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Greed and drama in the courthouse? Former board member says don’t trust Cerro Gordo officials


This news story was published on December 19, 2018.
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MASON CITY – A retired military serviceman residing in Mason City who was appointed to a county board that advises on salaries and pay rates for county servants was quickly ousted from the board and now warns citizens to “place no trust in some of these county officials” after his brief experience.

Faruk Jessa, via
ismailimail.blog

Faruk A. Jessa arrived in Mason City in 2016 after a well-travelled military life, he tells NIT.  After meeting local Cerro Gordo county Democrats and attending their meetings, he was asked by Democratic Treasurer and former acting Auditor Pat Wright (Riley Dirksen resigned) to apply to become a member of the Cerro Gordo county Compensation Board, which advises the Board of Supervisors on possible pay raises (or cuts) which the Supervisors then act upon as they choose.  An email obtained by NIT that was sent by Treasurer/then-Auditor Pat Wright from her county email account to Timothy LaPointe (also a current comp board member and Democrat) on Monday, August 20, 2018 at 2:55 PM explains Mrs. Wright “(met) Faruk Jessa and have thought about him often wondering how to take advantage of his dedication to Mason City and Iowa.”

Pat Wright, Treasurer and former acting Auditor

Mr. Jessa was later approved by Supervisors Tim Latham and Chris Watts to represent the County Auditor (Pat Wright at the time, before Adam Wedmore was elected soon thereafter) on the comp board after Wright’s recommendation to the Supervisors.

Mr. Jessa then set about spending many hours researching and rounding up information on county offices and employees to determine what pay raises they may or may not deserve.  He sent emails to officials, had meetings with them, and asked for packets of information detailing their duties and responsibilities.  He did meet with new Auditor Adam Wedmore and had somewhat extensive conversation with him (at least since November 19, emails show) leading up to the December 10 comp board meeting, where the board was set to make recommendations on salary and pay rates for non-union employees and elected officials.

At that December 10 comp board meeting, Mr. Jessa was immediately nominated to be the new Board Chairman.  The board approved.  It is noteworthy to mention that the Board Chair typically sets the tone for the meeting with a motion on a change in pay or salary.  The prior Chairman, Steve Minert, likely would have motioned for just a 1% pay hike, NIT is told and emails reveal.  Mr. Jessa, however, immediately motioned for a 5% raise for the office of Auditor.  Eventually, the board approved an across-the-board 2.75% pay raise for everyone concerned.

Less than two days later, Auditor Adam Wedmore fired Jessa from the comp board on the afternoon of December 12 after Mr. Jessa initially refused to resign.  Mr. Wedmore sent Mr. Jessa an email on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 2:00 PM, that said he was “rescinding your appointment to the county compensation board effective immediately.”  This was just over an hour after Mr. Jessa sent a lengthy email to other comp board members saying he was “honored” to be the board chair.  By 9:01 PM that evening, Mr. Jessa was responding to Auditor Wedmore via email, saying to him, “You stated that you wanted someone different to take my place.  Please explain what different means?  You also stated that you wanted someone more in line with how you think.  You never mentioned that I was to think the way you think or a certain way.”  Mr. Jessa went on to demand explanation as to why he was removed from the board.  He told NIT Wednesday that he thinks he was removed because he was seeking so much information from county officials and employees on their job duties.  Right up until he was removed from the board on December 12, that very morning, actually, he was still asking county personnel about their job duties.

Timothy LaPointe wants county Supervisors to get Todd Blodgett off his back, apparently.

Mr. Jessa soon thereafter sent an email on December 13 to Auditor Wedmore, resigning from the board.  Leading up to the resignation, emails show that Mr. Jessa and Timothy LaPointe suggested local political guru Todd Blodgett had become involved in the matter.  One email sent on December 13, 2018 at 11:10 AM reveals LaPointe ordering Supervisor Tim Latham to tell Todd Blodgett and co-board member Steve Minert to “stop with the personal attacks, and we’ll get along fine.”  A day earlier, he sent an email demanding an apology from all three Supervisors (Latham, Chris Watts and Casey Callanan) “for the insulting and offensive things that Mr. Blodgett said about me.”  Blodgett had said the board – all Republicans – would never re-appoint Mr. LaPointe to the comp Board, correspondence shows.

NorthIowaToday.com obtained comment from Mr. Blodgett and Mr. Minert, who straight-out rejected LaPointe’s claims.  

Todd Blodgett

“If LaPointe thinks that being honest, and frank, and accurately describing this mess and its perpetrators is “insulting and offensive”, Blodgett stated, “then that’s his problem.”  Mr. Blodgett added that in Mr. LaPointe’s divorce settlement, the Mason City attorney represented himself against his wife’s retained legal counsel. “Abe Lincoln,” Blodgett told NIT, “said that any lawyer who represents himself in a court has a fool for a client.”  President Lincoln, indeed, actually said this, according to a Wiki quote and other historical sources, Mr. Blodgett said. “So, why”, Mr. Blodgett asked, “would Cerro Gordo county want, as a member of ANY Board with ANY power, someone who personifies Abraham Lincoln’s definition of a fool?”

The following is Faruk Jessa’s statement on December 19 on the matter of his removal from and participation on the Cerro Gordo county Compensation Board:

To the Taxpayers of Cerro Gordo County,

After being asked to resign as a Chairman of the Compensation Board, I was terminated as a member of the Comp Board by the County Auditor.

Having been nominated to serve on the Board by Pat Wright, your County Treasurer who then was also acting Auditor, Democrats very cleverly discouraged me from meeting Board Chairman Steve Minert. Instead, I was directed to meet another member of the board. Pat Wright didn’t want me to meet Mr. Minert until after my placement. My nomination was confirmed by two board Supervisors – Chris Watts and Tim Latham. County Supervisor Tim Latham expressed that Minert was not good for the board and needs to be removed as Chairman but if removed from the Board it would rock a few boats.

Once the new Auditor Adam Wedmore was elected, I researched the position of Auditor to determine whether a raise was warranted. The provided information leaned heavily towards recommending a 5% raise for the Auditor. Had I known that County Officials receive compensation where taxpayers generously pay for IPERS and other benefits, I would’ve opposed any raise. County Officials didn’t provide me with this vital information. Therefore, my recommendation of a 5% raise led to a 2.75% raise. Had I been properly informed, I would have supported a 1% raise. The Auditor currently makes $81,025/annum. With the 2.75% increase the Auditor will make $83,115 plus benefits.

Not having been furnished with complete and relevant information regarding the process, and being steered THEIR way, this was a cleverly engineered plot by County Officials and their appointees to sway me to support raising their salaries. I was used as a pawn.

In my view, the Comp Board should be restored to its prior status with Steve Minert as Chairman. Mr. Minert completely understands the numbers relating to county compensation.

Over coffee, a friend told me, “ you know Faruk, I think these manipulative politicians chose brazen-self interest, greed, and clandestine chicanery over what would’ve better served their employers: the taxpayers of Cerro Gordo County.” He stated that “ you see first hand how such abusers of the public trust actually operate and don’t you think you have a moral obligation to expose it?”

Other issues transpired amongst county officials which I won’t mention now. However, taxpayers should place no trust in some of these county officials. An Ethics Review Board should be established to hold county officials responsible when they act in a coercive, manipulative and improper manner.

Sincerely,

Faruk A. Jessa
United States Navy & Navy Reserves – 1996 to 2003
United States Air Force – 2003 to 2006

Tim Latham, Supervisor

Cerro Gordo county Supervisor Tim Latham responded to Mr. Jessa’s letter, telling NIT, “I am sorry Faruk feels this way.  The board of supervisors have not taken a pay raise for over 2 years. And I do not plan to accept one this year. As to Mr. Minert, I have known him for years and believe Steve only wants what is best for Cerro Gordo county tax payers. Steve is a very successful businessman in north Iowa and is still a member of the comp board.”

