04/19/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

(ongoing criminality?)

Mayor Dan Haeder called the April 19, 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, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and City Attorney Sam Nelson with Councilman Marcus Ireland participating via telephone. 

Agenda Item #3 – Mayor Haeder called for Approval of the Agenda.  An adjustment was made to add an additional Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.3 Legal Contract to Agenda Item #6.  Like we really needed another Executive session last night.

Agenda Item #4 – Public Input – 

*Vickie Larsen – Wheel Loader throwing good money after bad.  (0:07:07.00)  Direct Deposit for employees.  I ask the question does the city offer direct deposit to its employees.  Finance Office Jurrens answer was no. (0:37:70)  So Why not?  Don’t know how FOPat?  Too much work for you?  I handed out ‘how to direct deposit’ to the council with a detailed packet to Mayor Haeder.  The detailed packet I handed to Mayor Haeder explained how direct deposit would save the city money. Folks keep this mind, ’til you get to the HSA Healthcare provider change Agenda Item #10 (0:54:42.90) and (0:55:14.87)

*Don Drown – (0:10:10.10) Junk and dead cars in the city.  Mr. Drown was asked by Attorney Sam Nelson, “have you contacted the city?” (0:14:01.53)  Mr. Drown answered, “…numerous times…” (0:14:12.23)  Attorney Sam tells Mr. Drown to keep contacting the city office to establish a time line (0:14:19.00)  Mayor Haeder says, to talk to him, talk to your councilmember (0:15:18.20)  I asked about the a complaint form (0:16:11.77)  FOPat answers the city has a form, really?  Why didn’t you have Mr. Drown fill out a complaint when he spoke to you all those numerous times?  Councilman David Larsen asked, “…Are they (the complaint forms) on the website (0:16:28.57)  FOPat replied, : No, but I can put them on it….What you waiting for, why are ya draggin’ your feet FOPat?

*Councilwoman Darla Reppe – (0:17:37.20) Musical Garbage Cans Game the Alcester home version.  Frost is out, time to change back.  (0:18:36.33) Councilwoman Talbott thinks we should keep the game of Musical Garbage Cans going and FOPat well FOPat says (0:18:45.97), “Actually Loren loves it…”  Of course “Loren” loves it, he can get into town and get out of town so he can pick up more garbage on the route and get home.  He does not have to pay the street maintenance fee!

*Councilwoman Melissa Kay – Interstate 29 Sign –  My advice to Councilwoman Kay, do your homework before you suggest another Bambee-like fiasco such as interstate signage.  For instance madam Kay, SDCL 31-29-1 through SDCL 31-29-87.  That is just the South Dakota, the Union County, local licensing fees.  Then there is the IOWADOT (Iowa Outdoor Advertising Regulations of Interstate Highways) and then there is the Linchpin Article, How to Effectively Use Outdoor and Billboard Advertising at https://linchpinseo.com/the-guide-to-outdoor-advertising/    updated 03/16/2021 author Team Linchpin.  Folks I took the advertising course in school.  Leisure Sports looked into Bill Board advertising when we became a Recreational Vehicle Dealer.  Want to know the potential costs, let’s see there is the annual state licensing permit ranging from $16 to $72 per sign based upon size, State zoning restrictions apply, County zoning restrictions apply, Cannot be in public right-of-way or over-hang it, the maximum area of one sign can be 1200 sq ft and cannot exceed thirty feet in height and 60 feet in length. private property contract for land rent for structure of the sign, and now the biggie. Traditional billboard require a monthly payment of $250.00 to $14,000.00 or more.  Digital billboards monthly payments start from $1200.00 to $15,000.00 or more.  Now folks FOPat is all hot-to-trot to replace the decrepit signs North of Alcester and South of Alcester.  There would be tear down fees, licensing fees from South Dakota and Union County along with any zoning changes along with any restriction as to content of the signage. (0:20:30.97)

Agenda Item #5 – Wastewater Facility with presentation by Banner Representative Ms. Tanya Miller.  (0:23:11.03)  Duties of the engineering, too bad the city did not have this in place during the SRTS fiasco which bought the city a tort suit.  (0:34:23.80)  Executive session #1 SDCL 1-25-2.3 Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters;  Length of session was 6:34 pm – 7:02 pm equaling a total time of 28 minutes.

Agenda Item #6 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.3 Consulting with legal counsel or reviewing communications from legal counsel about proposed or pending litigation or contractual matters;  discussion and decision to settle the claims of Terry and Jessica Christensen under any terms and conditions recommended by outside counsel.  Length of session was 7:08 pm – 7:17 pm for a total discussion time of  eight (8) minutes.

Agenda Item #7 – Executive Session SDCL 1-25-2.1 Personnel 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;Motion made by Councilwoman Melissa Kay.  The group entered Executive Session at 7:19 pm and was out of Executive session at 8:09 pm for a total time of 50 minutes.  Boy-howdy somebody was in deep do-do.

Agenda Item #8 – Library- Hired a part-time summer read person at $9.60 per hour.

Agenda Item #9 – Wheel Loader – bill $12,629.37  The Wheel Loader which was purchased used at a cost of $39,500.00 and as I remember to work on streets.  Ours wheel loader is a 2000 John Deere 544 (K) unknown hours with a speculative value somewhere around $15K to $30K in running condition.  So it appears the city just did $12,629.37 worth of repairs on a machine valued at or around $12K and that doesn’t include the hauling charge to and from Sioux City? (0:48:01.00) diagnosis:

*Leak in Boom Lift

*Replace O-rings

*Bad U joint

*Oil

*Rebuild Fuel Pump

*Full Service

*Alarms going off due to bad connector

*Issues with shifting

*Issues with Steering

(0:51:49.50) leave it up to the operators.  What operators?  Why would we leave a $12629.37 bill in the hands of operators?  Vote went to pay the $12,629.37 without question.

