MASON CITY – The Mason City City Council proclaimed an emphatic and well-explained “NO” to allowing or even looking at the possibility of adult businesses locating in downtown Mason City.
Each Council member gave a reason for a “no” vote and some went in to lengthy explanations as to why they would vote no or why they had voted in favor of prolonging the issue at the Council meeting on Nov. 2. The vote was 6-0.
Councilman Max Weaver brought props to the meeting, holding up a pamphlet with the words “the Constitution” on it and another booklet with the words “Bible” written on it. He says the line between church and state had been crossed in the debate over allowing adult businesses.
At least one Councilman, Scott Tornquist, evoked his faith and Jesus Christ multiple times during his explanation about his no vote. “Faith is a part of a person’s character, it can’t be separated,” he said. He also mentioned how he was “embarrassed” to be a part of the Council for the first time due to the situation.
Councilman Don Nelson said he was ready to “put the issue to bed.”
The public hearing and public forum portions of the meeting brought out a larger than usual crowd. Several people, mainly evoking religious views, took the podium at the public hearing and spoke out about the adult business issue. Another large contingent in the crowd was in attendance to speak after the meeting at the public forum. There, one group from Gracious Estates told the Council about their water bill problems. Another group presented a case to the Council for closing Birch Drive.
In other business, a motion that would have brought asphalt sidewalks to downtown businesses affected by the Streetscape project received no “second” and died at the table. Currently there is just gravel and plywood to walk on in front of some downtown businesses along Federal Avenue.