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First “no” vote cast at Mason City Council meeting

Editorial by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – After dozens of unanimous votes, a “no” was finally uttered at a Mason City Council meeting Monday night.

Alex Kuhn broke ranks from Mayor Eric Bookmeyer’s carefully orchestrated charade and voted no to leverage $10,000 of city dollars in order to spend $96,200 more for what Fire Chief Bob Platts called a “vital” need for traffic light controls for emergency vehicles.  This was a last-minute change order, and Kuhn had an issue with spending more on something “not at the very high end of the list” of city priorities.

It was an odd choice from Kuhn, but the Mayor was stunned, and after the meeting he promptly approached Kuhn and got in his ear about his no vote (see photo above of Bookmeyer, left, seconds after the council meeting ended, standing at Kuhn’s chair having a chat.)

Otherwise, the meeting went essentially to script, everything else was a straight “yes” vote.  No citizens spoke before or after the meeting at the public forums; heck, no one really showed up except city staff and a couple of speakers from out of town.  The only out of the ordinary occurrence was that Jean Marinos showed up in person, freshly tanned from the beaches of Europe, where she has ruled the Third Ward for the last several weeks.

Taking Marinos’ place on the absentee list was Janet Solberg.  It was said she was on a camping trip.

See council packet here.

Watch video of entire meeting:


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