This is an evolving story.  Just prior to publication of this story, NIT received an email from Auditor Adam Wedmore explaining how he removed Mr. Jessa from the comp board:

Adam Wedmore, county auditor

“Faruk Jessa was appointed to the compensation board by Pat Wright when she was serving as Auditor due to the vacancy. After assuming the duties of Auditor Mr. Jessa contacted me and offered to resign as the Auditor’s Office appointee. Since Mr. Jessa was not appointed by me I wanted the opportunity to appoint a person of my own choosing to represent our office and asked for his resignation to which he agreed to submit. That same day Mr. Jessa contacted me and asked instead for me to submit to him a notice that to rescind his appointment which I did on December 12th, 2018. The following day, December 13th, 2018, Mr. Jessa emailed me a resignation letter. No further action has been taken to make an appointment.  Because of Mr. Jessa’s resignation I plan to make an appointment to the compensation board based on Iowa Code 331.905 which states “one member shall be appointed by each of the following county officers: the county auditor, county attorney, county recorder, county treasurer, and county sheriff.”

NIT will report further on this developing situation.

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116 Responses to Greed and drama in the courthouse? Former board member says don’t trust Cerro Gordo officials

  1. Avatar

    Investigate Pat Wright Reply Report comment

    January 18, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    NIT, please send the package to DCI- get pat wright out!! Please help us, we are working and keeping our jobs so its hard for us to do this.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 14, 2019 at 2:33 am

    NIT could really make a difference and name for this news outlet if NIT sent all info to the DCI on the multi complex project to get this investigated and the criminals in Mason City stopped!! NIT the local hero and all TV and news outlets would look up to NIT !!! There’d be no denying NIT WAS THE BEST!!!

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 14, 2019 at 6:50 pm

      NIT started calling out the downtown fiasco back in 2013 when it was announced as a campaign ploy by Bookmeyer, Hickey, the Globe and the other puppeteers to fool the gullible voters (sheep) in town. It has morphed a lot since then but survives and will be built come hell or high water. No one with any brains thinks the hotel or downtown district will ever make ~$10 million in state taxes (slow-dripped back to City Hall – by the way where is Mrs. Dirksen, the YES vote champion?). Apparently no amount of reporting wakes the dead in Mason City, Iowa (SEE: New gym and pool built by criminal school district after millions stolen). The project is a full “go” so might as well sit back and watch (report) what happens.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 14, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Here’s an idea, anyone wanting Pats office investigated… gather up all public info on the multi complex project and send it to the DCI TO INVESTGATE THE PROJECT ( like with MCHS) they can look at the project, the city council AND COURTHOUSE with the tax cover up!!! Be a hero and kill 3 birds with one stone!!

    • Avatar

      investigate county treasurer pat wright Reply Report comment

      January 18, 2019 at 3:22 pm

      agreed. Pat Wright needs to be prosecuted for her cover ups and actions.

  4. Avatar

    Your Money at Risk??? Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Does Pat Wright, Treasurer, need to be investigated for a rumor that says that she “cooked” the books a few months ago? The books don’t balance in the Treasurers Office? Who is going to investigate her? There are equations in the law and it looks like her dark court house hallway politics have superceeded the law? There is no balance in Wright’s politics. Did Paula Lepsky help Wright in faking the figures? Is this true??? Are employees in Wright’s office scared of blowing the whistle on Wright? In between personal gossip about herself, is the rude customer service employee Jackie Smith in Wright’s Office a mole to watch over other employees for Wright? Is she being prepped to be the next Pat Wright? All these unsurities require RESOLVE. Investigate and Audit the Treasurer or not?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 14, 2019 at 2:18 am

      Hopefully all of it can be investigated!! And that Lewerke gall to. Maybe they can look at her stuff to and audit her, and press at least bullying charges on her as well. They ALL need investigated!!

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 5, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    You can bash Muslims but your Cancer Doctor, most likely A MUSLIM, will be giving you and your mother, life saving advice and won’t discriminate if you are white. Money and power are nothing against your deteriorating health. Muslims, Hindus and Jews are predominantly smarter than the simple white mind and most of them become doctors, lawyers and engineers. It’s a shame how simple white people like the Diet Coke drinking Adam Wedmores who are secretly racist, can think they can hide behind white privilege and get away with it. Zip in for a routine test and hopefully you have a brain tumor. No doubts you will come across a Muslim doctor along the way. Next time think before bashing a Muslim you ignorant fool; they are smarter than you. You don’t see Muslim women getting knocked up like white trash at 18 and ending up as waitresses do you? Oh the truth hurts white folks. Do you see Muslims dabling in meth and drugs like white folks? Nope they are too busy getting a high class education so you white folks can line up and be their customers. Think twice before you bash a person’s color and religion, which is predominantly a wait thing to do.

  6. Avatar

    where’s the globe on CORRUPTION? Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    The GLObe Gazette certainly didn’t print this story. Are they supporting corrupt county officials? They don’t want to expose Pat Wright and Wedmore collusion? Investigate. County books didn’t balance and figures were manually entered to make books balance. Pat Wright and Paula Lipskey did this just before the new auditor Wedmore came in. He is dumb so he won’t investifate it because he doesn’t know how. Tax payers lost their money. Pat Wright laughing all the way to retirement. Callanan turns blind eye so he can become senator. Employees in Pat Wright’s office don’t want to end up like Lewerke and get kicked out of a job so they won’t blow the whistle.

  7. Avatar

    Corruption County Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    County Supervisor Casey Callanan, the boy wonder, hangs out with bookmeyer at the Quarry restaurant. Two peas from the same pod. Don’t trust Casey Callanan he is corrupt. That’s why he keeps silent to sneak right thru. He had a strong hand in the money wasted in the county and city.

    County Treasurer Pat wright told Paula Lipskey in the court house to turn a blind eye and manually enter the numbers to make the books balance a few months ago. The books are not balancing but Pat Wright made them look like they were. Who be investigating that fraud?

    Wedmore is a liar and he just wants to be re-elected, he likes the good salary. He doesn’t care about the tax payer. Anything Wedmore does is bias and for self gain but can make it look like he cares about you.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2018 at 2:54 am

    Wedmore the MCS criminals and criminal activity was exposed. When are you, Wedmore, going to stop, investigate, audit the city officials, council, and courthouse??? When will the Criminal activity be exposed and cleaned up. This city is tired of being ripped off by the very people we are supposed to trust. It’s time WEDMORE STAND UP AND STOP THE THEIVES!!! Or are you in their pocket too????? It’s gone on to long and to far, everyone knows it’s happening…. who’s going to save themselves and expose them/it???

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Not sure this is Mr. Wedmore’s job, but I agree, the foxes run the henhouse in MC IA. Start at 9 North Federal then go to North Penn and then later drive by City Hall and the Courthouse as examples. The common citizens are rubes who are robbed by con artists (see: Downtown scultpures installed by city workers while the parks and neighborhoods rot).

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 5, 2019 at 9:46 pm

        Wedmore paints himself as clean, honest, caring, Christian that is here to help the City. Anyone of these people can stand up and say enough is enough and expose the corruption. I was calling on Wedmore to stand up , because that’s” what he is about” right and fair. Just seeing and putting out there that he’s appears just as corrupt as the rest.

        • Avatar

          Wedmore Liar? Reply Report comment

          January 11, 2019 at 7:57 pm

          be very careful of wedmore because he is a liar. you are so right that he paints a humble, wholesome picture but do not believe that for a moment. very sneaky and coy. his goal is to get the fat pay checks. don’t vote for him and DO NOT vote for pat wright. get them both out of office.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Just like the MCS school system!! INVESTIGATE AND AUDIT THE CITY, COUNCIL,MAYOR,and WHOLE COURT HOUSE, millions are being stolen right under your noses. EXPOSE AND OUST THE GREEDY CRIMINALS!!!

