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Op-ed: Fairgrounds are disgusting (by Peter Children)

I drive by the Fairgrounds at least once a day, I look at it and what I see is disgusting, it’s run down, looks shop worn, I see it as an embarrassment to this city and county.

Now the chickens have come home to roost; Wanda Kruse has filed suit against the North Iowa Fair Association; good for her. This is long overdue; up until now it has been shrouded in a way that projected an air of untouchable stature. Whenever I asked about the fair, the answer was always; the fair board is in charge and the supervisors have nothing to say about it. Others would allude to similar remarks, that they were an entity unto their own, ungovernable by any outside interest. Well, life just does not work that way.

Anytime you have a “closed society” such as this, the members begin to feel they have immunity from real law, the law we all live by. That property is not an island, it is not immune from rules and regulations that are on paper, that are stated as the manner in which they shall govern themselves in the course of their duty.

That place is not a private source of endless supplies, free money, and your own private place of business. It is something that belongs to those who live here, those whose tax dollars contribute to its existence.

We have heard all sorts of rumors; it is said that once appointed to that board you cannot be repelled from it, it has been said that it is a “good ol’ boy” system of corruption where one hand washes the other. I know this much, it doesn’t show a profit, it doesn’t make money. In truth no one really knows that much about it, and I personally think it was designed that way for decades.

The contention is Wanda was shown the door because she wouldn’t play ball, she wasn’t a team player, she went by the book and the results were evident. There is much that is known but cannot be written about at this juncture but will be reveled once this dog and pony show enters the courtroom. Some could end up in jail if allegations can be proven; this will alter lives. This now gives adage to the old axiom; “ It ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” and she is getting ready to step in front of the microphone now…..

The Fair Association has twenty days to respond, so there won’t be much until then. Mark your calender. This will be a much better show than anything that ever appeared on a stage at the fairgrounds.

Peter Children

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Wanda DID exactly what the Fair Board hired her to do…. operate the North Iowa Fairgrounds as IF it were a profitable BUSINESS! Unfortunately, too many people have had their hands in the pie and that starts with many who are currently or have been on the Fair Board in the past. Dennis Higgins, Fred T. Fenchel and many, many others have basically raped the fair for their own personal incomes over the years. When Wanda took action to stop this unFAIR behavior, she was hung out on the line to dry! Wanda was NEVER against the horse people, the hockey people, etc… She simply was doing the JOB that the FAIR BOARD hired her to do.

Oh…. and I’m sure that the new name change to the NORTH IOWA EVENTS CENTER will put a new image on the FAIR…… oh yeah…. right!

There is much that is known at this time, names have been mentioned in private but as you all know I cannot reveal or menton anyone in conection to these incidents until they are proven to be true. Hopefully they will be proven and restitution will be made. I find it had to believe that the Fair can buy 15,000 cans of beer for about .68 per can, then sell it for $3.00 each and lose money. I was in that business for years. All you have to do is check purchases against sales; if the money isn’t there then the beer should be, if it isn’t then something is terribly wrong.

The supervisors should have been on this from day one, there is no excuse for what happened.
Knock down the buildings, sell the and and build new with new people, someone who knows what they are doing.

If you want to see the best County Fair in the state – come to Hampton and see the Franklin county fair. In my opinion, there is none better!!!

I have to agree Hampton does have a great fair! Went there for the first time last year and enjoyed the horse pulling contest. It is a shame the size town we have and the fair doesn’t have much. I take the Grand boys to the fake farm sitting they have, they do enjoy that and talk about it every time we go by and they spot the buildings. I had one of them enter a picture in the contest and he was excited about that. I try and support it as much as I can taking the boys and all but it is a pretty sad fair.

Great article Peter-It’s a shame that all of the county’s around us have great fairs with good shows from name bands and we have nothing but car races. We used to have good fairs a few years ago but it all changed when they moved to the current location.

congratulations on a good article Peter. much better than others from you. keep up the good work

I am afraid the conditions of the fair grounds is more or less a reflection of Mason City…Old, run down, beat up and broke. The citizenry here is broke.

This is Iowa people if nothing else show a good FAIR GROUND! We have a corrupt council and this Urdahl guy wreaks of self centeredness, hog shit smells better. Do they really want to go down in history with a ZERO record? Or hated that much? At least give us something to be proud of that truly means IOWA. A FAIR and it’s GROUNDS.

So true. Urdahl don’t give two cents about the fair and its deplorable condition. His fault. He should been watching that fair board.

Another black eye for the County Supervisors. Just exactly what are they doing about all this?

Fairgrounds is a waste of money. The county would be better off to sell/lease it to a developer and move the racetrack,exhibits and stuff to a location more suited. Like right next door to the Mason City Country Club.

Let them listen to cars driving fast and loud all summer.

Personally, I think they should tear down that eyesore and build a drive in theater. Besides, not everyone wants to sit in a indoor theater anymore,really!

I wish the drive inn we had wouldn’t have been torn down several years ago. Only to replace it with a stupid car lot.

Wanda ran off EVERYONE. The horse people-hockey-gun club, and finished off the attendance at the fair (by both exhibitors and fairgoers). Plus, what about the politics of the situation. The Globe and how many others are salivating over the demise of the fairgrounds. Lowes has wanted the property for years.

Correct. Wanda ruined the fair. “Forgot” to hire a carnival for the midway one year. That was a classic.
Then drove off every other group that ever wanted to rent the fairgrounds.
She was impossible to work with.
Now she’s a hero to some. Short selective memories.

You have the bad memory. The fair has sucked for over ten years! Wanda was only here 2 years at the most. I grew up across the street, was at the fair every day. They had great midways,livestock and entertainment. Worst fair in north Ia. now!

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