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Despite pressure from Chamber of Commerce, no pavilion at Mason City library


This news story was published on September 19, 2013.
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The Chamber of Commerce sought to build a performance pavilion here, on the north lawn at the MCPL

The Chamber of Commerce sought to build a performance pavilion here, on the north lawn at the MCPL

MASON CITY – The Mason City Library Board fought off a second attempt by the Mason City Chamber of Commerce to construct a performance pavilion in the north lawn of the library grounds.

The library board’s steering committee recommended to the board that construction of the pavilion be turned down. The steering committee is made up of ordinary citizens who make recommendations to the board on some issues.

“The steering committee told them (the Chamber of Commerce) ‘no’ before,” a source told NIT.

“The committee was concerned about the trees and sidewalk that are already in the lawn,” the source continued. The pavilion “doesn’t fit our mission.”

NIT was also told that the board and the committee was concerned about liability issues as well as maintaining the structure. The source confirmed that the library is tens of thousands of dollars in debt at this time and struggling to pay its bills simply from upkeep and staffing requirements even as library management searches for ways to cut costs.

“This fits right in with how this City is being run at this time,” said Fourth Ward City Council candidate Matt Marquardt. “Here is another example of Robin Anderson, using her clout at City Hall, leaning on a city-run operation (the library) to get her pet project built. Special interests are running our City at this time. It’s time to revoke Mrs. Anderson’s blank check and bring common sense back to City Hall. I commend the committee and the board for telling Mrs. Anderson ‘no’. Mrs. Anderson, we have a Band Shell. Go to East Park and use it like the rest of us do.”

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62 Responses to Despite pressure from Chamber of Commerce, no pavilion at Mason City library

  1. Mason City Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t know Robin. I don’t know the Barlas family. What I do find very interesting is how Robin’s picture can maintain its front page position for over a week. Yet, all of the news coverage provided by multiple news outlets (other than NIT)of the Barlas story, resulted in NIT publishing minimal information on the Barlas case AND comments were disabled. As I recall, any further court activity of this case was not published on this site.

    NIT’s coverage of pertinent stories seems to be skewed. This site just seems like a place to insult and embellish stories to raise public fury.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Come on. Maybe I like looking at Robin’s smiling face. Is that so wrong? As far as the Barlas case goes, I haven’t really been following it. What’s the latest?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm

        And you host a “news” site?

        • Mason City Reply Report comment

          September 28, 2013 at 10:10 pm

          @ Anonymous…Touche’

          This is not a serious news site. From what I can gather, this site is used to rile up its readers and single out individuals it does not like.

  2. TreeHugger Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    How does or would a genteel pavilion help the average Joe in Mason City who has kids on reduced lunch? That is what we need our leadership to ask itself before it does anything. Robin and her kind have the country club. Let’s build an indoor playground for kids at the mall where parents/grandparents can take their kids to play and have a snack when it is cold out so they get a break and the kids get exercise and socialized. It would increase the mall traffic and actually be a good thing for the average person.

    • MC 83 Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      I like the idea of an indoor park in the mall. They have plenty of space & it would bring some traffic back to the mall. That is something the chamber could do that might actually help its members.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      September 29, 2013 at 7:45 am

      @Tree Hugger-just what is wrong with the sledding hill or ice skating rink? We also have the YMCA and the youth center. There are plenty of thing for the kids to do if they shut off the video games and the T.V. But mostly they are to lazy for that.

  3. foxrocks Reply Report comment

    September 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    If the chamber really wants to do something for Mason City, ask the city council to fix the damn roads. No wonder businesses don’t want to come here. We spend our taxpayer dollars on statues and oversized dice, meanwhile, we have some of the worst roads of any town I’ve been to in the state.

    • John Reply Report comment

      September 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      The roads here are not as bad as Cedar Rapids and Waterloo yet, but we are getting closer.

  4. Brad Reply Report comment

    September 27, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Ms. Anderson = four words: out of control ego

  5. anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 26, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    It’s just an empty lot. Sell it to a developer and let him put a small house on it. All it’s doing now is taking up wasted space. Does the library need it? I don’t think so.