Agenda Item #10 – Health Plan change from Sanford to Wellmark with HSA option.  (0:54:42.90)  Pat’s health plan.  So Pat cannot handle direct deposit for the city employees but she is more than willing to take on the management of an HSA for the employees and the city?  Really it seems that FOPat is playing Robin Williams’  “Pinocchio, the Home Game” again.

Agenda Item #11 – Department Head reports –

Garbage pick-up moved to accommodate Park Street and Sixth Street rip up. (1:06:09.97)

Ordinances to be reviewed in the paper.

Agenda Item #12 – Reminders and Updates

Agenda Item #13 – Adjourn  8:35 pm

Karma

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland     605-370-1193

04/05/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

“Don’t lie to me unless you’re absolutely sure that I will never find out the truth”

(ongoing criminality?)

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!

Agenda Item #22 – Adjourn  8:22 P.M.

KARMA

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland     605-370-1193

03/15/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

“Without dreams, there can be no courage. And without courage, there can be no action.” 

Wim Wenders

Mayor Dan Haeder called the March 15, 2021, city council meeting to order with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Councilmembers present were Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, and Councilwoman Melissa Kay with Councilman Marcus Ireland via telephone.  No city attorney present.

Mayor Haeder called for Approval of the Agenda.

About five minutes into the meeting chiming started. A phone.

At 6:02 p.m. Mayor Haeder opened the Alcester Board of Equalization with just one appeal of valuation.  Karen Huenink was present to make appeal the valuation of the Huenink home.  The council meandered through the process of figuring out the percentage rise in value, the basis used to increase the value, and trying to answer the question, “…how did they know about updates/upgrades to raise the valuation?” (0:12:29.23) to which FOPat answered through building permits and routine valuation hikes.

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input  Bret Doering (0:29:39.20)was present to voice his appreciation and to personally thank our police department for their quick response to the break-in of his car-wash operation.

Councilwoman Darla Reppe (0:31:32.30)reported three issues.  John Wegh (0:31:43.47) local funeral home director contacted Councilwoman Reppe concerning street and alley approach failures to his business.  Councilwoman Reppe went on to report contact with the parents of lifeguards (0:34:28.17) employed by the city were concerned about WSI and lifeguard certification fees.  Most communities pay for the certifications, Alcester pays for one-half of the certification fee.  The fees are reported to be around $300.00.  The council considered the question, if the city wishes to retain lifeguards it would be in their best interests to pay the whole fee but in a contact situation where the lifeguard must work for a specific amount of time once they have certified at the expense of the city.  Councilwoman Reppe mentioned the continuation of an exposed pipe (0:41:23.90) in Lincoln Circle in which a street pipe was exposed and presented a safety issue.

Councilman David Larsen (0:42:55.83) asked a question regarding the garbage route which has presented some safety issues for our older residents who must schlep their garbage cans across the street to have the garbage truck pick up their garbage “to preserve the street”.  Evidently the garbage truck is not ambidextrous, its arm only swings one way.

Agenda Item #6 – Email Scam-  Emails were sent to some residents with Mayor Haeder listed as the sender.  He was not.  Emails requested help using the purchase of gift card.

Agenda Item #7 – Proper Police Department contact procedure. 

Agenda Item #8 – Proposed Street Maintenance – Mayor says be patient, it is not going to happen right away.  Folks prior to 2012 the street department would make their recommendation to the mayor, the street committee would also go out in the spring of the year to evaluate street conditions with those reports compared to previous years treatments and decisions would be made to take care those problem areas on a 3-4 year revolving plan.  Now it is not just the streets but the utility infrastructure under those street which needs attention.  My opinion the city needs to adopt a schedule and a plan of action with funding to repair our streets from west to east.

Agenda Item #9 – Library Board- the council voted to seat Cosette Heman for the three year term given up by Pam Hughes.

Agenda Item #10 – Paint South Dakota 2021- Still needs a chairperson and volunteer crews.  Deadline is April 15th, 2021 for implementation.  Will be placed on the April agenda.

Agenda Item #11 – Surplus chairs- Evidently Alcester EMS is in need of chairs, so the city elected to donate 20 chairs to the organization.

About 64 minutes into the meeting phone chiming continues on and off every minute or so. Again the chiming starts at about 68-69 minutes into the meeting. Yeah Wanda’s phone messaging her. Can we not find a solution to the chiming phone causing interruptions?

Agenda Item #12 – Personnel Policy Manual Changes.  Several observations here.  Human Resource Guru Councilwoman Kay and FOPat have been pushing the merit, longevity and of course the all-time favorite employee evaluation.  Motivation?  Well let’s see, when an employee starts at the top of the wage scale raises are limited to cost-of-living raises.  So after much, much discussion and conversation dealing with personal experiences and expectations from the mayor Resolution 2021-05 amendment to the Personnel Policy was moved to first reading.

Resolution 2021-06 amendment to the Personnel Policy was introduced with a cautionary warning from Councilwoman Darla Reppe who had done some research on the issue.  Councilwoman Reppe had been warned the city should steer clear of any policy change as outline in this resolution because it becomes a major problem. Vote was taken with four aye and one nay (Councilwoman Reppe)

Resolution 2021-07 Amendment to the Personnel Policy, was presented for first reading.  The Mayor asked, “What is the highest annual salary for an employee right now…” (1:29:56.77) FOPat answered, “… it is between the Chief and myself…” (1:30:14.57)  then Mayor Haeder asks, “…what number is that…” (1:30:22.33) and after a long, calculating pause Mayor Haeder paraphrased, “…we’ll call it $50K” (1:31:10.23) Resolution approved for first reading with amendment to percentages cut in half.

Agenda Item #13 – Legal – Settlement Cap for SRTS Lawsuit against City of Alcester, McLaury Engineering by Christensen.  Cap of $10K by city or rather city liability insurance(01:43:37.40) Mayor Haeder says, “…I don’t feel bad about them (Alcester liability insurance carrier) paying…” and like amount to be matched by co-respondent McLaury Engineering.  Vote approved the cap settlement amount with the attorneys to be advised of the vote.