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 30, 2018 at 2:39 am

    JUST LIKE THE MASON CITY SCHOOL was finally investigated and audited. Enough stink was raised they had to investigate. Tons of money wasted, theft, white collar crime. THE CITY, MAYOR, CITY COUNCIL and COURT HOUSE NEEDS TO ALL BE INVESTIGATED AND AUDITED. The people of this city are blindly being robbed everyday and numerous criminal activity by the people we are to trust the most to run the city. Each entity can be investigated and audit you folks just need to stand up and force it. Just like the school system was forced to. These greedy criminals padding their pockets with city money needs to STOP! The thieves and criminals need to be exposed and ousted. In all areas.

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 28, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Close, but no blue ribbon, for being the article with the most comments in 2018. And the winner is ????

  12. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 24, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Tim lapoint smokes crack along with the rest of the dirt bags in mason city

  13. Avatar

    You are NOT infidels Reply Report comment

    December 23, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Jesus Through a Muslim Lens

    By MICHAEL WOLFE

    Jesus of Nazareth is the most widely revered religious figure in the world. Not only is he central to Christianity, the largest religion in the world, he is also venerated throughout Islam, the world’s second largest faith.

    Christians may be surprised to learn that Muslims believe in the Virgin Birth and Jesus’ miracles. But this shared interest in his message goes much further.

    In our scientific age, the miraculous side of Jesus’ story has greatly obscured his role in the prophetic tradition. In this sense, there may be more important questions for Muslims and Christians than whether he walked on water or raised the dead.

    In the Muslim view, Jesus’ essential work was not to replicate magic bread or to test our credulity, but to complement the legalism of the Torah with a leavening compassion rarely expressed in the older testament. His actions and words introduce something new to monotheism: They develop the merciful spirit of God’s nature. Jesus confirmed the Torah, stressing the continuity of his lineage, but he also developed the importance of compassion and self-purification as crucial links between learning the words of God’s message and possessing the wisdom to carry it out.

    Oddly enough, some of the recent work by New Testament scholars seems to have reached a view of Christ not all that different from Muslims’. For us and for these scholars, Jesus appears not as a literal son of God in human form, but as an inspired human being, a teacher of wisdom with a talent for love drawn from an unbroken relationship to God. Both versions present him as a man who spoke to common people in universal terms.

    Two events in the life of the prophet Muhammad may help explain why Muslims revere the Christian Jesus.

    The first event involves an elder resident of Mecca named Waraqa bin Nawfal. This man was an early Arab Christian and an uncle of Muhammad’s wife, Khadija. We know he could read Hebrew, that he was mystical by nature, and that he attended Khadija and Muhammad’s wedding in about 595 C.E. Fifteen years later, a worried Khadija sought Waraqa out and brought her husband to him.

    At the time, Muhammad was a 40-year-old respected family man. He attended this “family therapy” session in a rare state of agitation. He was frightened. He had been meditating one evening in a cave on the outskirts of town. There, while half asleep, he had experienced something so disturbing that he feared he was possessed. A voice had spoken to him.

    Waraqa listened to his story, which Muslims will recognize as a description of Muhammad’s first encounter with the angel Gabriel. When it was finished, Waraqa assured him he was not possessed.

    “What you have heard is the voice of the same spiritual messenger God sent to Moses. I wish I could be a young man when you become a prophet! I would like to be alive when your own people expel you.”

    “Will they expel me?” Muhammad asked.

    “Yes,” the old man said. “No one has ever brought his people the news you bring without meeting hostility. If I live to see the day, I will support you.”

    Christians will recognize in Waraqa’s remarks an aphorism associated with Jesus: “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country.” But that a Christian should first have verified Muhammad’s role as a prophet may come as a surprise.

    The second important event concerning Islam and Christianity dates from 616, a few years after Muhammad began to preach publicly. This first attempt to reinstate the Abrahamic tradition in Mecca met (as Waraqa had warned) with violent opposition.

    Perhaps the Meccans resented Muhammad’s special claim. Perhaps his message of a single, invisible, ever-present God threatened the economy of their city. A month’s ride south from the centers of power in Syria and Persia, poor remote Mecca depended on long-distance trade and on seasonal pilgrims who came there each year to honor hundreds of pagan idols, paying a tax to do so.

    At any rate, Muhammad’s disruptive suggestion that “God was One” and could be found anywhere did not sit well with the businessmen of Mecca.

    Many new Muslims were being tortured. Their livelihoods were threatened, their families persecuted. As matters grew worse, in 616 Muhammad sent a small band of followers across the Red Sea to seek shelter in the Christian kingdom of Axum. There, he told them, they would find a just ruler, the Negus, who could protect them. The Muslims found the Negus in his palace, somewhere in the borderland between modern Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    And protect them he did, after one Muslim recited to him some lines on the Virgin Mary from the Qur’an. The Negus wept at what he heard. Between Christians and Muslims, he said, he could not make out more difference than the thickness of a twig.*

    These two stories underscore the support Christians gave Muhammad in times of trial. The Qur’an distils the meaning from the drama:

    “Those who feel the most affection for us (who put our faith in the Qur’an), are those that say, “We are Christians,” for priests and monks live among them who are not arrogant. When they listen to what We have shown Muhammad, their eyes brim over with tears at the truth they find there….”

    Even today, when a Muslim mentions Jesus’ name, you will hear it followed by the phrase “peace and blessings be upon him,” because Muslims still revere him as a prophet.

    “We believe in God and in what has been sent down to us, what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and their offspring, and what was given to Moses and to Jesus and all the other prophets of the Lord. We make no distinction among them.”

    As these lines from the Qur’an make clear, Muslims regard Jesus as one of the world’s great teachers. He and his mentor John the Baptist stand in a lineage stretching back to the founder of ethical monotheism. Moreover, among Muslims, Jesus is a special type of prophet, a messenger empowered to communicate divinity not only in words but by miracles as well.

    Muslims, it must be said, part company with some Christians over the portrait of Jesus developed in the fourth and fifth centuries. Certain fictions, Muslims think, were added then. Three of these come in for special mention: First, Muslims consider monastic asceticism a latter-day innovation, not an original part of Jesus’ way. Second, the New Testament suffers from deletions and embellishments added after Jesus’ death by men who did not know him. Third, the description of Jesus as God’s son is considered by Muslims a later, blasphemous suggestion.

    Muslims venerate Jesus as a divinely inspired human but never, ever as “the son of God.” In the same vein, we treat the concept of the Trinity as a late footnote to Jesus’ teachings, an unnecessary “mystery” introduced by the North African theologian Tertullian two centuries after Jesus’ death. Nor do Muslims view his death as an act of atonement for mankind’s sins. Rather, along with the early Christian theologian Pelagius, Islam rejects the doctrine of original sin, a notion argued into church doctrine by St. Augustine around the year 400.

    It might almost be said that Islam holds a view of Jesus similar to some of the early apostolic versions condemned by the fourth-century Byzantine Church. Once Constantine installed Christianity as the Roman Empire’s state religion, a rage for orthodoxy followed. The Councils of Nicaea (325), Tyre (335), Constantinople (381), Ephesus (431), and Chalcedon (451) were official, often brutal attempts to stamp out heterodox views of Jesus held by “heretical” theologians.

    Rulings by these councils led to the persecution and deaths of tens of thousands of early Christians at the hands of more “orthodox” Christians who condemned them. Most disputes centered on divergent interpretations of the Trinity. For this reason, historians of religion sometimes see in these bloody divisions one of the root causes for early Islam’s firmly unitarian outlook.

    Then and now, no more dangerous religious mistake exists for a Muslim than dividing the Oneness of God by twos or threes.

    Despite these important differences, however, the Qur’an repeatedly counsels Muslims not to dispute with other monotheists over matters of doctrine. People, it says, believe differently for good reasons. In fact, that is a part of Allah’s will.

    Date posted: February 12, 2012.

