Go Out and Patronize

Oh how wonderful it was to see the sun shining today! I was beginning to think Mother Nature placed some sort of rain curse on us for something we did or didn’t do. I couldn’t believe how high the Winnebago River was when driving over Carolina Bridge this morning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed in hopes we’re not going to get the predicted rain this week, because if we do, I’m afraid our ground is going to be so saturated that the farmers won’t be able to get their soybeans and corn out of their fields.

My entire morning was spent working at cleaning up a mess a couple had made which makes me exceptionally angry when knowing that they were the ones that created it. Several times I thought to myself that all the more of our young ones are more like hybridized monkeys that can walk, talk, and play on their smart phones and computers, but have no concept of cleaning up after themselves. Oh well, it was just another morning I offered up as a reminder of how lazy some of our young have become.
I once again blame their parents just as much as I do them because they should’ve been taught a few basic disciplines.

Most of my afternoon was spent working real estate where I was busy opening up a home I sold to some buyers so they could get a few measurements, and then I was back out showing several homes to a couple I’ve known for a number of years. I think they’ve found something they like, and hopefully they’ll get it bought before someone else snags it. Now that winter is around the corner, I’m finding all that much more immediacy with some buyers wanting to get into a new home before our weather gets bad.

The last appointment of my day, was to go over and open up The Lady Bug Restaurant in Clear Lake for another Realtor who had some buyers he wanted to show it to. Since I had to wait until they came and left so I could lock it back up, I found that I’d been over there for over an hour. They appeared interested, so we’ll see what comes of it. I’ll be ecstatic if we can get that sold before winter. As far as I’m concerned, that near one acre parcel that’s zoned highway commercial, is one heck of a buy for the right investor.

Just yesterday I spent a little time researching commercial sales this past 12 months. It was interesting to find how some of them seemed to have under-sold, while others having over-sold. As far as I’m concerned, there are far too many vacant commercial and industrial properties in Mason City.

This all goes back to the demographics of our City to where I still believe we don’t have a strong enough head count of people who have greater disposable incomes where they can go out and patronize our local merchants. Considering how many households there are in Mason City that are on Section 8 Housing and/or Disability, their spending power is much more limited than those who’re gainfully employed at jobs with higher hourly rates and salaries.

It would be interesting to find out exactly how many households there are in our City that are currently under Section 8 Housing, because I have a “feeling” there are far more than we would’ve ever thought. When you look at the number of Section 8 housing recipients, the number of North Iowa Transition Center residents, and also the One Vision residents, that’s a large number of units that have residents in them with exceptionally limited powers to spend money on what used to be called “luxuries”. Now keep in mind, luxury spending would be considered any and all things that are not the basics like sustenance and shelter.

The only reason I’m mentioning these things, is that we as a community must be very careful when making development plans based on our population “head count”, because we absolutely cannot make such broad judgement calls on such a basis.

As I’ve said likely a dozen times, I really do want to see Mason City and North Iowa prosper, but we must take into consideration our current demographics. I’d rather see a community-wide survey of current incomes and over-all spending powers. I’m afraid there are far more people residing here that are living from paycheck to paycheck, and that frightens me.

Tonight’s one-liner is: Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial “we”.

Joe Chodur

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