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Mason City Human Rights misses deadline to submit funding request

This news story was published on January 10, 2014.
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MASON CITY – The Mason City Human Rights agency has missed a January 9th deadline to request funding in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Mason City Human Rights is made up of a department and a commission. The commission has five members now serving, but has traditionally had nine (city code calls for 5 members). Commissioner Matt Dodge will soon be leaving, as well, for personal reasons. The department now consists of a part-time worker, Amy Simpson, who had previously indicated she was leaving the department entirely, but has stayed on with fewer hours. Former director Lionel Foster was terminated last year, but his email address is still listed on the city’s website.

City Finance Director Kevin Jacobson confirmed Friday morning that he had not received the proper paperwork nor any notice of a funding request from the beleaguered department nor the commission.

The Mason City City Council has previously indicated that it would provide for a maximum of $15,000 in funding.

A call to the Human Rights office Friday went unanswered.

Current Human Rights commissioners are: Brian McNamara, Mark Stanton, Joey VanZomeren, Matt Dodge, and Karen Ries.

Steve Palmer, commissioner

Steve Palmer, former Human Rights commissioner

NIT spoke with former Human Rights commission member Steve Palmer Friday morning.  At this time, his term has expired but he has re-applied to serve on the commission.  He said he expects Mayor Eric Bookmeyer to re-appoint him in the near future.

As for the funding snafu, Mr. Palmer stated that the commission has been unable to gain a quorum at meetings in November and December.  As city code mandates that 5 commission members must attend a meeting and cast votes for any action to be taken, the commission has not had the opportunity to formally put together a budget request.

“I expect Kevin Jacobson to add something to the budget,” Mr. Palmer said.


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23 Responses to Mason City Human Rights misses deadline to submit funding request

  1. Avatar

    Awareness/Fed up Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    One “favor” for election votes done…check mark….more to come…

  2. Avatar

    Blisterpak Reply Report comment

    January 17, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    To Whack Jack:

    I had to laugh… They did not have cell phones when I was 21. They did not have cordless phones, they did not have have computers in the office….I am not that old…

    As far as Lionel goes, he is an awesome person and I would stand up for him over anyone at City Hall or on the City Council in a heartbeat!!!

  3. Avatar

    Carlton Frisk Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    One question,…did any of you ever graduate from thee turd grade?

  4. Avatar

    Blisterpak Reply Report comment

    January 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    The beauty of this site is that you can make up stuff and people think it is true. If u want to know how much Lionel’s salary was — that is public record and is printed once a year. It is NOT 120,000. After 40 years he was making about 70,000. The Administrative asst, made about 40,000….. after years and years, the rest was normal office expenses….furniture, fixtures, computers, supplies etc.

    This is a bargain if you want to deal properly with Human Rights..

    I had an experience in my past where I needed help for sexual abuse/harassment on the job. My boss called me into his office to take a letter and he dropped his pants, exposed himself and started masturbating…. Those who have never had the need for Human Rights assistance should just STFU!!! It was very traumatic at age 21 and my first job out of college…

    • Avatar

      Whack Jack Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2014 at 6:37 am

      That’s what cell phone cameras are for. Next time somebody drops their pants and starts whackin.

      Foster in perks, cash and prizes was well over a 100 thousand dollars a year.

      There is no where in America, that anyone is paid like that for the same activity.

      And I’m willing to bet, if this was actually looked into, you would find a lot more malefeasance of office.

      • Avatar

        Whack Jack Reply Report comment

        January 16, 2014 at 6:39 am

        On a side note, I see they have just arrested Lionel Foster Jr. on yet another assault charge.

  5. Avatar

    Another view Reply Report comment

    January 14, 2014 at 6:58 am

    So does everyone think foster taking $120,000 for his salary was not part of the problem.

    • Avatar

      That's... L - I - O - N - E - L ... Foster Reply Report comment

      January 15, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Of course it’s the problem.

      I’d really like to know, how Foster was appointed in the first place.

      How do you get a job that pays 20 times what it should compared to any other city the same size?

      • Avatar

        That's... L - I - O - N - E - L ... Foster Reply Report comment

        January 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

        If the Globe had any sense they would run a full story on Foster’s history… I’m sure it would be most enlightening, if not thoroughly entertaining.

    • Avatar

      LVS Reply Report comment

      January 16, 2014 at 11:01 am

      @view-you really need to get his salary right if you are going to comment. He made 70K in salary not 100K. That is not out of line for his position.

  6. Avatar

    50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

    January 12, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    more evidence that should be sent to a state agency as proof of Bookies intentions of keeping the hard working people of Mason City down. forced to be held hostage by the overlords in north Iowa. Not able to pick themselves up and be proud citizens of Mason City.

  7. Avatar

    sadness and despair Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Mason City doesn’t want to help those less fortunate. They’d rather make them felons and have the state pay to incarcerate them as if state money is free.

  8. Avatar

    Judy L Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2014 at 11:33 am

    The plan worked just as planned. Congrats to the mayor. Just another spit in the eye of the subjects of Mason City only most are too stupid or lazy to care. They want to sit at the coffee table and blow hot air. There was a chance to change this route but now…

    • Avatar

      KL Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Yup. 5 yrs later and plenty of carnage and controversy and here we are. Matt, you were right all along, this tubby man wanted to cripple HR and he did it. Killed it dead. Civil rights REGRESSES in MC should be the story title, WRITE IT. Publish it on MLK day.

      • Avatar

        reader Reply Report comment

        January 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        I guess the best question is, does Eric Bookmeyer hate poor people? Does he hate blacks? Is he racist? What does the bible say about the 7 deadly sins? Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony, he could be guilty of all of them. Does Trinity Lutheran know that such a man infests their pews?

        • Avatar

          jesus is lord Reply Report comment

          January 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm

          i’ll tell u this much, i’ve been to that church and wont be back now that i know HE goes there

          • Avatar


            January 11, 2014 at 6:52 pm

            Or me!

  9. Avatar

    gone but not forgotten Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2014 at 10:01 am

    RIP Mason CIty Human Rights. You had a nice life, but you are finished. Dial 515 area code if you have a complaint.

  10. Avatar

    Ananymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Was this done by the old members or the new cronies the beerman put there to destroy the agency for a payback favor to one of his supporters?

    • Avatar

      Watchdog Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2014 at 11:05 am

      There are no “old” members left. Who are you trying to sh*t.

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2014 at 8:37 am

    What Human Rights Commission?

    • Avatar

      Adam Skippy Reply Report comment

      January 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      The one that use to donate a 100 thousand plus dollars a year to the Lionel Foster fund.