    Copyright: Michael Wolfe

    Reproduced with the kind permission of Michael Wolfe, author of One Thousand Roads to Mecca and film producer of the PBS documentary, Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet.

    _____________

    * For a narrative of this incident with the Qur’anic verse, please read Barnaby Rogerson’s excellent piece “Birds Began It All”

    Michael Wolfe’s articles on this blog:

    One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Naser-e Khosraw’s Writing About the Muslim Pilgrimage (a four-part series)
    “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet” – A Film Created and Produced by Alex Kronemer and Michael Wolfe
    How a Muslim Sees Muhammad

    Michael Wolfe. Photo and profile credit: Wikipedia.
    Michael Wolfe. Photo and profile credit: Wikipedia.

    About the author: Michael Wolfe is an American poet, author, and the President and Executive Producer of Unity Productions Foundation. He is a frequent lecturer on Islamic issues at universities across the United States including Harvard, Georgetown, Stanford, SUNY Buffalo, and Princeton. He holds a degree in Classics from Wesleyan University. As a Muslim convert he performed the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1990 and wrote extensively about it. Wolfe’s first works on Islam were a pair of books from Grove Press on the pilgrimage to Mecca: The Hadj (1993), a first-person travel account, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca (1997, Grove/Atlantic), an anthology of 10 centuries of travelers writing about the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Shortly after 11 September 2001, he edited a collection of essays by American Muslims called Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith which won the 2003 annual Wilbur Award for “Best Book of the year on a Religious Theme”. In 1999, Wolfe helped found an educational media foundation focused on promoting peace through the media, Unity Productions Foundation (UPF). In 2002, UPF produced its first full-length film, called Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet, a two-hour television documentary on the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad. The film, which Wolfe co-created, co-produced, and co-executive edited, received a national broadcast on PBS and subsequent international broadcasts on National Geographic International. Wolfe also co-produced in 2007 Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain, which was aired in the same year on PBS, 2007. Wolfe continues to produce long and short-form documentaries for PBS and other broadcasters in the US and abroad with Unity Productions Foundation. His co-production partner on all these films is Alex Kronemer.

  14. Avatar

    Todd Blodgett Reply Report comment

    December 22, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    In reply to ‘Lois’: I recall the incident you described, which took place in 1998. Your late brother-in-law was very rude, and he lived in a house whose landlord supported my Dad’s re-election campaign.

    That owner gave permission to put up a BLODGETT yard sign, which your relative removed, and then refused to return. When I drove over there, he threatened violence. He didn’t intimidate me, despite his best efforts. But I also didn’t want any negative publicity.

    You’re correct that some friends of mine then paid him a little visit. And, yes, they were both “big black guys”, just like you said. Do you have a problem with that? Or, are you a racist?

    Those two proved highly effective, and they provided your brother-in-law with a much-needed attitude adjustment. Mason Cityans of all walks of life supported my Dad’s candidacies – and apparently, you’re still upset about that.

    Get over it, sweetie.

    As you wrote, once my buddies helped that Democrat to see the light, “he shut after that.”

    Merry Christmas, Lois.

    • Avatar

      Buddy Reply Report comment

      December 23, 2018 at 11:11 am

      Todd don’t you never change not one bit, your still the same standup guy you always been, don’t ever take no shit off nobody.

      We like that Todd.

      • Avatar

        Elizabeth Warren for President Reply Report comment

        December 23, 2018 at 11:23 am

        @ Buddy, why are all of you fans of Mr. Blodgett semi-illiterate?

        Do you use illicit drugs with Toddy boy, or are you in the same gun club with this Republitard shit-stirrer?

        Stay off of this site, Buddy boy, because you don’t belong here.

        So, run along now, Mr. Redneck, and get to your KKK meeting.

        • Avatar

          MCHS "95" Reply Report comment

          December 24, 2018 at 10:59 am

          @ Warren, your a liberal puke.

          Go away bitch.

        • Avatar

          Coffee Comes in a Cup Reply Report comment

          December 28, 2018 at 12:36 am

          Yes Todd did make a few mistakes and guess what? He fix them, so what’s your point? Leave him alone. He’s not screwing over tax payers with their money is he?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 25, 2018 at 3:02 am

      You must think you’re a tuff guy. Admitting to using intimidation tacts to get a measly yard sign put back. Plus using 2black men because of racist stero type to do your dirty work. There is something very wrong with you, in your head. Thug politicians is what the city does not need. Everyone of you narcissistic, ignorant and incapable of doing a good job for this city needs to be ousted. All of you crooks, start fresh with decent residents.

      • Avatar

        Todd Blodgett Reply Report comment

        December 25, 2018 at 9:05 pm

        Wrong. I’ve never claimed to be a tough guy – but I value their importance, and realize the need for utilizing their skill set to accomplish specific (and, honorable) objectives.

        And what’s wrong with providing employment to minorities?

        Are you also a bigot?

        Those whom you denigrate as thugs, I consider facilitators.

        You truly are a racist, aren’t you?

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2018 at 3:13 am

          I am far from a racist. I have family of white, African American, and Mexican origin. It’s a true narcissist to pull the race card as a diversion to your criminal ways. You can try to justify it to yourself any way you want. Keep typing and exposing yourself for the true narcissist you are. That’s how ignorant you appear to be. And no I am not for the “other” side. I think you ALL need to be exposed and ousted for your criminal activities ripping off the city and it’s people. A good criminal is the same as a bad criminal…. bottom line you are ALL CRIMINALS AND THEIVES!!! Narcissist much Mr. Blockhead?

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2018 at 3:37 am

          Ignorant—- they called you, Blodgett, a thug politician, not the 2 black men you admitted to using for intimidation tactics. But nice try trying to turn this into something racist but it isn’t. Re-read it. Plus you make yourself sound racist by trying to blame your being called a thug onto the black men you used. It’s people like you that yell racist racist when there isn’t any… except for yourself. You call anyone not of white race a minority?? When in this day and age there really isn’t a minority…. we, every American is an equal. Yes mr. blodgett most of us see right through you. Your narcissist behavior. Unfortunately it’s the less educated followers you prey on. The others that disagree with you, that can think for themselves, you admit to having/needing to intimidate them. We do not need your kind of criminal to blindly, fakingly, say you are doing good for the people of mason city. You are a criminal just like the rest.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 27, 2018 at 5:26 pm

        Hey dude, Todd is straight edged, something you can never achieve!

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 30, 2018 at 3:45 am

          Hey dude, they ALL are criminals!! They have you all blindly fighting back and forth about who is better. JUST A DIVERSION WHILE THEY ALL ROB THE CITY BLIND. Wake up you sheep.

  15. Avatar

    anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    About 1 month ago or so the books were not balancing at the Treasurers Office so Pat Wright went and told the IT Department to hard input numbers to make the books look like they are balanced. Is this true? Are the County Supervisors Callahan,Latham and Watts looking into this? Why is this being hidden from the taxpayers?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2018 at 3:53 am

      They are all criminals and need to be ousted and replaced by honest upstanding people that can represent and do good for the city and its people. Pat is definitely not that person but neither is that Lewerke woman. I say woman lightly because she does not appear to be a good, honest woman either. The people should not have to pick the lesser of two evil criminals. It’s time to expose them all just like with the mason city school system.

