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One hand washes the other: Travis Hickey picked by Bookmeyer as next Mayor Pro tem



This news story was published on September 3, 2016.
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Travis Hickey will soon be your Mayor Pro tem, on Eric Bookmeyer's recommendation.

Travis Hickey – shown barely conscious at this council work session – will soon be your Mayor Pro tem, on Eric Bookmeyer’s recommendation. The council will approve (likely 5-0), because three of them are owned by the mayor and the other two won’t stand up to him.

MASON CITY – He once declared that city hall should be run like a McDonald’s, shoulder-bumped another councilman and voted to make his illegal garages lawful – and he’s now Eric Bookmeyer’s pick for a promotion.

Councilman Travis Hickey has been selected by Mayor Eric Bookmeyer to take over as Mayor Pro tem, replacing the late Alex Kuhn.  The Mason City council will decide on the appointment Tuesday night. This is a promotion, and would put Hickey in charge as mayor when Eric Bookmeyer (who recently went to England for a week) is absent.

Travis Hickey has quite the past in office here in Mason City.  He is affectionately known about town as “the shoulder bumper” for occasionally thrusting his meaty upper torso into folks on purpose over the years. Most notably, he made physical contact with councilman Max Weaver after Hickey became agitated during a June 2011 council meeting. A police officer had to escort Hickey away from the scene.

Never mind that he occasionally dozes off in meetings or speaks somewhat incoherently. His deeds speak volumes as to his dedication to the people and well-being of Mason City, the town he represents.

Hickey’s most recent accomplishment was splashing Mason City in the news as the Prestage hog slaughterhouse fiasco came to a morbid ending after tearing the town apart at the seams.  Smarting from defeat, he declared that if he owned a business – he never has, to our knowledge, but if he did –  he would never do business here in Mason City.  Hickey is a board member of the North Iowa Corridor, tasked with luring businesses to Mason City.  No one knows for sure if the Corridor’s training manual states that it’s a savvy economic development tactic to scare businesses away by warning them at a packed-room, televised public meeting to steer clear.

As far as doing business in City Hall, Travis Hickey has some very definite ideas on how that should be done. He once declared with a straight face during a council meeting that city hall should be run like a Mcdonald’s restaurant. In an eloquent explanation that hardly anyone understood, Hickey opined that charging every citizen a fee for asking city hall questions would be something he is all in favor of.

“I’m in favor of chargin’ everybody,” he muttered.

Beyond that, many city workers know that Travis Hickey and his mentor, campaign manager, and virtual life coach Eric Bookmeyer keep a caring, almost step-fatherly watch upon them and their activities. Hickey and Bookmeyer championed measures to have city workers spied upon and monitored with tracking devices, and both have highly scrutinized the hours and pay of our public servants, most-notably police and fire fighters.  Hickey has even gone so far as to dream up new shift hours for our brave firefighters, because as he’s told many people, he thinks they make too much money.

Mason City Sanitation Deaprtment workers. After the discussion about the furture of their jobs, for the third time in about 16 months, Bookmeyer told them "You all can feel free to leave."

Mason City Sanitation Department workers, March of 2013. After a discussion about the future of their jobs, for the third time in about 16 months, Bookmeyer told them “You all can feel free to leave.”

Travis Hickey – along with Bookmeyer – once led the charge to decimate the city’s sanitation department.  They sent City Administrator Brent Trout on a Google-fest to find out how much it would cost to equip the city’s garbage truck fleet with mechanical arms that would pick up trash cans and dump the garbage into the trucks – possibly eliminating the need for some human workers.  That wild goose chase went nowhere, as did Hickey’s and Bookmeyer’s earlier idea to bring a trash burning plant to town and totally privatize (liquidate) the sanitation department – sell off all the trucks and equipment and fire as many as 15 workers.  As usual, that proposal sputtered and was yet another colossal failure for Bookmeyer, who drug Hickey down with him. As a result of that attack on working people, Hickey became somewhat of a loathed figure to the local labor pool, and he was confronted by a union leader at a 2012 labor picnic.

Councilman Travis Hickey's garages, never connected as a Mason City board ordered, years ago. He has been in favor of threatening citizens of Mason City, but refuses to follow the orders of a legal Mason city board that gave him an order. City hall refuses to enforce the order.

