01/24/2020 A Voice From the Gallery

The following was sent to the city in objection to the variance for Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson:

It is my understanding the council approved of the variance for Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson.  Why?  Please click on the Objection below,  read the objection and ask the council why they’re violating their own ordinances.

 

 

10/04/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

“Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation.”
Atifete Jahjaga

The October 2, 2019, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council convened at the Alcester Golf Course Clubhouse at 6:00 pm with Mayor Glas, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present. Absent was Ward III Councilman Lance Johnson. Also present were Jon Serck, Alcester EMS; Geoff Fillingsness, Alcester Code Enforcement Officer, Alcester Chief of Police Jeff Christie, Police Officer Austin Schuller and Former Finance Officer Michael Kezar and other interested folks.

I want to start with the fact the meeting was opened at the Alcester city shop for a tour from 5:30pm to 5:45pm. I did not attend that meeting so whether the meeting was in fact opened, the meeting was adjourned or whether any city business was conducted I have no first-hand knowledge.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the agenda was approved with a unanimous five (5) aye vote and the minutes of the September 4, 2019, and September 16, 2019, meeting were approved with no changes with a unanimous five (5) aye vote.

Agenda Item #5 Public Input    I,  had public input. My topic was the city charging Alcester EMS for sewer and garbage, see the demand letter from the city of Alcester. Also please note the Alcester City Finance Officer’s response to my question and the response from Alcester EMS Jon Serck. (00:08:52)

I also spoke on the topic of Finance Officer Patricia Jurrens refusal to hand over FOIA, specifically dealing with the Property Maintenance Violations list. Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s position these are not public records, I argued the City of Sioux Falls has their Property Maintenance violation citations on their website so this sets a precedence for Alcester to provide these public records and in 2016 the city provided me the property maintenance code violations with an argument but I got them. I handed Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson a copy of those SF violation records from September 2019 as proof.   I EXPECT THOSE RECORDS TO BE PROVIDED TO ME!

Code Officer Geoff Fillingsness stuck his nose into the discussion (00:13:25) Code Officer Fillingsness stated, “I am the president of the South Dakota Association of Code Enforcement!” O-h-o-o-o-o! Really? Mr. President of the SD Association of Code Enforcement states, “…we (the code association respect the privacy… we do not release names of violations…” Really? When asked the question why he (Code Officer Fillingsness) was no longer the Beresford Code Enforcement Officer, Code Officer Geoff said (00:16:39), “I was fired…you want to know why I was fired?” Listen to why he says he was fired. Do you ‘spose’ the new mayor of Beresford would agree with that assessment? I doubt it!

LOOK AT THE PURPOSE OF THE SD ASSOCIATION OF CODE ENFORCEMENT set forth on the SDML website (www.sdmunicipalleague.org/codeenforcement) South Dakota Municipal League South Dakota, October 6, 2019, South Dakota Association of Code Enforcement)

  • “To operate, without profit to the Association, or its members, as a state association to advance, educate and improve efforts of state, county, city and other political subdivision employees who are actively involved with and responsible for the enforcement of housing, municipal, county, state or federal codes without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, or sex.

  • To encourage professionalism with regard to the standardization of enforcement of environmental, and housing codes.

  • To supply and advance the science and practice of code enforcement through certification and to provide training workshops, seminars and conferences facilitating and advancing the administration of the various codes with which the Association is concerned.

  • To exchange information relating to the code enforcement profession.

  • To promote policies that will facilitate and improve code enforcement procedures”

Mr. Code Officer Fillingsness please explain bullet point #2, “…to encourage professionalism with regard to the standardization of enforcement of environment and housing codes…” I mean just how does that work in YOUR world? I mean when ya’ll don’t know if the judge is a he or a she. If ya’ll left your paperwork in your car? Really. Oh an’ yeah, who was the affiant who attested to alleged conditions? You do know lying to a judge or making a false statement is as illegal as making a false police report just ask Pat.

Folks you need look and listen to Pat at (00:16:39) during the discussion on my FOIA request. FO Pat asked the question, “…Why do you want this information…?” Councilman Melissa Kay hushed FO Pat, ’cause FO Pat cannot legally ask that question! Amazing!

With regard to my FOIA request, Mayor Glas announced (00:21:47) he was going to follow Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson’s advice. Mr. Mayor, YOU were not so willing with the previous city attorney! Really Mayor, you just declared you were going to refuse me access to public records? You might want to check the penalty on that one!

Agenda Item#6 Mike Kezar’s appeal of the Property Maintenance Violation Citation. You really have to hand it to President Code Officer Geoff Fillingsness, he cited lack of smoke alarms, flower pots without flowers, vermin and having a kitchen in the basement. Really? How many of you folks have smoke alarms in every bedroom, how many of you folks have mousetraps in your homes, how many of you folks have a kitchen in a lower level part of your home and how many of you have an empty flower pot or two. I do, in fact I have pot-people sitting in the front of my home.

In addition, I have filed two property maintenance violation complaints and President Code Officer Fillingsness has ignored them. I do believe that is called selective administration of Code and I do believe that is failing to do his duty.  It is called non-feasance or in this case I believe President Code Officer Fillingsness is guilty of malfeasance.

President Code Officer Fillingsness gave his opinion on Mr. Kezar’s garage, I wonder how much President Code Office Fillingsness will pad his bill for unsolicited advice?

Agenda Item #16 Tiny House- Folks unless you want Tiny Homes next to your home, do not allow these portable potty trains into your neighborhood. There is no real estate tax benefit to these playhouses for the community.

Agenda Item #17-Fiance Office Update-Councilwoman Melissa Kay question FO Pat about the city website AGAIN. FO Pat responded I will be working on it. That is like the Fat Lady in the Circus working on her diet while she is munching on a fresh fried donut dunked in glaze.

Agenda Item #23 Executive Session-Contracts- The council moved into Executive session at 7:58 PM and I was ushered out into the cold, dark misting night and all by my lonesome. I huddled near the windows of the clubhouse, watching the council ‘disgust’ contracts. I wonder what they would say if I told them I could read lips or I was videotaping them?* At 8:16 PM the door was opened and I was allowed to come in from the cold.

The council adjourned at 8:17 PM.

Note: I understand there was a recent happening. It is my understanding there was a false report? If that information is accurate, the Alcester FO must be relieved of her duties until the situation is resolved through the courts. The Alcester FO is in charge of Alcester’s monies and with the quality of over-sight of Mayor Magoo Glas, that has the feel of the Fox taking inventory of the hen house egg production!  More to come!

*By the way, I cannot read lips and the camera was shut down!

08/28/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted,

when we tolerate what we know to be wrong,

when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened,

when we fail to speak up and speak out,

we strike a blow against freedom, decency and justice.

