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

11/16/2020 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!