NIT Opinion –
If elected leaders in Mason City don’t like you, they might send a bulldozer to your house; but if your decrepit shack nearly burns to the ground, all is well.
So some say.
However, the evidence is clear, judging from a rat-trap rental house on 12th Street SE that burned up six months ago and looks like the fire was put out yesterday. It sits, vacant, at 202 12th SE, with a yellow tape around it. The place nearly burned to the ground last June 3, 2014. A small explosion jolted folks that day as fire engulfed the house and basically wrecked it.
Officials seem to be doing nothing about the structure, which clearly appears to be a safety hazard. It is located just a few blocks from two schools in a neighborhood with plenty of children. The owner apparently lives on the East Coast and is behind on his taxes.
Maybe he bought the right man a Moscow Mule and is getting a free pass. That seems to be how things work in Mason City, Iowa.
Meanwhile, our city council and mayor have orchestrated what some describe as another sleazy back room deal against a citizen involving a house he owns that isn’t exactly pretty. The house – again, which is far from perfect – has no structural damage and has never even been inspected by city officials. The owner even tried to sell it using a realtor after cleaning it up, but elected city officials never backed down, and it could be bulldozed. Phil Flinchum – Santa Claus to some kids – has punched back, hauling city officials into court and getting a judge to postpone the action. Records show no hearing is set in the case, and word is, everything is at a standstill and city hall has blinked. They never thought Mr. Flinchum would get a lawyer and try to protect himself from their attack, NIT is told. If that’s the case, they could be in for bigger surprises in the near future.
The bulldozers never came to 32 6th Street NW; McKiness Excavating may not get to earn the $11,000 it will cost Mason City taxpayers to knock the house down. It seems that so far, city council members who were trying to do their grocery store meat man a big favor by demolishing the house across the street from his have failed to live up to their bargain, and the grimy wheels of injustice have ground to a halt.
And so it goes in Mason City – politics as usual. Corrupt, lopsided, and just plain dumb. This is the result when the masses stay home and the greedy, slow-witted elect buffoonery to control the apparatus of city business.
Let’s just pray a child doesn’t wander into the eyesore on 12th SE, seconds before it collapses.