Haeder chose to resign because he could hold his seat as Ward III Councilman and perform duties as appointed mayor pro tem without resignation. Upon acceptance of what appeared to be his written resignation, the council appointed Mr. Haeder as Mayor until April 2021. Ward III was declared vacant and posting should appear in the official newspaper to fill the vacancy.
Next up was the appointment of Marcus Ireland as Ward II representative.
Both Haeder and Ireland were administered the Oath of Office by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. After five minutes of meeting and in which two (2) agenda items were dealt with, Mayor Pro Tem David Larsen realized Mayor Dan Haeder had not taken over the meeting and unfortunately our Parliamentarian Attorney Sam missed the failure to transfer of power. Mayor Haeder took over directing the meeting and re-did agenda items 6 and 7. A note here it came to my attention that FO Jurrens had not verified eligibility of Mr. Ireland prior to her administration of the Oath of Office to him. I asked FO Jurrens this morning (June 2, 2020) if Mr. Ireland was in fact eligible, registered voter in the city and her answer to me. “I do not know, I will contact Callie or Marcus”. This troubles me because the quasi-election official failed to verify eligibility before she administered the Oath of Office. After my conversation with Finance Office Jurrens, I verified with Union County that Mr. Ireland was indeed a registered voter and eligible to hold city council member seat.
Agenda Item #6 – Council office. Councilman David Larsen retains his position as President of the Council and Councilwoman Linda Talbott was elected as Vice-President of the Council second in line for mayor should something prevent Mayor Haeder from executing his duties as Mayor before April of 2020.
Agenda Item #7 – Signatures Council voted to place the following individuals as signatories for the bank accounts and access to safe deposit boxes in the name of Alcester City. Signers are listed as Mayor Dan Haeder, Council President David Larsen, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens and Finance officer employee Wanda Halverson.
Agenda Item #8– AMKO-Mark DeRaney Bond Issue
Mr. DeRaney has been working on the refinance of the water bond. A Resolution (2020-07)was needed to set this refinance in motion. In light of the recent changes in the economy it was determined that banks were no long as willing to finance bonds so Mr. DeRaney was working with underwriter D.A. Davidson, out of Des Moines, Iowa, and with Zions Bank Trust Corporation as payee which was required for the change-over process. The resolution needed to be amended to reflect the changes.
In addition to the publication of Resolution 2020-07, a special meeting was needed to complete the transaction. Special meeting was set up for June 19. 2020, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium.
Agenda Item # 9 – ROCS transport -represented by Peter Smith. This agenda item was pushed back in the agenda line up due to the Planning and Zoning Hearing.
Agenda Item #12 – 7:00 p.m. -Planning and Zoning Hearing-(out of order) . It was determined an amendment was needed in Ordinance (2020-08) to create a planned development district which can write its own rules but cannot be an area smaller than a city block. (Chapter 5)
Agenda Item #9- ROCS Transport continued. This is a transport service to provide rides to appoints and etc in town and out of town. It was mentioned the Care Center was no longer transporting residents to appointments.
Agenda Item #10 – Emergency Siren testing and repairs- Discussion and information was shared concerning our emergency siren system by Axel Ericson and Pat Kast. Discussion covered a weekly routine test at a specific time and day to keep batteries operational and find any problems before any emergency.
Agenda Item #11 – Input-
I shared input which dealt with inaccuracies in meeting minutes. Specifically the Finance Officer editorializing the minutes and not facts of the meeting. Specifically the reference to the issue/input regarding contract variance. She opined the conversation between Attorney Sam and myself did not have anything to do with Alcester. The contract variance dealt specifically with a seated councilman and the finance officer of Alcester which definitely deals with Alcester. I also advised the council that Hawarden pool is closed and Beresford pool will not be open until June 15, 2020, and then only to residents of Beresford and the Beresford School District. I also mentioned an issue with the cemetery and an employee of the city with regarding to a squirrel jumping from a Pine tree on the cemetery property and causing a power outage down Lincoln Drive. The employee was mowing with headphones on, failed to hear the explosion, failed to quit mowing when the Mid-American Tech was on scene discussing the situation with me even when he saw us standing next to the Utility Truck with a Boom.
A gentlemen who had just moved into town was questioning the zoning and asked how to get and who to get a building permit from. He also asked where he might find the building codes. It would have been nice to be able to tell him he could find all that information on our website, BUT we do not have a website—WHY?
Oh and lest we forget Mike Burkes, purchase Lots 5 and 6 in on Beck Drive (just behind to the north of Randy Heuer)in the Numsen Addition and their proposed S***House. This is a residential neighborhood and not business, storage or commercial. This edifice S***House was according to Mr. Burke too big for just one lot. Mr. Heuer those covenants which protected the value of your property are deemed null, care to argue that premise with those of us complaining the covenants are not void. You have more to lose than me.
Agenda Item #15 – Pool Updates- Yeah, there was a discussion concerning the interview of pool personnel. It came to light the pool committee was not notified of the interviews and were kept out of the interview by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. Once again she was interview employees without a bona-fide councilmember present. WOW talk about major over reach. FO Jurrens you are still not a councilmember, you are still not a city administrator, your are still just the city bookkeeper!
Agenda Item #16– Chief of Police- Discussion of hours, and over -time.
Agenda Item # 19-
Ordinance 2020-05 Clovid 19 derivative, amended by repeal of all but the mayor’s call to close down. Passed
Ordinance 2020-06 Two meetings per month-Passed 3 Ayes, 2 nays. Comment was made by Mayor Haeder about the length of meetings being the reason for the change to two regular meetings per month. I submit Mayor Haeder you set the agenda and you are in charge of what business comes before the council and how much time is spend on that business not Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. Sir you control the length of the meeting, so in fact you do not need two regular meetings a month.
