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Citizens rip council, Bookmeyer on “hideous” Central Park dice (VIDEO)

This news story was published on May 22, 2013.
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NIT Publisher Matt Marquardt asked Eric Bookmeyer if he oucld live off $9.50 per hour.

Matt Marquardt asked Eric Bookmeyer if he could live on $9.50 per hour.

MASON CITY – A public forum was held at the Mason City council meeting Tuesday night.

All three speakers ripped the council and Mayor Eric Bookmeyer for allowing Robin Anderson to destroy a flower bed to install red dice in Central Park.

Matt Marquardt criticized the council and mayor for congratulating themselves and the North Iowa Corridor for moving businesses around inside Mason City and calling it economic development.  Marquardt asked Mayor Eric Bookmeyer if he could live on a $9.50 per hour job.  Marquardt also pointed out that there are at least 13 vacant storefronts in Southbridge Mall and nearly that many in the immediate downtown area.

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52 Responses to Citizens rip council, Bookmeyer on “hideous” Central Park dice (VIDEO)

  1. ElNorte Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    I went and took a close look at the dice the other day. They really are that bad. They are simply sheets of metal butted together. Real dice have soft edges and a radius on the corners, and recessed dots for the numbers. These “dice” have none of those features.

    Worse, looks like the sheets of metal shrunk and bowed when they were welded, so the faces are unevenly concave. In short, it’s some of the worst “sculpture” I’ve ever seen. Some of the statutes places around town are actually quite nice, fond of the little boy playing doctor with his dog by Brick Furniture, and the little girl on the scooter by the Footbridge is brilliant. The dice are crap, and need to go.

  2. A. Hewitt Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Those dice are just an eye-sore. They really do need to be put somewhere else. Having them that close to the veterans monumnets (Civil War Stature, Veterans of Mason City Monument) is a distraction of what I have always thought Central Park was all about. It’s in the central of town and houses the monuments that reflect our appreciation for our military veterans, living and dead. Do you think any of them would be appreciative of these ugly things being so close to where their family members can come and reflect? Could you imagine the outrage if these dice, or anything like them, were to be placed anywhere near the Vietnam Wall, the Washington Monumnet, the Lincoln Statue, or anywhere in Washinton DC? Then it would be demeed a waste of tax-payer money and would be shut down in a matter of minutes. It just doesn’t sit well with me and it won’t. I hope that someone, somewhere, be it a veteran, a family member, or an out-of-towner says something, does something, to try and save the dignity of those monuments. And to all those Vietnam Vets out there, I want to apologize for these idiots. There showing you no more respect than that of which you came home to. I truely am sorry and I WILL try to ammend this for you. I appreciate all you have done and will continue to do to keep America what it is. A land of the free because of the brave.

  3. Boogie Man Reply Report comment

    May 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Mark, I never heard you speak before. Wow, struggle a bit with the delvery and the facts, don’t you think? I.C. and WSLive are not related in any way shape or form yet you are trying to link them together somehow? What do you hope to accomplish by that? $9.50 may not be $20, but it’s better than a lot of retail, server, cook, hotel and service jobs in town, especially if they pay benefits. Not everyone wants to work blue collar so it fits a niche, Rather than bitch about call center work, appreciate it for what it is. We could use another one or two such firms while looking for more jobs. Appreciate something for a change. One step at a time, man.

  4. 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

    May 27, 2013 at 8:55 am


  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Matt, you come up with some really funny stuff. This is by far my favorite paper parody sight, and I am guessing you don’t even have to compensate your comedy writing team. Smooth & calculating, like a true politician.

  6. Katie Reply Report comment

    May 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I was in Canada recently and things are no better there. The workers where we stayed all had to take 27% pay cuts this year. They are looking for better jobs, but there aren’t any. And one of the former workers we knew pretty well who was around 40, with several kids. wasn’t feeling well, went to the hospital, where they found several heart blockages. The wonderful Canadian healthcare (can you say Obamacare) system sent him home and told him to come back the next day and they would fix put in stents. He died that night. Look out folks. Here comes the same thing here where they won’t keep you in the hospital overnight to monitor you even if you have heart blockages!