Agenda Item #14 – Reminders and Updates

Agenda Item #15 – Executive Session needed by Councilwoman Melissa Kay 1-25-2.1 Personnel.  Councilwoman Kay instructed Wanda Halverson to stay in the session.  Into Executive Session at 7:49 P.M. and out of Executive Session at 7:55 P.M.

Agenda Item #16 – Adjourn  City Council Adjourned at 7:56 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland    605-370-1193

02/15/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

          The February 15, 2021,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person.  Councilman Marcus Ireland and Councilwoman Darla Reppe, were counted present via telephone and City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent but I understand(by hear-say not through any announcement) available by phone if needed.  H-m-m

          Agenda Item #3 – Approval of Agenda –  Call to approve the agenda, motion was made, second was made and with no discussion the motion was approve by a five (5) count unanimous aye vote.  Three in person and two by telephone.

          Agenda Item #4 – Public Input – I (Vickie Larsen) started out. 

Why a custom built computer?  Why not use one of those extra Cares Computers?

Now compare what was said in council (01:04:08.93) Identical, really? I will deal with that one in another blog.

Website–where is it? (0:04:48.93)

Contact number for Councilman Ireland still not published for constituents. (0:05:14.50)

Cemetery roads clean off (0:05:34.17)

Question on city-owned bar as it related to mask mandate (0:06:02.70)

Wake Up call Armstrong City Council legal troubles (0:06:23.07)

(0:08:13.10) Councilwoman Kay questioned my comment as to the article related to ongoing criminality…”So are accusing someone of criminality?”  Madam Councilwoman is that the only question in your playbook?  If I were to accuse someone of criminality, it would be plain and you wouldn’t have to guess.  In addition, I would have concrete proof should I ever make a public accusation.  My answer (01:08:15.78)  was No!  Councilwoman Talbott squawks (0:08:19.87) “…you just said…it is going on here…”  Councilwoman Talbott I suggest you listen before you squawk! 

But since you brought it up Councilwoman Talbott, let’s compare shall we?

Folks you decide, You fill in the questions marks!

Yes or No

Source : https://esthervillenews.net/news/local-news/2021/02/13/multi-year-investigation-leads-to-arrest-of-armstrong-officials/

Mayor Haeder reported input (0:08:59.17) regarding pet licensing and increased fees.  (0:09:31.10)

Councilman Ireland reported input on complaints on the wreaths on the lights in the park.(0:10:59.67)  Folks thought it was tacky.  (0:11:33.03) further comment/discussion on keeping lighting in the park.  I believe at the time the ‘north to south’ leading to the shelter house sidewalk was formed in the park there were regular lights placed along that walkway.  So there were already lights existing in the park before the wreaths were attached.

          Agenda Item #5 – Property Tax Abatement – Extend an abatement to an elderly disabled resident.  Motion made and passed.

          Agenda Item #6 – Department Updates –

Police Department had no update.

Street Department report was presented by Patricia Jurrens in the absence of Mr. Johnson.  This involved putting on a touch for additional street lights on Lincoln from Anderson street southward to First Street westward.  Madam  Bookkeeper made her suggestions known to the group.  Discussion was introduced as a ‘safety issue’ for walkers.  As you can hear from the discussion very little information was handed to the council, just a couple of pictures with some hand drawn stars for placement.  As the discussion progressed it became apparent the council was having trouble following the rationale and the discussion twisted and turned more than the road.  It was shared Southeastern Electric Cooperative was provider of record for that part of the city.  However Ms. Jurrens opined where the poles would be placed and that if the city agreed to wood poles there would be no charge other than the added electricity. 

          Now here is where it becomes interesting.  Mayor Haeder opines to, “… go with the wood poles, ’cause it will be free…” (0:20:59.27)  Not free, sir!  Councilman David Larsen asks the question, “…do we need a motion…” (0:21:36.50) and Mayor Haeder says don’t think so.  Silence.  No councilmember asked the question how many light poles are we talking about?  No councilmember asked the question how much electricity per pole is going to be charged against the city?  Is there going to be a charge for the pole?  Really silence.  Now no vote?  The council should have made the motion to accept the deal of free poles and installation, state the number of poles and where they would be placed.  Keep in mind the city has set back right-of-way approximately 33 feet from the center of the street outward.  If the area the poles were to be placed was on the east side of Lincoln Drive which I do believe is outside of the city limits and the city has no control over.  Yup, I do believe it would have a real good idea to have a true, complete and accurate record of what this council is doing.

NO VOTE TAKEN!

          Agenda Item #7 – Discretionary Taxing Formula Ordinance  2021-04 – After some brief discussion, no attorney present Mayor Haeder called the question to approve the first Reading of Ordinance 2021-04.  Councilman Ireland asked for clarity’s sake that it was his understanding that the formula was not being changed just adapting language which would agree with South Dakota/City Statute.  Then the group approved the first reading.

Agenda Item #8 Finance Office –

          Electronic Readers, Water meters.  One of the hand held readers quit working.  Bookkeeper Jurrens thought it just needed a new battery.  Easy peesy, right.  Now FoPat is coming to the council with a radio meter read proposal  at a project today’s cost of $125K,  But guys, we can do drive-by-reads.  However Folks we are likely to get hit with the purchase of a vehicle to drive the street to read meters.  There is to be a meeting Wednesday to talk to representatives from Core & Main out of Sioux Falls at 11:00 a.m.  Now folks how will affect US?  Think about the meters we are presently using, Now think about the cost of new meters, installation to enable radio reads.  Guesses?  It appears these new meters can be installed in the city right-right-of-way, generally the city pays for the initial cost with the cost spread across increased water rates for residents.  Any questions you can think of?  Ask you council!

