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

02/01/2021 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

12/21/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda Item #14 – Masks- Discussion with motions.

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

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

insert video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Agenda Item #12 – 2021 Resolution of Fees DELETED

Agenda Item #13 – Covid 19 Quarantine Police DELETED

Agenda Item #14 – Masks DELETED

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

Agenda Item #16 – Adjourn  6:17 PM

Contact City Council

Mayor Dan Haeder                   605-934-2287

Councilman David Larsen        605-934-2434

Councilwoman Melissa Kay     712-557-0689

Councilwoman Darla Reppe    605-934-2602

Councilwoman Linda Talbot    605-934-1849

11/02/2020 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

06/01/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor pro-tem David Larsen called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present: Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman/Mayor pro-tem David Larsen, Councilwoman Darla Reppe and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

Agenda Item #2 – Pledge of Allegiance

Agenda Item #3– Approve agenda

Agenda Item #4 – Approve Minutes of May 4, 2020, and May 18, 2020.

Agenda Item #5 – Vacancy

Executive Session was called to interview candidates for mayor and for Ward II Council seat at 6:02 p.m.

Council came out of executive session at 6:35 p.m.   At 6:36 p.m. Ward III Councilman Dan Haeder resigned as Ward III council representative. It is uncertain why Councilman Haeder chose to resign because he could hold his seat as Ward III Councilman and perform duties as appointed mayor pro tem without resignation. Upon acceptance of what appeared to be his written resignation, the council appointed Mr. Haeder as Mayor until April 2021. Ward III was declared vacant and posting should appear in the official newspaper to fill the vacancy.

Next up was the appointment of Marcus Ireland as Ward II representative.

Both Haeder and Ireland were administered the Oath of Office by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. After five minutes of meeting and in which two (2) agenda items were dealt with, Mayor Pro Tem David Larsen realized Mayor Dan Haeder had not taken over the meeting and unfortunately our Parliamentarian Attorney Sam missed the failure to transfer of power. Mayor Haeder took over directing the meeting and re-did agenda items 6 and 7. A note here it came to my attention that FO Jurrens had not verified eligibility of Mr. Ireland prior to her administration of the Oath of Office to him. I asked FO Jurrens this morning (June 2, 2020) if Mr. Ireland was in fact eligible, registered voter in the city and her answer to me. “I do not know, I will contact Callie or Marcus”. This troubles me because the quasi-election official failed to verify eligibility before she administered the Oath of Office. After my conversation with Finance Office Jurrens, I verified with Union County that Mr. Ireland was indeed a registered voter and eligible to hold city council member seat.

Agenda Item #6 – Council office. Councilman David Larsen retains his position as President of the Council and Councilwoman Linda Talbott was elected as Vice-President of the Council second in line for mayor should something prevent Mayor Haeder from executing his duties as Mayor before April of 2020.

Agenda Item #7 – Signatures Council voted to place the following individuals as signatories for the bank accounts and access to safe deposit boxes in the name of Alcester City. Signers are listed as Mayor Dan Haeder, Council President David Larsen, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens and Finance officer employee Wanda Halverson.

Agenda Item #8 – AMKO-Mark DeRaney Bond Issue

Mr. DeRaney has been working on the refinance of the water bond. A Resolution (2020-07)was needed to set this refinance in motion. In light of the recent changes in the economy it was determined that banks were no long as willing to finance bonds so Mr. DeRaney was working with underwriter D.A. Davidson, out of Des Moines, Iowa, and with Zions Bank Trust Corporation as payee which was required for the change-over process. The resolution needed to be amended to reflect the changes.

In addition to the publication of Resolution 2020-07, a special meeting was needed to complete the transaction. Special meeting was set up for June 19. 2020, at 1:00 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Agenda Item # 9 – ROCS transport -represented by Peter Smith. This agenda item was pushed back in the agenda line up due to the Planning and Zoning Hearing.

Agenda Item #12 – 7:00 p.m. -Planning and Zoning Hearing-(out of order) . It was determined an amendment was needed in Ordinance (2020-08) to create a planned development district which can write its own rules but cannot be an area smaller than a city block.   (Chapter 5)

Agenda Item #9- ROCS Transport continued. This is a transport service to provide rides to appoints and etc in town and out of town. It was mentioned the Care Center was no longer transporting residents to appointments.

