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Mason City school board to allow open forum tonight at meeting on bombshell audit showing millions of dollars lost

This news story was published on January 7, 2019.
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MASON CITY – Want to tell the Mason City school district what you think about the alleged millions of dollars mis-used by former administrators and elected school boards?  Tonight is your chance to tell them.

On Friday, December 28, 2018 the Office of Auditor of State released the Mason City Community School District special investigation report conducted for the period of July 1, 2009 to August 31, 2017.

Tonight, January 7, 2019, the school board will discuss the special investigation report in open session at this meeting and welcomes questions and comments from the public, according to an agenda that was just sent out at 8:37 AM this morning.

At the very same meeting tonight, Superintendent Dave Versteeg will discuss with the board the possibility of issuing a request for proposals for schematic design planning on a high school auxiliary gym and study of swimming pool options.  The schematic design phase will determine each project’s feasibility and estimated cost – likely millions of dollars. Should the board decide to move ahead with one or both of these projects at some future date, there would be enough detail in these reports to develop construction and bid documents.

The meeting is at 5:30 PM in the Mason City Community School District Board of Education Administrative Center Board Room, 1515 S. Pennsylvania Ave.

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67 Responses to Mason City school board to allow open forum tonight at meeting on bombshell audit showing millions of dollars lost

  1. Criminal Charges you idiots!! Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 8:04 pm


  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Cut out all sports and extra activities MC tends to look bad in these anyway.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 11, 2019 at 4:49 am

      Oh and make the students work 2-3 hrs each weekday night that would bring in some $ and keep them busy and not have to pay teacher coaches.

  3. Prosecute Micich!?! Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2019 at 1:30 am

    Micich should be prosecuted!?!

  4. STUPID TAXPAYERS- so stupid!! Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2019 at 9:18 am

    You the TAXPAYER is exceptionally STUIPD because you have done nothing to stop this. You bitch and complain all day long but you can not stand up and handle the idiots you voted in. You stupid TAXPAYERS deserve to be robbed by these smart sneaky people!! If you care than get up off your ass and have these bastards removed! It’s about that time for a change in School Board, City Government and County Government. Or do you want to continue your stupidity and let these smart sneaky people guzzle your money away??? Make a decision STUPID TAXPAYERS!!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

      It’s a whole lot easier to piss and moan!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 10, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Were you speaking your mind at the open forum? I think not.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 14, 2019 at 12:37 am

        You’re another dumb one…. the meeting was anoiumced the morning of the meeting… most did not even know about it. It was for 5:30 in god knows where place. Most did not even know about the meeting until it was over. Nice try

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2019 at 5:21 am

    Cut school funded activities and sports. Education first. The school is responsible for being in debt and letting this happen THEN THE SCHOOL NEEDS TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR FIXING IT AND MAKING PROPER CUTS TO THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Not the tax payers. Maybe if the school had to explain to their students why activities and sports HAD to be cut, face the consequences, maybe it wouldn’t happen again. They might think twice about stealing money that isn’t theirs to begin with.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 10, 2019 at 7:10 am

      That’s a great idea! Let’s punish of the students for something that a bunch of adults did!

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 10, 2019 at 7:48 am

        Here’s another great idea stupid. Let’s punish the taxpayer’s for what the school did.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 10, 2019 at 1:37 pm

          I agree with your point that the taxpayers should not be punished for what has happened either. With that being said your comments would be taken much more seriously if you did not stoop to name calling. Just a suggestion.
          In my opinion the administrators and teachers that got overpaid should pay all the money back, seems like the sensible thing to do.
          That way the correct individuals would be getting punished and neither of the students or the taxpayers would bear the burden.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 10, 2019 at 11:37 am

      The students would be better off if they sent them to outlaying districts. The taxpayers would be better off if the school closed for good. The city would be better of if a tornado wiped out the mall and music man square. The county would be better off they used another media like NIT instead of the Globe. Four problems solved.

