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Opinion: Part of Fourth Ward would become “dirty south” thanks to Solberg

This news story was published on May 28, 2016.
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Janet Solberg, Mason City councilwoman

Janet Solberg, Mason City councilwoman

NIT requested all email activity related to councilwoman Janet Solberg’s city email account after she leveled serious accusations of racism against North Iowa and the people of Mason City in connection to the Prestage Foods pork plant development. This request was done to help measure the veracity of her claims that the plant was defeated due to racism in the community she sensed through correspondence with people.  In response to our request, after nearly three weeks, Solberg’s former personal attorney – Randall Nielsen – picked through the emails on city computers and released only a fraction of them. Now, citizens are beginning to send in to NIT actual emails they sent to Solberg connected to the pork plant.

Please forward any email activity (or opinions) you may have that is related to this situation to


From: Karen Franzen <———–@—.—>
Date: May 2, 2016 at 3:10:05 PM CDT
Subject: Fwd: Prestage

Ms. Solberg,

I feel compelled to write and let you know how very disappointed I am that the city council seem to be totally disregarding the opinions of the citizens of this community regarding Prestage opening their hog processing plant here.

I grew up in MC, graduated from MCHS in 1972, and got my ADN at NIACC in 1975. I moved away for 26 years returning in 2001. When I first moved back here I was struck by how much of a geriatric town it had become. In the past few years with the Blue Zones, Park Inn and sculptures I was delighted to see the town coming back life again. But now you seem intent on destroying any and all progress that has been made.

I live in the SW part of town and own my home. I faithfully walk my dog twice per day for an hour each time and often talk to neighbors. I have not spoken to one person who supports the Prestage plant coming here. I dread the thought of having to walk my dog in that stench. The major concerns that I have are environmental but the damage this would do to my property value is a close second.

I thought you were supposed to represent the citizens of this community. I could not be more disappointed or upset about this, especially from you who are representing the SW part of town. It saddens me to think that my nice little neighborhood will soon be known as the “dirty south”. Please reconsider your actions so you don’t destroy this lovely little town!

Thank you,
Karen Franzen

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8 Responses to Opinion: Part of Fourth Ward would become “dirty south” thanks to Solberg

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous #3 Reply Report comment

    May 29, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Janet, I do think you care about our city and you mean well but you too often speak before you think. I do agree that your latest case of diarrhea of the mouth was so bad for our city that the only thing you could do to start the healing process is to resign from the council. Please do the honorable thing and let someone that is qualified and doesn’t throw our citizens under the bus take your spot on the council.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 29, 2016 at 3:58 am

    Racism how so, is it a case of calling the pot calling the kettle black, many would know what this is referencing.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      May 29, 2016 at 4:01 am

      Edit – the pot calling the kettle black.

  3. Avatar

    Polio Loco Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Maybe she has a private email server?

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2016 at 9:10 pm

    Ya ms. solberg isn’t so sneaky clean herself.

  5. Avatar

    Anon Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Janet Solberg needs to resign, not just for this (although that is enough), but she is so completely clueless about so many things.
    She has to be the most unqualified person to ever sit on the MC council.
    She is in way over her head & not just worthless, but a detriment to the city.
    Stick to what you are good at Janet, if there is anything that is.

  6. Avatar

    watching Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Janet if you didn’t flat out lie then prove it or resign. You tried to ruin the communities reputation with these allegations now its time to put up or shut up.

  7. Avatar

    Carolyn Reed Reply Report comment

    May 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    I didn’t know she responded to emails or phone calls. My husband and I sent a couple dozen respectable emails during her term and Ms. Solberg has yet to respond to any of them.