          City Records to be destroyed, Council sure did vote for that!

          Reminders and Updates –

          Petition deadline-  Folks get your election petitions in by February 26th.

          Election day, April 13, 2021.  Be aware that South Dakota Municipal League strongly advises against Finance Officers and their minions not circulate absentee ballots, supervise signatures or influence any voting procedure.

          Board of Equalization meets March 15, 2021. 6:00 p.m.

          2021 Chip Sealing bid Opening March 1, 2021.

Agenda Item #9 – Executive Session –  Not necessary- Personnel must be having a quiet two weeks.

Agenda Item #10 – Adjourn Meeting

          Meeting adjourned at 6:31 P.M.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

Councilman Marcus Ireland    605-370-1193

02/01/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

          The February 1, 2021,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Dan Haeder, , Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Councilwoman Melissa Kay in person.  Councilman Marcus Ireland was counted present via telephone and City Attorney Sam Nelson was absent but available via telephone IF the council needed him.  M-m-m, you hiding Sam?

The city camera is beeping, Mayor Haeder adjusts it, he now puts the memory card in, Mayor Haeder sits down and camera starts beeping.  H-m-m.

          Council recites the Pledge of Allegiance.

insert video

Item #3 – Approve Agenda   Mayor Haeder called for motion to approve the agenda.  Motion is made, seconded and with no discussion the agenda is approved unanimously  (X5 Ayes) without change.

Item #4 – Approve Minutes of January 4th and 18th meetings Mayor Haeder called for motion to approve the minutes of the two meeting in January.  Motion was made by Councilman Larsen, seconded by Councilwoman Talbott, discussion was called with Councilman Ireland responding to add the adjective “alleged” before the narrative involving executive session in the 01/04/2021 minutes.  The group decided to add the word “alleged”.  Councilman Larsen made the motion to amend the initial motion by adding the word “alleged”, Councilwoman Talbott seconded the motion to amend, no discussion on the amendment, the group vote unanimously X5 Ayes to amended.  The Council returned to the motion on the floor, Councilman Larsen moved to approve the minutes for January 4 as amended, and January 18 (as written should have been noted in the motion), Councilwoman Talbott seconded the motion and with no further discussion the motion was approve with a unanimous vote X 5 Ayes.

Item #5 – Public Input– I spoke to the erosion issue on the Sunnyside Storage project and possible loss of one of the buildings on the private property.  A retaining wall was to be built but as of this meeting had not been completed nor was it signed off by the ‘alleged building inspector Geoff Fillingsness.’  I asked, once again, about the city website with Finance Office Jurrens responding it (the website) was up. (09:53:47).  As of this writing I still do not see a website!  I commented on the telephonic participation of Councilman Marcus Ireland who, it appears will be taking part in the future council meetings until election.  I commented on the residents of Ward II have been to all intents and purposed disenfranchised by way the lack of their ability to readily contact their Ward II representative, Marcus Ireland.  Cell telephone number was to be provided to the newspaper for publication.

Mayor Haeder announced there was to be a virtual legislative meeting tomorrow, February 2, 2021.

Councilwoman Darla Reppe announced she had been contacted by a constituent who did not wish to be identified.  The constituent was extremely unhappy with the Burke Sh**house and requested the council take measures to fix the situations.  The council was warned back in December 2019 and January 2020 by me with regard to variances distributed by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens and approved by the council to allow non-residential building in the Numsen Addition prior to the building of these Beck Drive nightmares.  I warned them of the possible sharp decline in property values of innocent neighbors, and the possibility of losing any future sales of the remaining properties. However there is a precedent in Sioux Falls which caused the demolition of a violation of covenants in a historic neighborhood.  Mayor Haeder who was then a councilmember voted to approve the Burke Sh**house.  I noted in my complaint that Codes and Covenants ran with the property and it was up to the property owners to vote to change the Covenants and the city did not have the power to ordinance away the covenants.  Covenants were put into place to protect the property owners investments and assets.  To Councilmember Reppe’s un-named constituent, you can sue for lost value.  The council was warned and went ahead with the variance in spite of the warning.  I believe there may be a liability against the council for allowing the Sh**house variance. In last night’s meeting, Finance Officer Jurrens offered up a legal opinion (19:05:57).  Sorry madame bookkeeper, your alleged degree is in bookkeeping not legal opinions.  To Councilmember Reppe’s constituent and my Numsen’s Addition neighbor, upon your request I will give you copies of my research.  By the way, I do believe any resident has the right and ability to file a complaint on the Sh**house.

Item #6 Department Head Updates

Streets-Lonnie Johnson (absent) Chip sealing – advertising of Bid date  03/01/2021 6:15 pm

Hire Cash Hemmingson for Snow removal, Shop and Street Maintenance-???how many bodies does the city need for snow removal??? Call for Motion.  Motion was made by Councilwoman Kay, seconded by Councilwoman Reppe,  discussion question asked to amend start date with an immediate start date of February 2, 2021.   Motion was amended by Councilwoman Kay, seconded by Councilwoman Reppe, no discussion and a unanimous vote X5 ayes to amend the motion.  Call for motion returned to original question to hire Cash Hemmingson at $11.00 per hour for an immediate start date of  February 2, 2021.  Councilwoman Kay made the now amended motion, Councilwoman Reppe seconded the amended motion, with no further discussion the council voted X5 ayes to hire Cash Hemmingson at $11.00 per hour starting February 2, 2021. 

Shop Computer – Aw the shop computer crashed.  So FO Pat went shopping for a shop computer.  Where did FO Pat go out for quotes, why to her good bud Applied Software Beresford? So does Alcester get a friends and family discount from Mr. Monson?   Somehow I don’t think the $1216.00 price tag is a discount, do you?

Cemetery – No update

Water – Pumps have been installed

Police Dept – Police Chief Conference  Approval to attend Police Chief’s Conference. Council approved Police Chief Christie’s travel to the conference.