Robert F. Kennedy

Folks, I filed a complaint as soon as I became aware of violation of election with regard to the April 9, 2019, mayoral election. I attach a copy of my complaint for your reading. This complaint was filed with the Union County State’s Attorney Jerry Miller as suggested by the South Dakota Secretary of State Office when I started digging for information. I also submitted copies of my complaint to the South Dakota Secretary of State and Margaret Gillespie, South Dakota Board of Elections.

According the South Dakota Statute:

9-13-24.   Return and canvass of votes. The election returns shall be reported as soon as possible to the finance officer, and within seven days of the election, the governing body shall canvass the election returns, declare the result, and enter the result on its journal.

12-1-3.3 “Election officials,” state and local officials charged with the duty of conducting elections and the canvass of returns;

12-1-3.9 “Person in charge of an election,” or “person charged with the conduct of an election,” the county auditor in all cases except local elections for a municipality, school district, township, or other political subdivision, in which case it is the officer having the position comparable to the auditor in that unit of government if not specifically designated by law;

12-20-21.   Return of ballot boxes, returns, records and supplies to officer in charge–Tampering prohibited–Violation as felony. The sealed ballot box, together with the pollbook and duplicate tally sheet, registration lists, and the envelope containing the unofficial returns and all supplies and returns required, shall be returned by the precinct superintendent or a precinct deputy designated by the precinct superintendent, to the officer in charge of the election immediately after completion of the vote count. No person may deface, destroy, or tamper with the ballot box, envelope, pollbook, duplicate tally sheet, or registration lists or remove any seals. A violation of this section is a Class 6 felony.

These are just a few of South Dakota Statute covering elections and the person in charge of elections. For the municipality of Alcester, a class 2 municipality defined as: Second Class: Those with populations between 500 and 5,000″. So our class 2 municipality has the Appointed Finance Officer as election official in charge of the election.

Alcester City Finance Officer Jurrens, during the April 15, 2019, canvass meeting, handed over the key to the ballot box, allowed the ballot box to be opened-in fact assisted in opening the ballot box and the voted ballots to be handled by the Alcester City Council as you can see in the video taken that evening. Illegal!

The council relied on Alcester City Finance Officer Jurrens to know what she was supposed to be doing. In fact Alcester FO Jurrens has attended seminars with the South Dakota Municipal League and received educational election materials from the South Dakota Secretary of State on conducting legal elections.

Add to the fact that Alcester City Finance Officer Jurrens knew she was in violation but the Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson was present, who sat by and watched the whole scenario and did not say a word! You can see him seated at the council table on which the ballot box was sitting upon in the video.  video link  https://bit.ly/2YmBsrc

SDML 2019 Municipal Elections Handbook, Section 5, Chapter 5 After the Election-5.000 Official Canvass under

#1…DO NOT TAKE THE BALLOT BOX TO CANVASS AS THE GOVERNING BODY DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO RECOUNT BALLOTS…”

It is my understanding that Jerry Miller WAS going to charge Alcester City Finance Officer Pat Jurrens with Malfeasance. According to Black’s Law Dictionary,

MALFEASANCE is

The wrongful or unjust doing of some act which the doer has no right to perform, or which he has stipulated by contract not to do. It differs from “mis- feasance” and “non-feasance,” (which titles see.) See 1 Chit. Pr. 9; 1 Chit. PI. 134; Dudley v. Flemingsburg, 115 Ky. 5, 72 S. W. 327, 00 L. R. A. 575, 103 Am. St. Rep. 253; Coite v. Lynes, 33 Conn. 115; Bell v. Josse- lyn, 3 Gray (Mass.) 311, 63 Am. Dec. 741.

I AM COMPLAINING NOW!

I call for a new election because the illegal opening of the ballot box and the illegal handling of the voted ballots may have compromised the election and put the vote into question.

As a result of Alcester Finance Office Patricia Jurrens failure to abide by her oath of office, her incompetence and failure of duty be fined for the cost of a new election and fined a minimum of $4880.00 in punitive costs.

AND

I call for the termination of Patricia Jurrens as Alcester Finance Officer.

07/01/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.

John Perry Barlow

And so it begins!

Mayor Tom Glas called the July 1, 2019, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council to order or at least that was I assume his intent with Alcester City Councilman David Larsen, Alcester City Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Alcester City Councilwoman Linda Talbott, and Alcester City Councilwoman Darla Reppe in attendance with Alcester City Councilman Lance Johnson sitting in his chair. Also seated at the Table was Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson.

The Council, Cling-ons Pat and Wanda, and the gallery stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The council began their duties by approving the agenda as written by Pat and since the meeting actually took place, FO Pat must have managed to post it properly. The council went on to approve the minutes of the June 3, 2019, and the June 19/20, 2019 meeting as penned by FO Pat. Next on the approved agenda was item #5 May 2019 warrants, wait a minute? May 2019 warrants? FO Slip-shod forgot the May 2019 warrants? How was the absence of a routine, imperative agenda item missed in the May agenda? Evidently paying bills was not a high priority on FO Pat’s ‘list’ in May.

Public Input was called and of course I responded. Really, I think they should just give me my own agenda line item. Chuckle, Chuckle Prior to the meeting I placed copies of my second request to be emailed an agenda for all city meetings. The original requested was made August 7, 2017 and was ignored, not even a peep from FO Pat. A-mazing! I am entitled as a resident, as a reporting entity and I provided a copy of Conducting the Public’s Business in Public, A guide to South Dakota’s Open Meetings Law (revised Fall of 2015) where I highlighted pertinent passages the council had been ignoring. One of the highlighted areas was the opinion of the SD Attorney General who opined, “that ‘local news media’ is all news media-broadcast and print that regularly carry news to the community.” The third document I provided to the council was a citation of SDCL 1-25-11,

” Recording of open public meeting to be permitted. No state, political subdivision, or public body may prevent a person from recording, through audio or video technology, a public meeting that is open to the public as long as the recording is reasonable, obvious, and not disruptive.(Source: SL 2016, ch 11, §1.)  

Councilman David Larsen asked me if the Open Meeting citation I used included the changes which went into effect on July 1, 2019. I told him no, it did not. Readers rest assured I will read the changes and report how they may affect the residents of Alcester.

Legal Updates from Alcester City Attorney Sam included the Cemetery Update. I am not sure it was the wisest thing for the city to take on a perpetual care money pit. Perpetual care was deemed to be a good thing once upon a time, but it doesn’t ever seem to take into account perpetual care can mean not just mowing and trimming but roads, maintenance of markers, plot assignments, and etc.

And then there was the attack on the feral cat. Now folks I like cats, I am allergic but I like cats and I hate the idea of trapping them in cages and hauling them off to be euthanized. I spoke to the humane society today because it was my understanding they would not take feral cats, I was given the information they will attempt to re-home some feral cats which are healthy they will not take on feral cats suffering from feline leukemia or bat-bite rabies. These cats will be euthanized. In addition the bat-bite, rabied cats are dangerous to trap ’cause rabies is not always apparent and we do not pay our police enough money to take that chance. FO Pat maybe but not our police force.

