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Op-ed: Attending meetings of board you aim to be a part of is important



This news story was published on November 1, 2014.
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From Chris Watts of Mason City –

Readers of NIT:

Chris Watts of Mason City

Chris Watts of Mason City

I’d like to bend your ear for a moment and respond to an article written this week by the Globe’s John Skipper. Like most of you, I rarely read anything Skipper writes. He has proved himself to be slanted and somewhat of a bully and I don’t make time for the negativity he spouts. But I had a few emails and phone calls from residents of the area chucking about this article. So I did read this time.

Skipper again proved his slanted and misguided take on things by trying to justify the fact that a candidate for the board of supervisors – Casey Callanan – has never, not once, attended a supervisor board meeting.

Skipper tries to sell us another lemon by saying “it’s customary in Mason City and Clear Lake for prospective candidates to attend meetings prior to elections but not so in the county”.

Skipper: A distortion of common sense, as usual

Skipper: A distortion of common sense, as usual

A local citizen running for local office doesn’t need to attend a meeting? A meeting he would be required to attend every week for the next 4 years, should he win? Ludicrous, ignorant, and quite frankly, just plain lazy, mealy-mouthed talk from Skipper, as always.

What’s even more odd is that Casey works only three blocks from the courthouse. Has he ever set foot in the building? Not one Tuesday morning, could he find 20 minutes to walk to the courthouse and watch a meeting? Does he bother to read the meeting agendas? How does he know any county business, any issues important to the people he would serve? Or will he just take a nod from Jay Urdahl and vote how he is told to, so he doesn’t need to be keen on the issues?

Mr. Skipper, why would you cover for Casey? What is your agenda here in trying to fool your few remaining readers?

The truth is, a true public servant who has the people’s best interest in mind would go to as many meetings as possible. He would want to hit the ground running if he is elected. I have real doubts that Casey will show up to the meetings consistently if he is elected. Maybe his job keeps him too busy to serve adequately. This is a real red flag for voters.

As Skipper knows, I have run for a seat on the board of supervisors. I feel he has been less than fair to me in my campaigns, and now he has taken a shot at belittling a hallmark of my campaigns – attending board meetings, in order to have a strong, firm grasp on county business, meet and chat with county staff, and generally walk the walk and not just talk the talk, as Casey is doing.

I’ve done my due diligence in the area. Have a strong business background. Travel the County roads daily for work and believe in “giving back” to the communities we reside in. And I’ve only missed a handful of meetings in 6 to 7 years. And NEVER seen Casey at one.

It is somewhat insulting, I feel, for a man to run for office, have the ability and proximity to the board meetings he would be tasked with attending for four years, and avoid them, not even attempt to make an appearance. And it is even more embarrassing for a newspaper to try to cover this up and even explain it away.

NIT readers, I am confident you are far, far too intelligent to fall for Skipper’s double talk and nasty shenanigans. You deserve better than he can deliver, which is why you read NIT in the first place.

I will be crossing my fingers that if Casey is elected, he is able to make the meetings and find the time to serve his constituents, as a public servant should. So far, he hasn’t shown that.

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34 Responses to Op-ed: Attending meetings of board you aim to be a part of is important

  1. Live in a glass house Reply Report comment

    November 2, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    We have had some good supervisors (roger broers for one) who never attended a meeting before the election. Not saying it wouldn’t be a good idea, but I don’t think not attending should be a disqualified.

    If we think it is, what about other positions? How much time has dietz spent in legislative study sessions? Those are also open to the public.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      November 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      State legislature is not a local election.

  2. Pat B. Reply Report comment

    November 2, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    I too think Skipper has his head on backwards. He goes after Chris for legitamate concerns–but doesn’t go after Casey for his lack of respect for the office he is running for.
    Let’s just assume it was Max that was running for Supervisor and NEVER showed up prior to an election. Would Skipper have that on the front page?
    I’d bet my bottom dollar. Because this just proves what Chris was saying about Skipper being slanted to the “good old boys” and the BAD system taking place.

    • Tammy Reply Report comment

      November 3, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Callahan went to the meetings that was important to him to go to, the one’s with Gary Blodgett. Doc has train all our supervisers do like he says, none of them would of been in but for the money he hand’s out.