Agenda Item #10 – Emergency Siren testing and repairs- Discussion and information was shared concerning our emergency siren system by Axel Ericson and Pat Kast. Discussion covered a weekly routine test at a specific time and day to keep batteries operational and find any problems before any emergency.

Agenda Item #11 – Input-

I shared input which dealt with inaccuracies in meeting minutes. Specifically the Finance Officer editorializing the minutes and not facts of the meeting. Specifically the reference to the issue/input regarding contract variance. She opined the conversation between Attorney Sam and myself did not have anything to do with Alcester. The contract variance dealt specifically with a seated councilman and the finance officer of Alcester which definitely deals with Alcester. I also advised the council that Hawarden pool is closed and Beresford pool will not be open until June 15, 2020, and then only to residents of Beresford and the Beresford School District. I also mentioned an issue with the cemetery and an employee of the city with regarding to a squirrel jumping from a Pine tree on the cemetery property and causing a power outage down Lincoln Drive. The employee was mowing with headphones on, failed to hear the explosion, failed to quit mowing when the Mid-American Tech was on scene discussing the situation with me even when he saw us standing next to the Utility Truck with a Boom.

A gentlemen who had just moved into town was questioning the zoning and asked how to get and who to get a building permit from. He also asked where he might find the building codes. It would have been nice to be able to tell him he could find all that information on our website, BUT we do not have a website—WHY?

Oh and lest we forget Mike Burkes, purchase Lots 5 and 6 in on Beck Drive (just behind to the north of Randy Heuer)in the Numsen Addition and their proposed S***House. This is a residential neighborhood and not business, storage or commercial. This edifice S***House was according to Mr. Burke too big for just one lot. Mr. Heuer those covenants which protected the value of your property are deemed null, care to argue that premise with those of us complaining the covenants are not void. You have more to lose than me.

Agenda Item #15 – Pool Updates- Yeah, there was a discussion concerning the interview of pool personnel. It came to light the pool committee was not notified of the interviews and were kept out of the interview by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. Once again she was interview employees without a bona-fide councilmember present. WOW talk about major over reach. FO Jurrens you are still not a councilmember, you are still not a city administrator, your are still just the city bookkeeper!

Agenda Item #16– Chief of Police- Discussion of hours, and over -time.

Agenda Item # 19-

Ordinance 2020-05 Clovid 19 derivative, amended by repeal of all but the mayor’s call to close down. Passed

Ordinance 2020-06 Two meetings per month-Passed 3 Ayes, 2 nays. Comment was made by Mayor Haeder about the length of meetings being the reason for the change to two regular meetings per month. I submit Mayor Haeder you set the agenda and you are in charge of what business comes before the council and how much time is spend on that business not Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. Sir you control the length of the meeting, so in fact you do not need two regular meetings a month.

Agenda Item #20– Personnel Manual rewrite-Still in process. Department Heads, versus Committee versus Supervisors exercise in semantics. Additional discussion of Overtime for police Department which is exempt from Overtime versus Administrative Exempt from Overtime. Sam indicates that FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act is not applicable to Alcester. We better make it applicable or we will not be able to maintain a decent police department.

Agenda Item #21- Finance Office- Warrants dealt with. Notice the Finance Office was undergoing an Analytical Review. Rent for city offices at the old school will be in exchange for law care paid by city.

Agenda Item #26 – Adjourn at 9:32 p.m.

05/15/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Folks, we have no mayor. 

 

Check out what the plan is for Monday!

lookee, lookee all the amendings and revisions.

 

Input has been placed where the public cannot speak on whether they want a special election for mayor and Ward II council person and not an appointment done under the table! 

NOTE the decision has already been made in secret by author of agenda.

Agenda Item #4 a) , motion to approve the appointment of Dan Haeder for Mayor until next election.  This was done in secret, no open session!

 

Agenda Item #12 Amend Ordinance?  So Amend the height of the contract variance Again?

 

COME TO THE MEETING 

 

 

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD!

