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Merry Christmas, Mason City: We have at least one more year of Bookmeyer and his crew

This news story was published on December 24, 2012.
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Editorial by Matt Marquardt –

A few random thoughts this Christmas Eve morning.

Of course I have been thinking more and more about our city government ever since Mayor Eric Bookmeyer and at-large city councilman Scott Tornquist threatened to have me removed from the last council meeting.  I’ve had about a dozen or more good discussions with concerned citizens in the days following that incident about how to become more involved and what’s wrong with the direction the city has taken in the last three years.

From my perspective, simply being a concerned citizen who attends meetings and gets involved is something I’m content with and I believe many, many more citizens should be doing this.  Right now, we have a government BY a few, FOR a few.  This mayor and council does not serve us all equally nor does it intend to.  It is shameful that the mayor and his”elite” club have unplugged and dis-engaged the common person from the process while certain other people can actually use City Hall as a check book for their pet projects (see, sculptures).  We have only ourselves to blame for this.  Democracy requires citizen engagement and participation, and Mason City is sorely lacking this.

Bookmeyer, Tornquist and the rest of the council once proclaimed “jobs, jobs, jobs” as their goal for Mason City.  Looking over their new goals and priorities, just released for 2013, they seem to have admitted defeat on this.  I see Blue Zones mentioned twice but nothing about increasing jobs.  This mayor and council has failed to bring any new meaningful job creation to the city as employers continue to slip away.  Companies like Soy Energy and IC System are on their way out of town, and others like American Crystal Sugar continue to under-employ. I never once saw this mayor nor a council member show up at a meeting for locked-out Crystal Sugar workers.  It may have conflicted with their tee-times or AA meetings.

I also see “commitment to excellence in government services” as a goal.  If they mean serving the Chamber of Commerce and Mercy while ignoring the average person, they are well on their way to achieving this goal.  As Jean Marinos pointed out, she relies on city staff to do her job; all she will do is vote and show up for meetings when she is not in Europe.  She was a failure as Mayor from 2003-2006 and now as a council member and is not qualified to achieve anything excellent except the ownership of a BMW.  I will be elaborating on her failures soon.

Another priority is “gateway improvements” at the north end and southport.  Nice goal considering you have left these areas virtually untouched and ignored for years and spent all your time and resources – millions of dollars – on a few square blocks downtown.  Thanks for the leftovers, Eric.  I’m curious to see your vision here.  Will you be building new “Welcome to Mason City” signs at these locations?  Will you finally recruit a grocery store to Southport?

I’ll wrap up here, but I hope anyone from Mason City who is reading this gives themselves the gift of knowledge and participation in your local government in 2013.

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20 Responses to Merry Christmas, Mason City: We have at least one more year of Bookmeyer and his crew

  1. Avatar

    billy Reply Report comment

    December 26, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Another hack job by Matt. Boy you must have had an unhappy child hood. I feel sorry for you. the amount of energy and hate you put into this site and your articles. Peace brother!

    • Avatar

      50 miles south Reply Report comment

      December 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      everyone is born innocent and guilt free. with no attitude tward anyone or anything. the attitude, and down right hate people have is something learned through out life. being tought to us by assholes like you. your welcome

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      December 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Don’t be mad, Billy. I work hard for a reason. It’s to be a success, something you might not know a lot about. You could ask your pals on the council and the mayor about how much work it takes to run a successful business, except none of them have any experience at it. So you will have to take my word that hard work is a key ingredient.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      December 28, 2012 at 8:41 am

      @Billy-It obviously destresses you to read what is on this site but you keep on looking so either you like pain or are being paid to disrupt the site, or you are one of the elite’s that would like to see the site shut down. I don’t think that is going to happen, so, maybe you should quit looking and quit taking up space where you are not wanted. You are obviously not bright enough to learn from your betters.

  2. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    December 25, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I have to wonder out loud (as I am doing now), is there enough market for another grocer in Mason City? Of the full line grocers, we have five. Add to it, ten C-stores (which for some items, cuts into the share full line stores have).

    Wishing a store is one thing, but having one, that can be profitable is another.

    I recall other markets where, albeit a different clientel, were absolutely cut-throat competitive. In one area, it was six full line grocers for 100,000 people. Some of which had double the variety (line-items) we have in Mason City [something we will never see in MC – just look at all those who tried to provide something other than the standard meatloaf with cream soup on top].

    As a point of reference, the prototype Hy-Vee is 85,000 sq ft. requiring an $18 million investment (neither of our local stores are prototypes). A Super Target is 174,000 sq ft.

