BY: RACHEL SMITH
I never thought I’d enjoy Lake Leadership days so much. Seriously! I mean, on paper one might think it would be boring, or long, or completely uninteresting. And maybe it’s because we’ve got such a fun group of people, but it’s really an amazing experience and I’m so glad I’m a part of it.
So February was City and County day. We started off with a chilly trolley ride (I’m SO over this winter business…) to the Cerro Gordo courthouse in Mason City. There, we met with County Supervisor Tim Latham and Sandy Shonka from the Auditors office, who gave us an incredibly interesting presentation about budgets, taxes, and random information from year to year in the county.
Then, we toured the area that used to be the jail. It was very eye-opening to see how crammed they used to be in that small space!
Our next stop for the day was to meet with Steve O’Neill, and learn about the Emergency Management System in Cerro Gordo County.
Holy… just… wow. By the time we got back on the trolley, I think most of us were forming disaster plans in our minds; plotting what we would do to prepare for both a natural disaster, or an act of terrorism.
From there, we headed over to see the new law enforcement center. We had an information session where we learned all about the facility, the different ways an inmate can be restrained with handcuffs, and how a Taser works. Yes, I jumped a few times when that thing crackled. Note to self: next time don’t sit in the front. Every time it made a noise I thought it was going to zap me!! We then toured the facility, which is an incredible improvement from what we saw earlier at the Courthouse.
Still, it’s no Ritz Carlton, and I hope I never have to go there!
After a stop for lunch at the OP, we visited City Hall in Clear Lake, where Mayor Nelson Crabb spoke with us about new projects and adventures of the City. He also gave us a bit of background on his life and how he came to live in Clear Lake and then become Mayor. Even though we were fighting off a food coma with bellies full of delicious OP food, it was entertaining and really quite interesting!
A tour of the police station followed, where Tera Kappmeyer showed us what goes on inside the world of dispatch. We also got to check out where the boys in blue bring people in before they’re taken to the law enforcement facility.
We then walked across the street to the Fire Station. I’m sure many of you have been there for their fantastic pancake feed in October, but getting a behind-the-scenes look at the entire place was pretty awesome. We heard the grand tale of retrieving the 9/11 Memorial Steele and how it came to be located in front of our Fire Station.
Although I really wanted to slide down that pole, we used the stairs to get into the main garage and check out the fire trucks and the boat.
With just a few moments left for the day, we ventured across the way to the fire museum. Now, this is a place, young or old, you MUST visit in Clear Lake. The photos, the history, the memorabilia… it’s all just amazing. I know I can be a giant sap at times, but I was literally choked up as I looked around at all the amazing stuff in there!
So that’s it in a nutshell; February class is in the books. I believe March is Agriculture Day and I’m sure it’ll be fantastic!