05/13/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

As I understand it, after the May 4, 2020, city council meeting Mayor Tom Glas resigned as mayor.  By the way it is not official until the council VOTES to accept his resignation!

This left the newly elected president councilmember David Larsen of the council as mayor pro tem to perform the duties of mayor until a new mayor may be appointed or elected.

Folks the city has the option of appointing a mayor or having a special election. I urge the residents of Alcester to insist upon a special election to fill the positions of Ward II council position and Mayoral position with an emphasis let the people decide.

I CALL FOR A SPECIAL ELECTION!

NO APPOINTMENT!

A SPECIAL ELECTION!

 Unfortunately the council has not distinguished itself when considering variances, appointments and spending money. It has been argued that special election costs have not been included in the city budget-that the city cannot afford an election.  THE CITY CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO HAVE AN ELECTION. If Finance Officer Jurrens can scrape up money for a police building caused by Mayor Tom Glas and the council not having the foresight of no place for the Police Department before selling the PD Office out from under our police force and other non-budget items, I am confident money can be found for an election.

LET’S SEE PAST PERFORMANCE:

  • Councilwoman Patricia Jurrens/Finance Officer “wanted” Beck Drive, she found non-budget money for that.
  • Finance Officer Patricia “wanted” over-time for her appointive position as Finance Officer, she found non-budget money for that. Of course not the secret desk drawer, dollar diary, non-compliant, non-approved overtime $28K +/- for which she was hoping but $4880. +/-. The mayor/city council had to approve on paper any over-time or comp time, didn’t happen. I asked for FOIA and was told these approvals did not exist. Mayor Glas FAILED his duty, and the council voted (against city ordinance) to approve a non-approval of over-time rated payment demanded by Alcester City Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens while she actively worked against over-time/comp time request of police chief Chris Doty using the argument he was not eligible for over-time or comp time.
  • Mayor Glas allowed Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens to attend non-Finance Office functions on city time at tax payer expense. Glas allowed Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens to campaign during finance office hours at the Commercial Club/Chamber of Commerce meeting, Community Building meetings, hold birthday parties at the local club house of which it is my understanding she was not a paying member of the golf club, allowed Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens to circulate through Anderson Drive residents with the City Council Member Lance Johnson to obtain a Contract for Variance and attend a meeting (video admission) with Michael McGill to get an opinion on covenants in the Anderson Drive section of Numsen Addition at the suggestion of Mr. Tom Frieberg who had a conflict of interest.
  • Said Contract for Variance (contract for variance is illegal) had an objection by Vickie Larsen and which a named partner, Larry Nelson had argued against a variance in Hamerly v. city of Lennox which the Hamerly’s objected to the construction of a garage (non-conforming) building to be built in a residential neighborhood.
  • Then there are the election violations perpetrated by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens and she was not furloughed/terminated by Glas or the Council.
  • Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens found money for FDR (Full Depth Reclamation) which was a predictable (according to a road construction business owner) miserable flop and cost the residents street repair money through street maintenance tax.

These are just a few instances where the Finance Officer over-reached her position and violated city law.

There are people who have witnessed the illegal antics of Patricia Jurrens, please come forward complain. Let me know (vickielarsen98@gmail.com). I have taken a public stand, I will continue to take a public stand but I need support since I have been repeatedly denied placement on the council.

There is a meeting Monday, May 18, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. in the city auditorium. Come see and hear for yourselves. Let your voices be heard.

The city is waffling on closing the pool due to the pandemic. It is your children, your parents and grandparents who are at risk. It is our life-guards and city employees who are at risk because some of the council think we need to keep the pool open. That we need to keep the kiddies occupied, do you really want to risk your children to be occupied (if they are lucky) with just plain breathing with a vent in a hospital?

PUSH BACK FROM APPOINTMENT OF MAYOR AND COUNCILPERSON BY THE EXISTING COUNCIL TO A FULL BLOWN ELECTION BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE.*

 

 

*the Finance Office cannot be involved in going to the Care Center to ‘help’ fill out absentee applications or ballots—it is deemed a conflict by SDML

05/04/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

* council meeting in auditorium- acoustics are terrible and it is increasingly hard to hear because the mayor mumbles and is inaudible from the distance we are required to sit. The council needs to add at least three microphones, one each at the east side council table, the south side council table and the west side council table, so the gallery can accurately hear our council members.  Note I added captions to help identify some of the agenda items.