So the council decided to use the animal-at-large ordinance for the time-being. So take heed Councilmember who has the cutest little cats, hauls them out to the acreage 6 miles out of town, those little cuties will come back into town and as an Alcester taxpayer you will have the privilege to pay to have then spayed and/or euthanized!

Next up agenda item Community Clean Up. The Finance Office Nazi’s are at it again! Demand letters are in the mail.

Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking Assistant Finance Secretary/Meter Reader Wanda to read your water meter through your windows.

Vickie A. Larsen shamelessly inspired by John Perry Barlow

One resident has pushed back on FO Pat Jurrens, Code Officer Geoff’s demand to breach the sanctity of their home for inspection. Really? The PC and folks this stands for probable cause not politically correct! Frau FO Pat Jurrens and Freikorper Geoff Fillingsness using FO Pat’s Bible of Bilious Bullying, the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code.

The 2012 International Property Code book includes chapters on Scope and application, Administration-Powers of Code Official, Definitions, General Requirements, Light-Ventilation and occupancy limits, Plumbing facilities & fixtures, Mechanicals & Electrical, Fire Safety, Reference Std and Boarding Std.

(http://www.hs-sd.org/assets/docs/uploads/Planning-administrator/icc.ipmc.2012.pdf)

          Folks anyone armed with this listing of tactics, a camera, and allowed within a house-hold can produce enough probable cause for a magistrate to use against Mr. Clean’s household. Do not take my word, look the code up and then ask yourself, “how well would my home do” held to the exaggeration of any one of these standards? Stop Mayor Glas and FO Pat’s Bullying!

The council voted to allow $12K for a Sioux Falls company to ‘come-in and force-ably clean house. Hey will that work on the Finance Office? Can we start a go-fund-me to clean up our Finance Office? Oh I know, we’ll take out a CDBG loan to clean up our finance office.

Going on to the Curb and Gutter discussion, Ya know the one 518 Anderson Street Randy Roo’s where Mayor Glas and FO Pat maintained approval was given, professionally chopped the Curb and council approval. Both Mayor Glas and FO Pat LIED and Denied FOIA answers. In fact FO Pat gave permission which she was not authorized to give (01:12:59) per Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson. ACA Nelson says there should be a building permit, so Mayor Glas declared since there were no materials purchased no building permit fee was due! REALLY? So what about the demolition fee? Randy Ray Roo definitely demolished the curb, a city asset. Can the rest of us do that? Evidently yes, ’cause ol’ Councilman Lance Johnson has his non-materials picked-out so he doesn’t have to back his 5th wheel camper across Randy Roo’s lot to get to the street. Let Mayor Magoo know what you think of that, 605-934-2188 The professional who butchered the curb was in fact Randy Ray Heuer. Gee I thought he was a farmer. Professional what? Rooster? Or the ‘other’ kind of professional? Oh and let’s not forget Mayor Glas’ declaration that, “…the cutting out was done professionally and does not affect the flow of water…” Are ya kidding? So just how does water flow Mayor Magoo? Downhill or from a rain-laden cloud to the earth via gravity?

Agenda Item# 10 Downtown Sidewalk -width-not-width ADA? Heck if we know!

Agenda Item #12 Circle Drive Estimated at $6300 but that is too much. So we can cobbled it (no pun intended) by applying 64 ton of rocks ($2500 with $4 per ton trucking) Motion and vote went like this, we spend up to $3K and with five ayes passed.

Agenda Item #16-Pat actually made it to this conference, she larned all about public input-we’ll see.

Approve June Warrants- Evidently we are going to follow the agenda.

Confused discussion on time sheets, paychecks, paystubs, detailed comp time and pay rates. Pat explained this to council members who are supposed to be over-sight to Pat’s book-keeping. Good Luck on that one.

Meeting adjourned at 8:42 pm.

06/03/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

At 6:00 p.m. Mayor Tom Glas called the regular Alcester City Council meeting to order with Councilman David Larsen, Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilman Lance Johnson and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson present.  The group began business with approval of the night’s meeting agenda and the approval of the May meetings.

Agenda Item #5 Marc Macy was called upon to make his presentation for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Agenda Item #6 was called for the first reading of Alcester City Ordinance 2019-02 dealing with conditional uses which would allow placing just a garage on a lot for storage (?).  This was a garage ordinance originally called 2019-01, after my argument there was already a 2019-01 ordinance which I call ‘protect Pat’s Job attempt’, an argument from Pat I was wrong on the numbering and AFTER I proved I was correct,  the amending ordinance was changed to 2019-02.  Ya know all FO Pat had to do was to pull her file on ordinances (which she is required to keep) she could have prevented the confusion of two (2) 2019-01 ordinances, the delay of first reading and of course knowingly calling me wrong.

Agenda Item #7-a presentation made by Amanda Ericson and Carmen Kast for the Fireman Water Fight scheduled for June 15, 2019, during the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and to ask permission to close off Second Street from Iowa to Dakota.  Permission was granted.

Agenda Item #8– I commented on three items, which were included in my hand-outs to the council.

First was the Ordinance numbering which was dealt with the Agenda item  6.

Second was the failure of the Mayor and FO Pat Jurrens to provide FOIA for access to completed public records absentee ballot application and listing poll book.  FO Pat argued I was wrong and could not access these documents.  I had already provided information from the Secretary of State to back up my claim.  I was refused access and was given a listing of the absentee ballot names and was informed that Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson had spoken with the South Dakota Secretary of State representative Christine Lehrkamp.

Since I had spoken to a different person in the SD Secretary of State office, I contacted Ms. Lehrkamp, explained the situation and she agreed I should have     access.  I made plans to bring this to the council’s attention during input.  On Monday, June 3, 2019, I contacted Ms. Lehrkamp asking for a written statement I could present to bolster my argument and she provided me with the statement.  Upon my introduction of the FOIA issue, FO Pat objected, I argued the statement in my handout and Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson stated he read the Ms. Lehrkamp’s statement, I was correct and I was to be given access to the FOIA information.

Third was the issue of no visible pool rules. I spoke of the absence of the large pool rules sign, the fact children were going down the slide head-first and a garden hose strung across the pool deck and wound around the slide ladder which creates a clear danger to pool users.  After speaking with city representatives of Beresford and Canton     I was told there should be a life-guard stationed at the ladder of the slide and a life-guard in the pool at the foot of the slide.

One again FO Pat waded in with an argument noting the size of the slide, to which I responded we got the slide from Beresford who had the two life-guard slide rule.

I went to the pool this morning, saw the copy paper sized, laminated farce of a sign attached to the slide and not a large visible sign that parents, children and life-guards can clearly see without walking to within two feet of the slide.

