MASON CITY – Bill Schickel, set to become the new mayor in Mason City, will appoint councilman John Lee to be the Mayor Pro Tem, sources within City Hall tell NIT.
The Mayor Pro Tem shall perform the duties of the Mayor in case of absence or inability of the Mayor to perform the duties of his office, city code states. Schicken will have the move placed on a City Council agenda, likely in January.
It is unusual, but not unheard of, for a mere ward councilperson to get the nod for this minor promotion. Typically, an At-Large council person is the top choice for the post, as they were elected city-wide. The late Alex Kuhn was Mayor Pro Tem until his death in 2016. Then, Mayor Eric Bookmeyer selected Travis Hickey to take the post.
Insiders tell NIT that Schickel is promoting Ward 1 Councilman Lee in a show of strength and solidarity to possibly shore up votes for a potential insurrection with the stumbling Renaissance Project. Schickel will need at least 4 votes to bring back his favored hotelier – Gatehouse Mason City, LLC, when and if he tries to jettison G8 Development out of the project. Schickel, who may truly lack real-world business experience in evaluating people for promotion, appears to be ignoring Lee’s very recent act of gross malfeasance in recently turning over a top-secret memo to a young KIMT reporter. This brazen, traitorous act upon the citizens likely was the genesis of extra pay and benefits to a top city employee who willingly quit his job for undisclosed reasons.
Lee could be on the hot seat in the future as Mayor Pro Tem – especially if things get dicey. Schickel is noted as a councilman who skips big meetings and when he does it again, Lee will have to fill in and hold up under pressure. Schicken phoned it in when the monumental Prestage Foods plant vote was held back in May of 2016. He also ducked out completely back in March when the City Council fired G8 Development from the Renaissance Project and selected Gatehouse.