  16. Avatar

    Dick Reply Report comment

    December 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Wedmore was influenced by Blodett to remove the veteran. This has legal implications because wedmore is a county official. Wedmore should resign. We don’t like our veterans to be pushed around.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 22, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Just because he is a vet doesn’t automatically make him innocent. Some vets are crooks too. Just look at you.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 30, 2018 at 4:16 am

        ??? Just because this Dick guy sticks up for the Vets … you say all Vets aren’t honest and you call this Dick guy a crook??? Where do you get off??? You are a disgrace. You have NO reason or knowledge this Dick is a crook, he just doesn’t agree with you. Get out of here with that crap, stop putting down Vets for no reason. EVERY counsel member lied to the VET about their job duties and benefits, they ALL deceived him with the lies so with that info he suggested a raise to be comparably even with other countries. THEY ALL DECEIVED HIM TO GET A RAISE. THEY ALL USED HIM, THEN GOT RID OF HIM. Blaming him and again using him as an escape goat. HE IS HONEST ENOUGH TO EXPOSE THEM, ADMIT HE MADE A WRONG RAISE RECOMMENDATION DUE TO ALL COUNSEL MEMBERS INFORMATION PROVIDED TO HIM. Now the counsel is blaming him, trying to divert and cover up the real criminals….. WHO ARE ALL THE COUNSEL MEMBERS… ALL OF THEM. Shame on WEDMORE for letting this happen and being a sheep. THEY HAVE YOU ALL FIGHTING BACK AND FORTH ABOUT WHOSE RIGHT OR BETTER…. WHILE THEY ALL ROB THE CITY BLIND RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSES. Just like the MASON city school system.

  17. Avatar

    Gabriela bad people Reply Report comment

    December 22, 2018 at 12:02 am

    why did auditor wedmore fire the new veteran if he would like kinda help the people under wedmore get a raise? thats a bit strange ya know cause like just to choose a person that wedmore wanned and fire veteran frank makes no sense. veteran did good work and hes a veteran like my dad. so what is the real story? mom was sayin that it was because blodgett and minert wanted veteran out cause he didnt do what they said. they had their own secret plan or somehting. i think someone can call veteran to ask him what he says cause wedmore fired him cause he was told to by blodgett, minert and todd. wedmore is a democrat and blodgett is a republican. hows that even possible? my dads friend said that knows blodgett aqnd he said blodgett worked for the white house. so why is blogdett telling wedmore what to do cause wedmore is a public office. is that even supposed to be legal to do what people push you to do? my dad said that wedmore was pushed to make veteran go away. thats not legal is it? my sisters wil ask her law teacher about if this is legal. are they seriousley hairrassing him cause he is muslim? my uncle is married to a muslim and she is not a liar or anything like that.

  18. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    Did anyone read the statement that he offered to resign, and did? How is wedmore a veteran/Muslim hater for doing what faruk asked for? Matt did you get emails to show what stuff?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 30, 2018 at 4:31 am

      Hello. He offered to resign instead of being fired? His hand was being twisted. Don’t be dumb, He was being ousted no matter what. He was voted in by these people, gave him false job and benefits information by them ALL. He used that false info provided to him to make a raise recommendation, council voted yes give me a raise, then they ousted him, used him as an escape goat. Do you think the people of mason city can’t see this????

  19. Avatar

    Carol Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Thank you Faruk for your military service and ignore the people that are trying to put you down. We know you and you are not the negative things they say you are. You are an exemplary person with high standards.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 22, 2018 at 5:54 pm

      Ha, ha, ha, Carol the bullshitter has spoken.

  20. Avatar

    anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Can’t have a Muslim take power and the chairman seat away from Minert on the board. Looks like he didn’t play Minert and Blodgett’s game. Lapointe and Jessa took Minerts power and position away from him. So minert goes cryin to Todd like a little baby and Todd gets Adam Wedmore to kick Jessa off the board. That’s how I understood it. No Muslims allowed on the board cause white is right. I’m white but I like diversity.

    • Avatar

      anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 11:49 am

      isn’t that what minert did to jollis? Got rid of him? so Lapointe just came back from the back door and have it back to minert. Good thing minert is Todd’s boy.

      • Avatar

        Gotcha, Faruk Reply Report comment

        December 21, 2018 at 12:16 pm

        The only person involved in this thing how misspells the name of Tom Jolas as “Jollis” is Mr. Jessa. Gotcha, Faruk.

        • Avatar

          anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm

          wrong. im a female and you know me

    • Avatar

      Chris N. - Veteran Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 12:14 pm

      I didn’t like that Adam Wedmore bumped off a Veteran with good intentions cause he was told by Minert and Blodgett. Don’t matter what the Farok guy chose to do, he was there tryin to help out cause Pat Wright nominated him to. Wedmore shouldn’t expect any respect from any veterans and we’ll make it a point to let our veterans friends know about it. Adam Wedmore if you are resding this you should know that you insult one veteran you’ve insulted all veterans. Go get some boot camp training and fight a war or two before you take our taxpayer money to feed yourself and get fat.

      • Avatar

        Allen Reply Report comment

        December 21, 2018 at 3:59 pm

        He needs to go to Ft. Polk, 60’s era boot camp.

    • Avatar

      niko Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      blodgett and others who hide behind racism and hatred are pathetic scum. if you do not follow them they will attack you. sad to know that adam wedmore is attached to racism and bigotry by way of taking support from blodgett. adam and blodgett are on another board together so they know each other.

      • Avatar

        Todd Blodgett Reply Report comment

        December 21, 2018 at 9:02 pm

        Niko: I hadn’t planned to jump in here and comment on this thread, but WHAT was in any way “racist” about this?

        Mr. Jessa’s race is totally irrelevant to me, and it should be meaningless to all concerned. His faith also had NOTHING whatsoever to do with this.

        Mr. Wedmore acted completely honorably throughout. This situation pre-dated his taking office, AND his being elected as our county Auditor. Furthermore, at NO time did he involve himself in any way in pushing for a pay raise, and he specifically stated that he wasn’t looking for one for himself.

        Adam simply exercised his prerogative to appoint a person of his own choosing to this Board.

        I also respect Mr. Jessa’s service to his country, and he knows that. As we move toward a new year, let’s put this behind us and move forward, shall we?

        Merry Christmas to you, ‘Niko’ – and best wishes for a productive, happy, and successful 2019.

        Sincerely, TODD BLODGETT

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 22, 2018 at 3:28 pm

          No one cares about you todd. You are used, and ignorant. Have been being used to get others what they want for a long time. look where it landed you? In a shithole town like mason city, doing nothing with what little is left of your life. Good job being a loser making minimal decisions for a town that doesn’t care about you. Anyone who is worth a shit moved away from that place awhile ago. A lot of you are incapable of seeing reality.

          • Avatar

            anonymous

            December 22, 2018 at 5:49 pm

            Todd gots minert

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 22, 2018 at 5:54 pm

            And why are you still here?

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm

            Damn, you really are that stupid. Todd doesn’t live here you idiot. And, he wipes his ass with fools like you.

          • Avatar

            Todd Blodgett

            December 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm

            You’re sure NEGATIVE – why? Why do you run down every Mason Cityan?

            There are still lots of good people there. If some have “used” me, as you claim, then that’s on them. I don’t care. I’ve remained involved, somewhat, in MC politics because it’s my hometown, and I care about the city and its residents.

            FYI, I’ve not lived in Mason City since 1983. I live/work in TX and – when I’m in IA – Clear Lake.

            Try to adapt a positive outlook for the holidays, and for the coming New Year. You’ll be happier and will probably live longer!

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 25, 2018 at 3:40 am

            You seem like a narcissistic idiot Todd. You go from one extreme to the next. Act like a thug in one post, then try to act like you are the one being reasonable in the next post. Narcissism at the best. You say and do what benefits you. Everyone sees through you, you washed up and used up. You have nothing to offer Mason City so beat it on out of here and stay out. No one cares about all your internal power struggles. All you city employees and boards have posted 80% of these posts fighting and name calling. None of you are adequate to handle the responsibility of Mason City and residents. Take your no common sense and get out of here. You all make your selves look ignorant. You don’t even have enough common sense to be embarrassed of yourself. You are irrelevant.

  21. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Jessa is a Muslim, therefore he is a liar and thinks nothing about lying to the Infidels.

    • Avatar

      Ralph B Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Well, if he lied to Minert and Blodgett, as claimed, those two Infidels made sure he was punished for any lies he may have told.