Mayor Glas called the May 4, 2020, Alcester City Council meeting to order (kind-of) at 6:00 p.m. with the following council members present: David Larsen, Melissa Kay, Linda Talbott, Darla Reppe, Dan Haeder and City Attorney Sam Nelson reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

The group approved the agenda, no discussion and a unanimous vote of five ayes approving the agenda. Then they went on to approve the minutes of April 4, 2020, and April 15, 2020, again with no discussion and a unanimous vote of five ayes to approve the minutes without change.

The Beck Drive gas line issue was addressed and voted to pay the $4750.00 bill to run gas line to Mike Burke’s newly purchased lot. Again a little discussion but with a unanimous vote of five ayes passing the issue.

Warrants were called (the bills of the city) with a motion, a second, no discussion and a unanimous vote of five ayes passing the payment of warrants as listed by Bookkeeper Pat Jurrens.

The council adjourned the old council at 6:05 p.m. with a motion, a second, no discussion and a unanimous vote of five ayes to adjourn.

******************************************************************

Mayor Glas opened the new meeting.

Agenda Item #2 Ward II vacancy interview of candidate Austin Schuller. The motion was made and seconded to go into Executive session to conduct the interview, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens was asked to leave the meeting prior to the commencement of the interview. There was no discussion and the group voted unanimously five ayes to go into Executive Session at 6:07 p.m. The council was declared back into session at 6:18 p.m. No motions were made, no decision made and no business was conducted with reference to Mr. Schuller’s request for council seating in the vacant council seat in Ward II.

Agenda Item #3 The election of Council President and Vice President of the city council. The Council President takes over when the mayor is incapacitated, absent or resigns with the Vice President in stand by position. Dan Haeder moved to appoint David Larsen as council president, second, no discussion and the vote was 4 ayes and Councilman Larsen abstained from the vote. The vote affirmed the appointment of Councilman David Larsen as President of the Alcester City Council.

David Larsen moved to appoint Dan Haeder as Vice-President of the Alcester City Council, seconded, no discussion, with 4 ayes and Councilman Dan Haeder abstained from the vote. The vote affirmed the appointment of Councilman Dan Haeder as Vice-President of the Alcester City Council.

Agenda Item #4 Mayor presents Committee assignments. Mayor Glas handed out his/FO Pat’s (overstep by FO)committee assignments of the city council members. Councilwoman Melissa Kay took issue with the logic and implementation of the committee assignments. Mayor Glas appears to have used the lottery system of assigning committee memberships, you know where the little cubes with councilmember’s names are shaken up and the first three names that roll out are on that particular committee.

Mayor Glas was irritated that his logic was flawed and he started to pout.  A-w-w!

Agenda Item #5 ROC Transport – No show, evidently they do not want our business!

Agenda Item #6-AMKO-No show. Finance Officer Pat ‘explained’

Agenda Item #7-Public Input-I had public input. The Contract Variance of Lance Johnson, former councilman. I presented the council with a Variance Case #20107, Don Hamerly v The City of Lennox. Mr. Hamerly was represented by Larry A. Nelson of Frieberg, Rudolph & Nelson. Gee I understand that is the father of our City Attorney Sam Nelson. This where the court agreed with Mr. Nelson’s argument and found for Mr. Hamerly. So with that precedent why did our city council allow the contract variance of Councilman Lance Johnson?

     I also presented the council with Headlines of a case which happened in Alcester with regard to re-call of the mayor. I explained to the council the first Headline section dealt with the signed petition for the recall of Alcester Mayor Kim Shefte, the second Headline section involved the news our petition was kicked out because it was not specific enough and finally the third Headline section dealt with the fact where we (the petitioners) edited the petition so that it was specific…collected signatures and re-presented our petition to the council when Mayor Kim Shefte resigned. I was asked the question is this a threat and my answer was no- a promise.

