Looking from the Outside In

Over the years in doing business in North Iowa, I have found that people who have done very little traveling as well as little in-depth reading, are more dismissive about changes in their lives as well as their communities. They seem to have the mindset of, “This is how it’s been, this is how it is, and this is how it will be.” Scary isn’t it? The world continues to change along with countries, states and communities. When we even have people who have done business in our communities being dismissive about change, it causes me to consider them nothing more than opportunist in wanting it all. There appears to be no sense of wanting the best for everyone beyond themselves.

I was fortunate in having the opportunity to spend some time today with a visitor from out of state who understands much about growing business. The comments from that person about the appearance of downtown Mason City and the possibilities for future growth were well received. I spoke about how far we have already come in just three years. I remember too well the condition of my office building as well as the condition of North Federal Avenue. Time and time again during these past three years I have continued to be a proponent of what good things the future of our historic district will offer as long as we continue on the upper path of growth. I will never forget the day several years ago when a person whom I will not name, who is well known in this city coming up to me and saying, “I don’t know why you are wasting your time trying to get business back downtown. This downtown will never get better. It will continue to get worse and worse.” I was deeply hurt by those words coming from a man who lived here nearly all his life. Just one example of the negative back wash that we must continue to overcome.

The meeting with a person who is an outsider looking in, gave me a real boost in my belief that downtown Mason City will blossom.

Joe Chodur

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