  3. Ward Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    How does he know he even wants or understands the job? What if he gets in and thinks, I don’t like all of this stuff, I’ll just collect my check and coast?

    Then there’d be a quorum doing that!

  4. Lehigh Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I am with you Mr Watts, your the best one we could of put in. Shame full that this Callahan kid will take order’s from Jay, the box sorter part timer thinks he is the king of the county. You would of won last time this was right up till Urdahl got his sugar daddy old doc Blodgett, pours big money in, Gary sends out all them letters. Says prop. tax will go up, up if Dougherty don’t stay in. This has just got to stop, no we do not need no dictaters, there lackey’s up to our court house.

  5. Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    This is a masterful opinion piece by a man who volunteers for his community and suffers injustice, ridicule and outright bullying at the hands of John Skipper anytime Skippy wants to take a sucker punch. So much truth inside the sentences. “Skipper the old slipper” is, indeed, a cheap shot artist who should have quit writing in the 80’s when people still read newspapers. Mr. Watts, keep up the volunteerism and ignore that old dinosaur at the Glob, he ain’t worth your time.

    • Iowaviking5 Reply Report comment

      November 1, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      Matt-I agree with you on this. I know Chris personally and he does a lot of volunteering for our city. He has never asked for anything in return and always wants to do what is best for the community.I have personally seen him roll up his sleeves and clean up a situation that most people would just sit back and complain about. This Op-ed shows his passion for our community and his concern that a man would run for office without even attending a single meeting. Chris keep up the good work

  6. Philosophus Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    This is a well written article that causes me to think about this race from a new perspective. I know the answer though, and the answer depresses me. Money, and social status beat out knowledge and skill. The dumbfard residents of Clear Lake don’t care whether Casey attends…they are voting for the IDEA of who they think this guy is, and they reason he’ll just adjust once he gets there. Skilled, dedicated civic workers such as yourself SHOULD be in office, but rarely are.

  7. anon Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Skipper PLEASE end your affair with lies and distortion!
    What do you think your grand kids and their kids and so on will think of your writings when you are long gone? Even now? Maybe you have no family you care about, but there are plenty of other people that have their jaws dropped about your ignorance all the time. Aren’t you embarrassed? And all for what John, to keep your job? To pretend you are one of the position holding members of our town?

    Look in the mirror and really ask…

  8. LVS Reply Report comment

    November 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Cris-although I supported you when you ran you are starting to sound like a sore loser who just want to get even. You are doing yourself an injustice here. If you don’t like Callahan that is fine but it sound like you just want him defeated and don’t care who the winner is.

    • Philosophus Reply Report comment

      November 1, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      You’re off base here, as usual, and quit trying to fool people into believing your NOT a dedicated Republican, cuz you are. Chris is simply pointing out the reality that this Callanan character hasn’t attended meetings. You should commend Chris, not chastise him. And if he is a tad ticked-off, he has justification for being so. It sure pissed me off when the dumbfard ghouls of Clear Lake didn’t take into consideration my civic work in favor of a Republican shoe-in. It’s irritating.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        November 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm

        @Philamena-as usual you are missing the whole point of the article. He is talking about the establishment lackey John Skipper and is just using Callahan as a prop. My issue is was and is, I supported Chris (and I do know him) and I do not want people to think he is anything at all like you. (A poor loser) Chris will have an opportunity to run again and next time he could win. (that is totally different from you who has no chance)I do not want to see him blow that chance.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          November 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

          @Philamena-You had better check with your female counterpart “Left MC” because you are incapable of understanding. I am not a Republican as I have told you many times. I even voted for some (but certainly not all) Democrats this time. Of course I can vote and a drug doing criminal like you cannot.

        • The truth hurts Reply Report comment

          November 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm

          LVS – Tell us all about the time when you met with Skipper personally and called him an establishment lackey to his face. How did that work out for you? Just wondering because you are quick to criticize those who dont confront your friends the Blodgett Boys in person and only use this forum to vent their critique. Thanks.

          • LVS

            November 2, 2014 at 8:28 am

            @Truth-The Blodgett’s are not my friends in person. I have never met Dr. Blodgett. I just hate it when people backstab (private citizens) Skipper on the other hand has a job that gives him the opportunity to go after people with no chance of rebutal. He has gone after Matt several times. If he is allowed to use his format to attack other people then I am allowed to use mine. And, your opinion means squat to me.