    • sick of american healthcare Reply Report comment

      May 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      Canadian healthcare not 100% perfect? Well then we should definitely stay with the system we have! Right?

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      May 24, 2013 at 9:39 am

      @Katie-I worked for awhile in Canada Eh! and I can tell you their health care system is not very good. The people up there that can afford it all come to the U.S. for serious care. The word has always been that you will die while standing in line waiting for care in Canada. If you are from another country and get sick while in Canada good luck trying to get medical care unless you go to a private clinic. That is why I took out immigration while I was there. You right. Obamacare is a expensive copy of Canada’s system.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 24, 2013 at 9:48 am

        I like to go off topic too! BADGERS!

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          May 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

          @Anonymous-hello TROLL-I see you are still sniping. Good this you are behind and below me just where you belong.

  7. Bob Wolfram Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Janice…. Yo are a heck of a good citizen steward.
    Bless you much, bobby

  8. Stagnant MC economy Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Great job NIT on keeping us informed. Bringing in a phone center for jobs and calling it a success is pittiful, these are the sme people who closed the doors to Target distribution center years back…They start out at 16.00 an hour but went to cedar falls because nobody from mcity would give them a chance. Mcity needs solid paying jobs, the location of I35 and Avenue of the Saints gives a huge advantage to draw great companies. Not fly by night phone centers.

  9. COMMONSENSE manly iowa Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    hey don’t forget the dollar store, Huber supply, the auto repair, Roberts furnace, mason city lumber the big and tall store, are all located north of the liquer store on n federal. most of these are family owned business, also butchers

  10. sad but true Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    you can get a government job sweeping floors at the school and make 40.000 with bebefits.
    Thats the difference between the public sector and the real world (and by the way, they will be revealing the next school system pay hike very soon) You peopole who are going to be making 9.50 a hour, are going to have to dig a little deeper to give a nice pay raise to those making 25.00 a hour.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      May 23, 2013 at 9:50 am

      @Sad-You are right. And another sad part is the $9.50 is the AVERAGE wage. That means the managers and supervisors are included, so, the people doing the work on the phones will probably get minimum wage and it will be just enough so the won’t qualify for the health insurance that Iowa just passed and you know if they offer insurance it will be a co-pay that those people will not be able to afford. The people will be able to make more on welfare or unemployment so why work. This is part of the problem in our country today.

      • dan Reply Report comment

        May 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm

        prolly should have gone to college or worked harder in school

      • Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

        May 23, 2013 at 3:48 pm

        Thought I read where no employees would make less than $2.00 above minimum wage.

  11. FUBAR Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Im not sure about the money but have you drove up there in the past few months? From the liquar store north what is there maybe 1 bar, 1 resturant, a body shop, auto repair business and a WHOLE LOT OF EMPTY BUILDINGS. Someone got money to fix up those buildings on north fed as to who, who cares. I just wish Tim and his northend partnership good luck. Its not just the northend thats dying its the whole damn town…

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      @FUBAR-It wasn’t Tim and it wasn’t the North End Partnership that got the city money it was the owners of the buildings. The guy that owns the building where Alley Cats was used the money to fix his building and it look pretty nice on the outside. I heard he has fixed the upstairs apartments real nice as well. At least one of the other buildings is owned by Hardy and who knows what he does. I do know the condition of those building was discussed at the last meeting and I think he will be made to clean them up or tear them down. I have been told the ceilings are falling down because the roof is gone. I agree, they are a disgrace.

  12. bodacious Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I listen to you rip into a job that pays $9.40 an hour as if it is nothing. At 40 hours a week, it is nearly $20,000 a year. I know that isn’t a fortune in today’s society but with all the people who are out of work, it is something. And, although it isn’t enough to raise a family, I wish my wife could make that kind of money in her job. It certainly help out our situation. For families with only one earner this type of job would certainly help out making ends meet.
    I am not a fan of MC’s council or mayor. I think Bookmeyer is a boob. And, for the most part, the council follows him like he is the pied piper.
    But, jobs are jobs. This certainly shouldn’t be a grand celebration but it does bring needed jobs to the area.

