11/15/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

A river cuts through a rock not because of its power, but its persistence.

          Mayor Haeder called the November 15, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. recited the pledge of allegiance with Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples, Councilman Lukas Driesen and City Attorney Sam Nelson present for the city. 

          Mayor Header then called for the approval of the agenda.  The agenda was approved. 

Agenda Item #4 – Vacant Ward II seat interviews – None,  No one wants a “Pat on their back”   

Agenda Item #5 – Alcester Chamber of Commerce presentation by Kim Erickson and Christine Hakl.  The two young women gave a presentation on the December 3, 2021, event planned for ‘main street’ Alcester and which necessitated the closure of a portion of Iowa Street and Second Street.  Motion to block those portions off for the event was unanimously approved. 

Agenda Item #6 – Banner Engineering/Tanya Miller.  Ms. Miller was unable to make the meeting and would be rescheduling.

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input

(13:09.13) Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples wanted to point out a proof reading error in the minutes of the November 1, 2021.  Apparently the payment the city awards to the Alcester Fire Department of $1400.00 has become on more than one occasion $1,400.00.00.

(13:48.50)Vickie Larsen asked the following questions; the status of the Chesterman/Coca Cola sponsorship, Missing months of FOI request missing VISA payments for the months of May 2020, July 2020, September 2020, and September 2021.  (14:35.20) Payment was contingent upon a visual inspection by Lonnie Johnson of the street department.  But a check was cut on October 30, 2021, before Mr. Johnson ever left town to go to Cedar Rapids and before the vote by the council. 

(15:08.83)  I asked about a check in payment for a bill submitted by the city of Hawarden for $97.02 called maintenance.  I asked, “…did a resident ask for this?…”  FO Pat’s response (15:28.57) Care to try that one again FOPat?  You see I served a FOI on City Administrator Michael De Bruin and it proved to be interesting.

(15:53.27) I asked about a warrant for a clothing allowance payment of $115.98 for Wanda. Pat’s answer, Wanda gets a clothing allowance because she reads meters…Really? What does she need, extra long sleeves when she holds the meter reader? Does she need special boots to wade up to windows? By the way, FO Pat, where is the inventory of these pieces of clothing so if Wanda quits they can be check back in? H-m-m?

(16:22.63) Councilwoman Darla Reppe repeated the concern about alcohol being served in this event.

(16:39.90) Reporter Gordan Richard asked about the opening date for the Alcester Community Building.  (17:02.97) Pat’s response among many excuses was, “a water situation” which translates into the building cannot be opened to the public due to a fire code problem regarding water pressure or the lack thereof which may trace back to the water source hook up being before the water tower connect or after the water tower connect.  So tell us about the water hook up short cut that caused this oopsy-doodle.

(17:31.00) Councilman David Larsen moved from his seat at the council table to “stand and deliver” his rebuttal of perceived ‘mean’ comments.  (18:03.53)  “…45 years in town…Best city staff”  So what about what appears to be your Freudian slip by not including the finance office in that statement speaking of the ‘best city staff’  Let’s speak of the comment, “…Chamber Chair…”  the person writing on Facebook was not writing as the Chamber Chair anymore than a city councilperson singing in the front pew of her church is not singing as a city councilperson but as an individual penitent.  And yes sir, MY siding is dimpled and it shows.  (22:16.83) Councilman Larsen says, “..like Pat and Wanda whenever I was doing that stuff, I did not charge for the time spent or any mileage…”  Now sir you have been on the council for eight (8) years I think you said, did you or did you not see the OT hours accrued by that pair, did you or did you not hear and witness the health insurance stipend for Wanda and did you or did you not hear and witness that outburst by Wanda asking for on-call time.  (22:26.67) Councilman Larsen says, “…those of you that don’t like and I’m talking not to the group here but anybody in that camera, those you who don’t like the way the city is being run, Run for office…”  Sir, I Vickie Larsen did and was appointed, but you know how that turned out, don’t you.  In fact YOU voted to expel me.  You cannot have it both ways. Mr. Larsen goes on to say, “…Next April we have an election…there is going to be, I know three (3) spots available…petitions you can start circulating in February…The job pays $125 a month, we have at least two meetings, probably more, there are few benefits…there are some headaches and some sleepless nights and if you’re one of those people that would like to do that, sign on for the long term, ’cause it’s going to take you 6 or 7 months to know what’s going on… and for those of you who like the way things are going, might not hurt to tell somebody on the city staff you like the way things are going, ’cause like anybody else we like a “Pat-on-the-back” (23:40.50)

