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Listening post: City plows snow into woman’s driveway, refuses to help


This news story was published on March 20, 2013.
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Cheryl Gerk of Mason City explains how the city snow plows pushed a tall pile of snow into her driveway and the city refused to help.

Cheryl Gerk of Mason City explains how the city snow plows pushed a tall pile of snow into her driveway and the city refused to help.

By Matt Marquardt –

The highlights of the city council listening post were few, since only two people spoke.  Not a surprise, since hardly anyone showed up at the meeting itself.

Both citizens who spoke complained about the city snow plows and their methods.

Rick Kafer wanted to ask the council if snow could be removed from his alley earlier so his fiancee can more easily get to her job. He asked the council if they could look into helping his family out, since his alley is the only way in or out to his property, he said.

(Mr. Kafer asked if his mic could be turned off while addressing the council.  Mr. Radio Bob Fisher loudly blurted out “NO.”  Guess Mr. Kafer got his answer.)

As Mr. Kafer asked the council a couple of basic questions, the council and mayor just sat there in dead silence and looked at him.  He said thank you and sat down.  That’s city government in Mason City, Iowa.

Cheryl Gerk of Mason City also had a complaint. At her home on East State Street, she said that city snow plows had pushed a tall pile of snow into her driveway. She said after this was done at her property again after the latest snowfall, she called City Administrator Brent Trout, who came out to her home. Gerk told me that “Trout refused to help me.” See the photo below, taken Wednesday morning.

Cheryl Gerk's drieway, with a large pile of snow in it.

Cheryl Gerk’s driveway, with a large pile of snow in it.  Ms. Gerk claims City Administrator Brent Trout came to take a look and refused to take responsibility.

Watch video:

httpv://youtu.be/aGjZFwdgAkY

The audience at Mason City Council meeting on March 19th, 2012.  A very typical display, with hardly any citizens in attendance.

The audience at Mason City Council meeting on March 19th, 2012. A very typical display, with hardly any citizens in attendance.

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70 Responses to Listening post: City plows snow into woman’s driveway, refuses to help

  1. Zztop Reply Report comment

    March 26, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    BOB FISHER IS AN IDOIT AT THE COUNCIL MEETINGS CANT EVEN GET OFF HIS LAZY ASS

    • Bon Jovi Reply Report comment

      March 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      She got leeeegs… she knows how to use them.

  2. msgordy Reply Report comment

    March 25, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    I have heard through the rumour mill that a pickup truck with a blade pushed up the pile in that ladies driveway. Not a city plow truck. Seems someone got rid of all their snow and put it there??

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      March 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      @msgordy-if that is true why did Trout accept responsibility after the pictures hit here and the GLOB? He also said they would take care of cleaning it up.

      • msgordy Reply Report comment

        March 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

        Don’t know?? Your guess is as good as mine. Just relaying the story I heard.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm

        I didn’t see/hear anything in the GG about this. And haven’t read any admittence. Got a link?

      • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

        March 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm

        It still sounds like spin

  3. MrsS Reply Report comment

    March 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    The city did the very same thing to my mom’s neighbor & he is elderly & has to hire someone to remove it out of his own pocket. Very sad.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Yeah they did it to my neighbor and the guy down the block and the one around the corner and my sister who’s disabled and 3 house on the next block and my gramma and mom’s neighbor and and and ….

      • MrsS Reply Report comment

        March 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

        Ummm, ok, if they did it to everyone, they should mail out checks to compensate people. Plow & shoveling is not a free service to senior citizens or disabled people.

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

          I guess that one flew over the cuckoos nest…..

  4. Matt Rezab Reply Report comment

    March 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

    The council may do things I don’t agree with but I seriously doubt they’re instructing snow plow drivers to deliberately plow in certain citizens driveways. If you’re out plowing for 8 or 10 hours straight you’re probably not focusing on each individual driveway.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 10:24 am

      @Matt-Bull Sh##.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 21, 2013 at 10:52 am

        While you’re on line…
        Max did win 3rd Ward in 1995.
        Lost twice at-large seat. 1999 & 2001.
        Won at-large 2 times. 2003 & 2007
        Hence along with the rest of the city, he represented the N Fed corridor 8 yrs..

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

        All monthly meetings are taped and can be seen on Mediacom Channel 4. I’ve watched many. The only person I saw insulting people is Max Weaver. He’s o-u-t now so we don’t have to sit through his worthless routine that took MC no where.
        MC is the county seat. What happens there concerns all of Cerro Gordo. Much of Cerro Gordo is watching. At least this council acts their age and have manners and can discuss topics without insulting each other. The only people I see being insulting are some citizens who have stood at the podium asking moronic useless questions.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

          Question: would you rather have people say something about you to your face, or have them talk about you behind your back? do you like back stabbers? shooting someone in the back as well as back stabbing is considered “being a coward”. just because the council has learned to keep quiet and not give up all information they know. doesnt always mean they are better than others.

