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Opinion: Renaissance Project was engineered to turn ‘public’ money into ‘private’ money and avoid voters

The so-called ‘Renaissance’ Project is a fiasco designed by Eric Bookmeyer and others to transform public money from the taxpayers into cash stuffed into the pockets of private business owners, and their first move was to attempt to avoid the voters and finish the deal without their say and with hand-picked contractors who never place a bid.

That’s my take on this crazy ice arena funding & gift scheme. The real goal at first was to get the millions packaged together for the project without ANY referendums. Tax Increment bonds were needed to do this and thus claim to have acquired a real, newly-taxed private property but funded with 100% public money. So they have to GIVE the $12.5 million away to Tehran Kohansieh (or is it Mike Kohan or Mike Kohen?) to make this scheme happen. Then, have the City RENT the arena at $15,000 a month which skyrockets to $20,000 a month later so he has this rent money to possibly pay this so called new property tax that “returns” to the City of MC via tax increment financing voodoo economics so it can be used to pay on the new General Obligation City bond debt – possibly  totaling in the thirty millions.

You see, by making public money magically metamorphosis into private money by giving it to the Southbridge owner, you could do contract bid letting “as directed” to your political friends (why do you think Eric spends so many hours driving around town semi-aimlessly, looking for people to bother and sit in their offices) who might be generous in their directed future municipal campaign contributions (Eric, greedily, raised over $12,000 for HIMSELF in his campaigns – that’s a lot of Moscow Mules). His and others’ goals were to stay away from city public bidding and letting of construction contracts under Iowa law. Even though all the money for such contracts would, now, be via additional Mason City General Obligation bond debt if this Lease agreement is approved on Nov. 7th by voters who city hall has kept scratching their heads.

Vote NO on Nov. 7th on this crazy ice arena funding scheme. Only a man who drinks so many tasty vodka drinks could dream this nightmare up. The city will pay HUGE rent to lease a $12.5 million arena built by the taxpayers. All in a game to take public money, give it to the K Man from NY thus changing it to private money, and then somehow collect tax back – for 40 years – to offset and pay off the bonds (IT WILL NEVER CASH FLOW).

PS the mall roof is leaking and word is, K Man won’t fix. He won’t pay his $60,000 overdue taxes, either.  Hmmm what about the bum checks to the mall cleaners?  Hmmm.

A Concerned Citizen
Mason City, Iowa


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