Agenda Item #8 – Jeff Nohava  (24:05.30), Mr. Nohava (26:01.36) states he, “was hired by the board”  So how much money are they paying ya.  You do realize that,

“…No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its directors, officers or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered  to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered, to pay any necessary costs and expenses, and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set for herein…”  (Articles of Incorporation NSO14556) (28:09.37)  

Mr. Nohava goes on to claim, (28:19.10) “We have hired an accountant and an attorney…”  and (28:57.23)  “…just part of my squad!…” 

(29:51.30)  Councilman David Larsen asks a question on funds.  (30:00.37) Mr. Nohava’s answer.  Mr. Nohava speaks of a power cot, folks these devices Stryker brand 6500 Power Pro w/XPS Power load combo runs $33,045.00 (30:27.90) and a 12 Lead PHYSIO AED will run somewhere around $36,000.00 to $50,000.00.  Mr. Nohava speaks of sharing the expenses. (31:24.63)  So does that mean the sharing will includes some portion of ownership, too? 

(32:53.00) Former President now Ass’t Director Jon Serck takes over speaking.  Mr. Serck speaks of the South Dakota Department of Health, Deputy Administrator of Rural Health Marty Link contacted the Alcester EMS about state interventions.  Folks Mr. Serck neglects to tell all.  I resigned from the ambulance in or around 2012.  Around 2020 I started getting calls regarding the ambulance from folks the ambulance owed money to, insurance company’s who were not getting billings and delinquent billing.  In fact there was a time frame billing for transports had not happened for three months.  You see folks, my name was on the documents as being one of the incorporators.  I was embarrassed to hear an entity I worked hard to get running, was running amok.  I contacted Mr. Serck asking pointed questions and was promptly lied to.  I asked was bill such-n-such paid and Mr. Serck told me it was.  I called the complainant and told him it had been paid and to let me know if he did not get it.  The complainant called me again, this time I told the complainant I would take care of the situations.  Mr. Serck got Vickie Larsen – the collector.  In that period of time, I did speak to Mr. Link and was not at all impressed.  All Mr. Serck and Fire Chief Kast could do was to whizz and moan about a fellow EMT.  Boys the situation to which I was treated was on your watch!  Trip reports had to be on time, Billing had to be on-time and bills had to be paid on time. 

          Regarding Mr. Serck’s (33:33.93) and Mr. Kast’s exuberance over the number of calls they have been experiencing.  On my watch our ambulance ran an annual average of around 100 ambulance calls.  This should not to be confused with the current number of calls because comparison is not apples to apples.  ‘Cause the powers that be,  mandated somewhere around 2020 the ambulance was to be paged out on every Fire call.  We had trouble with crewing during the day due to employers resistance to their employees leaving during the workday.  NOW all of a sudden no problem?  H-m-m! 