    • Avatar

      Ben Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 4:43 pm

      not many white doctors left in town. our pediatrician is a muslim and a damned good muslim doctor too. my heart surgeon who saved my life is muslim. most likely before you die in a hospital the last person you will see is your family and the muslim doctor. most likely the muslim doctor and not your family cause your family will be late cause they were eating at the rib crib with your attorney looking at the will before coming to see you. too bad our white folks are not smart enough to be doctors. we are importing muslim doctors cause our own are not smart enough to get a good education. this new guy is probably a muslim but he can write better than any of us. funny and true, a muslim that speaks better english than us.

  22. Avatar

    Fools Choice Reply Report comment

    December 21, 2018 at 2:05 am

    Wedmore and Trump enjoying firing people

  23. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Bloggit thinks he’s tough with that gun I guess he point it at my uncle one time

    • Avatar

      Darcy S Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 5:32 pm

      Hey if Todd point a gun at this uncle looks like you dont even know your self, well if he done that who cares.

      Todd is in my N.A. group here in Mason. He has help alot of us get clean off drugs find a new way of life, your just wrong to hate on him but that don’t change my mind none.

      He has done more good then you know, this does mean he get’s bad people leave out of Mason even the cops they didnt make them go, OK. Well Todd he done this it, was a good thing.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      If he is as stupid as you it is lucky he didn’t pull the trigger. Probably didn’t want to go to jail for shooting a idiot.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 8:15 am

      It sound like Blodgett is a good guy to have on your side. You might just remember that.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 30, 2018 at 4:47 am

        Oh yes yes yes everyone needs to have that blodgett man on their side. He appears to be ignorant, bullying thug. Why would ANYONE want or think that he is good or even want him on your side? Why in the world does this blodgett think he is gods great savior for people. He seems to have a false imagination of himself.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 21, 2018 at 8:18 am

      Why do part time supervisor jobs pay more than most full time jobs? What kind of tricks were played by previous board members to get there? This is not a new tactic. But is is still cheating the taxpayers and the Supervisors involved should resign immediately.

  24. Avatar

    Retired Goodyear Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I mostly do not like Republicans, do not agree with Minert or Blodgett in their politics. But looks like here they did a good thing for us, got rid of this puppet Farruk that did what Pat Wright and Tim Latham and Tim Lapointe told him to.

    Latham better get ready to clean out his desk, come this next election I bet Todd goes after him just like he ran this Farruk off this board.

    I put out yard signs for Lapointe’s brother Joe and for Mike Dunn when they against Gary Blodgett. This was back in 1998 and ’96. Dr B, he got Todd to run the show, outspend us like 50 to one, they won real big.

    Todd, he did the same thing for his buddy Casey Callahan and other people he supports, Adam Wedmore Jodie Draper and some others that’s in. The one’s Blodgett wants in, they win.

    I bet you in 2 years Tim Latham gets beat like a drum.

    • Avatar

      Lois F Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      – Toddy boy also helped Paul Adams and he does know how to run down candidates he don’t like.

      But he plays dirty, like when he handed out $50 dollar bills to north end people to put out Blodgett yard signs for his daddy. My late brother-in-law darn near wanted to choke the cocky Republitard when he went to their door.

      Well the next day, after it was dark, these two big black guys shows up at their place makes threats to him, he shut up after that.

      We do not like how Mr. Blodgett does.

      • Avatar

        Mason City J.D. Reply Report comment

        December 20, 2018 at 3:15 pm

        @ Lois, presumably, the black thugs on Toddy Boy’s payroll didn’t know that their bigoted buddy owned Resistance Records, inc. the world’s largest racist music label.

        Your point is well taken, tough. This spoiled, pushy Republican #X%!@*/ # has brought the tactics of his late mentor, the racist Lee Atwater, into our north Iowa politics.

        What Blodgett said about Mr. Lapointe, who is one of the most honorable public servants in our county, is beyond reprehensible.

        Damn him all to Hell.

      • Avatar

        Retired NIACC Reply Report comment

        December 20, 2018 at 5:42 pm

        @ Lois … apparently, Toddy Boy’s hired “big black” thugs were unaware that he owned the world’s largest racist music label, Resistance Records, inc., for many years.

        With Blodgett, Jr., the truth is stranger than fiction. How many neo-Nazi business owners also associate with violent black thugs?

        My guess is: only one.

        @ Darcy … you obviously support Mr. Blodgett’s penchant for suborning physical assault, or at the very least, threats thereof. Your views are, to put it mildly, rather scary.

        If my command of the english language was as pathetic as yours, I would enroll in a remedial class at NIACC before posting any more comments on this site.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 20, 2018 at 5:54 pm

          Retarded NIACC-You had better pull your head out of your ass You dumb ass, before you suffocate

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 20, 2018 at 5:55 pm

          And all that from a Retarded Art Teacher who was asked to resign for gross stupidity.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 21, 2018 at 12:46 pm

            Keep guessing. Wrong one

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            December 22, 2018 at 5:59 pm

            Don’t think so. You are certainly dumb enough.

  25. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 11:20 am

    I’m not certain, but I don’t think any raises will take place until July, 2019. Until then, why not contact all of the county supervisors and demand they rescind their earlier vote to approve the 2.75% pay raise?

    I wonder how many of the elected officials didn’t know what these jobs paid before they ran for the office?

    • Avatar

      Tiny Tim Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Good idea. Since Wedmore and Pat were manipulative and vote was lopsided and Watts was in the Board room reporting everything to Todd as it happened and new guy was kicked off and minert lost power and everything, they just gotta keep new guy onboard and do a new vote presented or all county officers say NO RAISE.

    • Avatar

      Alley Cat Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Casey Callahan, Tim Latham and Chris Watts should rescind the vote and go with NO raise after all this manipulative and underhanded debachery. Adam Wedmore and Pat Wright gotta make the public statement and say NO Raise. Dissolve the current Board and recruit new members. Put it in the news paper just like a job, let the tax payers participate since it’s their money – County Officials recruiting new board members.

  26. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Take your blinders off. Doesn’t matter if these board members are Democrats or Republicans, they all voted for raises. They manuvered this man to be placed on the board. They all lied about their job duties and compensation benefits to this man. They ALL deceived him. They ALL voted themselves pay raises, then very quickly ousted him from the board. As for this Wedmore kid, he needs ousted same as the whole board and city officials. Wedmore appears to be a conniving scammer also. Nothing more pathetic then a man claiming to be a true Christian and for the people. True Christians are giving and honest, not liars and takers. The whole city officials and boards are crooked thieves. Ripping the tax payers off for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Wright or Lewerke doesn’t matter, both appear pathetic and crooked no matter which one got the job. Lewerke can quit trashing this, mason city majority thinks of you as pathetic and crooked as the rest. Mason city tax payers need to check into reporting all officials and requesting investigations to an entity outside of the city. The way these people are stealing and running this city needs to STOP.

