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City Council rejects surveillance upgrades at City Hall in 3-2 vote

Mason City City Council voted 3-2 against spending $12,378.08 of un-budgeted funds on upgrading cameras at City Hall.|Mason City City Council voted 3-2 against spending $12,378.08 of un-budgeted funds on upgrading cameras at City Hall. The cameras would theoretically prevent vandalism at City Hall by acting as a deterrent. Recent vandalism there has cost taxpayers over $1,000. Councilman Scott Tornquist called it a “good investment” while Councilman Jeff Marsters said spending over $12,000 to prevent much smaller financial losses in vandalism sounded like a bad idea. Councilman Max Weaver called upon the Mason City Police Department to “do their jobs” and patrol the area. Tornquist and Don Nelson voted in favor of the cameras while Weaver, Marsters and Travis Hickey voted “no.”

On another matter, the Council and Mayor Eric Bookmeyer did their best to put the adult use or “gentlemen’s cabaret” fiasco behind them and voted twice on motions to put it to bed. Council voted 5-0 to skip first reading, and then voted “yes” on the new zoning code. A final vote on the “adult oriented business” zoning code change could take place at the next Council meeting.

Some Council members and the Mayor appeared visibly uncomfortable when Max Weaver repeatedly asked for discussion time on the topic. Weaver questioned why the Council was so adamant about keeping adult businesses out of downtown yet did not take advantage of the opportunity presented by the zoning law change to further limit where adult businesses could legally set up shop in Mason City.

The open forum held after the Council meeting was pretty entertaining, watch it here:

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