  5. badpontiac Reply Report comment

    March 21, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Let’s take up a collection and ship this snow to the mayors driveway – public servants right – the private sector are servants to these fat cats – Phooey to them .

  6. NORTH Country MAN Reply Report comment

    March 21, 2013 at 4:49 am

    Waaa! It’s a good thing these people don’t live someplace that experiences a REAL winter. Quit your whining and deal with it.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Those empty seats are a sad commentary to the Mason City Government.

    When the citizens are not engaged it demonstrates a lack of confidence in our local government.

    This is a bad omen!! I wonder what the common man/woman on the street is thinking?

    • NORTH Country MAN Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 4:53 am

      Or it may mean people are satisfied with the work elected officials and city government is doing. It is a show of confidence.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 21, 2013 at 10:05 am

        HA I doubt that very much.
        OR,
        it might mean that the citizens are afraid of retaliation. Just take a look at this woman’s poor garage. Just wait until it starts melting.
        I would make them pay for this garage.

        • They dont care Reply Report comment

          March 21, 2013 at 10:11 am

          I complained once.
          Just once.
          and I had to pay for my mailboxes that they damaged three times.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm

          a very large I beam deep in cement then covered with wood, would cure that problem. as well as funny when the plow hits it and does damage.

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

          Or put it back out of the way where it belongs instead of being a stubborn cob and putting it in the wrong place 3 times. Some people like being immature jerks for the fun of it.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm

          since I am the first or only person to respond. I have to wonder if everyone else is just ignoring your stupid comments. anyone with common sense knows that the mail boxes have to be at the curb for the mailman to reach from the car window. What an idiot.

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm

          duuuuuh yes I know they have to be at the curb. They also need to be at the right distance in relation to the curb and street. Can you explain why only his mailbox got hit 3 times? (I’m assuming that since he said his & not the entire block of boxes) Hense his placement must need to be adjusted. Why would a plow driver hit only “one” box?

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm

          read his statement.

          “I complained once.
          Just once.
          and I had to pay for my mailboxes that they damaged three times.”
          It reads I complained once. just once. theres your damn reason. any mailbox that the mailman can reach, can be hit at any time. unless hid behind a telephone pole or something like that. the fact that his is the only one, (as you say ) is because he complained once. common sense if you read it stupid. I sure hope everyone in mason city isnt as stupid as you are. Or just likes to stir up trouble like a child.

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm

          @50, you know for a fact that what this person said is true? You don’t know ONE snow plow driver, (I know a few in MC) nor ONE council person, not ONE street dept. head or this poster. But you don’t like me so this poster must be RIGHT! And I must be stupid.
          Your problem is YOU HATE being in the wrong or someone having an opinion counter to yours.So you resort to name calling and arguing. It wasn’t YOUR mailbox so WTF do YOU care. Take a chill pill and FO!

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 27, 2013 at 2:21 am

          anonymous: Using your own words, do you know the real birth name of the poster? How do YOU KNOW for sure that they were lying about this? You cannot say that 100% either. While I am trusting this person by giving them the benefit of the doubt.

          you also said…”that I hate being in the wrong or someone having an opinion counter to yours. So you resort to name calling”. Boy if that isnt the pot calling the kettle black. Here is your first reply to the poster about his mailbox. (btw you have many many first posts badmouthing other posters here. nothing but negativity from you.)
          “Or put it back out of the way where it belongs instead of being a stubborn cob and putting it in the wrong place 3 times. Some people like being immature jerks for the fun of it.”
          “STUBBORN COB” and “IMMATURE JERKS”. Boy if that isnt name calling I dont know what is. Sooooooooo….the pot calling the kettle black sure fits you.
          I really dont mind people having their own opinion. really I dont. Communication is the only way problems can get worked out. And I have agreed and disagreed with many different people on here for the past 2 years. You however are different. It doesnt matter who is posting, what they are talking about, or if it even effects you. But if someone posts anything remotely negative about the city. you have to chirp in and call them names like stubborn cob or immature jerk just to name a few. Its as tho you are the mayor or a city councilman. Or maybe getting paid by the city in some way. Your actions sure sound defensive at times. guilty of anything? Your right, I dont know you. but from what Ive read, I dont like the one sided bashing you repeatedly give to anyone that agrees with Matt. and for this I dont care for your postings.
          P.S. it wasnt your mailbox either so again what the fUk do you care. IN YOUR OWN WORDS!!!