Councilman Travis Hickey’s garages, never connected as a Mason City board ordered, years ago.  He voted for a law that made his garages legal.

Travis Hickey’s career as a councilman got off to a dubious start over an illegal structure on his property. He had purchased the lot (and accompanying house and garage) next door to his home at 920 North Fillmore Avenue and created one taxable parcel. City code allowed for only one house and one garage on a parcel, however, and he was told to remove one house and one garage. He only removed the next door house and kept the second garage. When Hickey later applied for a permit to add-on to his house, city inspectors investigated his property and found the second garage to be illegal, and he was warned that the second garage must be removed.

Ignoring that order, councilman Hickey months later went before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (mayor and council appoint them) in October of 2010 to get a conditional use permit so he could keep his second garage. Despite the board admitting they were “opening a can of worms,” (see video below) Hickey was granted the conditional use permit, allowing him to keep the second garage, but only under the condition that he connect the two garages with a 8′ x 10′ walkway.

Hickey never followed through with the board’s order to connect his two garages. After three new city council members were elected in 2011, the council changed the zoning laws so that Hickey’s two garages on his property became legal.

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40 Responses to One hand washes the other: Travis Hickey picked by Bookmeyer as next Mayor Pro tem

  1. Honest Abe Reply Report comment

    September 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Hickey is a puke! And that pig Solburg just follows his lead, so that makes two rotten apples. If Mason City could muster up something better than 10% voter turn out, maybe we could move on and away from these scum suckers.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Absentee voting has already started. You can go to the courthouse tomorrow and ask to vote, and be able to. Andy Obrien’s supporters already are. It doesn’t matter what you say here if you don’t vote!

    • Anonymous1000 Reply Report comment

      September 5, 2016 at 11:21 am

      Agree! I’ll be voting for Paul Adams tomorrow.

  3. terry Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2016 at 8:58 am

    This is another good reason to get Max back on the council. He’s not afraid to stand up to scum like Hickey and Bookmeyer. Any of the others would only be snowflakes-melting easily in the face of threats.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 5, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Martin/Sinatra/Davis = good old boys and members of the famous RAT PACK !

  5. anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    SLUG!!!!!!!!!! Arrested and attacking people.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    What a slap in the face to Alex !

  7. Reality Check Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    This appointment was political payback. Bookies most qualified choice would have been Bill. But since Bill torpedoed the slaughterhouse Bookie rubbed Bills nose in hog $hit.

  8. IowaBoy Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Throw the BUMS out!!!

  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Mason city is the norm for democratic politics – all these people want is a pie of the pie – F – the working man as lieing Hillary and that now Bernies the burn Sanders says after he pocketed $1,000,000.00 or more of political contributions to himself knowing he was never going to buck the bitch clinton – By the way – Nice Demoratic article in the DemoRAT owned GLOBE GAZETTE telling us how Hillary Clinton is SO much more of a quality person than Donald Trump! Do these morons really think people are stupid enough to believe this propaganda . She’s a lieing SLEAZBALL along with her fellow pack of demoRATS !

    • Larry Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Hillary will be a great president. The only way it could be better is if she would have chosen Bernie as her running mate. Vote Democrat!

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 4, 2016 at 12:13 pm

        Hitlary will be in jail. She is nothing but a criminal and thug out only for herself.

        • Anonymous1000 Reply Report comment

          September 5, 2016 at 11:20 am

          Hillary will never be in prison. She’ll be occupying the White House in January of 2017. Look for her in the oval office, where she’ll be working on making this country great for everyone, not just the 1%.

  10. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Hopefully, someone will run against Hickey and get him out of there. He is a puppet. Just like most politicians, he has his “OWN” interests in mind, not the people’s.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Except for the dirty tricks by Hickey and his leader Jodi Draper would have beat him last time.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        Now that is true! If you only knew the whole story .. I wish I could go back in time when things still surprised me !

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 5, 2016 at 2:39 pm

        Can’t wait to vote for Paul Adams..