Police Chief vest purchase-Council approve purchase of vest for PD.

Golf Course -Trade in golf cart.  Phasing out and Trade one Yamaha for the purchase of One EZ Go Golf cart spending up to $2000.00.  Motion was made by Councilman Larsen, Second came from Councilwoman Talbott with the Mayor wandering off topic to some sort of Lift. Finally came back to topic for unanimous vote .

Library – Councilman David Larsen gave a summary of the Summer Reading Program.

Item #7 – Mask Policy  “Ordinance vs. Recommendation vs. Resolution Discussion related to do we do an Ordinance, do we do a Recommendation or do we do a Resolution?  The Consensus landed on a resolution.  Mayor Haeder called for a Motion to approve the 2021-03 Resolution, Councilwoman Kay made the motion to approve the resolution with implementation as soon as published.  Councilwoman Reppe seconded the motion, no discussion and with 4 ayes and 1 no from Councilman Larsen.  (00:00:00)  As soon as published, I was told the website was up and running.  In fact I pointed out we publish on the website.  In fact I believe the city is require to publish notifications on the website if we have one.  No response. Telephone call was made to Attorney Sam Nelson at 7:16 pm. for advice on the Resolution.  Dare I ask what that phone call cost?

Item #8 – Employee Bonus discussion Yup there it is.  Longevity/Performance Base Bonus Discussion.  Now folks while I sat listening to the presentation by Councilwoman Kay, it was hard not to chuckle at several points she attempted to make.  Going back to a time as she was hawking Bambee HR, she stated she/council did not know much about Human Resources takes me to a question she asked me when she was practicing her Legal Badgering Skills 101 on me, “Do you know how to read?”. 

          My response then is the same as it is now, “Yes very well!”  So madam you write you worked your way up in janitorial skills, from toilet processing to management of employee scheduling, sales, customer phone relations, and processing bids for services.  Additionally in your linked auto-bio you allege you, “… completed a Human Resources training course and Dealing with Difficult People course climaxing in protecting employees rights while maintaining the integrity of the company…” Wow!  So according to your proposed bonus performance review techniques, given the manner with which you dealt with me and I as your employer (tax payer) I should be able to score you on your performance, Right?  So let’s see what questions might I ask.  You see when I got the agenda about bonus discussion, I did my research.  I think taxpayers would like a preview of questions they might like to ask.  Shall we?  So Councilwoman Kay, did you protect my rights during the Great Badger inquisition?  Did you deliberately lie to the other council members to make your case?  Did you perpetuate a deliberate lie by administrative staff?  Did you or did you not make a false swearing with regard to the above listed questions?  That’s okay, I don’t expect an answer.

Item #9 – Finance Office Updates Alternate garbage route- so now the residents must tote their garbage across the street.  Really why not a central pick-up dumpster with a discount for residents who are willing to haul their garbage and/or their disabled neighbor’s garbage to the central dumpster.

2020 Audit-Approval to pay the bill.

Board of Equalization meeting- March 15, 2021 6:00 pm

Virtual District Meeting March 18, 2021, 5:30 pm

Reminders and Updates

Item #10 – Community Building – notation the builder took the liberty of changing the 8 foot garage doors out for 12 foot doors. 

Item #11 – Volunteer Roster- No Update

Item #12 – Executive Session 1-25-2.1 Personnel  AGAIN Call for motion, second, no discussion and unanimous vote.  Executive session commences at 7:51 p.m.  Those staying in executive session were Councilman Larsen, Councilman Ireland (via telephone et al), Councilwoman Kay, Councilwoman Reppe, Councilwoman Talbott, FO Patricia Jurrens, employee Wanda Halverson, Police Chief Jeff Christie, Police Officer Austin Schuller and Mayor Header. 

Newspaper reporter Gordon Richard, Employee Peeples and Vickie Larsen left the room.  Mr. Richard and Ms Peeples left the building while Vickie Larsen remained in the hallway. Interesting watching the group and the body language, like watching a silent movie.  The police officers left the executive session at 8:13 pm approximately 22 minutes after the commencement of the session.  The executive meeting continued on until 8:37 pm when it was declared out of session.

Item #13 – Adjourn at 8:38 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

01/04/2021 A Voice From the Gallery

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

(6)    Discussing information listed in subdivisions 1-27-1.5(8) and 1-27-1.5(17).

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.

Source: SL 1965, ch 269; SL 1980, ch 24, § 10; SL 1987, ch 22, § 1; SL 2014, ch 90, § 2; SL 2019, ch 2, § 1.

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 #4 Approval 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. 

Meeting was adjourned at 9:09 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

12/21/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda Item #14 – Masks- Discussion with motions.

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

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

insert video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda Item #12 – 2021 Resolution of Fees DELETED

Agenda Item #13 – Covid 19 Quarantine Police DELETED

Agenda Item #14 – Masks DELETED

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

Agenda Item #16 – Adjourn  6:17 PM

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

12/07/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

The December 7, 2020,  Alcester City Council meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Haeder with Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Marcus Ireland, and Councilwoman Linda Talbott in person, Councilwoman Melissa Kay (et al.) via telephone (no reason given why Councilwoman could not attend in person) and City Attorney Sam Nelson, absent Councilwoman Darla Reppe.  Questionable quorum.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited after which the mayor called for agenda approval.  Councilman Larsen moved with Councilwoman Kay telephonically seconding the motion to approve the agenda as written (0:02:38.7), discussion by Councilman Marcus regarding Executive Session to discuss an employee and, “will the Executive Session cover that?” (0:02:56.00) Mayor Haeder answer,  “U-h-m, y-e-e-s” (0:03:14:33)  For those of you interested in statement analysis, take special note of the U-h-m and the marked hesitation in Mayor Haeder’s answer.  Agenda was unanimously approved by 3 in person ayes and 1 telephonic aye.

