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Op-ed: Forest park homeowners will get the shaft (by Peter Children)



This news story was published on September 5, 2012.
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The hospital will get what it wants. The homeowners will get the shaft.  This hospital is the biggest employer in the city, as such they carry the big stick.  Lets look at he parking lots. How many tax dollars were removed from the tax rolls when those houses were moved? The hospital could have dug two or three floors down under ground, then maybe two or three stories up or even more. They could have put in skywalks to the main building…..they have the money; they need not go to the bank, they are the bank.

The Mercy doesn’t carry liability insurance; if they need to pay out as a result of losing a lawsuit, they just write a check; I think altogether they operate close to 18 hospitals.  A few years back there was a desk clerk working at the Hanford Inn, her name isn’t important but what she said is.  I was aware of her circumstances, the reason she moved to North Iowa from where she live before. She came from the Des Moines area, lived on a farm and was the victim of spousal abuse….she fled was the bottom line.   She was friendly, always a smile for everyone….then one day she said to me; “Peter I have been offered a job at the local hospital.”  “That’s wonderful,” I said. “You’d make more money and have benefits as well,” I replied.  “I am turning down the offer”, she said.

It seems she had a lady friend working at the hospital here, who upon learning of her move to Mason City, offered her a job in the accounting department at the Mercy. It turns out she had worked at the Mercy Hospital in Des Moines in accounting before she fled to Mason City….her friend knew she was experienced and wanted her to come to work in our local hospital.  She said her reason for not doing it was because she enjoyed meeting all the different people who came through the doors.

Then all of a sudden, and without my asking she said to me; “Do you know how much money this hospital sends out of town each month?”  My answer was, “I haven’t any idea.” Between 1.5 and 1.8 million every month,” she said. “How do you know this,” I asked. “Because my friend knows and she told me,” was her reply.

Those numbers, if they were valid could have gone up or down by now; but the point is these people don’t have to destroy the property values of hard working people; they have the where with all to alternatives that could show real compassion.  As for the current council; ask yourself this question….which of those sitting there did you vote for…and will you do it again?

Peter Children

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11 Responses to Op-ed: Forest park homeowners will get the shaft (by Peter Children)

  1. Katie Reply Report comment

    September 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    When the houses west of Mercy were moved to make room for parking, a doctor told me what one parking spot in a ramp would have cost. It was prohibitive – well over $10,000 per space at that time, to the best of my recollection. I was at Mercy in Sioux City this past weekend and our Mercy is far nicer and modern. They have a parking ramp and a skyway, but the hospital itself was not in great shape. I saw broken, repaired sinks, old crappy faucets, doors without handicap accessible handles, old tile in bathrooms, and just generally run-down areas that you don’t see here in MC. There is no room in Sioux City for large parking lots. A ramp would be nice here, but I’m glad we have a nicer hospital.
    I hate to see the beautiful streets around Mercy altered in any way. They are some of the prettiest areas in town. Personally, I’d rather see them expand a different direction in the future with a skytram, but I’ll keep my mouth shut because I’ll just get in trouble.

    • Raggedy Man Reply Report comment

      September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm

      way to keep your mouth shut. good job.

  2. Thought Reply Report comment

    September 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

    If I was a homeowner that was being affected, I think the most logical thing right now to do would be to be investigating options for a fence/barrier between their back yards and the new street and trying to negotiate that with Mercy. Something like the ones in big cities along the interstates that look to be sound/visual-proof of the interstate. The “sound” in the neighborhood is probably not going to be any worse than it is now.

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Very poorly written article, conversational rather than professional and spoken like someone who has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Brings to mind a quote from the movie Billy

    “Mr. Madison, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  4. John Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    I have to disagree, if you do a property search, I believe Mercy already owns these houses and is renting them out. I don’t see a big problem. There will be no tax money taken out of the city coffers, If anything, it will increase. They are not kicking home owners out of their home.

    Again, Peter is way off base here.

    Mercy also brings a great value to the City. Being a regional hospital, it brings thousands of people to Mason City that spend dollars here. Yes, they are based out of State but they are a good community citizen.

    • Sandy Reply Report comment

      September 5, 2012 at 9:43 pm

      You don’t see a big problem because they are not in YOUR backyard!!!

      • another anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

        Sandy, are they in yours?

      • Sandy Reply Report comment

        September 6, 2012 at 9:25 am

        So let me get this right because they are not in my backdoor I don’t have a right to complain? Wow lets just stay in our little blocks and play on the same side of the street and not worry what is going on around us.

    • Peter Children Reply Report comment

      September 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      I am not refering to the 10 houses they own, I am talking about the houses that were facing the hwy on 122.

  5. LVS Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    This time I agree with Peter. I have lived in this town for almost 70 years and I have never seen the average guy get a fait shake from the city. Money always talks and Mercy has the money. You can fight, but you won’t win. Hold out for all you can get and if you scream enough they just might pay you to shut you up.

  6. Problem Solver..Hi J Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I wrote this in another spot but will think more people will see it here. I feel so sorry for the people that live by Mercy they don’t have a chance!!! Listen to Kuhn his mind is already made up and Torniquist could care less because it is not in his back yard. Mercy has and always get what they want. All the tapes of noise and pictures will do nothing for you people. Just hold out when they come after your home because they do pay big. I know several people that got 200,000 for their houses. If they are going to take and I do mean take make them pay. Any of you remember how long Standard gas station held out? I do years!!! I don’t really feel sorry for people that move into the Forest Park area who are from Mason because they know how Mercy is. It is kind of like the people that complain about the race track knowing when they moved in the that area the track was already there…. dah. When people move in from out of town and told what they want to hear is the ones that are taken advantaged of. I can’t wait to hear what the council says about paying for someone outside the city to see what there property will be worth with Mercy in their back yard. Lets see..mmm we have no money we gave it all to Robin Anderson cuz she needed art in Mason City forget about all the tax money we are going to be losing but I forgot again dumb me taxes didn’t pay for the art.