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You are smarter than they think, Mason City (NorthIowaToday.com editorial)

Don’t let story titles mislead you, citizens of Mason City. So-called “expert journalists” will do that from time to time. For example, in the case of an old shelter house and a pavilion some want to build in its place.

See, they will title and write a story in such a way as to divert attention and blur the facts. So you think like they want you to think. They are betting you won’t look into matters for yourself, instead blindly take their word.

The truth is there is little to no outrage over a music pavilion being built in East Park. In fact, most people think that’s a good idea. NorthIowaToday.com thinks it is. We do, however have a problem with how this project is unfolding and the very real potential loss of another historic structure in Mason City.

The outrage is over the demolition of Shelter House #1, a historic structure built in 1937. (Nevermind that the proposed pavilion looks a bit ridiculous. Can we go back to the drawing board on that?) Once again, these “expert journalists” want you to believe something that is not true. So, they write a story with a misleading title, to make you fuzzy on the real issue.

They may want you to think the outrage is over the pavilion. It’s not. It is over the fact that the OK has already been given to replace Shelter House #1 with a pavilion. You can’t build a pavilion where a shelter house already sits (the “expert journalists” left that part out). Therefore, it is logical to conclude Shelter House #1 would have to be demolished. All this, with very little public input. No debate to speak of. Hardly a discussion.

Park Board member Monte Applegate claims the shelter is not in imminent danger or may be built elsewhere. Yet he voted to have it replaced with a pavilion. To add to the issue, the shelter is in disrepair. Councilman Scott Tornquist has expressed valid concern that this state of disrepair could “justify swift demolition of the structure.” Sources are telling NorthIowaToday.com that City leaders are “getting the run around trying to get a meeting scheduled” in order to discuss the situation.

Meanwhile, the Park Board vote stands, Shelter House #1 crumbles, time passes and more opportunity arises for a rash decision to tear down Shelter House #1.

Citizens of Mason City, you are smarter than they think. It should be insulting to you when “expert journalists” treat you like a simpleton. Gather your own facts on this issue (and all local issues) and contact your Parks Department, City Council and Mayor and voice your opinion.


Proposed pavilion

Shelter House #1

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