          Serck, Kast, Nohava and Mayor Haeder’s elation over the number of members on the ambulance roster.  Again not comparing apples to apples.  Our ambulance roster consisted solely of Nationally registered EMTs and Paramedics.  Today’s ambulance roster is made of a handle full of EMT’s, non- EMT Drivers, Nurses given special permissions and so on due to changes in regulations.  (34:48.03) 

          Again I do want to draw your attention to the financial side of the ambulance’s inability to generate funds.  You do the math, when I was on the ambulance we had calls to Hawarden, Canton, Sioux Falls, Sioux City and Vermillion.  Load fee was $300 with $8.00 per loaded mile. so Hawarden was $364.00, Canton was $484.00, Sioux Falls was $660.00*, Sioux City was $684.00 and Vermillion was $556.00 billable.  Spread that over 100 calls at a simplified average amount for the sake of example. $549.60 (100 calls) =$54,960.00.   Now, all transfers go to Hawarden and at $364.00 (100 calls) = $36,400.00    You do the math.  I was there, folks we paid a brand-new ambulance off in five years. *majority of our calls were going to Sioux Falls, where the patient or family wanted to go.

Agenda Item #9 – Legal Updates

Agenda Item #10 – Redistricting  Here we go again and again, and again and again.  Redistricting happened without us.  We had Attorney Sam advising us, yet we managed to miss the train.  We dinked around and dinked around, wasted our attorney’s time and our money.  No resolution but we sure did manage to whizz legal fees down our collective pant legs. (40:21.53) Nope, We’re Not Happy!

Agenda Item #11 – Updated 2021 Council committee and Chairperson.  How many revisions does that now make.

(43:57.97)  Mayor insists there are no classes for Elected Officials,  Au contraire Monsieur Maire, there are classes, seminars, tutorials, and SDML handout manuals for Elected officials (https://www.sdmunicipalleague.org/vertical/Sites/%7B2540DC39-A742-459F-8CAF-7839ECF21E89%7D/uploads/Aldermanic_Form_for_Packets_2021.pdf.

Agenda Item #12   Chair person Updates –

Agenda Item #13 – Police Dept  pushed back Chief was called away.

Agenda Item #14 – Golf Course

Agenda Item #15 – Community Building- Hiring more staff for an uncertain start

Agenda Item #16 – Finance Office

Agenda Item #17 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 In executive session for approximately 1/2 hour with no decisions made in open session.  Both Pat and Wanda were included in the Executive Session.

Agenda Item #13 – Return to Police Department  Chief Schuller has returned.  Austin was awarded his on-call time as he presented again with chafing from Mayor Haeder perhaps he should have refrained from the Pat-on-the-Back he allowed with the previous police officers.

Agenda Item # 18 – Adjournment  7:53 p.m.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                             605-934-2287      605-770-7929

Councilman David Larsen                  605-934-2434

Councilwoman Darla Reppe               605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot              605-254-3074

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples

Councilman Lukas Driesen

Patricia Jurrens                                  605-934-2517

11/09/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

You as a patient have the right to tell the ambulance where to take you, and, if they’re able to do so safely, they usually will. However, some ambulances are assigned specific “zones” and are not allowed to transport patients outside of those territories.

insert photo

Folks I heard about this impending fiasco, so I went down to see for myself. As you can see from the photo it is true.

It is sad to watch something you helped build be ripped down and stomped into oblivion.

In 1996 after what I believe was a long absence of an Alcester Ambulance, the PA Diane Weber started recruiting to restart our city ambulance.  I remember her coming across the street, asking if I would take the class so we could get an ambulance back in town.  I was a Girl Scout leader at the time and every time I took the girls on a trip out of town, I have to find a nurse or first aider to come with us.  I immediately said yes, I could smite two birds with one stethoscope.  So I took the class.  Our first class was somewhere around 30 people willing and eager to take the training and testing to become EMT’s and bring our ambulance back.  And so began our journey.

As we journeyed through the anatomical systems of the body, wandered through the lobes of the brain, learned signs and symptoms, the treatment of catastrophes caused by trauma’s of all kinds, how to extricate without causing further damage to the patient, how to keep ourselves safe on scene, have situational awareness and EVOC (Emergency Vehicle Operations Course)  We had our practical testing which was hands on treatments and then we had the written test.  I had my National Certification as an EMT Basic.  Little did we know that was the easy part.