Agenda Item #20– Personnel Manual rewrite-Still in process. Department Heads, versus Committee versus Supervisors exercise in semantics. Additional discussion of Overtime for police Department which is exempt from Overtime versus Administrative Exempt from Overtime. Sam indicates that FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act is not applicable to Alcester. We better make it applicable or we will not be able to maintain a decent police department.
Agenda Item #21- Finance Office- Warrants dealt with. Notice the Finance Office was undergoing an Analytical Review. Rent for city offices at the old school will be in exchange for law care paid by city.
“THE SECRET OF FREEDOM LIES IN EDUCATING PEOPLE WHEREAS THE SECRET OF TYRANNY IS IN KEEPING THEM IGNORANT”.
President of the Alcester City Council (mayor pro tem) David Larsen called the Special Meeting of the Alcester City Council to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present; Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman Dan Haeder and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson seated at the council table.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the council and gallery.
Upon the completion of the pledge recitation and immediately prior to the call for approval of the agenda, I called ‘point of order’. I chose this method because Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens placed Input as Agenda Item #8 well behind any opportunity to point out errors in her agenda. I addressed the error of announcing in Agenda Item #4 Mayor and Ward II vacancy under subsection (a) was a motion to approve the appointment of Dan Haeder as mayor and I pointed out that this move had the effect of shutting out the voters of Alcester as well as the council who were unaware of proper procedure and were being ask to take Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens legal opinion on this. South Dakota Statute SDCL 9-9-8. Absence of sickness of mayor-Acting President-Acting mayor and SDCL 9-13-14.1, 9-13-14.2 and 9-12-14.3 deals with this issue as well as the 2014 Supplement 2.575 Vacancies in the SDML publication. In addition to the error of Agenda Item #4, Agenda Item #5 dealt with announcing the vacancy of Ward II and Ward III. At this point I asked Councilwoman Darla Reppe if she was vacating her seat on the council, she answered, “no she was not” which left Councilman Dan Haeder’s newly (shoot the shine was barely off the Ward III seat) appointed seat up for grabs. But according to statute, if the council appoints a sitting ‘brother’ councilman as mayor–he takes on all the duties of mayor pro tem until the next election and retains his vote as Ward III representative unless it creates a conflict and he must abstain. Kind of a complicated thing to grasp.
A spirited conversation ensued as you can witness in the video. Upon the conclusion of the discussion the motion was made to approve the agenda with agenda items #4 and #5 deleted from the agenda with 4 ayes and 1 nay. Agenda Items #4 and #5 were deleted.
Agenda Item #6– Signatures was called to allow Councilman David Larsen and Councilman Dan Haeder to power of signature with the bank.
Agenda Item #7-Credit Card Charge Limit to be raised and one additional card holder to be added for a grand total of $5,500.00. Now folks it seems $5,500.00 is out-of-line for emergency purchases. In fact I have been advised that $5,500.00 is excessive for emergency purposes for a city credit card. I agree. If you ever get an opportunity (IF) to view warrants of finance office purchases, instead of going down Alice’s rabbit hole you will enter the cluttered closet of our recycler of discarded households.
Agenda Item #8-Public Input- Now folks in the interests of open meetings and the public right of input on any business before the council the agenda item of public input is usually at numeral placement of item 3 or 4 to keep the meeting open to the public and not force them to stay in meeting ’til 9:00 p.m. and then the input is rushed ’cause the council is ‘tired’ and want to go home.
I did ask who all had access to city credit cards at varying amounts–Answer to name a few- Finance Officer Pat, Ass’t Finance Officer Wanda, Dale, Lonnie, Chief Christie, with the most recent addition of the librarian.
Agenda Item #9 – Swimming pool- The discussion should we or shouldn’t we open the pool and how do we handle it. Do we have enough personnel and so forth? Who is going to do the cleaning and how often. Dudes have ya ever seen the wipe down frequency of a doctor’s office? I can assure you the nurse does not hand you a wet wipe and tell you to wipe the exam table down, much less have a lifeguard tell a ten year old that once he/she has wiped their derriere to pull out a wet wipe ‘n’ wipe the toilet seat down A-N-D then wash their hands?
From the sounds of the discussion the pool may or may not be open. One caution, if one placards a known danger and yet opens the danger to the public, who gets sued jointly and severally? Sioux Falls has closed their pools, hint, hint, hint!
Agenda Item #10 Golf Course Clubhouse Manager- Wait did we not just hire a clubhouse manager? Yup and now we are at it again. Oh but wait to you hear. We had a committee of three council members who over-see and keep track of the arm of the city which involves the golf course. Now the agenda item is described as motion to hire Michael Croy. First question was from Councilwoman Talbott and to the effect what happened to the most recent club house hire? Answer, that person is no longer there. Really? Okay but the problem is that Councilwoman Talbott was one of the committee. H-m-m Then comes the question, when is the interview, Answer? Yup you guessed it. The interview already had happened WITHOUT Councilwoman Talbott. Next question from Councilwoman Talbott, why didn’t you let me know? No answer. W-O-W Last question who did the interview? Are ya ready?—–-why Councilman David Larsen and Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens! Really the town bookkeeper? Alcester Bookkeeper Jurrens has no authority and it appears she FAILED to notify at least one council member who did have the authority. Talk about getting run off the road and then bookkeeper Patricia drove her bus over the real councilwoman. Are we really going to put up with her over reach?