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Op-ed: Globe neglects to say how fairgrounds got in financial trouble (by Peter Children)


This news story was published on April 23, 2012.
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Once again the Globe Gazette embarrasses itself with another feeble attempt to gloss over decades of horrible management and possible corruption charges which are at this time pending at the very threshold of District Court.

The Globe editorial reminds me of the siding contracts we used to write with the homeowner. We’d fill up as much of the white space on the contract with what really amounted to useless verbiage in order to make it look better than it really was.  Most of what appears in today’s editorial is recycled news from weeks ago. Oh, John was able to get in a free political plug for his favorite supervisor Jay Urdahl in the same piece.  He quotes Urdahl as saying this is a winning formula for everyone.  You think? You want to hand over close to $700,000.00 to the same group that drove this bus into the ditch?  Where was Urdahl when this fair board turned South into an abyss of red ink?  He knew what was going on, they all knew.  Urdahl and his other two associates were the foxes that guarded that hen house.  When someone comes to you and “asks” permission to sell land, that tells me they are “in charge” and they did nothing to stop the decline that was visibly apparent to all who did nothing more than simply drive by.

What about the former offer of $660,000.00? How long did they sit on that offer?  It was within $40,000.00 of what they are now asking. The truth was they sat on it too long, and it cost them big time. These people are alleged experts, or at least they want to you believe that.

This reminds me of an old joke involving a farmer who goes into his bank to ask for a $200,000.00 loan.  “What are you going to do with the money?” asks the banker. “I’m going to farm with it until it’s gone,” replies the farmer.  The question John Skipper should have asked is “how long do you think $700,000.00 would last in that account?”   I think it would be more like throwing red meat into the Lion’s den.  But it sure is comforting to know Urdahl thinks it’s a great idea…..too little, too late. That board along with the current board of supervisors needs to be rounded up, loaded into a truck and hauled  somewhere where they can’t do any more damage to the tax payers…..

Peter Children

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20 Responses to Op-ed: Globe neglects to say how fairgrounds got in financial trouble (by Peter Children)

  1. reggie Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Matt,I am not slamming the common man I am critiquing you and Peter.If I called you anything worse than naysayer,which is pretty tame compared to some of the names called on this site, I don’t remember and apologize.If being optimistic is a vote killing attitude then I guess I am a lot more powerful than I thought.
    Watchdog, there have been a lot of mayors and council persons in 25 years and you place all the blame on Bookmeyer?What about Jeff,Don and Max?Shouldn’t they get some of your blame? I blame no one.Every mayor and council did what they thought was good for Mason City.Only with 20/20 hindsight can anyone be 100% correct.

  2. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 1:17 am

    The Fairgrounds?

    No way should we sell off that land. The Globe is all wet on this issue. So are the Supervisors.

    Need money? Lets start a Million Dollar Fund Raiser for the the Fair Grounds. This is not unrealistic, we have had these kinds of fund drives in Mason City in the past. I recall such an effort when the old Park Clinic wanted to build a new hospital, and it happened.

    It could be done for the fairgrounds if we all got together and chipped in. But first we have to have a long range plan for the fairgrounds.

    The fairgrounds needs to have a new charter and management style set up that will bring 21 century concepts to the table.

    The people running it now lack any ability to manage it into a viable operation.

    There is much we could do instead of selling off our assets but it appears the Fair Board and County Board of Supervisors are to lazy and lack vision!

  3. Watchdog Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Reggie, wait a minute here.

    The negative jerks are Mayor Bookmeyer, Chamber of Commerce, Local media, and a City Council that has only a vision to keep Mason City a small bedroom community.

    I am a Mason City native of 68 years and have offered many positive solutions over the years, only to be met with stiff resistance by the ilk mentioned above.

    Yep, I’ve become a cynic because there is no way this city will be allowed to grow and bring in better wages.

    I could improve this city in a heartbeat but it ain’t gonna happen because the wrong people will make the money.

    The people you call naysayers have a good right to be that way after all the crap we have been handed. I can count over 75 million dollars the taxpayers have coughed up over the last 25 years and we got NOTHING to show for it. We have less population and opportunity today than before we spent all that money.

    You need to change sides!!!

    • peter children Reply Report comment

      April 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

      You are right on many of the points you make; the current board is totally inept, there is no rudder on that ship. The supervisors are making deals in the dark, or or blind to what is taking place.

      A new broom sweeps clean; we need a new broom both at the fair and in the courthouse. We also need term limits, it is ludicrous to allow more than two terms on any board…let alone seven terms. After six full terms Urdhal has done zero, except to say selling the land is a great idea. Now there’s real leadership there.