Now we had to purchase an ambulance because the city had donated the old ambulance to Hawarden, we had to find a place to keep it, radios and pages and equipment. $$$$$  We had limited access to the funds left over from the previous ambulance group, but now we had to raise money to pay for the ambulance vehicle, cots, radios and all the stocking of an operating ambulance.  We were so proud and excited.   Our community backed us all the way, but it was slow going.  It took almost two years and in 1998 we were up and running our own ambulance, but we did it. 

The crew was entirely voluntary.  Some runs over a meal-time we got a quick meal on the ambulance tab.  Some runs we didn’t even make it back to Alcester before we were called out again on an emergency, but we always, always took our patients to the hospital of their choice.  Our rate was $300 load fee, and $8.00 per loaded mile which put a trip to Hawarden at $364.00 and a trip to Sioux Falls at $620.00  Paula handled the administrative action, I handled the books and the laundry when I couldn’t trade dirty laundry for clean at the hospital and Dan handled all the maintenance.

When I left in 2012, we had $250K in the ambulance account.  We were saving our money to be able to build our own ambulance facility because due to HIPPA we were obligated to keep all records secure and confidential plus we needed an upgrade ambulance.

Unfortunately around 2019 I began to get phone calls that an ambulance check had bounced, ambulance payments were very late or insurance companies did not have patient trip billings yet.  I was shocked and embarrassed our ambulance had reached such condition.

I would like to acknowledge the current members of the Alcester Ambulance who have worked hard to get their certification/training and are willing to donate their time to the residents of Alcester.

However I do not condone paying Mr. No-hava no-sense $22,000 consulting fee and taking that money off the top.  Add to that it appears that Mr. No-hava no-sense has promoted a program where the Alcester Ambulance can only transport Alcester residents to Hawarden and IF you do not want to go to Hawarden they just will not show up.  I sure hope that is not the case!  Some lawyer is gonna  make a whole lotta money.

Folks when we took the class we were warned if we did not take the patient where they wanted to go, that would be the equivalent of kidnapping.  If ya’ll took them across the state line, well then that was a federal case!

Mr. No-hava clue, you ranted and raved about me.  I asked reasonable questions after I identified myself, you told me  “…I gotta go, I have an ambulance call…” and hung up.  When I called the Hawarden City Office to ask those questions, is Hawarden ambulance an arm of the city or an arm of the hospital and was the city of Hawarden aware you were being paid a fee of what I believed to $22K consulting fee by the Alcester Ambulance you were busy calling me back.  According to the message you left you managed to resolve the ambulance call within the space of three minutes  So Mr. No-hava-clue do you have an answer for us on how you were hauling in a substantial consulting fee while the City of Hawarden footed the bill of YOUR training.  I had more questions but you just wanted to rant at me, telling me, “…You sit and listen…”  You kept hollering I was wrong!  Well sir, I was trying to get truthful answers to my question.  Like the $22K and you told me, “…it is none of your (Vickie Larsen’s) business…”  I beg to differ with you.  It is my business!  It is the business of my neighbors.

05/03/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

Being a leader doesn’t require a title; Having a title doesn’t make you one.

Mayor Dan Haeder called the May 3, 2021, city council meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Council members present were Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and City Attorney Sam Nelson with Councilman Marcus Ireland participating via telephone. 

