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Weaver points to packing town Austin, Minnesota, where school has to do kids’ laundry

Picture published in Austin Daily Herald May 27, 2016
Picture published in Austin Daily Herald May 27, 2016

MASON CITY – Mason City’s Max Weaver has been a vocal opponent of the Prestage Foods pork plant that still just might get built in Mason City, and now he is pointing to a nearby packing town where a school is washing kids’ clothes due to poverty.

“Wake up mayor, council members!” Mr. Weaver told NIT, just as he wrote on his new blog, published at

The former councilman has punished Mayor Eric Bookmeyer, Chamber Director Robin Anderson, and some of those who have championed a massive hog plant development from Prestage Foods that was scuttled the first time around.

Today, he asked NIT to take a look at his latest blog post, where he points to a story out of Austin, Minnesota, home to the Hormel meat packing plant.

The Austin Daily Herald reports today that because kids might be too poor to get their clothes washed at home, an elementary school has bought a washer and dryer to do it for them while they are at school.

“We firmly believe here that if students’ basic needs aren’t taken care of, they’re not going to be able to concentrate on reading and math and writing,” Austin elementary school principal Shelia Berger told the Herald.

The Herald reports that at Sumner Elementary School in Austin, “a washer and dryer housed in the school’s basement this year is helping students whose families might not be able to physically do laundry, get to a laundromat or have the financial ability to do laundry.  School officials can also wash soiled clothes for students in the morning and have them back to them by the end of the school day.”

Max Weaver
Max Weaver

Max Weaver told NIT he read the article and it horrified him.

“I thought we were a ‘community on the march,'” he said.  “That’s what Robin Anderson and the Chamber often say about Mason City. They also like to use the phrase ‘Keep Mason City Moving Forward'”.

“Can you imagine principals making $80,000 or $90,000 a year washing clothes all day long?  Helping kids change their clothes?  That’s what’s in store for us.  Will Prestage Foods LLC keep Mason City moving forward? I don’t think so?”

Mr. Weaver says because Austin is home to Hormel Foods and Quality Pork Processors, (“both play a dominate role in the city’s economy,” he says) the town is impoverished and the kids are poor.  So poor they can’t get their clothes washed at home.

“We have to stop this thing, one way or another,” Mr. Weaver emphasized, “or we will be the next Austin.”

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