  6. common sense man Reply Report comment

    September 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I have a solution! Turn the library into a casino, and watch the tax money roll in. Another problem solved

  7. ConcernedCitizen Reply Report comment

    September 26, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Where does Robin Anderson get these ideas??? A city in debt without jobs definitely needs a bazillion ugly iron statues and a pavillion at the library!

  8. Mr. Liberty Reply Report comment

    September 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    If it wasn’t for the library where would the sex offenders go and be allowed to use the computer next your kid doing his homework…

  9. concerned Reply Report comment

    September 26, 2013 at 8:09 am

    A library with a coffee and sandwich shop, books throw away I dumpsters. A big chunk of money spent for nothing a few years ago.

    It is a big expensive joke.

  10. anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    It’s no wonder the library is in debt. What does it do to bring in any income? It’s like the museum. The city pours money into it for a select few who use it, and just add it to the growing bill for another wasteful taxpayer funded dinosaur. I invite anyone to sit in the library for a few hours and find out how few people actually use it. And why should they be friendly to anyone? Their civil service jobs are locked in. The city gives their union anything they ask for. Too many people getting paid too much for sitting around doing nothing. That should be Mason City’s new slogan.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 25, 2013 at 11:30 am

      There is no library in the country that makes a profit. Ours is no different.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        But if our library is so far in debt, let’s try cutting some expenses to bring it back into line. All those computers, in the library and in the commons, do we really need that many? And the mason city room. What does the guy in there do all day? Half the time he’s out in the commons talking to the librarian out there, why not cut him back to part time. It’s time this city starts living within its means instead of giving out money like it was candy.

        • Full Holster Reply Report comment

          September 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

          Well, the City gives out money to BUY candy, so it kind of fits.

        • anonymous Reply Report comment

          September 26, 2013 at 10:57 am

          @full holster – We need answers, not inane comments.

  11. love me some robin Reply Report comment

    September 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Good looking…and hot Robin! Love me some Robin!

  12. rukidding Reply Report comment

    September 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Fastest way to straighten Robin Anderson out is to quit shopping at business’s that belong to the Chamber. I bet if we all went into a business and asked if they were a chamber member and then left when they said yes it would send a clear message.

    • Corrado Reply Report comment

      September 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Grand idea. I’m switching insurance companies already.

    • MickDundee Reply Report comment

      September 25, 2013 at 9:15 am

      The Chamber has always been a Labor Hater. They want everyone to make minimum wage so their costs stay down for more profit for them. But wait, no one is coming into my store and spending their hard earned money? They are all going to WalMart because they cannot afford to spend their minimum wage in my store. If I was a business owner, I would want everyone to have a good paying job or belong to a Labor Union so they could spend their money in my store.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        September 25, 2013 at 10:01 am

        @Mick-you are correct. It has been that way in this city as long as I can remember. After Deckers and The Brick Yards shut down labor rates in town went down to retail levels just the way they want it. They love having more fast food places open up so they can keep the people making low wages.

      • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

        September 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

        Great post. And from what I have seen, only too true in Mason City.

  13. JOHN Reply Report comment

    September 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    HUMMMMM SHE QUIT AS MAYOR, SAME TIME SHERIFF QUIT, AT THE SAME TIME POLICE CHIEF QUIT, I SMELL A CORRUPT PERSON WHAT YA THINK DOES SHE GO TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER ?

  14. ElNorte Reply Report comment

    September 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

    “the facts” hit the nail on the head. One does not feel welcomed when visiting the library, more like you’ve interrupted a private ceremony and should come back later. Much later.

    Further, “browsing” books and titles is out of the question. Unless you count the cluster of books around the kid’s section or the historic stuff in the Mason City room, it’s strictly filed by Dewey Decimal in there- you better know what you want when you walk in.

    I guess whether on not they put in Robin’s pavilion, the whole thing looks like an expensive waste for the benefit of the few paid for by the many.

    • bodacious Reply Report comment

      September 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      You must not have been in the library for a while. The Dewey Decimal system is used for specific disciplines or fields of study, most commonly called non-fiction or reference books. Fiction books are classified by the author’s last name with the FIC label designating them as fiction.

      • ElNorte Reply Report comment

        September 24, 2013 at 2:10 pm

        Regardless, it’s not user friendly. Virtually every retail book outlet in the U.S. is laid out by topic or interest, fiction or non. It’s time libraries quit hiding the books behind an archaic filing system and made the whole process more accessible IMO.