Agenda Item #10– The council spoke to the Mayor’s and FO Pat’s decision to sic a South Dakota Circuit Judge on non-conforming residents.  Oh and yeah,  Mayor Glas asked for what I will call a not-so-secretary security de-tale of one volunteer to walk around town with him to inspect properties.  Councilman Lance Johnson leaped at the change.  Amazing, this is the guy who lives across from 518 Anderson where the curb and gutter vandalism took place and has not been resolved.

Agenda Item#11 Alcester Ambulance came to request the city forgive the water charges for the ambulance building.  The Council voted to not charge the ambulance for water usage.

Item Agenda #16– Finance Office  A couple of notable departures from code and duties.

First was Mayor Glas major faux pas.  This ‘sage of cee-ment and construction” was advised the roof on one of the park shelters needed repair.  Well ol’ sage tom went to Schoeneman to price steel.  Oh not the sine-wave of course.  Well he got pricing on a single sheet unit of steel but not the screws, nails, wood and etc. to cover the roof A-N-D then he did the math times six (6) to cover the whole roof?  Are ya kidding?  Who does that? MAYOR TOM GLAS, that is who!  But it gets better, he is given a verbal opinion of cost, Mayor Glas FAILED to GET-IT-IN-WRITING!  Who does that?  Mayor Tom Glas, that is who!

Next is the Executive Session for personnel, now everyone aside from the council, Alcester City Attorney Sam Nelson and FO Pat Jurrens were ushered out.  So there we were Gordon Richards and myself standing in the atrium of the Auditorium with Wanda Halverson guarding the council door against Vandals, Huns and who know what interlopers.  Folks the council is abusing Executive session.

Now I figured the council was dealing with the recent demand for payment from a former employee, but the reason to go into executive session was personnel which was inappropriate for a lawsuit question.  Occasionally we would hear a word or two erupt into the silence in the atrium, such as “I make a motion!”  Really! Making a motion in executive session, A BIG NO-NO!  Yes folks that did get my attention!  What was it about, wait for it, wait for it.

The Council was declared out of Executive Session at 9:00* and slam, bam, you’re gonna get the dough FO Pat.  Immediately a motion was made to PAY FO PAT JURRENS $4800.00 settlement for her “illegal comp time”  Alcester Voters $4800.00 for comp time (time and a half) for exempt administrative hours, HOURS THAT WERE NOT APPROVED AS TO NECESSITY, ADVANCE WRITTEN APPROVAL, HOURS NOT PROPERLY ACCOUNTED FOR,  AND ETC.

The city offices are closed on Tuesday noon to five with the door closed and the telephone not answered ’cause the ‘girls’ cannot get their work done!  Yeah well yesterday was a Tuesday, what part of weed pulling, flower bed tending is in FO PATS job description?  Who pays $25.00/hour for a finance officer to pull weeds and make pretty-pretty?  What idiot pays FO Pat time-and-a-half for pulling weeds, painting walls, shopping -for-atrium-decor?  Judging from the payroll checks signed by Mayor Tom Glas he is the idiot!  Mayor Glas whose ‘Oversight’ is the “I forgot and made a mistake Oversight” NOT the “I am watching you Oversight” WHO in Hades is “OVERSEEING” Mayor Glas and the Finance Office.

I would recommend that decision be referred and not be paid out.  So I would advise FO Pat not to spend that $4800!  With that gem of governance, the council adjourned at 9:01 p.m.

*Mayor Glas in his rush to get FO Pat her unapproved comp time/over-time, barely allowed those of us waiting in the no-open-meeting-for-us atrium-land to be seated in the council room, much less get the camera rolling to record his shining hour.

04/15/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

I thought I would provide a brief comparison of what Alcester City Finance Officer believes her duties are.  Please note the color coding.  RED is the color used for the South Dakota Municipal League definition of a Finance Officer.  BLUE is the color used for a brief definition of City Manager.  Purple is the color used to denote a blend of Finance Officer and City Manager.  Remember folks we have a finance officer, NOT a city manager or administrator!

DUTIES OF MUNICIPAL FINANCE OFFICER

SDML

  • KEEP REGULAR BOOKS OF ACCOUNT
  • SUPERVISE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM
  • KEEP A RECORD OF CITY COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS
  • DRAW AND COUNTERSIGN ALL WARRANTS
  • KEEP THE CORPORATE SEAL
  • COUNTERSIGN ALL CONTRACTS
  • AUDIT AND ADJUST ALL CLAIMS AGAINST THE CITY BEFORE THEY ARE ALLOWED BY THE GOVERNING BOARD
  • KEEP A BOOK IN WHICH ALL CONTRACTS SHALL BE ENTERED
  • CERTIFY ANNUAL TAX LEVY TO COUNTY AUDITOR
  • MAINTAIN SPECIAL ASSESSMENT RECORD
  • FILE BONDS OF ALL EMPLOYEES AND OFFICIAL OF CITY EXCEPT AUDITOR’S BOND
  • PREPARE, PUBLISH AND FILE ANNUAL REPORT
  • MAINTAIN BOND RECORD
  • PREPARE BUDGET BEFORE SEPT 1 OF EACH YEAR AND SUBMIT TO COUNCIL
  • MAINTAIN A FILE OF ANNUAL INVENTORIES
  • RECEIVE MONIES OF CITY AND MAINTAIN CASH RECEIPTS JOURNAL
  • ISSUE PRENUMBERED RECEIPTS IN DULICATE GIVING THE ORIGINAL TO THE PAYER AND THE DUPLICATE TO THE AUDITOR
  • INVEST SURPLUS CASH BALANCES OF CITY
  • MAINTAIN A WARRANT REGISTER LISTING ALL WARRENTS ISSUED BY FUNDS
  • COMPARE CASH BALANCES MONTHLY WITH AUDITOR
  • REPORT TO THE CITY COUNCIL GIVING A FULL AND DETAILED ACCOUNT OF ALL RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES SINCE THE LAST REPORT
  • MAINTAIN A REGISTER OF ALL WARRANTS NOT PAID FOR WANT OF FUNDS
  • FILE AUDITOR’S BOND.