  6. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 10, 2019 at 5:12 am

    No more money from tax payers. The school allowed criminal over spending. They need to deal with it. Wage freezes and cut activities and sports funded by school money. EDUCATION COMES FIRST. That should stir up an uprising in the community to require action be taken against these criminals and demand the money returned so activities and sports can once again be. SCHOOL IS PRETTY MUCH BANKRUPT which means IT makes CUTS or go under. Obviously any one who was involved or turned a blind eye DID NOT CARE ABOUT EDUCATION FOR THE CHILDREN, SPORTS OR IF THE SCHOOL WENT BELLY UP OR HAD TO CLOSE ITS DOORS. Asking tax payers for more money is even MORE criminal then what’s already been stolen. If wage increases get approved, any spending, and building takes place those people need to be individually investigated by the DCI ALSO.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2019 at 9:22 am

    I guess I don’t understand
    our (public servants) steal or piss away 2.2 million dollars, and me, the tax payer, can do nothing about it? Or recover it? Or ask somebody to be held responsible or thrown in jail?

  8. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2019 at 4:57 am


  9. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2019 at 9:03 am

    We request Mr. speaker that you file a lawsuit to get the stolen moneies back or bring in criminal charges. That money you damn well know will pay for these new expenditures.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2019 at 10:03 am

      They can’t bring about a civil suit against Micich because they already made a “backdoor dirty deal” that if she leaves they wouldn’t. Our only hope if for criminal charges with Micich.

      However, this doesn’t mean such deals were made with Jeffrey’s, Minear, Jumper, Siglin, and rest of her minions. Ask yourselves why won’t they go after any civil litigation? At the very best, it gives the appearance of much deeper corruption.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 8, 2019 at 1:59 pm

        The Deep State must have infiltrated Mason City. Call for a special counsel. Drain the swamp.

      • anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 8, 2019 at 2:02 pm

        You crybabies all thought that Jodi Draper was the city’s dream official when she ran for City Council and when she ran for the School Board. You were all for it when she said she would investigate and get answers. Now, you want her out. who is your new hero candidate? Got one?

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2019 at 6:01 pm

          Is honestly, integrity & accountability too much to ask for in today’s society?

          And, who wants Jodi Draper to leave? Can people not question the intentions of our local Board of Education?

          Apparently, I’m not the only one to question the actions of the MCCSD Board of Education with the state auditor’s noted final remark: “Finally, the report urged the board to “exercise due care” when making any decisions that would affect the school district as a whole.” State auditors don’t write statements such as this randomly.

          You better believe I will continue to question as should any other tax payers of Mason City. So if you don’t like what I write simply move on to the next comment.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 9, 2019 at 7:35 am

          No one that I know of wants Jodi out. She is the one who found out what Micich was doing and put a stop to it. She is the one person I would trust on the board to do the right thing. (I am not saying the others wouldn’t, I just don’t know them).

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 8, 2019 at 3:28 pm

        No one said the school board would not go after civil matters what they did say was it is now in the hands of the legal authorities, why cost us more money in lawsuits if the legal entities press charges? You can’t take money that is not yours if found guilty and not be required to pay it back. If it is deemed that there was no ill legal action then I guess the district board members will have decisions to make and count the cost to go after administration for repayment. However if they loose in a civil action, counter suits will be filed for damages and you as the tax payer will pay more. And then you will blog why the hell did they do that ? Why did they cost us more money? So hold your shorts, they have done this so far with out your help and got the money grubbing Superintendent out of our district and her top administrators. The board requested the first audit and the board requested the investigative audit, I think they got this and do not need your help with your rants. They have done more for our district than any other board. They are true public servants and I say job well done. And to Jodi Draper, you did it against the Globe saying you micro managed, saying you were a bully, and strong willed you did it and Thank you! Mr Thoma I think you owe a few Directors an apology for your rants with editorials you wrote to the Globe!

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 10, 2019 at 4:13 am

          No the school system “paid” Micich for her departure. Which you can call hush money for her to not expose the rest involved, in return no civil suit agreed to be filed. Which I believe can be court declared invalid given the criminal circumstances and agreement was also probably made why some under distress. You need a lawyer that will stand up and do this. Very few will rock the boat. But I guarantee in the end the criminals can be brought down and justice served. It would probably be rough but that lawyer if one is willing will win and likely make a hero name for him or her self in the end. You just have to find a lawyer with knowledge how and the guys to do it. BRING DOWN THE CRIMINALS RIPPING OFF THE CITIZENS. CITIZENS NEED TO MAKE A STAND AGAINST THE CITY AND SCHOOL CRIMINALS NOW OR THERE WILL BE NO CITY OR SCHOOL LEFT. Take your blinders off the school and city are pretty much done for and bankrupted right now as itt is.