  13. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    3 speakers rip Bookmeyer, 29,000 others silently give him thumbs up!

    • Concerned Citizen Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      I don’t think its 29,000 giving a thumbs up for $9.50 an hour job. If so we have even more trouble in river city then we thought.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 22, 2013 at 8:25 pm

        Any job is better than no job. Remember this is the starting wage. If you dont want to work for this wage don’t apply. There will be a ton of people that will.

        • Concerned Citizen Reply Report comment

          May 22, 2013 at 10:54 pm

          @Anonymous -I agree that any job is better then none at all but still don’t think 29,000 people are giving a thumbs up as you suggested. It’s a nice start but still not the type jobs this town needs for people to make a good living. Surly not a good enough paying job for 29,000 people to be proud of the mayor, council & NI corridor, they need to do more for the working class of Mason City. They need to get some decent paying jobs in this town before they all hang their hats up and say “look at what we did”

  14. rukidding Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Very well said Matt. From everyone I have talked to they agree with you 9.50 an hour job is not a wage a person can raise a family on. And everyone questions what value we are getting from the north Iowa corridor if this is all they can bring into Mason City. I wish the people of Mason City could take this money away without going through the elected officials who seem only to want to boost their egos.

  15. R Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    The money that was spent on worthless statues could have been used a number of different ways…as one poster said, The North End Partnership, there’s also the Dog Park that are trying to raise needed funds. Why on earth is our council wasting money on blue zones, statues, remodeling? It’s time for these people to go. Our council should hang their heads in shame everytime they walk into the meetings.

  16. LBS Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    When I see kids giving fist bumps after winning an election it’s over…

  17. Jim Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    it is not just the mayor,it is all the council people that lick his muddy shoes

  18. FUBAR Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    And how much money has the city given to the North End partnership that Tim Latham runs? What a bunch of wasted money this town has pissed away. Wish my wife was a doctor I could care less if every thing in town colsed as long as Mercy was here.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm

      @FUBAR-Just how much money HAS the city given Tim Latham and the North End Partnership?? Do you know? Do you just have a bone to pick with Tim Latham? Come on now, you made a statement now back it up with facts but, beware, I know Tim pretty well and I will get the true facts. I can tell you that Tim has done a lot for the North End people. He doesn’t have to as he has more than enough to do with his tow businesses. He spend his own time coordinating things to help out and has done it for years. What have you done to help anyone?

      • Observer Reply Report comment

        May 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        LVS, I second the motion on Tim and his work. He could well have done nothing and just concentrated on his businesses. He is giving back to a part of the community which he has a passion for improving.

  19. LVS Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Matt was exactly correct in his statements. $9.30 p/hour=$380.00 p/week gross pay. After taxes they would be around $300.00 p/week take home pay that is $1,260 p/ month to pay all of their bills, buy food and pay rent. That is pretty damn hard to do. All they are doing is subsidizing substandard wages with our tax money. The people that work there would either have to have another source of income or depend on government assistance to live. The downtown area and the mall that our city government is just depressive. Look at all the empty businesses. If it wasn’t for the people who work at the mall there wouldn’t be anyone there at all. And if you really want to get depressed look at the Sears Shopping Center. These people better wake up and drive around town. Don’t come to the North End on Federal, you will break down and cry.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 10:53 am

      I live near the Southport Shopping Center. What an eyesore. Yet you never once hear Bookmeyer and his 6 zombies ever talk about it. Nor do they ever talk about the south side of the city in general. It’s all about Robin and her downtown playground that is going nowhere. We are missing the boat on the south side. We have a freeway that runs next to our city limits. Thousands of cars everyday whiz by. Why can’t they stop in Mason City? Why can’t they see growth and progress on the south side? Because of the abysmal “leadership” from Bookmeyer, Anderson, the Corridor and the Council, that’s why.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        May 22, 2013 at 11:02 am

        @Matt-I agree. And, if I remember correctly, we spent a ton of money on the South End butting in infastructure by the interstate so we could attract new businesses out there. Paved roads, a water tower and other infastructure for a new industrial park that never happened. I think we have a hiway patrol office and a grain elevator that was there before we put the money in it. What happened to all the business that was coming?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

        You said it Matt. Why is there nothing on the south end by the avenue? Would love to see a kwik trip go in there! Sell some statues,give them an incentive, and get it built! Someplace instead of these high priced caseys and kum n go’s. But thats a whole other story.