    • Avatar

      political facts Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 10:00 am

      pat wright put this new guy on the board for her own agenda. she is close friends with lapointe. pat wright treasurer and was acting auditor is also guiding wedmore in his job as auditor. you don’t think pat and wedmore had a few conversations before he was sworn in as auditor? they were looking for a raise. lapointe is about 5% raise for county employees. he cares bout hardworking county employees. minert says county employees are overpaid. not more than 1%. minert and lapointe disagree on the board. lapointe appoints new guy as chairman. lapointe knows new guy is at 5% raise. minert seconds new guy but minert didn’t know new guy is at 5%. minert thought new guy is at 1%. latham has opinions but who cares? new guy is chairman. new guy got all is 5% info from wedmore cause wedmore wants the raise and pat wants a raise. 2.75% vote goes thru. more than minert’s 1% and minert is now pissed off cause he aint chairman and no board support for 1% and he lost his power. minert tells todd. todd says new guy was supposed to support minert cause thats what new guy said he would do. so now todd is pissed and says new guy lied to us. so wedmore played new guy for raise but acted like he was on minert’s side cause todd helped wedmore on his campaign. todd tells wedmore to get rid of new guy. wedmore gets rid of new guy. wedmore got a raise and pat got a raise because of new guy. but wedmore wants that campaign support for next election so he gets rid of new guy for todd & minert cause wedmore can always get another guy to vote another raise for him next year. wedmore got rid of new guy to satisfy minert & todd cause they didn’t get their way. so the scammer or unethical character here is ADAM WEDMORE cause he played everyone.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 21, 2018 at 1:05 pm

        Yeah obviously! But they ALL lied about their job duties and compensation benefits to this new guy so they ALL deceived to get a raise. So bottom line like I said before is ALL are crooked. The why really doesn’t matter unless a person is trying to justify their crookedness. One crook is NOT better then the other crook, or next crook. GET RID OF THEM ALL AND GO OUTSIDE MASON CITY TO GET THIS WHOLE CITY SHAM INVESTIGATED. None of the taxpayers care about the internal struggle for power. Taxpayers don’t care who is LESS crooked !! Taxpayers care about honest people to represent the city right and spend TAXPAYERS money honestly to improve the city. NOT MAKE CITY OFFICIALS RICH WITH TAXPAYER MONEY!!!!

  27. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 2:32 am

    You think this is bad try looking into the rubber stamp state boards that exist solely to justify the expansion of government.

  28. Avatar

    Faruk Jessa - Welcome to the Board Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 12:38 am

    I am honored to be your Chair for the Board for 2018 – 2019

    First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to thank Immediate Past Chair Steve Minert for his passionate leadership of the Cerro Gordo County Compensation Board. I would also like to thank Tim LaPointe for nominating me for the position and Steve Minert for seconding the motion and finally for your support by vote. I was not expecting to be your Chair and expected Steve to continue to be Chair but as you have spoken I will serve the board with the best of my capacity and abilities.

    I would like to acknowledge and very warmly congratulate James Finstad on his nomination as Vice-Chair for the board and Bill Cody who has one of the more difficult positions as Secretary of the Board.

    I want to say a special thank you to County Treasurer Pat Wright, who at the time was the acting Auditor for inviting me and appointing me to serve on the board and County Supervisors Tim Latham and Chris Watts for confirming me.

    With this said, I would like to acknowledge all of you as distinguished members of society as you have contributed generously of your time, effort and energy to make the county a better place today than it was yesterday. You are all leaders and you can take the opportunity to see for yourself why Cerro Gordo County is striving to become a better leader in a community of counties in Iowa. You are all an integral part of county life and I ask you to take generous notice of that fact.

    As I take the gavel as the new chair, I plan to support the board and to continue its legacy with an upbeat spirit and forward looking enthusiasm. Chairing this board is truly an honor for me as it resonates with my value and experience. I have always believed in improving the quality of life of where I have lived, be in Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Republic of Georgia, Tajikistan and Canada.and
    The board meeting on December 10th, 2018 was quite progressive and although I had hoped for a 5% increase for the Office of the Auditor, I could not admire the fact that we as a board worked together and accomplished the results of 2.75%.

    With the complexities that we as a county face today and will face tomorrow, the one action we can always take is to better enable our leaders and employees in county government. The one way we as a board have already done this is by exercising our ability to vote for the salary increases, whatever percentages they may be, for the betterment of those who serve the citizens of our county.

    As your Chair, I will make every effort to be available to you for discussion. Furthermore, I am also available to assist you in researching your candidate and the office they hold, as I did with mine prior to the last meeting, so that we can all make a better informed decision with facts that support and warrant the votes we exercise.

    In this board, I ask that you keep your party affiliations to yourself and enjoy the camaraderie and diversity of its members and the processes involved in the duties and responsibilities of the position. I take an enabling approach to build an environment of confidence, predictability and mutual trust for al board members. You are strictly your own individual and you have the absolute right to make an informed decision which will be a benefit to the county, its employees and its citizens.

    Your intellect is a value to the board and your opinions are an important part of the discussion process. I encourage you to think out of the box and while doing so as we enjoy our time together.

  29. Avatar

    Faruk Jessa - Welcome Letter to the Comp Board Reply Report comment

    December 20, 2018 at 12:35 am

    I am honored to be your Chair for the Board for 2018 – 2019

    First and foremost I would like to take this opportunity to thank Immediate Past Chair Steve Minert for his passionate leadership of the Cerro Gordo County Compensation Board. I would also like to thank Tim LaPointe for nominating me for the position and Steve Minert for seconding the motion and finally for your support by vote. I was not expecting to be your Chair and expected Steve to continue to be Chair but as you have spoken I will serve the board with the best of my capacity and abilities.

    I would like to acknowledge and very warmly congratulate James Finstad on his nomination as Vice-Chair for the board and Bill Cody who has one of the more difficult positions as Secretary of the Board.

    I want to say a special thank you to County Treasurer Pat Wright, who at the time was the acting Auditor for inviting me and appointing me to serve on the board and County Supervisors Tim Latham and Chris Watts for confirming me.

    With this said, I would like to acknowledge all of you as distinguished members of society as you have contributed generously of your time, effort and energy to make the county a better place today than it was yesterday. You are all leaders and you can take the opportunity to see for yourself why Cerro Gordo County is striving to become a better leader in a community of counties in Iowa. You are all an integral part of county life and I ask you to take generous notice of that fact.

    As I take the gavel as the new chair, I plan to support the board and to continue its legacy with an upbeat spirit and forward looking enthusiasm. Chairing this board is truly an honor for me as it resonates with my value and experience. I have always believed in improving the quality of life of where I have lived, be in Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Republic of Georgia, Tajikistan and Canada.and
    The board meeting on December 10th, 2018 was quite progressive and although I had hoped for a 5% increase for the Office of the Auditor, I could not admire the fact that we as a board worked together and accomplished the results of 2.75%.

    With the complexities that we as a county face today and will face tomorrow, the one action we can always take is to better enable our leaders and employees in county government. The one way we as a board have already done this is by exercising our ability to vote for the salary increases, whatever percentages they may be, for the betterment of those who serve the citizens of our county.

    As your Chair, I will make every effort to be available to you for discussion. Furthermore, I am also available to assist you in researching your candidate and the office they hold, as I did with mine prior to the last meeting, so that we can all make a better informed decision with facts that support and warrant the votes we exercise.

    In this board, I ask that you keep your party affiliations to yourself and enjoy the camaraderie and diversity of its members and the processes involved in the duties and responsibilities of the position. I take an enabling approach to build an environment of confidence, predictability and mutual trust for al board members. You are strictly your own individual and you have the absolute right to make an informed decision which will be a benefit to the county, its employees and its citizens.

    Your intellect is a value to the board and your opinions are an important part of the discussion process. I encourage you to think out of the box and while doing so as we enjoy our time together.

  30. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    Doesnt this group meet like once a year to just make a suggestion? why is this such a big deal? From what ive read before they just make a suggestion for salary. If they only do meet 1 time a year, and just met, aren’t they done for a year?

  31. Avatar

    Ventura Vince Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    Faruk sounds like a muslim name, he sure looks muslim to. Patty put this man on this board to take out Minert as the chair-man then the
    guy helps Lapoint stick us tax payers for another big raise for these over paid losers.

    Wish this would of come out about two month’s ago, Patty might of got beat. Latham needs to go to, but we do not need Urdall back in there, he was more greedier then even Wright and Latham.

    If Minert and Blodgett got lied to by this Faruk then they did good to raise some hell about it. We are glad he is off this board, good for them two if they help to move him off.

    • Avatar

      Judas Priest Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 11:55 pm

      and Pat Wright is a good Christian woman that has your best interest at heart and probably sits next to Latham at Church and prays for Hilary’s sins? Muslim or Christian does it matter?

    • Avatar

      dumb and dumber Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Pat Wright is sneakier and smarter than minert and Todd?. Minert voted for the new guy on the board but people say he had the new guy removed from the board cause new guy wouldn’t kiss minerts ring.