 

CITY MANAGER

  • MANAGING THE CITY BUDGET
  • OVERSEEING CITY PERSONNEL
  • ADDRESSING QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA REGARDING CITY COUNCIL ACTIVITIES
  • MEETING WITH VARIOUS HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS TO IDENTIFY AND RESOLVE ISSUES
  • MAKING RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES, INCLUDING BUDGETS, PERSONNEL NEEDS AND PROJECTS COST
  • ENSURING COMPLETION OF REPORTS AND STUDIES COMMISSIONED BY ELECTED OFFICIALS
  • OVERSEEING IMPORTANT SERVICES SUCH AS TRASH PICK-UP AND RECYCLING PROGRAMS
  • ENSURING WATER SUPPLIES ARE SAFE
  • WORKING ON IMPORTANT EXONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
  • RESPONDING TO AND RESOLVING DIFFICULT OR DELICAT QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS OF CITIZENS

PAT JURRENS DEFINITION OF DUTIES

  • RECOMMENDS NEW POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES TO THE COUNCIL, TRAINS AND EVALUATES PERFORMANCE AND DISCIPLINES PERSONNEL USING THE EMPLOYEE STANDARDS ADOPTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL
  • SERVE AS LIASON BETWEEN THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL WITH REGARD TO WATER, SEWER, STREET AND OFFICE DEPARTMENTS, OFFERING RESOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS AND EVALUATING THE PROGRESS OF GOALS.
  • BRIEF COUNCIL MEMBERS ON PENDING AGENDA ITEMS AND OTHER CITY ISSUES PROVIDING ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL AS NEEDED
  • PROVIDE ANALYSIS NEEDED TO ASSIST THE COUNCIL TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS
  • PERFORM FINANCIAL AND MANAGERIAL ANALYSIS FOR THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL RELATING TO CITY OPERATIONS, GRANTS AND PROGRAMS FOR CONSIDERATION
  • PREPARE THE BUDGET BEFORE SEPT 1 AND SUBMIT TO THE COUNCIL, PREPARE, PUBLISH AND FILE THE ANNUAL REPORT BY MARCH 1
  • COUNTERSIGN ALL CONTRACTS
  • SUPPLY MONTHLY, QUARTERLY AND ANNUAL INFORMATION TO THE AUDITOR FOR REVIEW
  • MAINTAIN ANNUAL INVENTORIES AND A LIST OF ALL FIXED ASSETS OWNED BY THE CITY
  • ISSUE BUILDING PERMITSMAKING PHYSICAL INSPECTIONS SEVERAL TIMES DURING CONSTRUCTION
  • ISSUE ALL OTHER LICENSES AND PERMITS AS ALLOWED BY THE ORDINANCES
  • ACT AS CUSTODIAN OF BOOKS OF RECORD, ORDINANCES, MEETING MINUTES AND OTHER OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS AND ACTIONS OF THE COUNCIL, THE CORPORATE SEAL AND OTHER OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS.
  • CREATE, MAINTAIN AND IMPLEMENT A POLICY & PROCEDUREAL MANUAL FOR CITY OPERATIONS
  • FILL OUT MONTHLY AND QUARTERLY REPORTS FOR THE SEWER PLANT, RETIREMENT, SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, EMPLOYMENT TAXES AND WITHHOLDING AND SALES TAX REPORTS
  • WORK WITH THE ASSISTANT FINANCE OFFICER ON THE WATER BILLING, DELINQUENT BILLS, ADDRESS UPDATES AND OTHE INNER OFFICE DUTIES
  • LISTEN TO THE REQUESTS AND CONCERNS OF THE COMMUNITY AND RELATE TO THE COUNCIL FOR REVIEW.
  • MAINTAIN THE CHECKBOOK BALANCE, PREPARE MATERIALS FOR CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS, CITY COUNCIL MINUTES AND SCHEDULING GYM EVENTS.
  • ATTEND ALL COUNCIL MEETINGS AND OTHER MEETINGS AS REQUIRED
  • CONFER WITH THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL ON FISCAL MATTERS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
  • ANY OTHER DUTIES ASSIGNED BY THE COUNCIL.

 

 

 

 

04/11/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

It was an interesting and enlightening election day.  After I voted, I settled down on a folding chair in the atrium of the Alcester City Auditorium as a poll observer.

According to the Office of the Secretary of State, Steven J. Barnett South Dakota Poll Watcher and Observer Guidelines updated 01/08/2019 poll observer is defined as, “…any person at a polling place, to observe, who does not declare themselves to represent one of the categories listed…is not a poll watcher but is an observer…”. (SDCL 12-18-8.1.9.9.1)

“…poll watchers must be positioned in a location where they can plainly see and hear what is done within the polling place but may not interfere in any way (SDCL 12-18-9)  Poll watchers and observers may converse with the election board and look at the pollbook only if it doesn’t interfere with the voting process.”

“Within 100 feet of a polling place (including absentee voting polling places), poll watchers and observers MAY NOT do any of the following (SDCL 12-18-3, 12-18-9.1, 12-26-21, 12-26-22)”:

As I sat from 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., observing the voting public come and go, I found the demographics intriguing.  In the early morning hours, it was Hurry-canes and rolling-walkers of the Silent Generation, followed by an after-work-influx of Baby Boomers, followed by end-of-shift GenX and Millennials.  Each generation appearing at the polls to vote on their conscience and freely participate in their constitutional right.

At 8:20 a.m. Mayor Glas showed up at the Finance Office whining to Finance Officer Jurrens and alleging, “… I (Vickie) was writing down the names of voters as they walked past me…that the names were already in the poll books…”  I was not recording names.

In that same space of time Finance Officer Jurrens mentioned a Chamber of Commerce meeting tomorrow (April 10, 2019) at noon.  Gee, I am sure Finance Officer Jurrens announced in one of the March council  meetings she had resigned from the Chamber.  WOW did I really just see her nose grow?

At 2:50 p.m. Mayor Glas returned on a run, rushing into the Finance Office announcing to Finance Officer Jurrens, “you were right”.  Mayor Glas continued to report that 300 East Fourth Street was OMG, “shingling their roof…there was not building permit…HE KNOWS BETTER!”  Finance Officer Jurrens picked up her phone (not the fancy one with all manner of bells and whistles a salesman brought in that morning which she will no doubt pitch to the city council, she just has to have it or she cannot function without it!) and called the roofing contractor, left a message for him, “…to contact her right away…!”  Then Wanda was sent out with Ballots?  WHY was Wanda doing anything with Ballots?  About an hour later, the contractor showed up suitably apologetic for the lapse in building permit.

Through-out the day Finance Office Jurrens and Ass’t Halvorson scurried back and forth, in and out of the Finance Office, going here, going there, Post Office, Nursing Home, to lunch and etc.  Folks, you really need to bring a comfy lawn chair, sit in the atrium and observe the ‘going-on’ of the Finance Office.  It is no wonder, they Need illegal OT or Comp Time to finish their work!

It was the home stretch of my marathon observation, when a disgruntled IA-Roo made his appearance.  I watched him walk back and forth for about a half hour, presumably to build up his courage.  Finally at 6:20 p.m. his courage at its peak, he stopped in front of me and began his little dance-wing-dipping, squawking out, “…I don’t like my name in the paper…”  Well Mr. IA-Roo, I was black-balled by the newspaper some time ago.  I have NO articles in the local paper. Now I just content myself with my news reporting medium-www.avoicefromthegallery.com

Mr. IA-Roo claimed “…he OWNED the vandalized curb and gutter…he had been given permission to vandalize the curb…”  WHO gave you permission, Mr. IA-Roo?   Mr. IA-Roo opines he has lived in Alcester for 25 years and, etc.  Mr. IA-Roo I have lived in Alcester since 1988 (31 years).  However Mr. IA-Roo whether I have lived here 31 years, you have lived here 25 years or your neighbor across the street has lived here all of his life  none of us can lay claim to ‘preferred status’. Mindful of my position of poll observer, I responded more congenially than Mr. IA-Roo deserved.

