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Business as usual? Mason City council to hold unofficial meeting in back room of local bar

This news story was published on December 2, 2013.

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MASON CITY – Three members of the Mason City council will be holding a meeting in the back room of local bar this week.

L D’s Filling Station Bar confirmed that council members Scott Tornquist, John Lee and Alex Kuhn will be at the bar in the “back room” on Wednesday, December 4th, at 6:30 PM and will be available to talk to citizens and receive feedback.

L D’s will be offering a full menu that evening, including alcoholic beverages.

An email to John Lee seeking information went unanswered, but City Administrator Brent Trout confirmed that he was aware that a meeting was set up, although he had no other information on the meeting, which is not listed on the city’s website,

“I only know about it after reading about it in the paper,” Mr. Trout said last week. “It’s something they set up themselves.  It’s not official city business, so they are not required to announce it on our website. If they wanted maximum attendance, they would do an official press release.”

Members of the Mason City council have, for years, met unofficially at local watering holes and discussed city affairs. Mayor Eric Bookmeyer would typically join council members Travis Hickey and Janet Solberg at places like Sportsman’s Lounge, The Candy Bar, The Other Place, The 1910 Lounge, Mulligan’s Bar, Ransom’s and others.

NIT attempted to ask Alex Kuhn, Scott Tornquist and John Lee why they chose a bar for a council “meet and greet.”

“Why did you choose a bar as a meeting place for your council listening post? Did you ask any of the numerous churches, schools, or other venues like Hy-Vee if you could use their meeting rooms?”

NIT received no response from any of the elected officials.

Kuhn, Tornquist and Lee will be at LD's bar, in the back room, on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at 6:30 PM.

Alex Kuhn, Scott Tornquist and John Lee will be at LD’s bar, in the back room, on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at 6:30 PM, waiting for citizens.

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45 Responses to Business as usual? Mason City council to hold unofficial meeting in back room of local bar

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  4. Jerry Reply Report comment

    December 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Hey crum cutter your wrong about LD’s, it is one of our best places to talk to people. You got some place better, ok where. Maybe they should of gone to the Country Club? Oh wait, can’t do that, they might run into Booky out there cutting a deal with Blodgett or Robin Anderson or Steve Minert. LD’s is good with me.

  5. Sweater Boy Reply Report comment

    December 7, 2013 at 6:47 am

    One thing is certain, Scott Tornquist is definitely sweater boy!

  6. justice for some Reply Report comment

    December 5, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Annie then why bring it up? You want it to keep going. 1 back.

  7. Annie Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong meeting at LD’s Restaurant either. A lot of todo about nothing.

  8. justice for some Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Good one NIT reader!

    Another good one is how fast the anti NIT/Matt readers quit responding after a comment.

    They’ll be back!

  9. Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    December 4, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Lighten up NIT. If it was good enough for the founding fathers to meet in bars it sure is good enough for the Mason City.

    • NIT reader Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      You have just completed the world’s biggest “stretch” ….. comparing MC City Hall to our Founding Fathers. Please call (641) 424-2075 for immediate assistance.

  10. whatever Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    Matt you are right. All of the anti Matt/NIT readers SURE stay tuned in don’t they.

    It’s their way of getting some bitching out. I suspect they agree more then we will ever know. Because who couldn’t agree with truth.

    The election numbers speak louder then they realize, landslides, blown away, smoked could not be found as a description for votes that’s for sure.

    • Watering Hole Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2013 at 1:11 am

      Marquardt should send over free drinks, for anybody at the councilmen’s table. Then wait till they get smashed. And come in with his camera and film it all…

  11. mike petersen Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Nothing wrong with the location as far as I’m concerned. What is important here is that there is a listening post for the public to speak at. Hopefully the elected officials will take what they hear at this meeting and actually try to work with it. If what the public has to say goes no further than this meeting, then it is a waste of time. Tournquist never even bothered showing up to debates when he was up for election so I kind of doubt he really cares about the opinions of everyone, only those who agree with him. I think Councilmen Kuhn and Lee are trying to reach out here and that’s good. The fact that those two and not Tournquist responded to NIT’s email further proves my point.