    Can this market support it? I rather doubt it considering history here.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Just finished another great Zane Grey book – The Drift Fence – Reminded me of why Bartz lost the election -sued his neighbor because he wanted him to pay for half the cost of a fence he put up to keep his cattle in. Guess iowa law permits this – OH well Harkin gave him a cushy job running his Home campaign office here in mason City – Think $174,000 dollars plus bennys is alot for a congressman? Hell the each recieve over a million dollar pork barrel to maintain a political office in their home state and they run their own budget-hire their own employees -would’nt be family members and friends would it. I call it graft and a burden on the american taxpayer -where there’s graft there’s -well you finish the sentence.

  4. Avatar

    Joe Dirt Reply Report comment

    December 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Oh my god it’s a great day. I’ve inspired a fat man wanabee to do something other than run around with his nose up the lead sheep’s butt and praying he don’t sneeze. But really reggie you should try to be more creative and pick a different theme.

  5. Avatar

    blog Reply Report comment

    December 25, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Now tim I mean Regie you have to be more original than that. But what would I expect from a beermeyer cronie.

  6. Avatar

    Reggie Reply Report comment

    December 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    A X-mas Poem( version 2)
    T’was the night before X-mas and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even Anonymouse
    When off to NIT with a quick look did I see
    A young looking man in a gray hoodie
    Quickly i zoomed in to see who this man was for fun
    When he blogged ” get off my site you Pro Bookmeyer scum”
    I’m the owner of this site and I can do as I please
    I can summon my cronies with a great ease
    Come LVS,come Joe Dirt,come polio loco
    on Anonymous 1,2,3 and 4
    Why can’t we have a few more
    Anonymity is their cloak and rumors rule
    with no accountability anyone can act the fool
    Matt i hope you have a sense of humor:)

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      December 25, 2012 at 7:29 am

      @Reggie-what’s the matter Scott-is that the best you can do? Did you waste all of those years of college doing drugs. You are a waste of print and space.

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      December 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Reggie, great post. The gray hoodie has become the calling card I guess. If I take to the podium to punish the lazy bullies again I’ll dress nice just for you. Have a Merry Christmas and keep the posts coming.

  7. Avatar

    George Kastanzaclaus Reply Report comment

    December 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Sad I seem to remember a time when there were JOBS and people flooded downtown elbow to elbow in flourishing BUSINESSES spending MONEY back when there was a POPULATION happy because there were PLACES TO GO. now look at it, hey kids lets go to the cpa and later we can go to the dentists office, whoops got a parking ticket, yay.

    • Avatar

      pastor robbie Reply Report comment

      December 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      Yep tis a joke down thar. A gentleman’s club wit some boobies flopping about would bring the manly folk out in droves. And just think if the casino was down thar. But no not in my backyard.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      December 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      @George-you know I remember the same things. My Grandmother was a seamstress at Raizes Department store. Every Friday night my dad would load up the car with us kids and we would go park on Federal (when you could still drive through) and we would all get out and go shopping or visiting. Everyone in town seemed to be there. Now look at it. Most nights you can shoot a cannon through the town and the only thing you will hit is the mayor and his buddy’s coming out of a bar.

  8. Avatar

    Joe Dirt Reply Report comment

    December 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Once more for the hollidays

    Was the night before Christmas and all through the town
    No citizens were stirring only drunks and criminals were around.
    When off to Central Park with a quick look I did see
    A fat little man who on a tree he did pee
    Quickly I moved closer to see who this man was for fun
    When he grunted out get away from me common citizen scum
    I’m the Mayor of this town and I can do as I please
    See how quickly my cronies come they do it with ease
    Come Tournquist come Solberg come Kuhn and come Lee
    We must change all rules so no one can question me
    So as of today in rumors it’s said
    The voice of the people is officially dead.

    • Avatar

      Constance Reply Report comment

      December 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Edgar Allen Poe would be jealous! So fitting.

  9. Avatar

    blog Reply Report comment

    December 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Thank you Matt for a year of going after the stories the worthless gazette wont print and keeping the part of the public that the beerman and his cronies would rather push under the rug informed. I know it’s been rough for you but take faith in the fact there are more of us than you think and Merry Christmas.

  10. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    December 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Nice article Matt-In my opinion Jean Marinos is, was and always will be nothing but a piece of fluff that was put into the mayors job and the city council as a puppet for the Chamber and the downtown interest. As he husband is a realtor in town it benefits him to have all of the downtown area improved. They started setting this up years ago with the remodel of central park which went way over budget and was financed with add ons through the city administrator. Nothing changes in this town and that is the reason people quit goingto the council meetings. I would be will to bet that Sandy will stop going aftre the way she was treated and who can blame her. The halves always get what they want and the rest of us pay for it. Been that way forever, however, I will support anyone who is willing to try to change that.