Agenda Item #10 Garbage Collection- Loren Fischer wanted to permanently continue the one-side pick-up. This is a problem for our less agile population and just a pain in the neck for the rest of us. If nothing else, we could have a central dumpster and toss our own garbage into the dumpsters. FO Pat responded that those from outside the city would be dumping into those dumpsters, I responded they already are. Council voted to do the one-sided pick-up just during the spring soft street months.

Agenda Item #23 ADJOURN

                   Council adjourned at 8:42 p.m.

04/06/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

On April 6, 2020, Mayor Glas called the April 6, 2020, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council to order in the Auditorium Gym with Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Darla Reppe and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present. The reason for the meeting’s move to the Auditorium Gym was to adhere to social distancing due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please forgive the sound quality, no microphones for the council so the only microphone was that of my video camera. Some of the meeting may be a challenge to hear or comprehend because of the acoustics.

The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by Agenda approval with no changes to the printed agenda. I would like to note here, the approval included a motion, a second to the motion, no discussion* and unanimous* approval of the four city council members.

Agenda Item #4-Approval of the minutes of March 2, 2020, and March 16, 2020. Again motion, second to the motion, no discussion, and unanimous approval of the four city council members.

Agenda Item #5 – Executive Session for interview of candidates vying for Ward II and Ward III vacant positions. Motion, second to motion, no discussion and unanimous approval. Executive session commenced at 6:03 p.m. I had put my name in for Ward III, Dan Haeder put his name in for Ward III and no one showed up for Ward II vacancy. I was given the first interview spot.

I stood up and moved forward toward the council. I did turn my video camera off, although my first instinct was to leave it on because it was my interview, I had no need for secrecy in my responses to questions and the public might be interested in what exactly goes on in Executive Session (at least for interviews).

As three people in the gallery left the room at 6:03 p.m., I announced there would be no need for Assistant Finance Officer Wanda, Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens or Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson. As soon as these three had exited the room, I began to speak to my qualifications for Alcester Councilperson. I described my education, a few of the positions I have held in the local area CERT, EMS, Girl Scout, and Business Owner to mention a few. I specifically mentioned I was a business owner and would be an asset in the sense I had experience with employees, Human Resourcing, accounting, payroll specifically mentioning the two computer accounting programs I had used in the past.

After I finished my curriculum vitae, I responded to questions from the mayor and four council members. Councilwoman Melissa Kay started off with the question what would I change or bring to the city. I spoke to live-streaming all council meeting and selling city rental properties to get the property back on the tax rolls. I mentioned the four-plex, explaining it was never meant to be owned in perpetuity by the city and off the tax rolls. As it sits right now, we collect no taxes from the four-plex and it has reached a phase where it needs upgrades which will come out of taxes. The rents in the four-plex cannot keep up with the expenses as it sits right now. In addition because the construction of Beck Drive (Pat’s hobby horse) cost the city somewhere between $200K and $300K and over the years of that expense, only two or three lots have been sold so the city has not paid any principal, just interest and pay-off time is quickly approaching. Minimal lot costs are increasing just to maintain the interest payment. Really? The residents of Alcester are being expected to pay for Beck Drive where nobody is living and paying taxes while our streets are floating into the storm sewers.

I spoke to encouraging and building up main street businesses. I spoke of governor’s houses to replace and upgrade housing on the west side of Alcester. The city has the ability to purchase these homes, site them and re-sell them which will improve home values on our west side recapturing taxes to work on the infra-structure.

I spoke to developing a program to involve our students in local government, to educate them in the proper way to govern and know what they can do to participate in their local government.

Councilman David Larsen posed a question on my position about firing employees and I assumed he was referencing one specific employee. I answered his question that I would not necessarily fire that employee but I would definitely define and close the parameters of that employee’s job description. A follow up question on if I were to be appointed and in relation to my blog about any discussion of that employee which I took to mean Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens. I responded I could not nor would I discuss any employee in public venue as a Councilwoman on the Alcester City Council.  However and not part of my response to Councilman Larsen’s query, I would not tolerate the continued employment of a Finance Officer who violated state and local laws.

Mayor Glas, Councilwoman Reppe and Councilwoman Talbott had no questions for me. In fact Mayor Glas did not want anymore chit-chat on my qualifications, but I did understand why. My interview closed at 6:25 p.m. and I left the room. Immediately after I left the room, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson was called in for a question.