  4. Observer Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Selling a portion of the Fairgrounds is really not a solution. As others have said, I think it time for the current board to step down, and a new Board installed.

    It will take a long time for the community to regain trust in the Fair, but it is not impossible. First and foremost, no Board member should ever become a provider or supplier to the Fair. It becomes a conflict of interests.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    The whole thing is really sad. When we were kids we couldn’t wait for the fair. They had a huge midway and sideshows. Maybe its just time to quit as times and young peoples interests have changed.

    • concerned Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 5:37 pm

      The whole fair board needs to go, now!

    • Reggie Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      You are exactly right about looking forward to the fair.It signaled the end of summer and school just around the corner. It used to be packed at night and busy during the day.I think you hit the nail on the head, kids now have more interest in their computer games than real live action entertainment.Not saying that is bad just different.

  6. anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    The Globe sucks. And not just in this way, in every way! I am appalled at what lengths they will go to to sell their paper. Their one sided endorsements, their one sided facts, only telling truths that they feel are worth publishing, not publishing stories because it may be about their advertisers, putting pictures of a dead persons house on their site, pictures at the scene of an accident, need I keep going? They filed bankruptcy protection, my advice to the Glob, hang it up. File bankruptcy and do everyone a favor and shut your paper down.

  7. Hey Peter Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Whoa Peter. Glad I never bought any siding from you. Interesting how you can brag about screwing people and than go right ahead and laucnh a tirade against the fair board.

    Remember when the county sold the fairgrounds property to Target and others. That money never was given to the fair board. Don’t remember what the dollar amount was but it had to be a big amount so you have either amnesia, stupidty or have lost your mind since you didn’t even bring this up.

    • peter children Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      What ever gave you the idea I screwed the customer. I always gave fair value for the price paid. I am not talking about the Target sale, I can’t trace the entire history of that ground. I am only concerned with the current quagmire. Am I to believe that you think these same people who “lost” money running the fair are now going to turn it around because hey now have more money? They should take away your driver’s license if you believe that.

      • 50 miles south Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm

        Peter: I do not know you, or what company you sold siding for. but if you sold it for community builders, then you are one of the people that screwed our family. selling us a line of shit that was never installed. trying to install different awnings from the ones we ordered. I have more bullshit from community builders if you want it. but this was back in the mid 70s and cant remember it all at this time.

  8. Watcher Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I was just reading a news story on NIT “how the fairgrounds got in financial trouble” compelling article, well researched, tons of facts and details on how it came to pass.

  9. LVS Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

    WOW-Peter, I think you hate everyone. What if this turns out to be a positive move to try to get the Event Center (Fair Grounds) back on track. If it turns out there is a court case then maybe you should wait until they are proven guilty before you shoot off your big mouth. It is people like you that give Mason City a worse name than it already has.

    Believe me when I say that Mason City overall is not a bad place to live. I have lived all over the country and Mason City is one of the better places. Maybe you should adopt a positive attitude and run for supervisor or council person. That way you could maybe change some of the things you think are wrong. Some stuff I agree with you on, but, I do not hate everything as you seem to.

    • peter children Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Would you bet your own hard earned money that these people will turn it around? I don’t think you would…and neither would I.

      As far as living here; I personally think it’s wonerful, some of the winter’s are hard to deal with especially at my age but I am quite comfortable here.

    • happyguy Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Well said LVS. Way to many Mason City haters on here. It would be nice to here something positive come out of their mouth (or print) once in a while.

    • Reggie Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      I’ve lived here my whole life.I raised a family here.I’ve worked for short periods in other cities in Iowa and Mason City is a pretty good town. Can it be better? Absolutely, but naysayers like Peter and Matt only look at things and see s**t where I see potential for good and the endless opportunities. Am I an optimist?Maybe. Are they pessimists?Yes and that sells ads and creates high site hits.

      • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

        Reggie: You call me a naysayer (and worse), I call myself a critic who is getting involved. I routinely offer what I feel is a better path when I criticize. I put it on the line here at NIT everyday, writing under my real name, finding good and bad and offering what I can as alternatives. I’m sorry you call that negative. If everyone stays silent, we will go nowhere as a community. I would venture to say it is due to people like you that we have 12% or less voter turnout. You slam the common man who wants to have a voice.
        I see plenty of good in MC and there are stories that reflect that. When was your last positive comment, or op-ed, made anywhere? A trip down memory lane doesn’t count, sorry.

      • peter children Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2012 at 10:56 pm

        Reggie what would happen here if everyone looked the other way? The fair board is just one example, city hall is another, look how Eric wanted to bring an untested processes to burn waste. If people didn’t speak up, this would be a big latrine. Truth has no friends and you must be willing to take some hard hits when you use it.