I told Mr. IA-Roo the curb vandalism would allow water to filter down behind the gutter, collect underneath the street causing voids and faults which would lead to street damage.  Now I didn’t use all those big words with him, fearing he would not understand.  Surely Mr. IA-Roo through his tenure in Ames and Iowa City (noted Iowa hubs of education) some modicum of extended learning may have rubbed off.  Nope?  There goes the osmosis theory of education!

Mr. IA-Roo the municipality owns a proscribed number of street-width feet which is measured from the center-line of the street to the curb and beyond.  A portion of  that city owned footage is from the curb inward, toward the residential structure generally to provide for utilities.  Mr. IA-Roo the developer paid to install the curb and gutter, which was added to the price of the lot.  Through ordinance, the cost of attrition of curb and gutter attached to Anderson Street has become the liability of the land owner. YOU DO NOT OWN THE CURB AND GUTTER!  In addition Mr. IA-Roo according to the CC&R’s which “run with the land” (a copy should be attached to your title), that residential lot could not be sub-divided legally.

Mr. IA-Roo your act of vandalism creates a potential for down-stream damages to your neighbors, for the taxpayers of Alcester and I suspect you could be charged with a misdemeanor for the curb destruction.  Speaking of misdemeanors, hopefully Councilman Lance wasn’t the one who gave you permission.  Mr. IA-Roo when you chose to school someone, perhaps you should have more than a tenuous grasp on the subject matter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

03/23/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

“Government is instituted for the common good:  for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”

John Adams

Silencing the Voters

I am political!  Growing up Lutheran I practiced the Golden Rule, RSV Mathew 7:12 “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them;  for this is the law and the prophets.”  Please note the use of ‘practiced’ is my free admission I do not have this lesson totally learned so I continue to “practice” with the faith I will someday be good at it and I will be able to fit through the narrow gate.

I have held many positions as a Girl Scout Leader, to a volunteer EMT, but the one thing I am not is a liar.  You can believe me when I say telling the truth can be painful, it has cost me friends, it has cost me business, my political voice/position and I am sorry to say cost my husband, Peter a mayoral election and placed a great target upon my back.

I am political!  In 1999 I learned when one has rung the bell at the top of the rope of public embarrassment, public embarrassment no longer controls my behavior.  I started going regularly to the Alcester City Council meetings after Rick Johnson was elected mayor.  Upon Rick Johnson’s seating, I started writing regular letters to the editor to give my fellow residents and taxpayers highlights of the council meetings.  One of the first things Rick Johnson did as mayor was to appoint Finance Office Mike Kezar for only four months which was ratified by the Alcester City Council of which Patricia R. Jurrens was seated.

March 17, 2014, Special meeting.  The council opened bids on Beck Drive, Pat Jurrens Pet Project.  Pohlman Excavation came in with low bid at $194,353.06 which with additional fees blowing up the cost of Beck Drive to around $250K excluding the paving fee of what I believe $60K to be the city’s expense.  The deal was the HRC/City of Alcester would be paying interest payments only until lots were sold in which the price of the lot sales would be applied to the principal.  To date Folks, only ONE lot has sold.  I do believe the interest rate amount has exceeded the reasonable price of the remaining unsold lots.  Care to guess who is going to be called upon to pony-up more taxes to pay for a street on the far side of town?

03-27-2014 Beck Drive

It was but a week or so, the Finance Officer position was posted.  LO and BEHOLD Pat R. Jurrens long, harassing critic of Finance Officer Kezar applied for the Finance Officer appointment.  In the June 2, 2014, council meeting Patricia R. Jurrens was appointed to Alcester Finance Officer with a TRAINING SALARY OF $40K PER YEAR commencing June 30, 2014, and current Finance Officer Kezar to expected to train her at his $38K salary.  In addition there was talk of a $2K bump in Patty Rose’s salary after training, within a year.  WOW!

06-12-2014 Training Salary

Upon the September 2014 Mike Kezar’s ignominious ejection after 30 some years of public service to an agenda driven upstart.  FO Patty Rose Jurrens subsequently to be referred to as FOPRJ (pronounced FO-purge) began her campaign against the citizens of Alcester by offering up changes in ordinances, changing finance office job descriptions form SDML to FOPRJ code, spending money like it was being printed on the Finance Office Copy Machine, concealing payroll figures and exceeding her employment terms.

SDML Finance Officer description

In 2013 with the advent of Rick Johnson as mayor, the city of Alcester was subjected to a petty tyrant with absolutely NO Working Knowledge of city government beyond campus cop.  On July 6, 2015, with the appointment of Tom Glas to mayor, the city of Alcester was subjected to “Mr. Magoo goes to city hall” where NO Working Knowledge was elevated to a doctorate level.  In addition to Tom Glas’ appointment, the city of Alcester was gifted with a weak mayor who allowed and continues to allow the city Finance Officer to act as a proverbial Rabid Cat Off a Leash!

When the Alcester Union-Hudsonite was sold to Shane Hill, I was black-balled from the newspaper.  Some folks didn’t like my letters-to-the editor, I guess applied pressure on Publisher Hill and undeniably it was Publisher Hills prerogative to reject my letters.  If those folks thought they could SILENCE me, they found much to their chagrin they just issued a challenge to the Mouth That Roared.  I found the internet and A VOICE FROM THE GALLERY was not silenced just as the voters will not be silenced!

I am political!  It is time for a strong mayor who will re-take the reins of city government from the Finance Office.  It is time for a strong mayor who can speak to city government, public policy and practices with knowledge without the tired comment, “…when I was in construction…”.  Alcester is a municipality not four inch slab concrete without the rebar base of oversight! It is time for our city to operate in the black without assessing exorbitant fees on the property owners for extra street maintenance fee or comp time (from which our Finance Officer who is exempt and appears to have accumulated and used comp time illegally(without prior signed approval)).  It is time to elect a mayor who will bring Alcester back into compliance! It is time to elect a mayor who will guide our recalcitrant Finance Officer back into compliance!

 

” A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was gitting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him and warn’t ever going to grow dim or doubtful.”

Mark Twain

Register to vote!  If registration at the city level becomes an issue, feel free to contact me or contact the Union County Auditor.  Do not be silenced!

It is time to retire the present milk-toast mayor and elect a strong Mayor who will actually work for the residents of Alcester and help to corral the cats off their leashes!