        Ex: “Gee, I think I read some Jack London today, let’s go see what titles he wrote”- who even thinks like that anymore?

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          September 25, 2013 at 5:22 pm

          The Dewey Decimal a System does arrange things by topic….you should learn to use the card catalog or online lookup system. Even better, just browse the section that houses the topic you are interested in. And how do you find those areas? The Dewey Decimal System! This is why our country is failing people!

  15. caught Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    What makes you think they aren’t?
    A mile away. And who wears even fake pearls during the day in the summer. Tacky just like her dreams. Um and the money spent on um statues. You kidding

  16. jeff christie Reply Report comment

    September 22, 2013 at 4:38 am

    She wants a pavilion built? Whatever happened to the idea of a performing arts center? They need to be worried less about pet projects and more about the city as a whole. But that’s not gonna change til you get new blood in their that has no ties to anyone. BTW I’M doing a write-in campaign for mayor

  17. Observer Reply Report comment

    September 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    What does one expect from Ms. Anderson. While so many other Chambers work with both businesses and citizens towards common goals and difficulties, Mason City’s Chamber works towards her own agenda.

    For example, her trip to a communist country, Cuba. That does nothing for meeting the needs of local businesses, nor the citizens of the community. It does however attempt to circumvent U.S. policy towards communist countries like Cuba or China.

    Communism, no matter how pretty you try and dress it up, is still the same ugly form of government, restricting freedoms of it’s citizens.

    Comrade Anderson, I hear the next “Trip of a Lifetime” is a month inside a labor camp in North Korea. One hopes for the sake of the community, you will be first in line.

    • I quit paying dues and won't pay again Reply Report comment

      September 21, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      Robin Jung Anderson? Giggle. Maybe she can build them a pavilion in the demilitarized zone, perhaps a few sculptures. Maybe she can schedule a business after hours at a gulag.

      • Observer Reply Report comment

        September 22, 2013 at 8:07 am

        Sculptures at the new Ski Resort. In the spirit of the Great Leader’s Juche of course. She follows the ideology so well.

  18. John Reply Report comment

    September 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    To show you how much the Chamber helps Business here in Mason City, this is from their latest news letter on line, it is from July, almost 3 months behind……
    How hard is it to post a news letter once it has been made? http://www.masoncityia.com/pdf/July%20Newsletter.pdf

    • MC 83 Reply Report comment

      September 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Nice, it’s almost September & the “up coming event” calendar is for July!

  19. Sandy servantez Reply Report comment

    September 21, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I go to the library often. I have never had any of them be rude to me or my grandsons. They have all been very friendly and helpful . I can remember years back not feeling very welcome but through the years I have seen a lot of great changes.

  20. Irving Michael Payne Reply Report comment

    September 21, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    The pavillion is a wonderful idea. I think it would add beauty to downtown. the location seems a little off the mark. Maybe downtown central parK? lower level of the mall? but the library come on!

  21. North Iowan Reply Report comment

    September 21, 2013 at 11:47 am

    I would like to know who Robin Anderson answers to? Is it Bookmeyer? Is he the only one? It seems like she answers to no one. She just goes ahead and does what she wants or travels to wherever she wants and leaves the bills for Mason City taxpayers to pay.

    • John Reply Report comment

      September 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      North Iowan, Robin runs the Chamber of Commerce, all of the funds sent to the Chamber are from Business’s. The City has nothing to do with the chamber other than listen to what the chamber.

      • John Reply Report comment

        September 21, 2013 at 4:44 pm

        left out the final words, “listen to what the chamber’s ideas are.” Some of them are goofy and seem to fit Robins taste, but do not really do anything to increase business here in Mason City.

        • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          September 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          I would say this: What does a pavilion have to do with increasing economic activity in Mason City? Is this a woman searching for a legacy? A busy body? Why doesn’t Robin go back to her office and count her money, like the $26,000 Brent Willet pays her for rent? I wonder if a future council might put an end to that.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      Robin Anderson answers to no one. She and her chamber have a blank check at City Hall. I have seen it in action. 6-0 votes and backslaps from Bookmeyer and his crony council. No oversight just free money. She can bulldoze a park and get away with it. The taxpayers take it in the face and then get told it’s for their own good. These are all resume builders who don’t really care about Mason City. That goes for Alex Kuhn, Eric Bookmeyer, Anderson. They are not from here, just carpetbaggers who showed up and took over because the people refuse to vote and get involved. Wake up fellow citizens!