Agenda Item #3 (old council) – Mayor Haeder called for approval of the agenda.  At this point I spoke up (0:03:13.37) and called, “Point of Order” concerning the errors in the agenda which was poorly worded and was improper in agenda item placement, specifically the placement of Agenda Item #5 – public input  under new council after Agenda Items #2 under new council, #3 under new council starting a kerfuffle.  There was a admonition to me, “…you do not have the right…”  I disagree. Mayor Haeder continued with his obdurate question for approval of a error ridden agenda.  Mayor Haeder, it is your job to craft the agenda and make sure the city bookkeeper types it up properly.  Despite my warning about the error ridden agenda, Mayor Haeder got the question of agenda approval as far as discussion phase where Councilman Marcus Ireland pointed out the errors and voice his opinion the errors of language and error of placement be cured before any vote be taken.  So you will hear the kerfuffle of discussions of, “… how do we do this…”  Finally the amendments (change of language and change of order) to the agenda are in place and the approval of the agenda in finally voted.

Agenda Item #4 – Approval of the minutes of April 4th and April 19th council meetings was voted.

Agenda Item #5 – Warrants were approved by vote.

Agenda Item #6 – Adjourn the old council voted.  With that vote completed and Mayor Haeder declared the meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m..  David Larsen, Melissa Kay went to seats in the gallery and Marcus Ireland remained on the telephone.

Agenda Item new council #1 At 6:14 p.m. Mayor-elect Dan Haeder called the new council meeting to order with Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman-elect Cyndi Peeples and City Attorney Sam Nelson present.

Agenda Item  new council agenda #2– New Council Oaths

Oath of Office administered to Cyndi Peeples Ward II by City Attorney Sam Nelson and Oath of Office administered to Dan Haeder Mayor by City Attorney Sam Nelson so with Councilwoman Peeples and Mayor Haeder seated the new council moved onto Agenda Item #5 moved forward by amendment during the old council.

Mayor Haeder appointed David Larsen to one of the two vacant Ward II seats, remaining council voted to approve the Mayor’s appointment.  Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson administered the Oath of Office to Mr. Larsen. (0:20:48.00)

Agenda Item new council #5 – Public Input was called. 

Vickie Larsen responded with comments on the input agenda item placement. 

I raised the question (0:26:14.70) of SLRC Codified Law 9-14-42. Criminal background check of persons seeking employment with municipalities.  Each person over eighteen years of age seeking employment with a municipality shall submit, subject to the discretion of the municipality, to a state and federal criminal background investigation by means of fingerprint checks by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The municipality may submit completed fingerprint cards to the Division of Criminal Investigation before the prospective new employee enters into service. Upon completion of the state and federal criminal background check, the Division of Criminal Investigation shall forward to the municipality all information obtained as a result of the check. Failure to submit or cooperate with the criminal background investigation is grounds for denial of an application.  Source: SL 2009, ch. 36, § 1.

I questioned last meeting about direct deposit of payroll checks.  Now we have HSA Health Savings Accounts so the city (Finance Officer) needs to add the option of Direct Deposit of those monies (0:26:33.23)

I asked why the wheel loader repair was not bid due to the $12,629.37 price tag (0:27:04.77)  Councilman David Larsen responded (0:30:06.40) the wheel loader is used frequently and the repairs needed a week to complete all repairs.  So I question the procedure of approving the expenditure for the wheel-loader after the fact of repair and without bid.  Councilman Larsen states this was an emergency situation. So was there no routine maintenance plan for this piece of ‘necessary’ use equipment that would have mitigated the magnitude of the repairs?

David Housen (sp) (0:31:48.70)addressed the council to share his interest in purchasing lots 10 & 11 on Beck Drive to build a ranch style. (not a Sh*thouse)