At 6:25 p.m. Dan Haeder was called into for his ‘interview’ and five minutes later he was out of the Executive Session. Imagine that! No wonder Mayor Glas asked no questions of me. Folks, the decision was already a done deal before I ever walked through the door. In fact I surmise it was a done deal upon closing on the house on Park street. You see folks the council is not interested in what I could do or bring to city government, they do not care what actual experience I have, how many city council meetings I attended BEFORE I put my name in for council seat, they just want to protect Finance Officer Pat Jurrens no matter what violations she has accrued or short cuts she has taken or will continue to take.

At 6:33 p.m. Pat wasted no time swearing Dan Haeder into office to do her bidding. There, however, is a problem when Dan Haeder was forced to resign his Ward II seat, he no longer occupied the position of president of the council. He must be elected to that position, so the vice-president of the council has moved into the position of president of the council.

Agenda Item #6-ROCS Transport Service-no one showed up

Agenda Item #7-Public Input

Council skipped over this to Open Chip Seal bids, (06:40:00) I called point of order that the council was not following the agenda. City Attorney Sam weighed in with an opinion the Council does not have to go by the agenda. I argued the council approved the agenda (02:04:00) without change or addition, therefore they were obligated to follow the agenda order. There was an opinion that the bid opening was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the council had to abide by that. I argued since the bidders were not there in person the agenda time was not sacrosanct and the delay was marginal.

Agenda Item #8 – Seal Coat bids opened. I find it deplorable Mayor Glas feels the need to comment on a specific bidder i.e. referencing TopKote bid, “…You’re going to like this (07:58:00…), yet I was not supposed to critique the Finance Officer’s Failures. Or, “… TopKote must not want the business…) from newly appointed Councilman Dan Haeder (08:47:00)  Folks if we allow our council to make comments such as these, we will earn a deplorable reputation. Motion to accept Road Guy bid at $1.70 square yard, second, discussion none and unanimous vote X 5.

Agenda Item #7-Public Input- I spoke of the necessity of closing the pool and summer recreation. (11:54:00) Listen closely, then do your own research. Council members and Finance Officer Jurrens who has been allowed to respond in a pseudo council member position on any and all subjects. Finance Officer Jurrens only has the ‘expertise’ to comment on computer viruses and Pat-demics. Yes, Patricia Jurrens was seated as a city council member from Ward I pushing her agenda of recycling, I often wonder what  she was recycling, she then voted to not appoint Finance Officer Kezar because he would not spend down city accounts to suit her.  After her vote to fire the Finance Officer, she applied for his job.  So Folks, she is not a member of the council! (12:45:00 through 14:54:28). Councilman Haeder brought up a question concerning Peace Lutheran and Easter Basket deliveries. According to Finance Officer Jurrens, she took it upon herself (over-stepping position yet again) to call parents, asked them for their concerns on this community outreach and voiced her opinion. (18:10:13) Yo, Pat-demic the bookkeeper’s opinion does not count. I did not hear you asked parents about the hot lunch program for the students and their concerns. Preparation for lunches and Easter baskets would have the same handling precautions. You insult us!

Agenda Item #9 – Wastewater- (21:07:00) Translation by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens.

Agenda Item #10 – Streets- (21:16:00) Translation by Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens.

Agenda Item #11– Police Department – Chief Christie delivered a recap of the month on his own and without Pat-demics translation. Motion to purchase a new police vest for Austin, second, discussion none and unanimous vote X 5.

Agenda Item #12 – Golf Course – Hire of Golf Course Manager-Motion to hire Deb Braaten at $12.50/hour, second, discussion none and unanimous vote X 5.