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        September 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        @Matt Marquardt-well said and very true.

      • Hold Up Reply Report comment

        September 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

        Matt, don’t you want to be mayor, I wouldn’t be bad mouthing everyone you will soon (well maybe not realistically soon) be working with. THink before you speak…

        • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          September 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm

          Bad mouthing? No. I merely speak truth, and my opinion, as is my American right to do so. Not sorry if these cronies end up on the wrong side of that. This town needs a heavy does of reality, people deserve it, and I will deliver it.

      • Allison Hewitt Reply Report comment

        September 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        “They are not from here, just carpetbaggers who showed up and took over because the people refuse to vote and get involved. Wake up fellow citizens!”

        We got trouble, right here in River City, with a capital T and that rhymes with P, and that stands for Pool!

        Everything they do reminds me of a modern day re-write of The Music Man. LOL

  22. caught Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    FANTASTIC! Robin get over your self. It would be as tacky as the fake pearls you wear! Pavilion are you kidding..so funny.

    Like we live in a “pavilion” type place. Move to where you want to really live like.

    The band shell is the ultimate! A real treasure! ANd fills all needs.

    • Nichole Bench Reply Report comment

      September 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      What makes you think they are fake pearls?

  23. Heir Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    The portable stage used for the Friday Night Live events could certainly be set up near the library if needed; barring that, would a small gazebo, suitable for a small band work? Not that I think anything needs to be built there at all, but think I get what they’re going for with the “music on the library lawn idea”.

  24. Ananymous Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    The library could offer a class on how to properly put on makeup and use Robin as their dummy. They couldn’t make her look any worse.

  25. Jonesy Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Not exactly sure what this is all about. Offhand without a great deal of information I am inclined to think this is not a wise decision. Libraries are expensive to operate.
    My own personal experiences have always been good. Staff has always been helpful to me. I probably visit the library at least three times a week at various times during the day. The NIVC coffee and sandwich counter is very nice too.
    This ummer they had several noon hour guest artists providing entertainment that was very enjoyable.

  26. just saying Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Matt: I wonder if, at Robin’s age, she is just looking for a legacy to live after her. When people get so old, they want something left behind them to be remembered by. She really hasn’t done anything noteworthy in her life, so perhaps the ideas she is propounding now are ways of seeking her “15 minutes of fame”.

  27. anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Why don’t the library staff wear nametags? That way when you see one of them goofing off, you can name the person rather than blame them all for being worthless?

  28. the facts Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    The library is in debt? Get rid of some of the deadweight librarians they have. The one in the commons just sits there and reads the paper all day or talks to people, and the two at the main desk usually just talk to each other, read, or surf the web for junk. And yet books aren’t restocked and when you ask for help, they act like you’re nothing but a big nuisance. And the mason city room? The nerd in there acts like the stuff is his own personal collection, or he’s out talking to the lady in the commons. No wonder they’re so much in debt.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      They can’t get rid of anyone else without closing sections of the library. They have 3 circulation desks the all have to be manned. If they weren’t people would steal even more stuff.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        Then cut the hours. 9-5 Mon-Fri would work. And why 3 circulation desks? When the library was revamped, they could have consolidated the rooms so one cir. desk would be all that would be needed. And instead of two people at the main desk, just have one. They could cut costs if they wanted to. And don’t talk to me about people stealing. I have seen people walk from the stack section of the library right out the commons doors, and no one even questions them.

  29. Katie Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    I can’t imagine anyone wanting to destroy the beautiful treed yard in front of the library! Robin already got in trouble for tearing up a flower garden to put some ugly dice in its place. I hope the library committee sticks to its guns.

  30. LVS Reply Report comment

    September 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Thank God there is still a little common sense left in this city. Robin Anderson needs to be run out of town on a rail and her buddy the mayor and Trout need to go with her. Enough is enough. It is real easy to spend someone else’s money.