          • The truth hurts

            November 2, 2014 at 8:50 am

            LVS. I wasn’t expressing an opinion, I was asking a question. How did it go when you confronted Skipper man to man, mano a mano?

          • LVS

            November 2, 2014 at 9:46 am

            @Truth-Ask all the questions you want. What I do or have done is none of your business and will remain so. put your real name on here and then possibly I will respond to you in person.

          • Ron

            November 2, 2014 at 1:14 pm

            Quit trying to block people, it is a feeble attempt and will never change the fact that you are an idiot.

          • The truth hurts

            November 2, 2014 at 9:57 am

            Will do….. and your real name is?

          • LVS

            November 2, 2014 at 6:10 pm

            @Truth-I do not owe a sneaky, backstabbing P.O.S. weekend troll an answer on anything. When you finally pay a subscription and off something besides attacks like the TROll bigmouth Ron does I might answer you. Until then you are nothing and will be nothing.

      • Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

        November 1, 2014 at 7:41 pm

        Philly….Come on now, be honest. The people of Clear Lake took plenty of things into consideration when they voted against you. Your so-called “civic work” had nothing to do with you getting your hat handed to you in the election. You are your own worst enemy, you always have been, always will be.

        You are not a man of your word and little things like that get you in trouble.

        • Philosophus Reply Report comment

          November 1, 2014 at 7:58 pm

          buzz SHUTUP. go back to the top.

          • Buzz Crumcutter

            November 2, 2014 at 7:11 am

            I see from reading your posts last night that you were most likely shit-faced when you posted this message. So, I’ll ignore your ignorance this time.

            What I posted was true, you are your own worst enemy. Didn’t your mother tell you the same thing recently.

          • Philosophus

            November 2, 2014 at 7:43 am

            Yeah, I was a bit terse on that last one…not typical of my flamboyant style. Flam-boy-ant. Weird word. A flam is a percussive rudiment hitting one strike a split second before the second one, a village in Norway, a surname, or an African paramilitary organization. We all know what a boy and ant is. FLAM-BOY-ANT. Now you know Buzz, and knowing is half the battle.

    • Iowaviking5 Reply Report comment

      November 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      LVS-would have to disagree with you on this one. I do not think this Op-ed makes Chris sound like a sore loser. In my opinion in it just shows his respect for the position of county supervisor.

      • john Reply Report comment

        November 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

        I have asked this question before and I will ask it again. So, our other choices are John Drury or Doug Nelson. How many meetings have they attended?

        I do not disagree with what Chris said in any way but what is our alternative?

        I don’t care much for the political ad Doug has on the air, too many things he stated are not possible at the county level.

        • Iowaviking5 Reply Report comment

          November 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm

          That is a good question but one I cannot answer. I also am not real fond of the way Doig got the Nomination from his party. If I remember he finished fourth or fifth in the general election but somehow won the tiebreaker, am I correct?

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        November 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

        @Iowa Viking-I understand, but I did not mean my comments in a negative way. I like Chris and want him to do well in the future. I know a little about what really happened when he ran last time and he received some bad advice. When a promise is made it must be kept. I really wish him well if he runs again as I think he would make a good supervisor.

    • Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

      November 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

      LVS, do you realize you don’t even know the correct last name of the guy you’ll probably vote for? Not once have you spelled it correctly. You’ve really done your research.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        November 3, 2014 at 8:08 am

        Names are important. Just ask Bruce Bailey!

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        November 3, 2014 at 9:25 am

        @JMO-and how many times have I said I have no skin in the game. I don’t really care who wins as I can’t vote anyway. I have talked to Doug Nelson several times and he is a reasonable sort of guy. Whoever wins I hope does well. So, I guess the spelling of someone’s name that I can’t vote for anyway really doesn’t matter does it?

        • Philosophus Reply Report comment

          November 3, 2014 at 9:42 am

          You can’t vote because you don’t own land, are on Social Security and aren’t contributing to society, and are a convicted drug dealer. Tell the truth LVS.

          • LVS

            November 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

            @Philamena-Your comment looks like a description of you. I live in my own home, pay taxes and am retired after working more than 50 years. I can’t vote because I do not live in that district you idiot.