Hand-picking her Own

With these above freezing days, I’m hoping everyone is still enjoying the outdoors as much as possible because we’re entering that time of the year when it can turn ugly in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to go for a walk in the Downtown today, I had to stay close to my office due to a number of phone calls I was expecting regarding several transactions I’ve been working at getting readied for their closings. Not to worry, the front windows of my office are large enough to where they continually provide me a “living canvas” of our cityscape.

I’m still grinding away at getting a sale put together which is growing closer by the day. I’ll be meeting with the buyers on either Thursday or Friday of this week so they can have another good viewing of the home they’re looking to purchase. I’ve been putting out as much positive energy on having that under contract because it’s long-overdue having a sold sign placed in its yard.

After a long seven days since the first of the month, I forced myself to make time to get my office accounts balanced and all bills paid including the extras which were those yearly ones which arrive in late November. With such a tight time frame to get it done, I thanked my lucky stars that all my accounts balanced right-off. Some of those bills I get don’t have return envelopes with them which greatly annoys me and likely due to how cheap some companies have grown. I still believe it’s a courteous business practice to provide at least return envelopes for people receiving something that has to be returned. I personally don’t recall ever sending anything out for necessary signatures without including a stamped return envelope. Oh well, I guess those old business practices are slowing fading away. I’d personally pay 50 cents more on my water bill every month if our City would provide one. We’ll see.

I received a phone call today from an old client who’s now made the decision to get a home he owns listed which is located out of town. I did a walk-thru on it several months ago, and thankfully I made enough notes to where that’s all I’ll need to do is prepare the listing documents for signatures. It’s a charming home which should sell because it’s in a lower price range which most can afford. Hopefully he’ll call with the day and time we can get together.

Without a doubt, my bank of listings has diminished to where I’ll have to really start beating the bushes for new clients come January, but what I really don’t want to see getting started, are those toxic foreclosures which may be soon showing up if we should hit an economic bump in our road.

When speaking to a dear one some days ago, I mentioned the fact that more people in their retirement years are moving to North Iowa, and especially Mason City. After giving her enough examples of such sales in recent years, she asked if I’d mentioned anything to the “powers that be” in our City. I had to admit I hadn’t because over the years, what few times I’ve tried to share my opinions regarding things that should or shouldn’t be done, they’d either pay me only lip-service or allow them to fall on their deaf ears. What I’ll never understand, is how some in certain positions who’re supposed to be wanting the best for all in our community, find ways to stifle growth or plug themselves into silly projects which do nothing for the promotion of sustainable growth in our City.

My biggest pet peeve is knowing how much money has been thrown down a rat hole with our dinosaur of a Music Man Square. How many times do they have be told, “It’s stone-cold dead, so leave it alone!”? Of course that build-out was the brain-child of Karl Miller who managed to get far the many to drink his “Kool-aid” so they too would be his flock of believers. I’m still waiting for the day for the Music Man Foundation to finally pull the plug on their yearly fundings. If I were on the board of that foundation, I would’ve convinced them to permanently turn that financially toxic tap off years ago.

If our City is going to prosper, we absolutely must start focusing on all those millions of people in our U.S. of A. who’re looking for cheaper housing, less freeway traffic, good health care systems, and more elder-friendly environments. I don’t profess to be an expert on demographic trends, but I can say I’ve worked with enough of them to where I do know what types of “golden pond” lifestyles they prefer. Just think about it.

Another possible area for our City’s growth, would be a city-wide build-out of fiber optic which would certainly attract our young “remote” workers. I don’t even want to count how many times our City has lost young buyers due to our not offering residential fiber optic internet. It’s an over-due time for us to remove that strangle-hold yoke Mediacom has on our community because they’re limiting our opportunities for growth. And since I’m on my soapbox, the tribal mentalities of those who “think” they know what’s best for our City, had best start surveying our concerned residents and business owners as to what they believe is best for our community. Now really, wouldn’t you rather get some honest insights from those who’re out in their “ditches” on a daily basis?

When speaking to a gentleman several days about some past hard-learned lessons I’d learned over these long years, I gave an example of how tribalism works in our community by saying, “Once upon a time I was asked to sit on a prominent public board which I gladly accepted because that person knew how much that “entity” meant to me, but wouldn’t you know, one of their monied “thumb-twisting” board members ended up hand-picking her own for that seat.” I told him that was when I fully understood how most board selections work in our community of which I would never again allow myself to be insulted in such a fashion. I’ve certainly forgiven, but have never forgotten.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Discontent is the first necessity of progress.

Joe Chodur

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