As I sit here well on my way into my eighth decade of life, I look across the landscape of what has been the town I chose to live in. And what do I see… I see a quagmire that is our local government and those who were elected to run it. During the years that made up the majority of my life, I bought and sold commercial real estate, not as a broker but only to the point it was germane to the business I was operating. There were times I leased the property rather than to purchase, what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been engaged in business here for 60 years.
All during that time it was required of me to obtain licenses and permits that would allow me to engage in the business I had chosen. This meant that I had to deal with city councils along with various other department heads such as City Attorneys and various other law-enforcement branches.
So what is the conclusion in all of this? I would have to say this in all sincerity; this current administration along with the council is the most inapt borderline corrupt group of city officials that I have ever witnessed. I have watched our current mayor systematically replace people on mundane insignificant committees, panels and boards with people of his choosing eliminating those who he did not reappoint who had far more experience than the person who he replaced them with. It’s called control… and it is immature and childish. When Bookmeyer first ran for mayor his campaign manager operated a collection call center located somewhere behind the Walmart store. It just so happens that this guy had more human rights complaint filed against him at the office of human rights than any other person at one particular time. While I was not present in any manner, it is my contention that there could have been a promise made to him by Bookmeyer that went something like this; “if I am elected mayor I’ll shut that Human Rights office down.” Understand that this is merely conjecture on my part but as the years pass one after another it seems more and more possible that it did happen. Bookmeyer unsuccessfully tried to get it closed with a council vote, in fact it was at the top of his agenda, but he didn’t have enough votes to get the job done; so what did he do he systematically waited until each board member’s term expired and then reappointed one of his own people take their place. Eventually he had the necessary votes to close it’s doors. Thus ceased to exist a bastion of hope for the downtrodden and underprivileged that live amongst us. The maneuver that our mayor took was evil and diabolical. I have been told Bookmeyer’s then campaign manager was eventually fired.
I sat in the council chambers, the only time I ever attended a city council meeting in the 60 years that I have been in business in this city. One of the councilmen asked me why I was there… this was my answer; I came to witness a lynching I told him and he said to me is that what you think is going to take place here tonight I’m convinced of it I told told him. Sadly it came true. Chops restaurant liquor license was denied renewal due to a nuisance law that was never ratified….that means it was never a law to begin with, it was just made up. At its base it was ridiculous, it was obscene to imagine that you would be responsible for something that occurred 5 football fields (1,500 feet) from your front door. Get serious! How are you going to protect yourself from laws that are made up on the spot.
Now another boondoggle is before us. Those of you who watch the council meeting on television or were present in the room how much did you hear about the cost of maintenance and upkeep related to this pie in the sky hotel. I watched and I never heard one word related to this level of cost. Where is that money coming from because it will be substantial. We should have a contest in the city to find the answer as to how we can afford to sell an entire mall for 1.5 million then put another 18 million into it plus pay rent and expect to come out ahead. This is pure insanity the mayor and the entire council should have their mental faculties tested.
Mason City, Iowa
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