    • Ben D. Reply Report comment

      December 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      I feel same way. These to council men seem to have the most class. Maybe they will work harder for the rest of us.

  12. Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I wasn’t there as an elected official, my good friend, attempting to have a meeting with citizens. By the way, who wrote “getting wasted?” Sounds like you are slightly defensive. Actually, I really doubt any of these three council members would have a drink or a beer at this meeting, but stranger things have happened. As long as the mayor doesn’t show up, I predict no booze will be consumed by an elected official. Oh, and just the simple fact that you are commenting on this story proves it is newsworthy.

    • Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

      December 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      I guess, I too, find it odd that this pride of clowns would decide to hold a meeting at a bar. As elected officials they should consider how this may look in the general publics eyes. While they could be as innocent as church mice, they sure aren’t going out of their way to prevent any rumors or innuendos from starting either.

      • 50428 Reply Report comment

        December 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm

        Clear Lake council would never do this. We’re the classy side of the county. All we can do is watch from a distance as you people stumble about and wreck your town. Good luck River Citians.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      December 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

      @Matt-I guess I am a little confused here. If the N.I.T.haters dislike your agenda and reporting so much why do the continue to come on here and read it? Do they feel the need to vent out of some type of guilt complex. Or, are they simply trying to justify the unjustifyabe?

      • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

        December 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        Good question LVS. There are a few tormented souls out there. On the one hand, these cuddly smurfs have sworn eternal allegiance to the Great Red-Haired Exalted Leader of Bookmeyersville. On the other hand, they are addicted to NIT like Vincent Vega to heroine. I really wish them the best, but I can’t help them with their dependency; I can only make it worse by delivering the news they crave. I’m sorry it’s such a painful existence for them.

    • Duh Reply Report comment

      December 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

      I am just genuinely confused as to why this is a “newsworthy” article. Had an informal meeting at an area business. The fact that it was a bar is irrelavent. So what? What am I missing? enlighten me.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        December 4, 2013 at 11:52 am

        @Duh-I really feel sorry for you as you HAVE missed the reason it is newsworthy. It is newsworthy because it is what Matt wants to put on “HIS” site. Pretty easy isn’t it?? Now, do you understand??

  13. whatever Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    It is obvious AGAIN they want it to LOOK like they care with impromptu meetings in back rooms of any place.

    Trout said it’s not official so why not have drinks knowing no one will show up that will truly question their bullshit. Get hammered with their own while the little lady down the street wouldn’t dream of talking to them in that environment and take her seriously.

    No worry they will back slide right back to nothing.

  14. John Colombo Jr. Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I would call LD’s a bar and grill. I’ve ate there many times and didn’t drink. Come on Matt you know better.

  15. Why would they? Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Why would any of the council members even give you the time of day? Jealousy is an ugly thing to observe when the one platform you bantered to for an election, they fixed in about 10 minutes by reserving a local space in Mason City from a local business. I am sure if LDs called for advertising, you would have no problem taking their money but if they utilize the space, then you bring out the alcohol comment. So now the criteria is got to be, we want you to listen to us, but only if it’s in a stuffy school room, or a union hall, or the library, otherwise it’s a “back door” deal? Come on!!! Your credibility is shot, keep trolling the police blotter for your news, because you aren’t going to get a word from the council.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      December 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Actually, Mr. Kuhn and Mr. Lee replied later Monday. As for my credibility, I got 729 votes; I’m happy with that. 65% of Mason City did not bother to vote for any candidate. Most of Mason City doesn’t really care about council business; they have shown that consistently over the years. They are content to be ruled by the likes of Eric Bookmeyer; I say that is just fine. As for your idiotic insults, just keep trying, maybe someday you will get one right. NIT is doing very well with hundreds of PAID subscribers and plenty of advertisers. Go back to serving your fries until you can debate using your real name.

