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Op-ed: Janice Easley beats Bookmeyer, council

Janice Easley could have talked for an hour Tuesday night and Mayor Eric Bookmeyer might not have made a peep about it.
Janice Easley could have talked for an hour Tuesday night and Mayor Eric Bookmeyer might not have made a peep about it.

by Matt Marquardt –

14 minutes and 20 seconds.

That’s how long community volunteer Janice Easley spoke for at Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting.

And that’s before she was stopped from leaving the podium and harkened back by Council member Scott Tornquist, whose council seat is on the line this fall.  He wanted more Janice, and he wanted everyone to know it.

Mayor Eric Bookmeyer watched Janice Easley speak for over 14 minutes Tuesday evening.
Mayor Eric Bookmeyer watched Janice Easley speak for over 14 minutes Tuesday evening.

For those of you following the saga of Ms. Easley’s battle with Mayor Eric Bookmeyer and his attempts to silence the lady who saved our Band Shell, there is no other way to put it: She beat the mayor.  She made Mayor Bookmeyer and the council sit at attention for over 14 minutes, on the edge of their seats, pinned to her every word.  Their eyes never wavered; I’m not sure any of them blinked once as she went from topic to topic.  And for good measure, just to show how much he cares, supposedly, she was called back to the podium by a suddenly kinder, gentler Scott Tornquist.

Yes it is true, Mayor Bookmeyer told Ms. Easley she could only talk about the Band Shell four times a year as part of the agenda and she was not allowed to speak about donations that were made to the cause.  He excluded her from the last two council meetings.

All that went out the window Tuesday evening, as Ms. Easley took the podium after a warm greeting from the mayor.  He didn’t likely forget that just a three weeks ago, Ms. Easley called him a “snake in the grass” to his face.

Janice Easley with an award she won for helping to preserve the East Park Band Shell
Janice Easley with an award she won for helping to preserve the East Park Band Shell

But he backed down, 100%, and let Janice talk, and talk, and talk some more, and he said nothing.

Meanwhile, some persons in the larger-than-usual crowd weren’t as accommodating.

There were a few groans and whispers as Ms. Easley went well past her allotted 8 minutes given to her by the Mayor.  “What is the Mayor doing?” One person was overheard saying.  “Her time expired but she’s still going?”

Mason City Chamber of Commerce Director Robin Anderson was seen rolling her eyes and making other gestures as Ms. Easley spoke.  Apparently the two ladies have a past, as Ms. Easley once told NIT that Anderson banned her from the Band Fest parade.

“You’ve got to watch out for Robin Anderson,” Ms. Easley once said.

“That was not fair, what you did to me,” Janice told the Mayor Tuesday night.

“And I wonder how many other people you do it to.  Enough said about that.”

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Robin Anderson and her “don’t you know who I am”? arrogance is disgraceful. I think she should stick to redecorating the M.C. County Club’s dining room.

She is a nice lady. Understand her age and questions but hopefully this was the exception and not a new unofficial policy.
She has done a good job on the band shell but you do have to draw the line somewhere as far as time limits. We certainly don’t need Max and the clowns coming back for an encore. Max could create an entire agenda for every single meeting. I give Max credit for being well read-not sure on how he came to conclusions such as we could recruit Toyota without the help of the state of Iowa, the Gentlemen’s club and how we lost the Target distribution Center. Maybe NIT could get Max to explain all of these as separate issues if he decides to run for office. I would love to hear Max give his detailed analytical explanation on each of those topics supported by factual statements and not the I got it from a good source.

I hope people can read between the lines and know these people are up for re election this fall just makes me laugh how flakey these people are. Let see isn’t the same people that made someone sit down at a council meeting awhile back. Makes me laugh!! Good job Janice

To bad she is not running for mayor…Jim

I wonder what it took her 14 + minutes to say about the last few free movies in East Park. Did she give a detailed critical review of each flick?

Sure she is allowed to speak, but within the accepted parameters set by the council. Now the can of worms has been opened. Cheryl and others will pounce on the opportunity to be heard, and heard and heard.

Janice spoke for 14 minutes but part of that time was spent answering Council Member’s questions. That time doesn’t count against the 8 minutes. She actually only went about 2 minutes over. Unfortunately, Janice didn’t have the list of movies with her and when she was asked by two different Council members to tell everyone what the movies were, she couldn’t answer her. I don’t really blame her. She was still pissed at the Mayor and was a bit scattered because of it. As for the bitches on the south side of the room who kept making comments (no, neither were Robin Anderson) I hope that if you get to be Janice’s age and people treat you like you treated her, your tits get tangled up in your walker and you get run over in a busy intersection.

Thanks for the insight. The story gave me to a different impression and omitted the details you provided.

I was left with the conclusion that Council Meetings were on their way to becoming “Open Mic” night again. Time will tell now that the precedent has been reset.

Robin Anderson and the Chamber does not have the right to exclude anyone from participation in the Band Festival Parade.

I can understand a participant being excluded if they were displaying inappropriate material or acted inappropriately.

Mrs Easley would not fall under that category at all. I know her personally.

If she was promoting some cause or the Band Shell she should have been allowed. If we allow Politicians to walk in the Parade then Mrs. Easley would “EASILY” qualify!

We see all kinds of floats promoting their business too.

Shame on Robin Anderson!

Why, YES the chamber can ban or allow whoever they want in that parade….they own it. You pay the chamber to be in it. $35 for members, $300 for non members, plus a “clean up” fee if you throw candy.

A miracle in River City. Before my eyes her name is changing to EASLEY. YW.

EASLEY……… iPad changed it. $@9’n

Looks pretty much the same.

Matt, for Pete’s sake at least you could spell Mrs. Easily’s name right!!!!

Her name is spelled Janice Easley…. have known her my entire life and her family…..

You go Janice-The Elite’s will just hate it because you tell it like it is.

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