          • Bodacious

            January 10, 2019 at 11:15 am

            I certainly hope the group who is trying to hold the present Board and its President responsible for this don’t get their way. Jodi is one of the best things to happen to this city. Her run proved that she was a viable candidate who was smart, dedicated and determined to make this town a better place. Her election to the school board was confirmation of those attributes.She knows what she is doing and she is the one who brought this fiasco to the public’s attention by doing things the legal and correct way. Changing is not easy and it is no wonder we don’t have more good people running for office because of a few very loud (and, for the most part, unintelligently) people who constantly criticize and second guess the ones who try. There is no ‘deep state’ in Mason City and I would guess the author was being sarcastic. There are only those people who genuinely care about Mason City and those who only care about themselves.

          • Bodacious

            January 10, 2019 at 11:19 am

            Two things – One, I meant to say in “her run for City Council…” and “intelligent” instead of intelligently.

  10. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2019 at 8:14 am

    its really just this simple
    Was there a crime?
    Can we get the money back?
    Anybody held responsible?
    I also heard some were underpaid and they are getting back payno
    So the tax payer gets double wacked?
    It was NO open forum

  11. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2019 at 6:04 am

    The people of Mason City are being robbed blind by the City and the School. Any more money or building is unethical at this point. There should only be talk of raise freezes, anyone who received “extra” money should willing return it, repeal the tax, and freeze any additional money or building. If the school board does not do all listed they all should be investigated by the DCI!! Seriously what the hell is wrong with these people, board members??? Most schools don’t have half the luxuries that Mason City Schools do already. You can’t keep bleeding turnips acting like this is a big city … it isn’t !!!!! They school board are criminals just the same. No one was at the meeting because of short notice and most work. Bad time scheduled. But other have by passed the school board al together and went above them to make sure that if ANY funding or building advancement is throughly investigated. Criminal over spending has taken place, there is no more money… everything should be froze, any wage increases, any building … EVERYTHING FROZE. Any sports are extracurricular and should be eliminated as funded by school funds. NIACC had to do away with some sports and go without due to limited funds so should any school in any area that can’t fund it. PERIOD!! EDUCATION COMES FIRST. MCHS NEEDS TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACT AND FINACIAL BOOKS. THE CITY BEING INVESTIGATED IS NEXT. Clean out these criminals now everywhere and I guarantee there will be money to grow… instead of line criminals pockets as the kids and whole city suffer and die off.

  12. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2019 at 4:17 am

    for one who was there, there wasn’t anyone there. probably due to poor letting of the meeting. notifying the public at 830 in the morning of the meeting that night was planned so that there would not be anyone there, well done MCCSD board

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2019 at 6:55 am

      They definitely know what they are doing with the lack of notification. And, furthermore, why hold the “open forum” in such a little space? Even worse for the board, in my view, is lack of public input. It’s a sign that people fear it’s all falling unto “deaf ears.” MCCSD Board of Ed has a lot of mending with the public to do. (Will they?) I bet they certainly didn’t bring up repealing the ISL and PPEL taxes. They know the tax payers have been mislead. Doing the “right thing” would have went way further in the public’s view regarding needing future monies. We already have beautiful schools, yet, few to teach our children. Sad.

  13. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2019 at 1:49 am

    Mason City is a joke. My god between the school board and the city council it’s embarassing

  14. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    MCschool board runs just like our city council=corrupted

  15. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 10:43 pm

    Get rid of the school bus the students to school dist that handle money well and have decent sports and vocal programs. MC school is a joke in the whole state.

  16. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    I would say the the students shouldn’t have to be the short -changed because of the actions of former Criminal Administration officials. And, it would be premature to make any decisions until the DCI have completed their investigation. If the actions of Micich and her minions are deemed crimes, then they should be prosecuted and required to return the money. If Jodi Draper hadnt connected the dots, this would still be under the radar. Whatever happens, Micich, Penca, Jeffrey, Berg, Anderson, etc. need to be held accountable to the fullest extent possible. Then, put further checks & balances in place, make sure our School Board Members are willing to do the tough stuff and cease being naive. Always err on the side of being suspicious, not paranoid…Many of the people that have committed these egregious actions were friends with former and some current Bd. Members. You have to have your eyes wide open, whether they be friends or family. Always do the right thing !!

