My husband and I moved to Mason City in 1993, leaving behind all family in St. Louis in a move that was intended to be a career stepping-stone. We chose to stay and raise our family here because of the quality schools, the fine arts, the great medical community, and the great park system, just to name a few. It has been a fantastic place to raise our family, but sadly, in the current state of the city, I don’t see any of our children returning.

My husband and I recently spent a weekend in Duluth. There were no vacancies for lodging. When we asked why, the hotel clerk informed us that it was the first hockey tournament of the season.

As I was doing some research on Wikipedia about the history of Duluth, I came across the following paragraph: “With the decline of the city's industrial core, the local economic focus gradually shifted to tourism. The downtown area was renovated to emphasize its pedestrian character: streets were paved with red brick; and skywalks and retail shops were added. The city and developers used the unique architectural character, converting old warehouses along the waterfront into cafés, shops, restaurants, and hotels. These changes developed the new Canal Park as a trendy tourism-oriented district. The city's population, which had been declining since 1960, has stabilized at around 85,000.”

We enjoyed browsing in quaint shops, ate at some top-notch restaurants and explored the city. The town was alive with people of all ages actually. Such vibrancy in a community is a breath of fresh air. Please don’t waste this opportunity to revitalize Mason City. Please vote yes. In the future when I read Wikipedia, I hope I am able to read a similar paragraph about Mason City, Iowa.

Barbara Scherder-Goetz, Mason City