  20. Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

    May 22, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I will clarify my remarks.

    WS Live is not associated with IC Systems.

    However, another company that reportedly showed interest in the former IC Systems location – CBE Group, out of Waterloo, another debt-collection agency – has had in its employment Scott Bultje as Vice President Government Services. This is the same Scott Bultje who was in charge of IC Systems here in Mason City, who infamously (and very rightfully so) was forced to pay back the citizens of Mason City when IC could not live up to its obligations in an economic deal and was not employing enough people at the call center. The same Scott Bultje whose son worked for Eric Bookmeyer’s mayoral campaign in 2009. Bookmeyer used the IC System call center to make campaign calls in 2009. IC System had a number of complaints before the MC Human Rights Commission at the time. Bookmeyer immediately upon taking office zeroed in on the MC Human Rights agency; it will now be mostly defunded and diminished to forwarding complaints to Des Moines.

    “BRYON HOULGRAVE/The Globe Gazette – Newly elected Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, left, celebrates a win with co-campaign manager Cohl Bultje as Jean Marinos writes results on Tuesday at Lorado’s. Bookmeyer won over John Jaszewski.”

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 10:37 am

      @Matt-Now it becomes even more clear what is going on.

    • Really Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

      Where was this picture taken??? Was it at a bar?

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      May 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Of course the picture was taken at a bar. See the cutline under the photo. Eric celebrates with booze all the time. This is the exact same “fist bump” Eric does whenever someone buys him a free round of drinks at the Country Club.

      • LBS Reply Report comment

        May 22, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        When I see kids doing fist bumps over elections it’s over, period. Our lives are not pawns for kids to celebrate over.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          May 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

          What the hell are you rambling on about now/ Smoke another joint and go back to bed. Things will be better tomorrow unless you are back in jail. Right Tonya?

        • Concerned Citizen Reply Report comment

          May 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm

          @LVS-What is you problem?? lighten up!

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          May 22, 2013 at 7:01 pm

          @concerned citizen-the problem is she likes to troll around making smart ass comments under different names and I am tired of it. When she cleans up her act I’ll leave her alone. If she continues then I will continue as well. Does that answer your question. Not that anyone really asked you.

        • Concerned Citizen Reply Report comment

          May 22, 2013 at 10:39 pm

          @LVS-Yes it does, just didn’t understand what was said it that comment that set you off but aplenty it was comments made before this. Thanks for the answer even though No Body Asked Me!

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          May 23, 2013 at 8:17 am

          @common sense man-sorry about the smart comment but these clowns that sneak around sniping people really are starting to piss me off and I am tired of it.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 23, 2013 at 9:03 am

          Can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          May 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

          @Anonymous-Hey Big Mouth-you bet I can take it. The question is can a sneaky troll like you take it. You people who snipe for no reason are nothing more than a piece of crap that deserve and will get no respect from me. You are a classic example of some one who is behind and below me just where you were intended to be.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          May 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

          I am not the one getting pissed off, calling people names, and telling others how much better I am than they are. If that’s what you need to sleep at night, good luck. Keep it to a dull roar on here though lest you want to continue to be considered a joke.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          May 23, 2013 at 9:29 am

          @Anonymous-Obviously the truth hurts or you would not be making excuses for your lack of intelligence. I would be hurt by your stupid comments if I cared one bit about your opinion Troll.

      • Really Anonymous Reply Report comment

        May 22, 2013 at 5:46 pm

        Was that kid even old enough to be in a bar????