  17. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    How could they possibly ask for more money after what has happened. The voters would never sign up for it. (I hope)

  18. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Maybe someone can also question why Administration is allowing two principals (same building) to take week long vacations over the next two weeks after just coming back from an extended break! Never heard of such a thing in middle of year.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2019 at 4:58 am

      who and what school?

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 8, 2019 at 3:35 pm

        Contact Superintendent. He should be able to answer your question as he was the one to approve the vacation I assume.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2019 at 7:56 am

      Why the hell do they have two principles anyway? There are way to many administrators in that system.

  19. Allen Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Unless your going to the meeting to speak your piece, all the comment here fall on deaf ears. See you at the meeting.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2019 at 9:24 pm

      Have I struck a cord? Whether someone can attend a meeting or not is irrelevant. As a MCCSD board member, Allen, you should be willing to listen through all different avenues. Sounds like you would like to limit online speech with your “deaf ears” comment.

      Perhaps, you need reminding that free speech is the foundation of a spirited democracy, and without it, other fundamental rights, such as the right to vote, would wither away.

      • Allen Reply Report comment

        January 8, 2019 at 7:55 am

        So, now tell me what your “online speech” has accomplished. Social media sites like this are just a place for people to come and complain about whats happening in their life, and do it anonymously. Most of the ten people or so that have commented are all like minded. They read about something, then jump on the bandwagon to offer their two cents. Social media sites are like the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Most posters come here to wail, and that’s as far as it goes. Now don’t get me wrong, when this story first broke, I was the first poster, and I stated, “If a crime has been committed, all those involved need to be charged”, and I still believe that.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2019 at 8:11 am

          You have got to be joking. Why would anyone waste their time going to that meeting (that was announced so late no one knew about it). You people have already made up your mind and would pay no attention to anything anyone says. You are just like the city council, a bunch of opinionated elites who are going to get what ever you want at other people’s expense. You set up a fake vote in a place that most people don’t have access to and then say the people voted something in. The school board always schedules their elections for winter when a lot of seniors can’t get out or are out of state so they can control the vote. You are a bunch of damn crooks raping the taxpayers.

          • Anonymous

            January 8, 2019 at 9:40 am

            “You people” and, ” Why would anyone waste their time going to that meeting” is exactly why things are the way they are.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2019 at 9:27 am

          If people who post online aren’t accomplishing anything then why would you be so bothered by the comments?

          When the corruption and special privileges for pets stop at MCCSD, then and only then, is when the good people of Mason City will have nothing negative to post about.

          Don’t be upset with people who are bringing things to light. Instead, look into it and do something about it.

          • Allen

            January 8, 2019 at 9:48 am

            In my original post, I just stated a fact, and you attacked it. Besides, what information, that wasn’t in the original article, has been brought to light? Just a bunch of whining, snarling, and gnashing of teeth is all I read.

          • Anonymous

            January 10, 2019 at 4:58 am

            Allen you seem unintelligent and ignorant in your post. Youm also seem to be unaware that this is a news feed, news site, online news paper for Mason City. These criminals and the lack of the rest of the board and ANYONE involved who profitted illegally or turned a blind eye is responsible for pretty much bankrupting the school. This is criminal of ALL and ANYONE involved …. criminal enough for the DCI TO INVESTIGATE THIS!! The school should NEVER be asking the tax payers to fund more money to the school. WHY WOULD THE SCHOOL EXPECT TAX PAYERS TO PAY MORE TO THE SCHOOL WHEN ITS JUST BEEN DISCLOSED THAT THE TAX PAYERS MONEY WAS ALL STOLEN BY THESE CRIMINALS AT THE SCHOOL, the ones running the school, teaching, and in charge?????? These people must have been doing this for decades to even not be aware how bad this is and how criminal it is. Any of these people that “got” extra money and have been determined to should basically refund and give back the money now. How do these people live with themselves?? Bankrupting the school?? Wage freezes and cut all extra activities and all school fined sports. EDUCATION FOR STUDENTS COMES FIRST!!! Sad but I’d activities and sports were cut there would definitely be a uprising against these criminals to be held accountable to return the money. Any board member voting for more funds from tax payers should also be investigated individually by the DCI ALSO.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2019 at 10:09 am

          You shouldn’t write something so negative about your wife’s appearance.
          —Mrs. Snaggletooth.