      From Alex Kuhn:
      At our work session last week we decided that the Council person
      representing the specific Ward would coordinate the meeting place the
      quarter that their Ward is up for the public forum/listening post. John
      and I communicated a number of times on this and after he attempted
      several other locations in the Ward which didn’t work for the reasons
      that John stated in his email below, he chose LD’s. I told him I was
      fine with that because it is a well known restaurant in Ward I with a
      room where you can reserve for meetings.

      From John Lee:
      I chose this venue. I have eaten there many times. I see it more as a restaurant. I did check into a couple of churches and the two I checked into were available (church night on Wednesday’s). I wanted it in Ward I, that leaves out Hy-Vee and the Library, both places I looked into. I also know Stebbens charges for this, plus they are working on a show right now. It seemed like a good thing to possible support a local business also. Take it for what you will.
      Sorry, I just reread my message and the churches were unavailable.

      • Fries Reply Report comment

        December 3, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        So people that serve fries you have a problem with? What happened to being for the common person? I guess if you serve fries, that is beneath you?

        Why would you make a comment like that?

        • Matt Marquardt

          Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          December 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

          There are hundreds, maybe thousands of people in Mason City who serve fries. There is a fast food joint on nearly every corner. You can smell the stench of burnt grease all over town when the stink of Vi-Cor is blowing away. It is reasonable to assume that the nameless moron who wrote the comment works in the fast food industry since so many local citizens are employed as such. Ever heard of an educated guess?

  16. Cheter Pildren Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Once again, the spin machine at NIT whipping up trouble and creating a story where none exists!

  17. Polio Loco Reply Report comment

    December 3, 2013 at 12:35 am

    Three members can create a tie vote, I would hope it is announced as this is a very grey area. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with LD’s, but I think there would have been better choices.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      3 members can only create a tie vote if there is a quorum. That takes 4 members.

  18. kyle klinksiek Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Nothing wrong with having it at LDS.

  19. 55% of 35% = not a whole lot Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I’d be interested to know why a teacher would not just reserve a room at Adams or somewhere like that. First choice is a power-drinker’s haven?

  20. Blisterpak Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    This is incredible. Since Tornquist states that he brings Jesus with him to every meeting– thing he’ll bring him to the bar???

    I have no problem with the place, but it is not a venue for this type of forum. You really hear the most foul language there. The little old ladies that usually attend these things may be a bit out of their element…

    Next time use your heads before you make a decision.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Jesus did turn water into wine so some party minded Jews could whoop it up at a wedding…just sayin.

  21. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I’ve seen it get rowdy at LDs. Sure hope no one gets a black eye. Could happen, when you take the po’folks money away after they work hard all day it would tend to make you angry.

  22. TheRealFred Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    LD’s is far closer to a restaurant than a bar. At least they are listening.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      December 2, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      @Fred-the back room at LD’s is more of a dining/meeting room than anything else. We have eaten in there many times. I really don’t have a problem with this other than there is not a lot of room. They must not be expecting to many people to show up. We always have 50 to a hundred show up for the north end meetings and I don’t think that many will fit in the backroom.

      • I'll complan but I'll never vote Reply Report comment

        December 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        Hard to figure what these 3 are thinking. Seems like again they are hiding. BAck room at a little bar? Are they afraid Matt will show up with his camera? Will there be a bouncer there to protect Scott? Bizarre. But, that what the 55% of the 35% wanted.

        • My Voice Reply Report comment

          December 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm

          Just curious, why won’t you ever vote?

  23. Mojo Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    LD’s is more of a restaurant than a bar. No big deal.

  24. JB Johnson Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    don’t see a thing wrong with it. More political talk at bar than church. I’m sure they will go to other places

    • P.D. Reply Report comment

      December 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      Exactly. They should meet at wiseguy’s next! Plenty of room there.

  25. R.J. Himebuck III Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Just make sure there’s a tall stack of cocktail napkins (economic development applications, for those not from here) available, so that some deals can get worked out. The three stooges will turn in the app’s to King Eric for approval later on.

  26. Lew Trinity Reply Report comment

    December 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    A brash move, meeting in a bar, no doubts there. Sloppy. Dangerous, too, considering what one of our at-large council members has shown he’s capable of after a few too many. Not state legislature material.