  11. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 5:32 am

    but yet he runs FedEx here in town, how did a moron like him get that job, marry into it?? wonder what the fedex employees say about him? if he is running it that would be the last place I would work rather stand in the soup line . hope everyone remembers that when it comes election time

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2016 at 10:26 am

      FedEx, UPS etc all recruit from within. No one has fancy degrees, virtually all of management started their career by dropping out off highschool to drive the delivery truck. All it takes to rise in the ranks is showing up for work on time, a certain degree of narsicism and a willingness to throw your coworkers under the bus when the Man tells you to.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2016 at 11:29 am

      When he worked at Kmart, Hickey was hauled out in cuffs, in full view of a whole bunch of employees. If you’ll steal from one employer you’ll steal from all of them. He gets a paycheck from the city now, doesn’t he?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 4, 2016 at 12:12 pm

        You sure about this? Hickey has been arrested for theft?

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          September 5, 2016 at 10:37 am

          Yes. It’s no secret, lots of employees there at the time saw it.

  12. mint Reply Report comment

    September 4, 2016 at 5:11 am

    In my view the voice in the video sounds like a bully and the appearance looks like a bully/angry, also city workers should be paid more.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      September 4, 2016 at 7:46 am

      City workers are grossly over paid for what they do.

  13. anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Damn it. When the F is this insane carp going to end for F sake. Why are we putting up with all of them really.
    Our last and only chance for honesty is getting Weaver back. You know it we all know it. Hate him or not it’s a helluva a lot better than the lies now.

  14. Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    In this case, instead of calling the position Mayor Pro tem, we could start calling it Mayor Pre tend. It would kind of fitting.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Or, we could call it “Eric’s drinking buddy For E Ver”

  15. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Can someone explain why these garages are perfectly fine structures, until the land is deemed as one? This is a ridiculous issue. I don’t like this counsel man anymore than many, but this article about him I’d ridiculous.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      You are missing the point a bit. The garages WERE ILLEGAL. There was a LAW on the books. Hickey – councilman – IGNORED THE LAW. Then, he voted to CHANGE THE LAW to get himself off the hook. Make sense yet?

  16. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    This should not have been done until after the election for the empty seat.

  17. Anonymous Too Reply Report comment

    September 3, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Wow, Yet another move by our Mayor that will help him go down as the worst Mayor our City has ever had. Travis has no business getting a promotion, The only reason he is getting the pro tem spot is because Eric can control him like a Bill Baird puppet. Travis has no mind of his own, he only does what the Mayor tells/lets him do. Bill Schickel has the most experience and as a former Mayor should have been the choice for Mayor pro tem IMO.

    • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      September 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      Bookmeyer is slapping Bill Schickel in the face with this move. I didn’t write about this in the story – might make a good follow-up. Eric is afraid of Bill because he knows Bill wants to be mayor – soon – and Eric will once again be out of a job (Bill will destroy Eric in any election and Eric knows it). And since no one wants to hire him, this spells trouble for Eric. No more $14K per year play money from the taxpayers to fly to England with. We know for sure he doesn’t have the mettle to create and run his own successful business. He’s only good at attacking those of us who already did that. He’ll have to beg his wife for an allowance – or maybe he can work at one of the thousands of low-paying jobs all over town. Hey Eric, make my fries a large.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 4, 2016 at 7:48 am

        Schickel is nothing but a turncoat, He can not be trusted and will always do what the chamber wants. He never should have been elected. Look at his history objectively and you will see that.

        • Anonymous Two Reply Report comment

          September 4, 2016 at 8:29 am

          He doesn’t always do what the chamber wants, he was a no vote for the pork plant after all.

          • Anonymous

            September 4, 2016 at 3:50 pm

            I’ll bet his advertising is paying for that.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        September 5, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        That is true. But to really honor Alex..it should have been John Lee. He and Alex were the best of friends!

        • Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          September 6, 2016 at 11:24 am

          John Lee, though, is an avid Eric Bookmeyer supporter. He just crossed over on the pig plant. He has been sticking up for Eric in the wake of Eric’s nasty deed. Sorry, but that is the truth, as much as I like JL, I cannot ignore his support of the mayor. That’s his one major flaw. Yes, he’d be light years better than Hickey. Maybe Eric skipped over JL on this deal as punishment for turning on Eric over the hog murder plant. But, like I said, JL is an Eric hand-shaker and is trying to downplay what Eric is guilty of. Sad and disappointing, when he really should be calling for resignations of Eric and at least two of his fellow council members. THAT would be true leadership.

          • Anonymous

            September 6, 2016 at 7:54 pm

            Wow..I am privvy to all sorts of info that most people never hear about. I have never heard that Lee.was Bookies lackey like the others. not once in all these years.. interesting!