  20. NIT Publisher

    NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    I’ll go on the record right now. End this and all construction projects now. Do not build anything new until the Micich debacle is done and ended. Might take years – so what. Repeal the ISL and PPEL taxes NOW. Refund to taxpayers what was stolen. Make do with what you have until the District is straightened out.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm

      Matt, the MCCSD Board of Ed will NOT do the “right thing”. They’ll keep crying “we bad but funding is so needed” all the while planning for bigger and better gyms w/ pools. Even with declining enrollment. All luxury items while our kids continue to do without the much needed daily support staff.

      I find tonight agenda insulting to the tax payers of Mason City. ——Appalling

      On the upside, maybe they will have clowns make balloons animals at the meeting.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 7, 2019 at 3:27 pm

        So, are you going to be there to voice your displeasure or will you be at the bar as usual.

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 7, 2019 at 3:50 pm

          For the record, I don’t go & hang out at any bar. Not so
          sure about some of the Board of Education though… I’m sure tonight will be standing room only and the board will choose who gets to speak. It’s not an open forum my good lackey lad. Tonight is for showboating only.

          • anonymous

            January 7, 2019 at 5:31 pm

            So, you aren’t going. Lots of bitching but no action.

          • Anonymous

            January 7, 2019 at 9:34 pm

            Re: “So you aren’t going” please see my response to Allen.
            N.B., Same applies

          • Anonymous

            January 8, 2019 at 12:29 pm

            So now I see that you are attacking allen’s family. It figures!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Amen Matt kick some butt in there, They reall need to pay back the $$$$$

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2019 at 6:38 pm

      Lizard people strike again!

  21. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    I will bet they have a cop at the door and only let in so many but have fun and give em hell Matt. If you can video tape it so we can hear the air sucked out of they liars.

  22. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    The bigger picture I am seeing from the MCCSD Board of Ed, is that they don’t plan to spend much time listening to public input regarding Micich’s reign of terror. Instead, they plan to look into spending even more tax payers money. How about the MCCSD Board of a Education “do the right thing” and vote to repeal the taxes that were brought about under false pretenses?

  23. IowaBoy Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    The time to build a nerw pool should have been when they did Lincoln/Roosevelt…they had the land and opportunity but would NOT listen to public input, as usual. This pool could have been used for meets and other pool for gym class and team practices, giving us a pool at BOTH schools. As for the ILLEGAL thefts, all should be paid back plus interest/fines AND charges should be filed, just as in the private business. For example, Dental offices mgr, steals and gets fines and jail time.

  24. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Maintaining the swimming pool is an expensive proposition. I swam in that pool when I was in junior and senior high school. It is old and I am sure that keeping it running is expensive. As far as members of the swim team, I am pretty sure its numbers are close to 80 or more when combining both men’s and women’s teams. Swimming is a great life-long activity. A new pool could be used for family nights and it could be used for lessons during the school year. Willis Colville, Steve Hugo and the present coaches have built a respected and admired team in the state of Iowa. I would like to see those who improperly benefitted from Micich’s questionable pay tactics reimburse the school but that isn’t going to happen. Move ahead and fund the new pool.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      Wow! A lot said in a little space. Too bad, we won’t ask for the money back, and haha f – – – – you tax payers! Now give me a new pool…….

      Guess what? There is an Olympic size swimming pool at the local Y. Much more cost effective. We need smaller class sizes for our students, the needs of our kids should come first, not a luxury pool.

      • just saying Reply Report comment

        January 7, 2019 at 4:17 pm

        swimming should be a club sport and paid for by those that participate, just like hockey. NOT a school activity,

        • Anonymous Reply Report comment

          January 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm

          What is different about Swimming and Hockey that they should be club sports and not supported by school like other sports??

          • Anonymous

            January 7, 2019 at 4:55 pm

            All sports should be club sports. Its time for people to go without. How long can these projects go on before there is nothing left? The towns tax payers are dwindling.

  25. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Hey I know you’re upset about mismanagement of money, but we need more money for things that are extras. Things that do not benefit the EDUCATION of the communities students. Sports have taken over the schools systems. Actually learning something that will benefit you in the work force has been given a back seat for high dollar stadiums, and sports equipment. My taxes keep going up because the school system can’t say no to using what is already available. How much money comes in from swimming events? Come on, lets be realistic. A new gym might be useful for multiple things, a new pool is an expense that doesn’t make sense. Swim team has how many active members? What else could the pool be used for? Maybe public swim nights for a fee? We keep spending like we have money coming out of thin air.