Vickie A. Larsen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

03/19/2019 A Voice from the Gallery

Last evening, a special meeting of the Alcester City Council was convened as the municipal Board of Equalization to conduct hearings on what property owners feel are inaccurate property tax assessments.  While the council conducts these hearings, other city business can be conducted after the Equalization Board portion of the meeting has been completed.

Mayor Glas opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. with Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman David Larsen and Mr. Larry A. Nelson of the law firm Frieberg, Nelson and Ask present.  Absent were Councilman Dan Haeder and Councilman Lance Johnson.  Mayor Glas opened the Alcester Council Special Meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and called for Approval of the Agenda.

Agenda Item #4 – Equalization Meeting 6:00 p.m.  No call to order, just Mayor Glas announcing the Alcester Board of Equalization had received no objections to property tax valuation.  Finance Officer Jurrens offered a summary relating to the 5% increase on structures as Council members inspected tax valuations for their respective wards.  At 6:17 p.m. Mayor Glas declared the Alcester Board of Equalization out of session.  Note:  Mayor Glas seems to have Mr. Magoo’d the Alcester Board of Equalization meeting calling it out of session without ever calling it in session.

Agenda item #5 – Mayor Glas called for public input:  I responded with an introduction of five documents I had distributed to the council members seating placements prior to the 6:00 p.m. start.

Document #1– a highlighted discussion of FLSA describing Exempt employees, Non-exempt employees, salary tests, definition of executive jobs, professional jobs, and administrative jobs.

Document #2 – a highlighted Job Description, for the position of City Finance Officer, December 2014 presumably authored by Finance Officer Jurrens which she presented to the South Dakota Hearing Examiners Office as proof of her authority to deny me access to public records through excessive, illegal charges for services.

Finance Job Description 

Documents #3 – copy of pages purporting to be compensatory time accumulations for Alcester full time city employees with specific emphasis on the Alcester City Finance Office, Finance Officer Pat Jurrens and Wanda Halverson.

Comp Time Log

Document #4 – a copy of a spread sheet which compared the two finance office employees.

Spread Sheet

Document #5 – A sample Overtime Approval Form.

Sample Approval Form

The results of the information contained within these documents show Finance Officer Pat Jurrens is exempt from overtime pay or comp time!

In addition, my February 28, 2019, FOIA/Sunshine request asked for,

“… 2.  A full and complete copy specifically but not limited to Alcester City Council pre-approval of finance office personnel (Patricia Jurrens, Wanda Halverson, Shoshanna LNU) overtime and comp time, justification of overtime and comp time, council roll-call vote for over-time and comp time, date of Alcester Council approval of over-time and comp time, council vote to exceed the limit of over-time and comp time, roll call vote of council exception to over-time and comp time limits, justification for exception of policy and all full and complete minutes of Alcester City Council Meeting relating to over-time and comp time specifically for Finance Officer Pat Jurrens, Wanda Halvorson and Shoshanna LNU of the Alcester City Finance Office…”

I was not given the information requested in item number two (2) of my FOIA request nor was I given an explanation as outlined in that FOIA request.

“… If  you deny any or all of this request, please cite each specific exemption you feel justifies your refusal to release the information and notify of the appeal procedures available to me under the law…”

In light of the absence of documentation of approval for overtime by Mayor Glas and with the Finance Officer job description ‘evidence’  Finance Officer Jurrens supplied to the South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners in the city’s response in Larsen v. City of Alcester, Finance Officer Pat Jurrens was not and is not entitled to the 239.89 hours of overtime or comp time for which she expects remuneration.

At the conclusion of my input, I asked the Alcester City Council review the documents I supplied to them and asked they table the issue until they familiarized themselves with the issues I presented.  Councilwoman Melissa Kay responded a committee formed of Mayor Glas, Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay and Alcester Finance Officer Pat Jurrens had met, researched and discussed at length the numerous issues arising out of her ‘comp time’ and attempted to justify an executive session to discuss comp time.  I reminded Councilwoman Kay, Mayor Glas and the Council, Executive session is for Specific Employee discussion not General issues.  Therefore when Mayor Glas called for Executive Session and discussed “general comp time issues ” Mayor Glas violated open meeting.

Agenda Item #8 – Compensation Time  The council discussed issues of Finance Officer Pat Jurrens Comp Time, all those weekends, late nights, Chamber of Commerce Meeting, Golf Cart Road Trips to measure trees, organize parades, window peep for dogs and etc. which apparently made up the corn maze of Finance Officer Jurrens comp time diary.

Mayor Glas and his committee discussed options of paying Finance Office Jurrens ‘comp time’ in one lump sum or over several months.  The rate however was not divulged, so is it the $40/hour she attempted to extort from me or is it perhaps some other extortive amount?

Folks, Finance Officer Pat Jurrens is exempt from Overtime or Comp Time.  Remember not long ago when Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Jurrens re-defined the position of Alcester Police Chief as hourly labor rather than salaried and why?  Alcester Council members, you DO NOT have any documentation of Mayor Glas’ approval, you do not have written justification why extra time was needed to complete Finance Office tasks, you have no written justification why the work could not be completed during office hours or any Need for the overtime hours.  There is no sign off from Mayor Glas.  No approval was given, overtime did not happen!  Finance Officer Jurrens either perjured herself to the Office of Hearing Examiners with a Alcester Finance Officer Job description she knows is operationally fiction or she is falsifying overtime/comp time she knows does not apply to her function as Alcester Finance Officer!  Mayor Glas did nothing to curtail the fiscal abuse and the finance office version of daylight savings time padding-move the time-clocks ahead!  Oh that is right, cell phones are used to clock-in sans time cards.

Agenda Item #10 – Executive session to discuss personnel.  At 6:50 p.m.  Council moved into executive session for personnel SDCL 1-25-2-1,

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…”

with Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Kay, Councilwoman Talbott, Councilwoman Reppe and Legal Counsel Nelson in session.  After a period of time, Finance Officer Jurrens was called into the closed session.  Once the door was closed behind FO Pat there was a trill of laughter.  H-m-m-m!  After another shorter period of time FO Jurrens exited from the closed session.  At 7:29 p.m. Mayor Glas declared Alcester City Council out of Executive session.

Upon re-seating the Gallery, Mayor Glas stated on the record a complaint regarding the city finance office’s handling of elections had been lodged with the city.  Mayor Glas stated the city of Alcester and Finance office would continue handling elections as they had in the past.  NOTE:  The city finance officer is in charge of elections procedures in municipalities per SDCL 12-1-3.(9),

“Person in charge of an election,” or “person charged with the conduct of an election,” the county auditor in all cases except local elections for a municipality, school district, township, or other political subdivision, in which case it is the officer having the position comparable to the auditor in that unit of government if not specifically designated by law; “

During my run for Ward III representative, sixteen (16) ballots were not returned to the ballot box and not sealed within the ballot box per protocol.  Instead those sixteen ballots laid on top of the ballot box, unsecured overnight in the office of Alcester City Finance Officer Jurrens.  Alcester Finance Officer Jurrens failed in her duties resulting in sixteen(16) spoiled ballots!  While the count did not appreciably affect my election run, I believe it did affect the recycling question count and outcome.