Approval of the minutes of the November 2nd and November 16th council meetings as reported by the Finance Office. Unanimously approved without discussion.

Agenda Item #5 – Public Input – I responded with regard to the vote to place, at the taxpayer’s cost signs of slow children. 

Since there was still time before the 6:15 p.m. P&Z Commission meeting (the Alcester city council is also the Planning and Zoning Committee) and before the schedule Audit Review Presentation by Dwight Berglin the group moved down the agenda to Agenda Item #8 – Street Updates – signs have been put into place.  A request from the Street Department since the utility truck has been repaired ($1K cost) to a drive-able condition, the apportioned money ($15K) set aside in the budget for purchase of another truck be applied to the purchase of a crew cab truck capable of pulling a trailer.  So instead applying that money to actual street repair or rebuild, Mayor Haeder asks, “When does Lonnie want an answer?”  TBD?

6:16 p.m. has arrived with Agenda Item #6 – Planning & Zoning Committee meeting.  Now folks proper procedure for the city council/planning and zoning committee to go back and forth is to have the mayor announce the Planning & Zoning Committee is now in session at 6:15 p.m. so that all parties attending KNOW it is the Planning & Zoning Committee and not the Alcester City Council .  Patrick Andrews from SECOG (South Eastern Council of Governments was present to explain procedures and document for the change in zoning issues relating to the old school property. 

          So folks the city council acting as the Planning & Zoning Committee will absorb the information of zoning, rezoning, public input, and etc. of the old school property and make the decision to recommend the rezoning to itself as the Alcester City Council give the okie-dorkie to enact Ordinance 2020-18 which allows the zoning nomenclature Planned Development District replace the former classification as Residential District and to amend the Official Zoning Map of the City of Alcester.  The Alcester Planning & Zoning Committee moves to recommend the nomenclature and map changes to the Alcester City Council and with a unanimous yes vote and no discussion the Alcester Planning &Zoning Committee recommends the zoning change.

          Now it is here where the Alcester Planning & Zoning Committee should adjourn, state the time of adjournment for the P&Z Committee and re-open as the Alcester City Council so everyone present KNOWS it is now the Alcester City Council up-at-bat.  Nope that boat left the pier, Mayor Haeder and City Attorney Sam missed the boat and were left standing on the pier along with most of the gallery. (0:21:50:47)

Agenda Item #7 – 2019 Audit Report – Presented by Dwight Berglin via telephone.  It is difficult to hear because of the telephonic audio level.  The gist of the report seemed to be violations on the city and finance office parts.  Internal controls still are absent, there was at one point a negative balance arising out of not spending within the budget.  Mr. Berglin made reference to a 2012 case in Dickson, Illinois where Finance Officer Rita Crundwell stole $30M dollars of city moneys over a 6 year period.  Mr. Berglin’s concerns involved lack of clarification of duties, lack of routine internal audits, negative balances, bank record reconciliation, over-spending the second penny sales tax moneys (the 2nd penny sales tax was originally limited to a specific type of purchases ie. capital assets such as property, plant and equipment)   Councilwoman Melissa Kay moved to approve the audit, with the second coming from Councilman David Larsen, unanimous approval with no discussion.

Agenda Item #9 – Wastewater- Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens gave the report noting one grant application was denied, toxicology on our water was clean and the situation with pumps is indeterminate.

Agenda Item #10 – Police Department – Alcester Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens reported in the stead of Chief Christie who was absent.  Most of the subject matter was equipment and the availability of CARES money to help with the expense.

Agenda Item #11– Pleasant Hill Cemetery/Landfill report- Parker Dooley not present so once again Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens made the report.

Agenda Item #12 – Golf Course/Library – Councilman David Larsen gave a report on the Golf Course and the Library.  The gist of the Library portion report was related to the employment of a new librarian.  Not so much as the hiring but of the benefits to a part-time employee as it relates to South Dakota Retirement program.  I want to be very clear the candidate and subsequent new hire for librarian has involvement in the discussion only by being the subject.

          “If you are a permanent, full-time employee of an SDRS participating employer, you are required to participate and make contributions to the South Dakota Retirement System. Permanent, full-time employees are those working at least 20 hours per week and six months per year.” South Dakota Retirement Law, Chapter 3-12C. The Alcester City Council appears to be manipulating benefits and the twenty (20) hour per week issue.  (1:10:52.00) start of the discussion and fudge-factor.  Listen to the exchange as our city council talks around the rules.  (1:12:38.90) Councilwoman Melissa Kay asks, “do we want to designate 20 hours…so she can take…”  Mayor Haeder says, “…Can we get away with…”(1:13:47.20) 

Agenda Item #15 – Rezoning Public Hearing – 7:16 p.m. This is where the Alcester City Council hears from public on the rezoning proposal and votes upon Ordinance 2020-18.  Mayor fails to call for public input, Councilwoman Melissa Kay asks if there is anyone with public comment on the rezoning Ordinance.  No public input.  Council moves onto motions for approve of this Ordinance.  Ordinance is approved.

Agenda Item #13 – Credit Card charge limits – Council to authorize $1000.00 limits for Finance Officer Jurrens, Police Chief, Water Dept. Head and Street Dept. Head with $500.00 limits for Ass’t Finance Officer, Police Officer and Librarian.  Approved unanimously and without discussion.

Agenda Item #14 – Legal Updates – Punitive and Adverse Action going forward on the 204 Ofstad Property and the 307 Iowa Property.  No need for Executive Session.

Agenda Item #16 – Supplemental Appropriations Ordinance  Motions to approve year end fund transfers, what I call robbing Peter to pay Paul.  Approved unanimously.

