I've lived in the area most of my life, though not in Mason City, so I don't pay taxes to the city.

When I was a kid in 1960, the population of Mason City was 30,642, and in 2010, the population was 28,079. That is more than 8 percent decline; lack of jobs to hold the youth may be part of the problem.

Maybe Mason City should work harder at job opportunities instead of ice arenas and big hotels. I've never had the urge to move to a city because it had a nice hotel or a great skating rink.

If you can grow the population and production, you increase the tax base, and it all filters through the system.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota was 65,466 in 1960, and is 174,360 in 2016, as a comparison. I'm just saying maybe Mason City should be looking at what makes them successful and let Mason City succeed. And then the hotels and ice arenas would follow.

Charles Conroy, Clear Lake

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