So Mayor Glas says the city is going to continue handling elections as Finance Officer Jurrens handled them in the past?  Now isn’t that warm comfort!

Agenda Item #9 – Planning and Zoning  The garage issue.  The city has had two requests to build stand alone garages on residential properties.  Two requests have been made for variances to build a garage in the Broad Street area and I believe another on Anderson Street to house an RV which is contrary to the codes and covenants of the addition.  So the city is being asked to forfeit property tax for an RV garage not in-line with the primary property.  Now this means no street maintenance tax, low-ball property tax on a $15K RV storage garage instead of property taxes on a $30K-$50K residence.  Tell your Ward representatives you object to variances of these types!

Agenda Item #12 – Adjourn at 7:57 p.m.

03/10/2019 A Voice From the Gallery

Mayor Tom Glas called the March 4, 2019, regular meeting of the Alcester City Council to order at 6:00 pm with Councilman Dan Haeder, Councilman Lance Johnson, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Councilwoman Linda Talbott, Councilwoman Darla Reppe, Councilman David Larsen and Alcester City Attorney Tom Frieberg present.


After the Pledge of Allegiance, Mayor Glas called for Agenda Approval.  The agenda was amended by a motion from Councilman Lance Johnson to reflect the change of moving agenda item #7-CBDG loan to Taylor Forbes to the March 18, 2019, special Board of Equalization meeting and moving up agenda item #17- Executive Session, Personnel- SDCL 1-25-2.1 into the agenda item #7 spot. SDCL 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.”  Councilman Lance Johnson’s motion was approved unanimously.

Motion to approve the February 4, 2019, minutes as presented by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens without change was made by Councilman David Larsen.  Councilwoman Melissa Kay seconded the motion and following the absence of discussion, the council approved Finance Officer Jurrens recording of the minutes.  I find this interesting in the light the ‘official’ minutes published in the newspaper, Alcester Union-Hudsonite neglected to reflect what has been described to me as a lengthy discussion on Comp Time to the tune of 222.6 comp time hours accrued by Finance Officer Pat Jurrens.

I would like to take you back in time to when Rick Johnson as Mayor made loud noises telling our water and street department guys when they had to take their comp time and designated (I believe) a 16 accrued hour cap.  Compensatory time is, “…referred to as comp time, is paid time off given to a non-exempt employee instead of overtime pay. Rather than paying employees time and a half in overtime pay, a company which has a comp time policy gives paid time off from work, for the equivalent amount of time to the extra hours worked …”  The key to this definition and implementation is that a government entity does not operate in the same continuum as private businesses.  In addition the street and water departments are often called upon overtime hours when clearing and removing snow.

Now I would like to bring you forward in time to the present to our police department.  Law enforcement in South Dakota is exempt from receiving over-time pay.  i.e. if a law enforcement officer puts in 45 hours, he does not get 40 hour straight time and 5 hours over-time at 1.5 times the straight time rate.  He gets 45 hours at straight time.  Now the city has the option to voluntarily do the decent thing and pay them OT for hours in excess of 40 hours but Alcester has not elected to extend that nicety to our law enforcement.  In fact, our city recently upon the employment of our current police force changed our police chief from a salaried position to an hourly paid position.  After I asked via FOIA/Sunshine request for the hours, over-time hours, vacation time hours, was stone-walled by Finance Officer Jurrens and Mayor Glas, and filed a complaint of violation of FOIA/Sunshine Law with the Office of Hearing Examiners against the city of Alcester the city did move toward offering comp time to our law enforcement.  At this point I have not had an opportunity to look at the city personnel policy or police policy manuals, ’cause just prior to my complaint of violation Finance Officer Pat Jurrens attempted to charge me $40/hour for just looking at documents I requested through FOIA.  In fact during a meeting Councilman Lance Johnson whined my request was causing over-time in the City Finance Office.

Councilman Lance Johnson’s off-hand remark is what peeked my curiosity because it was my understanding Finance Office Pat Jurrens was a salaried appointment.  Generally speaking, salaried finance office positions do not receive over-time.  I will touch discussion on this subject in more depth later.

Agenda Item #5 was Dwight Berglin’s presentation of the 2017 city audit.  Feel free to ask Finance Officer Jurrens to provide a copy for taxpayers to read at their leisure.  One of the most noteworthy admonitions was the General Fund showed a loss of $52K, a violation on Budget expenses exceeded income.  Credit Risk!  Again an observation regarding sub-sufficient material control issues, dual control and over-sight.

Agenda Item #6 Public input.  None.

Agenda Item #7– Executive Session for Personnel SDCL 1-25-2.1  Motion was made by Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Second by Councilman Lance Johnson, No discussion, unanimous aye vote.  Meeting went into Executive session at 6:30 p.m. with mayor, council, Pat Jurrens and Tom Frieberg in the session to discuss personnel, Pat’s Comp Time ya  ‘spose?

Immediately upon exit from Executive Session at 7:05 p.m. Mayor Glas once again resumed the meeting without allowing the gallery to re-enter the council room. Error!  Councilman Lance Johnson attempted a garbled, motion to form a committee to meet with Finance Officer Pat Jurrens to discuss comp time issues, future resolutions, review current policy on comp time.  Did I call it or did I call it?  Folks this illegal executive session is a violation of open meeting!  Mr. Freiberg should have called it, but he didn’t.  Councilman Dan Haeder stepped in after the hic-cupping, garbled and strangulated motion attempt of Councilman Lance Johnson ceased and formed a motion to set up a committee of Councilman David Larsen, Councilwoman Melissa Kay, Mayor Glas and Pat to meet to rewrite current policy on comp time.  Councilman Lance Johnson finally got his tongue unwrapped from his tonsils to make a second and with no further discussion or meeting time and date, the council voted unanimously in favor of the committee.  Tom Frieberg left the meeting immediately upon the motion approval coming out of the Executive Session.

In addition, here is a request for freedom of information.  Please note what information I requested and the detail specifics for which I asked.  This is important to what I received.

Now I will present the fruits of my FOIA!  Please note the nature of the record is a compilation of comp time, note the lack of authorization for over-time which resulted in the ‘comp time’ and note the lack of justification for the over-time hours which would result in ‘comp time’!

Agenda Item #10 Police Department  Mayor Glas and Finance Officer Pat Jurrens were attempting to circumvent and violate the Fourth Amendment rights of dog owners by asking the Alcester Police Chief to issue dog license violations on those folks who had not purchased dog licenses and without witnessing dogs running-at-large.

Adjourn  7:58 p.m.