Agenda Item #17 – Garbage License – Only one bidder, Loren Fischer contract for 2021 through 2023, and again unanimous vote.  The question was raised, “is the garbage can rental included in the cost?”  FO Pat says, “I don’t know”  Why not you were responsible for setting out the terms and conditions of the garbage bid?”  So FO Pat picked up her phone and did the digits. As we all sat waiting patiently for the meeting to continue FO Pat place a call to Loren Fischer, One ringy-dingy, two ringy dingy (1:44:47.03).  FO Pat announces she will try to message Loren Fischer, and once again a delay in the meeting.  Eventually Mr. Fischer texts back that no the garbage cans are not included.

Now folks there is a lot of to-ing and fro-ing here between Agenda Item #17 and Agenda Item #18.  The captions in the video will help to put time frames on the to-ing and fro-ing.

Agenda Item #18 – Finance Officer Report – Spot check accounts, Updates, Resolution for proposed fees for 2021, CARES related spending, City WEBSITE is still not up-something about hosting and domain name.  These should not create any significant delay, so why?

          Approval of warrants- Since Councilwoman Reppe was absent, and Councilwoman Kay was not present their share of warrant inspection and approval did not happen.  So the task fell to those who were present.  As the three council members present struggled to catch up so they approve the warrants, the meeting was delayed.  H-m-m where have I heard, “delay of council meeting”  Oh yeah something from Council woman Kay.  One has to wonder, just how carefully those sums were added up and confirmed under the gun of time frame.  H-m-m!

          Finally the call for approve of current warrants, Councilwoman Melissa Kay abstained on the vote because she was not present and had not seen the warrants.  So we are left with a non-quorum of three to vote.  Ah I see a problem here, but when Councilman David Larsen asked Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson if we could get into trouble with the “vote” (1:58:07.73), Mr. Nelson’s response was, ” …probably not…”(1:58:11.13) So Mr. Legal Guy, does the city get a major fee discount on the Probably not Opinion as opposed to those yes or no opinions?

          Going on to the next vote on warrants.  This is the vote for year-end warrants and the question is posed by Mayor Haeder to Councilwoman Melissa Kay (you know the one who abstained ’cause she had not seen the warrants for the present meeting?) will she be able to vote on the warrants only the mayor will see and sign? (1:59:02.90) and NOW you answer yes.  What changed?  Can you see and confirm future warrants?  So now we have three in person votes of aye and one of site vote of aye.  Amazing!

Agenda Item #19 – Executive Session- for personnel  remember (0:03:14:33) the response?  Yeah folks I do not buy into the premise that a city employee was to be discussed.  The Executive Session at 7:58 p.m. and I exited out into the hallway.  As I stood waiting in the silence of the hallway while bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens remained in the room allegedly discussing an employee with which Mayor Haeder allegedly had spoken.  I noted the city camera was still standing in the room un-shuttered, I noted several city councilmember phones and at least one to two laptop computers still sitting in the room.  In addition there is NO proof that Councilwoman Melissa Kay is alone during this executive session and any of her electronic devices are shuttered. 

          As I waited I noted bookkeeper Jurrens who had been unmasked for the entirety of the meeting, violated social distancing as she went to her desk to retrieve documents, to seat herself at the council table and to stand over the top of City Attorney Nelson and Mayor Haeder in front of the phone with which the council was communicating with Councilwoman Kay. 

          At 8:37 p.m. the council was declared out of Executive session.  I moved back to my seat in the council room.  As I moved toward my seat, a discussion of COVID Guidelines was being discussed.  Folks COVID Guidelines was not on the agenda and when I asked if the conversation was a continuation of the Executive session I was told NO, this was not related. I responded since this was not properly on the agenda they could not be discussing this.  Their response?  Councilwoman Linda Talbott said we are just discussing not voting with other council members chiming in the same mantra.  (2:07:47.03)  What happened to proper rules?  You are wrong, if it is not on the approved agenda, Ya’ll cannot talk about it.  Certainly not for some ten minutes or so.

          At 8:47 p.m. a call for adjournment and approved by vote.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

11/16/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Vickie,  “Not tonight”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda # Finance Office

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

Adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

11/02/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

“the argument from intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence” Ayn Rand

Prior to the official beginning of the meeting a remark was made by Mayor Haeder with regard to the importance of the next day (November 3, 2020, election day)  Check out how on top of things one council member was, “’cause she asked if there was something important going on?” (00:00:18.63)  Listen to the response.  Note here that the set-up for voting was on the agenda.  So Councilman Talbott, that was your first hint it was election day on Tuesday?  

The November 2, 2020, version of a city council meeting was called to order by Mayor Dan Haeder with council members Marcus Ireland, Linda Talbott, Darla Reppe, David Larsen, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and of course Melissa Kay seated and ready for city business.

The council and gallery members recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Precursor to approval of the agenda concerning Executive Session (00:03:13.30)  A flashback to a child’s game where in the world is…?  The council was looking for their #2  SDCL 1-25-2.2  I told them School!  After more discussion, they finally figured the conundrum out but does beg the question how many law students does it take to read SD executive session law?  What No Cliff notes for law?

Agenda Item #3 – was the approval of the agenda. (00:05:20.13)  Some discussion regarding the time and appropriateness of an Executive Session to cover two separate properties and the presence of Geoff Fillingsness, enforcer.

Agenda Item #4 – approval of the October 5th, October 7th and October 19th minutes of meeting.  The motion was made by Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Seconded by Councilwoman Linda Talbott but at the call for discussion there actually was a call on the accuracy of the minutes of those meetings by Councilwoman Melissa Kay, although she could not seem to get the correct date.  H-m-m  First it was October 19th but then it was October 7th.  Ironically it was both meetings with inaccuracies in the minutes.  The purpose of minutes of an official meeting is to reflect accurately movements of the meeting without descending into editorializing.  Gee, somebody should have schooled bookkeeper Jurrens about that duty.  Of course one cannot be sure just who is taking those minutes whether it is bookkeeper Jurrens or the junior bookkeeper/receptionist.

Bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens writes in the minutes of October 7, 2020, “At 6:09P.M . …During discussion… (correction)Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen waived her right to executive session and asked the meeting be open and her camera on to record the proceedings, the council said No it was not her right, Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen insisted it was her right as the object of the session.  The council said it was their right to closed session and not hers…Alcester Councilwoman Vickie Larsen then asked the motion be delayed to the next meeting so she could have her attorney present.  The Alcester City Council then asked, “…do you have an attorney on speed dial” Alcester City Councilwoman Vickie Larsen answered, “NO”…The Alcester City Council then asked, “Is your attorney here…” Alcester City Councilwoman Vickie Larsen answered, “NO”  The Alcester City Council then made the statement, “You have no right to council…”  A loud discussion ensued…”

The council finally meandered through their approval of the October 19, 2020, minutes in error and postponing approval of amended minutes of October 7, 2020. (00:07:08.97) Bookkeeper Jurrens lead Councilwoman Melissa Kay by the nose to the conclusion that (00:10:33.53) Vickie Larsen refused to abstain from voting.  Really?  I stated I did not refuse to abstain (00:11:05.50), I was STILL a member of the Alcester City Council and bookkeeper Jurrens is NOT a legal authority. 

Agenda Item #5 – Executive session – Interviews for Ward III Council Seat.  No takers, do ya’ll s’pose I should have volunteered again?

Agenda Item #6 – Pushed back for the 6:30 P.M. scheduled Sealed Bid Opening-

Agenda Item #7 – Public Input – I reminded the group about an accounting error on Bookkeeper Jurrens part regarding cash back on credit card charges at the golf course I had raised in during my audit required oversight session with bookkeeper Jurrens. (00:14:41.20) In the October 19, 2020, meeting bookkeeper Jurrens answered my question with a non-answer that the city did not retain customer information.  I did not ask that question.  I commented the city should not be advancing cash back refunds on credit card purchases just for cash in the pockets purposes.  This is a practice similar to paying for a purchase and writing the check for $50.00 over the amount.  This is a bookkeeping no-no and ripe for fraud accusations against the city and/or customers.  Just a bad bookkeeping practice all the way around!  Once again bookkeeper Jurrens says, “…the city does not retain customer information…”  Non-answer. The second part of my input was to present Alcester Councilwoman Kay with a partially corrected paper of her design. (00:16:27.30) (00:30:35.40)

Agenda Item #8 – street updates

Agenda Item #9 – water/wastewater- pumps on order

Agenda Item #10 – Police Department Update by Chief Christie-  Chief Christie advised the council of military ordinance discover and the clearing of the munitions.  Police Chief Christie emphasized if someone in the community comes across similar discoveries of munitions is DO NOT TOUCH, CALL 911. (00:22:26.23)

Agenda Item #11 – Landfill/Cemetery – received a donation for trees for the cemetery.

Agenda Item #12 Golf Course/Library – short a Library board member, need a volunteer.

Agenda Item #13 Legal Updates – Involving 307 Iowa property, 204 Ofstad property and the Employee Manual Update.  There will be a resolution for the employee manual update at a future meeting.

The properties of 207 Iowa and 204 Ofstad will appear later under Executive session.

Agenda Item #14 – city street sign replacement – Update per Wade Dahl in a 2023 project.  My opinion Alcester should contract in a joint powers agreement to lower prices.

Agenda Item #6 – 6:30 P.M. Bid Opening for Police Office Glock   Bid was awarded to the highest bidder, John Wegh.

Agenda Item #15 – Old School Center – Second reading of 2020-16 Revised.

Agenda Item #16- Executive session – not needed beyond properties.

Agenda Item #17 – Finance Office Updates 

Website- Alliance hosting the site.  Finally!!! (00:16:11.80)

          2021 Operating Agreements – Liquor Licenses

Agenda Item #18 – HRC Update Meeting to happen sometime according to Mayor.

Agenda Item #19 Alcester Community Center – Bookkeeper Jurrens gave a summary. 

Agenda Item #20 – EMS Update  According to Councilwoman Kay the city has no interest in Alcester Ambulance so why is this an agenda item?  H-m-m?

Agenda Item #21 Update on Work Comp volunteer roster nothing to add or delete?

Agenda Item #22  Chit-chat session until Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness finally shows up.

Executive Session for 1-23-2.3 Legal/Contractual matters involving 307 Iowa property and 204 Ofstad property. Motion by Councilman Marcus Ireland, Second by Melissa Kay no discussion and vote 5 X ayes.  6:57 P.M.  I must gather up my camera, tripod, see-through back pack, and  leave the room.  Mayor Dan Haeder supposedly shuts down the city’s camera which is not removed nor is it cloaked.  Leaving the Finance Office computers up and running, leaves all council personal phones in the room, leaves the City Attorney’s computer in the room and at let us not forget bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens still has her fanny parked in her chair of unsolicited advice.  H-m-m?

At 7:30 P.M. Executive session is still on-going when Code Enforcement Officer Geoff Fillingsness is excused and the meeting continues with Mayor Haeder, Alcester City Council members, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and bookkeeper Patricia Jurrens.

At 7:37 P.M. Mayor Haeder calls the Executive Session out of session, allowing us back into the council room.

At this point I had activated my camera prior to returning to the room trying to forestall the rapid fire resumption of open meeting without allowing us to seat ourselves.  Unfortunately I inadvertently activated close up setting which resulted in a 3 to 5 minute close up of Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s face.  A close up worthy of pore counting ability.  I elected to edit that 3-5 minute section from the video ’cause I really did not think Alcester City Attorney Sam would appreciate that close up.  During that time there was no vote on the matters of the Executive Session. Mayor Dan Haeder called for Adjournment, Alcester Councilman Marcus Ireland moved to adjourn, Alcester Councilwoman Melissa seconded the motion and of course a unanimous vote to adjourn times five ayes. 

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849