Melissa Kay former Alcester city councilwoman (0:36:53.23) addressed the council to share her opinion on the Ward III vacancy.  I address Ms. Kay as a  councilwoman ’cause her favored form of address ‘alderman’ is defined in the, “A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue”, the Second Edition, Corrected and Enlarged by Francis Grose is defined in archaic form using the medial S, “a roafted turkey, garnifhed with faufages, the latter are fuppofed to reprefent the gold chain worn by thofe magiftratef”  and translated to “a roasted turkey, garnished with sausages, the latter are supposed to represent the gold chain worn by those magistrates.”  Heaven help me if I referred to her as a turkey with sausages around her neck.  Ms. Kay alleged ‘mis-conduct’ referring to an executive session in the October 7th meeting of the Alcester City Council and of which I was a seated councilwoman at the time.  At the motion of that executive session and in the discussion before approval, I insisted upon open, public session if the session were to discuss me and that my camera keep rolling to be fully, publicly open.  My concern was a he-said, she-said scenario which I wanted to protect against.   I was told I did not have any right and the closure of the session was to protect the council. I resisted and Alcester Police Officer Schuller had been summoned to be on-hand to forcibly remove my camera and ‘deal’ with me in the event I resisted.  My camera was rolling from the time of the opening of the meeting at 6:00 pm until the time I capitulated approximately 22 minutes later when I shut the camera down and surrendered the camera to Police Officer Schuller who removed the camera from the room.  The video of those 22 minutes of that meeting was not uploaded to my blog for public consumption but gives lie to the accusation of misconduct but does bring the question Ms. Kay your characterization of misconduct was in executive session, no video, no notes yet you feel comfortable bringing this into an open session?

Darla Reppe brought the question of when can bookings be made for the ‘community building”?

Marcus Ireland touched on the Christmas lights in the park.  The Christmas lights will be taken down.  The observation being made if we cannot take the Christmas lights in a timely manner, we should put them up.

With Marcus Ireland’s contribution, Public Input was at an end.

Agenda Item new council #3 – Executive session was called for the purpose of interview of appointment candidates.  The council entered into executive session at 6:44 p.m. Council members remaining:  Mayor Haeder, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples and Marcus Ireland on telephone.

Order of interviews was Vickie Larsen Ward III, Dale Jurrens Ward III and Brian Johnson Ward II.

At 7:53 p.m. Mayor Haeder declared the council out of executive session.  Gallery entered the council room.  Ward III vacancy was not filled, no motion and no action.  Brian Johnson’s appointment to fill the Ward II vacancy was approved by the council four (4) ayes and one (1) abstention. Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson administered the Oath of Office to Brian Johnson and Councilman Johnson took his seat at the council table.

Agenda Item new council #4 – Election of President and Vice-President of the Council was called with the nomination of Councilman David Larsen as President and the nomination of Councilwoman Linda Talbott as Vice-President.  In separate votes the council approve the nominations of Councilman Larsen and Councilwoman Talbott.

Agenda Item new council #6 – Department Updates

Agenda Item new council #7 – Legal Updates – City Attorney Sam Nelson announced he would be away for somewhere between 30-60 days. Executive Session for legal not needed.

Agenda Item new council #8 – Christmas Lights removed.

Agenda Item new council #9 – Alcester Fairgrounds water-leak.  (1:22:02.67)  Mayor Haeder was approached by Commissioner about a water leak and according to Mayor Haeder the conversation when like this, the commissioner told Mayor Haeder that the county leases this ground from the city therefore the city is monetarily responsible for the cost of repairs around $5K-$10K.  There is a meter in the tree line to the North of the Fairgrounds.  This is a city waterline and the city is charged for the water.  Note in the video ‘they’ and gosh only knows who ‘they’ are have been given a wrench to turn the water on during use of the fairgrounds and off (?) when the fairgrounds are not use.  Now folks to the best of my knowledge this water usage is not assessed to the county and obviously Mayor Haeder appears to be ignorant of the Lease language.  Wanna guess who is paying for that water usage?  (1:26:55.87) I attempted to give the Mayor information about the 99 year lease between the city and the county.  Yeah, the Mayor did not want to know the language of the Lease, he said it is irrelevant.  Really?  Mayor apparently wants to be willfully ignorant.

Agenda Item new council #10 – Lifeguards  approve hire.

Agenda Item new council #11 – Executive Session for 1-25-2.1 Personnel not needed – well Ms. Kay doesn’t need to discuss personnel(?) or what-ever-it-was-discussed anymore.

