MASON CITY — The candidates of the only contested race on the ballot for Mason City’s City Council discussed their biggest concerns during a program on AM-1300 KGLO earlier today. Tom Thoma is finishing up his first term on the council in one of the two at-large seats and is being challenged by Troy Levenhagen, who has served the last six years on the city’s Park Board and is currently its chairman.
Thoma says while city government has accomplished a number of things during his term on the council, there are a number of issues the city still needs to address. “Continue to work on the downtown, the infrastructure, the new sewer inspection program. Flood relief — that was a big one. We did Eastbrooke, we did the north part of town, and we have another three areas in town that are begging to be looked at, so we’re going to try to work on them a little bit. Dam mitigation on the Winnebago River, so we can have better fishing.”
Levenhagen says he wants to continue his service to the community on the City Council. “I feel we did a good job on the Park Board. I want to take it to the next step now. I want to start getting involved in making some good decisions with the taxpayers’ hard-earned money, and I want to start doing some decision making that can really help the citizens of Mason City.”
One of the most talked about issues in the community has been the delayed construction of the hotel that’s part of the River City Renaissance project. Levenhagen questions why work on the skywalk that would connect Music Man Square with the hotel has started when dirt hasn’t been turned on the hotel project. “We just started a $2.5 million skywalk before the hotel is here, so I would have questioned that. Now I think if the hotel was here, and there was a need for it, which there very well could be, I would have waited until the hotel is done and the convention center is done, and then that skywalk would have been good, because you have people from a convention center, people staying overnight, walking over to Music Man Square. Maybe that was good, but why put $2.5 million of taxpayers dollars into a skywalk until the hotel is being started?”
Thoma says despite the project taking way longer than everybody has wanted, he has confidence in the plan the city is carrying out with the project. “Aaron Burnett, the city administrator, he tells why and what to expect next, and what they are working on. I am positive, I think we’re going to get it done. A gentleman wrote me a letter and he had five questions that he wanted answered. He said ‘it looks like you are very positive about the hotel project’ and I said yes I am more positive, way more positive than negative, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I wish it would happen tomorrow instead of taking more time the way it looks right now.”
You can listen back to the full interviews with Thoma and Levenhagen by clicking on the audio players below
= Interview with Tom Thoma
= Interview with Troy Levenhagen