Agenda Item #13 – Legal Updates –

SDML request for city governments to issue a letter to Governor Noem regarding a state of emergency. Mayor Glas wanted to shirk his duty with his comment he signed the letter because it did not mandate him to close down businesses in the city due the Pandemic Covid-19. (32:10:00) The next interminable semantic discussion of the difference between the verbs of ‘shall’ and ‘is’. They forgot the ‘pixie dust’ sprinkling of; shall vs. should, shall vs. may, shall vs. will, shall vs. mandatory and etc. Then the council moved on to the definition of the noun ‘premises’. Oh and lest we forget the definition of Misdemeanor II and what fines the city should charge—$122.50 or $25.00 per incident. City Attorney Sam’s Robert’s Rules of Order comment (1:11:00:57) is telling. The council conducted the First Reading of the Ordinance 2020-04 with two amendments and projected effective date of August 30, 2020. Amendment of page 4-motion to amend, second, discussion none, unanimous vote X 5, Amendment of Section 5, motion, second, discussion none unanimous vote X 5 and finally the First Reading of Ordinance 2020-04, motion, second, discussion none and unanimous vote X 5.

Executive Session-Legal Counsel Motion, second, discussion, unanimous vote X 5. In Ex Session at 7:50 p.m. and out 8:02 p.m.

Beck Drive-gas line discussion on gas line billing, trying to figure out where the gas lines and other utilities Lee Drive area.

Agenda Item #15 Goodwill Great Plains Shredding- OH a favorite near and dear to Pat-demics heart. Councilwoman Melissa Kay (01:29:55) comment on historical documents statute of which Pat-demic was ignorant. Should have had the counsel of SDML on that one.

Agenda Item #16 – Pleasant Hill/Landfill Update ARE YA KIDDING ME? (Freudian slip, a bad pun in agenda labels or obituary?) Land fill is open Monday and Thursday Evenings 5p.m. to 7p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. to Noon.

Mayor has to potty 8:20 p.m.

Agenda Item #17 – Finance Offices Updates. Dumpsters on Friday.

Quam & Berglin Warrant, closing, costs and purchase price $15,368.25. Discussion of council (01:47:00)whizzing and moaning about purchase the building to house the police department and have the remodel and repairs several times the cost of the purchase price. Motion, second, discussion none, unanimous vote X 5

Police Charger revised First payment $3995.66 Motion, second, discussion none unanimous vote X 5

Warrants-motion, second, discussion none unanimous vote X 5

HR Human Resources (01:57:08.93)Bambee I have to assume the council after reading the fine print decided Bambee was too expensive. But it was decided to form a committee of three, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Employee Pat Jurrens. Yeah right Pat-demic deciding if two misdemeanors or if bloating comp time claims are a firing offense.

2019 Annual Report- discussion on water fund mandate. There is a protected minimum of $59K hold back/reserve but as usual Pat wants to spend it down to nothing . (02:13:26) Council take back your powers, Finance Officer is not elected, she is not your equal, she is just a bookkeeper! Motion to approve the 2019 annual report, second, discussion, unanimous vote X 5.

Destroy records– 2001-2005-Motion, second, discussion none, unanimous vote X 5.

Amko approval– special meeting Bond People April 15, 2020, 6: 00 p.m. Motion, second, discussion none, unanimous vote X 5.

Continued discussion of Covid-19 – put up posters use park at your own risk, advertisement in the paper versus close park, park shelters, swimming pool–No decisions.

Golf Course – Food to go only. No bar.

Finance Office Open/Close– FO Pat Jurrens wants to work from home. Where is oversight on that one. How are people going to access building permits, pay bills, and etc. Oh I know an operating official website which will take payments. Councilwoman Melissa Kay asked about this. (2:37:49.27) Furlough Wanda, Keep Finance Officer Pat in the city office with the half-door locked and with a plastic drape over the top of the half door. No brainer! City business essential.**

Reminders and Updates

Clean up April 10-27, 2020

HRC-meeting coming up

Fair Board-06/01/2020 fair cancellation date

Alcester Community Building- architect to redraw- Leave out the Finance Offices and council room because size-wise the city gains absolutely nothing–Keep the city offices down town.

Volunteer roster-none

Agenda Item #22– Executive session personnel

motion, second, discussion none, unanimous vote X 5.

9:45 p.m. in session with Attorney Nelson but without Pat Jurrens or Wanda.

10:06 p.m. out of executive session

no business coming out of executive session

So another secret session to appoint another council member?

Agenda Item #23 Adjournment

Motion, second, discussion none, unanimous vote X 5. 10:08 p.m.

*Note the number of actual discussions for each Motion and note the number of unanimous votes for each Motion.