      • Avatar

        Do you get it? Reply Report comment

        December 20, 2018 at 9:41 pm

        Yes, Pat Wright is sneakier than Minert and Blodgett.

        I know Steve and I know Todd. They’re straight-up, not sneaky at all.

        I know Pat, too, and she’s dumb.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          December 25, 2018 at 4:01 am

          They are ALL sneaky, ignorant and crooked.

  32. Avatar

    Kozy Korner Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Tim Latham says this all got kicked up on count of this Faruk lied to Steve Minert and Todd Blodgett. Supposebly he told them he is a Trump Republican, promised to be for Minert for chairman, the re-elect, told them he would vote no on any pay raises.

    Latham and Pat Wright say Minert and Blodgett raised holy Hell about being lied to ect. So Adam Wedmore, he don’t want no liar on there he kicks this guy off the comp board.

    Look’s like them emails say the same thing.

    • Avatar

      anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 12:10 am

      So Wedmore was told to fire this Faruk fellow because Faruk didn’t support Minert on a vote and Faruk wasn’t a Trump supporter? Plus Faruk was a Muslim so Wedmore didn’t like that or what? Is Wedmore racist? That’s like influencing votes isn’t it? What Wedmore did was illegal wasn’t it? Why’d he fire a guy that researched and helped him get a raise? Dumbass if you asked me unless he was told to fire the guy by Minert?? This don’t really sound right that guy been fired for what he believes in. Something wrong with this Auditor.

    • Avatar

      Minert Seconds Faruk's Nomination Reply Report comment

      December 20, 2018 at 12:47 am

      I heard Tim Lapointe nominated Faruk for Chairman and Minert seconded the motion. It was in the email and the minutes. So the lie was a made up issue. Wedmore fired Faruk over this? Sounds like Adam Wedmore needs to be ethically reviewed.

  33. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Oh what tangled webs we weave!

  34. NIT Publisher

    NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    One has to wonder if this “compensation board” is a dated good old boy sham and should be scrapped entirely. It looks good on the surface. But it has a fatal flaw: People are appointed to the board by the very people they “represent” and therefore have more motivation to please those who appointed them rather than do the right thing. Scrap the board and figure out a new way to make recommendations for compensation changes.

  35. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    Why is it government officials that always claim they deserve more money, than just vote themselves a raise? The majority of working americans don’t receive the amount of raises these no goods give themselves. A raise is rewarded for a job well done. This town is slipping into a black hole, how do they justify a job well done? Spend. Spend, spend, spend with no responsibility for the outcome.

  36. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Where r these emails at? I’d like 2 see them to see the back story. Is this board paid, when do they meet next, and are they private meetings?

  37. Avatar

    Reagan 84 Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    We got a good Board all GOP Supers keep it that way it’s them ‘Crats that pull the trick now they caught.

  38. Avatar

    Fire a few and drain the swamp Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    What can the citizens of cerro gordo county do to force them to investigate this situation along with Wright’s emails? Why do we have to sit by and not be able to do anything about the crooked dealings of pat Wright tim Latham and lapping? Most people would lose their job but pat Wright gets a 2.75% raise out of the deal. And why should Adam widmore get a raise for a job he has only held for a little over a month!

  39. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    There will be a lot of “drama”, concerning this topic.

    • Avatar

      Ret'd Lehigh Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 6:04 pm

      @ anonymous well there should be. These politicians they try to sneak all this past us well I for one, I am glad they got caught.

      Latham and Wright, they are crooked as the night is long. Lapoint he is another shady one, never can trust that bozo. Or his bro Joe who also is lawyer. Chained up some girl to a radiator and did time for it.

      I do not agree with Blodgett’s politics but I loved what Todd said about Abe Lincoln would say Lapoint is a fool. LOL!

  40. Avatar

    no arena for us Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Hey NIT next investagate the city counsel like that kid that works for the richest man in town at the bank bet you find something there

  41. Avatar

    Mason City Community Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    How can Wedmore fire a person that was appointed to a board and elected to be Chairman? A week in office and Adam Wedmore is already become unpopular and making illegal decisions. I won’t be voting for him!!

    • Avatar

      anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Wright should not have appointed anyone when she was just acting auditor, Wedmore has every right to put his selection on the board.

      • Avatar

        Chew the Cudd Reply Report comment

        December 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm

        Looks like Pat Wright was a quick thinker and wanted to secure a raise and that’s why she did it? Tricked a new comer and Veteran to get her a raise. Only lookin’ out for herself.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      I read it as faruk offered to resign because he was appointed by pat. How is that getting fired illegally?

  42. Avatar

    Angry resident Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you NIT. I bet you won’t read this in the liberal Gazette! Sounds like another crooked Democrat system. After all I was told Latham is a rino(Republican in name only) my question is who does pay Wright and Tim Latham answer to? Shouldn’t they be fired right along with Farouk? We need to get more people to speak up and get their heads out of the sand

  43. Avatar

    hair club for men Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    Boo Hoo Todd and Steve say mean things about me am I big ole bald crybaby or what

  44. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the last person to comment on this. Patricia Wright is like a poison in that courthouse but I will go a step farther. Timmy Latham has a reputation around town of being less than honest and a person that talks out of both sides of his mouth.
    I’m old enough to remember what he did in 1974 . If you question me on what I am saying. Google Tim Latham 1974 globe Gazette and you will get a more clear picture of one of our county officials. People of cerro gordo need to wake up

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      A bully came to his home and threatened him and he defended himself. That is just what he should have done. If you want to say something negative you had better know the facts.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 30, 2018 at 5:12 am

        One person committing a crime against a person doesn’t justify the other person committing a crime back. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. The facts don’t matter when both commit crimes. A crime is a crime is a crime.

  45. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Where do I start! Pat Wright is as dirty as they come! From running her husband business out of the courthouse to allowing her deputy treasurer peggy melanie use the county computers to online shop costing us taxpayers over 45000.00 dollars to now this!!! First of all shame on cerro gordo county for reelecting someone as dishonest as her!!! She is the one that started all this!

    • Avatar

      Mason City Community Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      Remember a few weeks ago when she was Acting Auditor, a position she accepted and was paid for and there was that screw up that cost the tax payers $8000 when she was supposed to be Auditor and manage the process? Well she just blamed all that on the Deputy Auditors and staff. Looks like a dirty trend with her, always blaming someone else. I think the $250k issue was not Lewerke’s fault, it was again Pat Wright. Lots of problems with Pat Wright. Can the County terminate her?

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 19, 2018 at 6:04 pm

        Now, that is something negative I can agree with.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        December 25, 2018 at 4:18 am

        Doubt it. There’s problems with ALL city officials. There needs to be an outside investigation on ALL, and how this city is ran. That Lewerke gal goes around slamming Pat but she’s just as bad and crooked. Mason City residents don’t want neither of them. Lewerke runs around with her hands in the air .. me me pick me I’m the lesser evil. Ignorant at its best.

  46. Avatar

    Appalled and Concerned Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Wow, really suspicious that they only kept Faruk Jessa around until they got their raise, then kicked him to the curb when he started raising questions. And to do that to a veteran, too! This county is just playing old boys’ games with taxpayer dollars and time!!!

    • Avatar

      9th & North Adams Reply Report comment

      December 19, 2018 at 3:56 pm

      @ concern, my neighbor she works up to the court house says Tim Latham and Pat was behind this. And Tim Lapoint to. They did try to get this big raise used this Farook Jesse do there dirty work.

      Lapoint, him and Pat they put this Farook on the comp board make sure they got a nice fat raise.

  47. Avatar

    Forest for the trees Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Faruk, thank you for your service to our country. It’s a shame county officials didn’t have the intellect to retain a well qualified individual with outstanding military service.

  48. Avatar

    anonymous Reply Report comment

    December 19, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for your military service Faruk Jessa