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Corridor to pay ISU Coach Rhoads to speak at annual meeting; refuses to disclose cost


This news story was published on May 7, 2013.
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Paul Rhoads, Iowa State football coach

Paul Rhoads, Iowa State football coach

MASON CITY – The North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation  has hired Iowa State Head Football Coach Paul Rhoads to deliver the keynote address at this year’s North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation Annual Meeting, the non-profit group recently announced.

The event, which is open to the public, will be held in June and it costs $25 for a ticket.

Rhoads has coached 4 years at Iowa State, with a record of 24–27 (.471). He has had records of 7-6, 5-7, 6-7, and 6-7 in 2012, losing to Tulsa 31-17 in the Liberty Bowl. It is not yet known what the topic of Rhoads’ speech will be, or if it will focus on how to rise up to be mediocre or slightly below average. “We are lucky to feature such a prominent speaker as our keynote; attendees- whether they are Cyclone fans or not- can expect to hear a powerful message and leave inspired,” Corridor Director Brent Willett stated.

Corridor Director Brent WIllett, silent on Corridor budget and expenditures

Corridor Director Brent Willett, silent on Corridor budget and expenditures

To date, despite a number of attempts to ascertain the cost of hiring Rhodes to speak, North Iowa Corridor Director Brent Willett and Corridor Board member Brent Trout have refused to divulge the amount paid to Rhodes to come to Mason City and deliver a speech.

The North Iowa Corridor receives well over $200,000 per year in public/taxpayer money from Mason City, Clear Lake, and Cerro Gordo County.  The Corridor has not, in years, faced any scrutiny from any of the three governing bodies which fund its existence.  NIT has argued that the Corridor has not brought any new jobs nor industry to the North Iowa area in years, yet it is funded the same every year with no scrutiny.

Due to mostly dead ends with Trout and Willett, NIT has now contacted Board member and City Council member Travis Hickey and asked for Rhodes’ fee, as well as a detailed budget from the Corridor. Trout and Willett have refused to divulge a detailed budget from the Corridor. Trout sent documents to NIT that stated the Corridor’s mission statement and other information and then lastly listed basic budget information that does not say who the Corridor paid on any of the items. One item states “Rent” of $26,000 for 2013. Since the Corridor uses office space at the North Iowa Commerce Center, which is owned by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, it could be safe to assume that the North Iowa Corridor is paying the Chamber of Commerce rent of $26,000 per year.

NIT will report more on the Corridor’s budget and expenditures soon, if information can be gathered.

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11 Responses to Corridor to pay ISU Coach Rhoads to speak at annual meeting; refuses to disclose cost

  1. Joe Reply Report comment

    May 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    They are not a public entity and their finances are none of Matt’s business. The fee paid? Who cares? This is a fund raiser stupid! The ticket sales will pay for the speaker and help fund the organization that is trying to recruit business, despite all the negative
    Publicity yahoo keep posting here

  2. Nortofstate Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

      You might want to read the page. They don’t rep Paul Rhodes but they can get in tough with hs real rep. You can also trust them since
      the bulk of their content comes from Wikipaeda.

  3. seriously? Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    What does a coach who never started and ran his own business know about starting businesses. Is this guy your economic guru because he coaches football?

    yes.

    What idiots. I’m calling Mick Jagger to find out about building rocket ships to space. Well, because I look up to him and his music.

  4. Mike in CL Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    “It is not yet known what the topic of Rhoads’ speech will be, or if it will focus on how to rise up to be mediocre or slightly below average.”

    – sounds like this “news” article was written by an Iowa fan. This website is a joke – most people I know that read it only do so for the comedic entertainment value. I like to read it for a chuckle or two about once a week.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Hey, Wish I was your spouse if I were I would take your pay check spend it how ever I wanted. When you want to know where the money went I would tell you go read NIT and let me run the house hold money like the city council allows the people in the good old boys club to spend MY tax payers money any way they want !!!

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      May 8, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      @Mike: You are right, I am a huge Hawkeye fan. As a matter of fact I competed as a Hawkeye in Track & Field. That, however, is not the point of the story. The point is the fact that Cyclone football is mediocre at best (as is Hawkeye football) and public dollars are being spent to pay a coach with a losing record for a speech about business and industry. The Corridor will not disclose the cost of this expenditure. You, Mike, as a supposed resident of Clear Lake should be concerned that your city pays $50,000 per year to the Corridor and has nothing to show for it. Don’t you care that your hard earned tax dollars are being wasted?

  5. curious in the big M.C. Reply Report comment

    May 8, 2013 at 10:41 am

    is there anyway to get the info from Iowa State? do they have to approve the coaches appearances since he is a representative of Iowa State?

  6. Allen Gorman Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Hopefully Coach Rhoads can teach Willett how to be slightly beloe average instead of dreadful at bringing some companies and jobs here.

  7. #*#* Reply Report comment

    May 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Here we go again,these people think they can spend other peoples money anyway they choose,and answer to nobody.What can a losing record head coach of Iowa State teach any of the idiots that show up about economic development.Sounds like to me it’s a country club event,they should be transparent with the amount they are paying the Coach, must be way out of line or they would of already told the amount they were paying.It real easy when your using someone else money.What a bunch of left brains.What happened with accountability in this region.