**Long, un-researched discussions outlasted camera battery.

03/16/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the March 16, 2020, Special Equalization meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. with Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Councilwoman Darla Reppe present. Once again Councilman Lance Johnson was absent and there was no city attorney present.

*NOTE-I apologise to Michael Bucholz for mis-spelling his name in the title page in the video.  I did and do know how to spell his name but missed my error in the proofing process.

After the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the council began by approving the agenda unanimously.

Agenda Item #4 – AMKO Mr. Mark DeRaney representative made a presentation regarding Alcester’s Sewer bond and the rework to lower interest rate as I understand it. The city council had to vote on Resolution 2020.03 to re-fund the bond at a lower interest rate. The council voted to move forward.

Agenda Item #5 – Equalization Board This is where the council received appeals to property tax valuation. At that point in the evening no one had presented an appeal of valuation nor did it appear there was any discretionary reductions taken by the county at this point. There will be a citywide assessment in 2021 by the county. No action taken.

Agenda Item #6 – Public Input – I mentioned several comments made to me about water meter reading discrepancies in billing. I told the council they need to be aware there are complaints which have been voiced to me. My recommendation is to have residents keep a monthly log of their meter reading and compare it to what their water bill reads, then report discrepancies to the finance office so the finance office can correct the readings or have the meter reading devices calibrated.

Agenda Item #7 – Community Building Project- the project committee met with the architects to cut costs and determine which items would be cut from the blue-printed plans. Items mentioned that were to be cut or deleted:  (red areas indicate areas in which cuts and deletions were proposed)

  • Basement
  • Stairway to basement
  • No front canopy
  • Utility room moved from basement to the proposed Fitness Center
  • Fitness center was on the cutting block but mediation brought it to where the council chamber (conference room)was to be located.
  • No firm decision on the cuts and deletions was made at this time.

                    

Agenda Item #8 – Hire candidate Parker Dooley as Utility person at $12.00/hour.

Agenda Item #9 – Executive Session called for Contractual matters. When I asked what contract of Finance Officer, I was told litigation. H-m-m Litigation? How is that contractual? Sounded more like lawsuit to me so my next question, is the city is being sued? I received no answer. I wonder if that is what is called, ‘asked and answered’? The non-answer is an affirmative answer?

This executive session lasted from 6:37 p.m. to 7:03 p.m. just shy of a half an hour of executive chit-chat without an attorney present and no public action taken!

Agenda Item #10 – Executive session called for Personnel – Gallery and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens exited the room and Union County Attorney Jerry Miller and Michael Bucholz entered into the Executive Session with the Council. About 30-40 minutes later Union County Attorney Miller and Mr. Bucholz exited the Executive Session. At 7:45 p.m. Alcester Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens entered the Executive session and exited the Executive session at 8:30 p.m. and at 8:34 p.m. Mayor Glas called the council out of Executive Session Personnel.

Grand total of 1 1/2 hour of Executive Session time with no public action.

Agenda Item #11 – City Insurance Review – Finance Officer Jurrens recited the various assets needing coverage of insurance and upgrades in valuations, actual or replacement. Then (49:43:80) Finance Officer Jurrens focused on General Liability Coverage, Professional Liability Coverage and mumbled something about Time Computations (?) which translated to employee embezzlement. Now ‘time computations’ which was unintelligible both in live meeting and on the video brings the question of approval of over-time and comp-time for the finance office and other administrative positions. Administrative positions are not paid over-time. Alcester City Ordinance required approval (on paper) for any over-time for the Finance Office. Yet when I asked Mayor Glas and Finance Officer for access to Mayor Glas’ or City Council approval of any over-time hours for the Finance Office I was told there were no such records. This was in violation of City Ordinance requiring a document carrying the mayor’s signature of approval, the date, justification for Over Time and the number of hours. So in effect I was told the 232 +/- hours of over-time/comp time logged by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens had no documented proof of approval and for which a check was cut to the tune of $4880.00. Is that what we need insurance for? So which one is guilty of embezzlement the original computation or Mayor Glas who had the responsibility? H-m-m?

Agenda Item #12 – Adjournment Meeting was adjourned at 8:55 p.m.