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        March 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

        @North-Spoken like a true establishment lackey. People do not go to the meetings because they know they will be insulted and embarrassed if they go against the King and his court. The street department are not hero’s. Some do a decent job, but some are the old union mentality and will retaliate when ever they think they are being reported. It is well know in town that whenever the city does work it takes four guys to do one guys job. Watch and see.

    • anonymus Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Or they are sitting at home in their warm chairs watching it on TV. Instead of standing at the podium making fools of themselves.The ones who care VOTE at the polls instead of whineing.

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    The more you complain the more snow you will get in your drive. I know from past experiences.
    Good luck ms Gerk!

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      @Anonymous-you are right. If they know who you are they will retaliate.

    • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 12:37 am

      you may be correct, but it doesnt make it right. now you can understand why certain people dont trust the cops or city hall. doesnt always mean they are guilty of anything either. simply a learned trait

  9. happyguy Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    moving snow over and over again is one of the reasons I moved from a corner lot in the highlands to an owners association area that provides snow removal. I went round and round with the city about the high speed the plows were traveling and the number of times the plow drivers were going by. On more than one occasion the plow throw snow so far that it hit the side of my house. I would usually have to shovel not only my driveway but also my sidewalk 3 or 4 times after each snow fall.

    • Xylon ll Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      Move to Arizona…problem solved…next?

  10. Katie Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Sometimes I swear plow drivers do some of this stuff out of shear orneriness. I find it downright inconsiderate that a city plow driver would leave a line of snow like that in someone’s driveway. At the end of the driveway, yes, but not down the middle of it like that! How much harder would it have been to push it all off to the side.

  11. Mike Petersen Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    When I first saw the headline to this story I thought, come on lady, everybody has to clean their own driveway but then when I saw the picture I think she has a valid complaint. There has to be a better place to push that snow than right up in front of her garage. I hope some of the councilmen see this picture, I think it would change their opinion.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

      Actually if you knew “the rest of the story” it might change your opinion. This lady is a “regular” at the council meetings.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        Actually the rest of the story is: the snow plows are pushing extra snow to punish Ms. Gerk because she does attend council meetings on a regular basis..and know to speak out on the issues. (the snow plow drivers are sucking up to the city fathers)

        That’s the facts jack!

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 20, 2013 at 9:05 pm

          oh my! It’s a conspiracy! wooooooooooo…..(strains of the Twilight Zone.)

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          March 20, 2013 at 9:13 pm

          p.s. I know the fact jack. And that other guys wife isn’t the only healthcare worker needing to get to a client. I’m sure all the others wish they could be 1st too. Wouldn’t it make more sense to call them if your street got missed? Instead of whining in public.

    • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 12:31 am

      wouldnt it be nice to get very large photos of the snow piled up in her driveway to post all over town. with the caption “THANKS FOR NOTHING MASON CITY” OR “COMPLIMENTS OF OUR CITY FATHERS”

      • anonymus Reply Report comment

        March 21, 2013 at 9:03 am

        Yeah just keep pushing that “I hate MC leaders” agenda. I’m sure it’s good for everybody to keep crap stirred up. That’ll really make people want to move to MC. Don’t bother handling it in a civilized manner.
        Do the town a favor and stay 50 miles South. MC has enough haters.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 21, 2013 at 9:25 pm

          the people who work for the city also represent the city. If they are piling up snow in someones driveway like this, then they are the ones badmouthing Mason City. Its not me or anyone else on here complaining. This crap started with a representative of mason city. so the blame lies with Mason City.

  12. Allen Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    I don’t think that the car is ever, in the garage.

    • anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      She stated in the video that she doesn’t use the garage. She just hates the city leaders, Mercy, Fareway in Clear Lake and God only knows who else. She’s complained about the plowing for years. She does however like the Goodwill since she shops there daily.

      • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

        March 21, 2013 at 12:22 am

        that must be the reason why the city deliberately piles snow in her driveway. If she allowed someone to park in her driveway this would put an end to her problems.

  13. LVS Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I have been told by some people who currently plow that all they have to do is change the angle of the plow and slow down a little and they will not fill driveways. I pay to have my snow plowed and it always seems that about a hour after it is cleaned out here comes the city AGAIN and plows it back in. They do not have to be in that big a hurry. They are going so fast they throw snow from the street and cover the sidewalk.

    • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

      March 21, 2013 at 12:18 am

      they drive that fast because everyone is complaining that they dont get their road done first. also driving fast throws the snow far away from the curb to prevent so much buildup at the curb. If the plow driver had to slow down to adjust the angle of his blade at every driveway. nothing would get done. and everyone would be bitching about the time it takes to get the job done. how many driveways are in a normal city block? maybe 5- 8? the hydraulics to move the blade dont move that fast. it would also be more ware and tear on the hydraulics which will cost you the taxpayer more. so in other words your going to be bitching either way.

