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Bookmeyer claims he’s done as mayor

Goodbye, Eric. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

MASON CITY – Mason City Mayor Eric Bookmeyer claims he won’t seek another term as mayor.

Tuesday night, Bookmeyer made what he claims will be his last ever “state of the city report”. In his rambling, eerily-nostalgic monologue, he bragged about low unemployment and called on citizens to get along while taking not-so-veiled shots at his political adversaries (i.e. other citizens he is paid to serve).  Later, he allegedly told a local newspaper that he would not seek re-election in the upcoming, critical city election of 2017.

Some in the community say it’s no surprise that Bookmeyer is finally throwing in the towel after 7 tumultuous years (he was elected in 2009 and 2013), especially in light of the fact that his accomplishments as mayor seem to be extremely thin and things are not looking up here in Mason City.  In the mayor’s latest “goal-setting” session held in December with the city council, they actually admit that serious (grave?) issues and concerns remain unsolved in Mason City, three of which are 1) little to no economic development projects on the city’s horizon, despite throwing big money at the North Iowa Corridor / EDC  2) a “trust factor” problem with citizens and 3) they seem to have absolutely no idea what the town should “become” or how to move forward in to the future (see item 4 in city council packet for January 3, 2017).

Bookmeyer has spent much of his 7 years as mayor in pursuit of dubious or questionable projects such as a trash burning plant; privatizing the city’s sanitation department; a downtown arena (twice); a downtown hotel (has been pursuing for at least 4 years); the near-complete shuttering of nearly all activity in the city’s Human Rights Department; fighting off (and paying off) lawsuits and complaints brought by city employees, and much more, including the all-out attempt for the Prestage Hog slaughterhouse that went tragically wrong and nearly tore the community apart.

NIT Publisher Matt Marquardt first met Eric Bookmeyer in 2010 and has followed Bookmeyer’s trials and tribulations as mayor for years.

“Eric and I go way back to 2010.  I’ll never forget the time he introduced himself to me, it was a few months after I saw him in the OP yelling at a waitress.  He walked up to me in front of a group of people and told me to quit my business just 2 weeks after I started, that I would be a failure,” Marquardt remembers with a chuckle.  “Oh, that Eric.  What a helluva guy,” Marquardt continued.  “He paid my advertisers a few unannounced visits.  Wasn’t very helpful.  He later told thousands of people using the radio I don’t even love my own family and called me other interesting names.  I’m not upset about it at all, even though my close friends and family say I should be.  Actually, I owe Eric a big thank you, because he made me tougher and made my business stronger and more resilient.  Thanks, Eric.  I’ll miss you and I hope you finally land that job you’ve been chasing all these years.  I know someone out there will give you a shot.”

 

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