Agenda Item new council #12 – Finance Office- (1:33:49.93) I want to address one  item brought up by Mayor Haeder. Mayor Haeder brought up Mr. Nohava concerning money for Alcester EMS and donations for Alcester EMS.  Folks I would like to take this opportunity to do some math for you my background for this is the fact I handled the books and participated in the billing process for Alcester EMS while I was a part of the service and we responded to 100 medical calls per year.  There was an edict handed to the Alcester public, you will be transported to Hawarden Hospital whether you want to go there or not.  The billing fee for Alcester EMS was $300.00 load fee plus $8.00/per loaded mile for a total of $364.00 for a trip to Hawarden.  For a trip to a Sioux Falls Hospital was the $300 load fee plus $8.00/loaded mile fee for a total of $660.00.  So if an Alcester patient is charged $364.00 the Hawarden trip and then the Alcester patient has to go to Sioux Falls or Sioux City the Hawarden Ambulance (Jeff Nohava?) gets the $660.00 fee.  So the Alcester patient/insurance could possibly be charged $1024.00 for the same medical event.  Last I heard Mr. Nohava is receiving a $22.00/hour consulting fee from Alcester EMS.  In addition, the Alcester ambulance is now responding with the Alcester Fire Department with apparently no billing options but the expenses to roll the ambulance are still accruing.  So on the premise the Alcester EMS had 30 transports per year to Hawarden at $364.00 per call ($10,920.00) plus 70 transports per year to Sioux Falls at $660.00 ($46,200.00) equaling an income of $57,120.00.  Now compare that figure to the mandatory transport to Hawarden $364.00 per trip for 100 trips per year for a total income $36,400.00, a difference of $20,720.00 per year.  That is just the medical transports one has to add the negative operational cost (gas, oil wear and tear) of the ambulance on the fire calls.  Just saying, No wonder the ambulance is leaking money like micro-sand in the proverbial hour glass.

Agenda item new council #13 – re-evaluation of mask mandate.

Agenda item new council #13– (not my error here, that is what the agenda read) HRC update

Agenda item new council #14 – Fairboard Update-none

Agenda item new council #15 – Community Building  Kitchen equipment request for up to $75,000.00 for kitchen equipment.  Council voted approval.

Agenda item new council #16 – Update volunteer roster.  Council voted approval.

Agenda Item new council #17 – Adjourn  Council voted approval.  Adjourned at 9:07 p.m.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilwoman Cyndi Peeples

Councilman Brian Johnson

12/21/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda Item #14 – Masks- Discussion with motions.

Agenda Item #15 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel S.D. Codified Laws § 1-25-2 (“(1) Discussing the qualifications, competence, performance, character or fitness of any public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee. The term, employee, does not include any independent contractor;”)

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

insert video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda Item #12 – 2021 Resolution of Fees DELETED

Agenda Item #13 – Covid 19 Quarantine Police DELETED

Agenda Item #14 – Masks DELETED

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

Agenda Item #16 – Adjourn  6:17 PM

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

11/16/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Vickie,  “Not tonight”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda # Finance Office

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

Adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

10/05/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

a taxpayer’s opinion

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

Mark Twain

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

Agenda Item #3 – Approve the agenda.

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

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

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

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

(00:07:46.00) “Volunteer’s time?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda #6 – Street Updates

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

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

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

Agenda #10 – Pleasant Hill- Parker Dooley not present

Agenda #11 – Golf Course Update

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

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

Agenda #15 – Executive Session – Not needed

Agenda #16 – Finance Office

Updates, Warrants

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

Reminders and Updates

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

Agenda #17 – HRC  Meeting to be announced

Agenda #18 – Alcester Community Center Update

Agenda #19 – EMS

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

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

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

Agenda #20 – Update volunteer roster.  None

Agenda #21 – Executive session – not needed

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

Check out your patients rights!