  14. rukidding Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I think its more important to clean our streets before worrying about someones alley. As far as driveways its the cities responsibility to get it off the street not keep it from someones driveway. We all have to clean snow and its not a fun job but get use to it we live in Iowa people.

    • My Real Name Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      Sometimes the alleys is their only way out. I live on an alley, I have four other neighbors that their garages are on the alleys. We never get our alley plowed. Right now it’s so bad, that you can barely get down it. The city hasn’t plowed it the last 3 snowfalls.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        March 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm

        Did you call them and remind them they forgot you? That’s what I do.

    • My Real Name Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Sometimes the alleys is their only way out. I live on an alley, I have seven other neighbors that their garages are on the alleys. We never get our alley plowed. Right now it’s so bad, that you can barely get down it. The city hasn’t plowed it the last 3 snowfalls.

      • My Real Name Reply Report comment

        March 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Ooops, had to post it twice, forgot about the others on the opposite of me.

  15. wondering me Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Lets check out the mayor and the council persons driveways and see what there’s look like? Not because they are well liked but if the city workers could do what they wanted to do with these guys they’d lose there jobs!!!

  16. sad but true Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Sorry folks, Bob Fisher does a very nice job as a sports announcer! Just say’n

  17. just me Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Why would anyone want to go to the city council meetings. These people don’t care what you have to say or how you feel about anything. Seen it over and over again. If I had a spouse who would move from this town I would go. Manly, Nora Springs, Clear Lake hey maybe Osage they have jobs unlike here or maybe even Charles City they have jobs unlike here. Let’s see lets get rid of the Human Rights and keep Brent Willet he has done so much for the city. Can anyone tell me how much we are (over paying) paying this guy?

  18. 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    If I were Mr. Kafer, I would have leaned in to the mic and talked in a very loud voice. and then reply “NO” when they asked to back off. Its always nice to have their own games backfire on them.

    • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      like dumping a truck load of snow on Mr Trouts driveway. Lets see if says anything then. Ive always wanted everyone to be treated equally.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      If I were Mr Kafer, I would have sent my very important fiance’ up to the podium and cheered her on from one of the many open seats.

  19. My Real Name Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Who does Blob Fisher think he is? He is a disgrace to the radio stations he works for. He’s also a sports announcer??? Look at the guy, hardly an example of fitness. Bob, take some advice before you are found dead from a heart attack, buy a treadmill and use it!

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      To be fair to Mr. Bobby Fisher, he acts no different than the other long-standing media in the area. He believes he is entitled to everything just for sitting in a room. I have also witnessed Mr. John Skipper make remarks and make gestures during council meetings and other events. These two back-slap and glad-hand Bookmeyer and Kuhn and the rest of the council like they are long lost best friends. The deal seems to be “don’t criticize me and I will carry your lunch.” I have witnessed KIMT and KAAL “reporters” show up late for countless events and disrupt meetings while setting up their “tripods” with their enormous cameras. I have seen the Globe Gazette, KIMT, KAAL and other so-called media show up at a funeral and use high-powered lenses to zoom in on tearful people walking in and out of a church while hiding under a blue tent so one would recognize them. These people make my skin crawl almost as much as some of our elected and non-elected officials do.

  20. 7th street ne Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    The city also plowed the flood-ed neighborhood by east park. No one lives back there.

  21. Joe Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Our former city attorney Tom Meyer lives by me and NEVER cleans his sidewalks. A foot of ice and snow and I bet he is never cited. I haven’t seen the city shoveling it and charging him. He also often goes thru the stop sign at the intersection, by schools. Apparently, he is above the law and the rest of us.

    • ? Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      He doesn’t have the time for snow removal or stopping for stop signs he needs to get to his job in Cedar Falls don’t you know.

  22. John Reply Report comment

    March 20, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I understand Miss Gerk being upset. This heavy frozen ice/snow is VERY hard to move. It will break backs and snow throwers. The problems I have is the plows going by repeatedly AFTER I have already cleared my drive. They fill it back in many times. I don’t know where they even get the snow from. Even on sunny days with the snow melting or if we only get a dusting they still plow many times, even with nothing to plow.

    • trucker Reply Report comment

      March 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      If they drive by several times and plow more snow each time, doesn’t it mean that there is still snow on the road? Do you want more snow on the road and less in your driveway? I’m sure people going places would rather have it this way. Every year people go round and round about this. Where are they supposed to put the snow if they can’t put it on the side of the road?

      • John Reply Report comment

        March 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

        Wrong!

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          March 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

          what the hell are you talking about? the snow needs to be removed from the streets. if it is blown onto your driveway or lawn so be it. it needs to be off the streets for safety reasons. anyway the city holds right of way between the curb and the sidewalk for a reason. just wait till the plows are all done to clean your drive or do it twice like everyone else has to. JFC we all have to deal with it.