Oskaloosa mayor denies making comments about business owner
by Dennis Sharkey
Oskaloosa Mayor Mike Paavola says that claims made by a local businessman are not true.
Paavola took issue with a statement in the June 14 Independent where businessman Jim Schonherr accused Paavola of telling him that he was finished in Oskaloosa as a businessman.
“I do not feel that way and I did not make that comment,” Paavola said at last week’s city council meeting on June 28.
Schonherr, who owns a storage unit, a pawn shop and Jim’s Tow and Tire Service, said Paavola called him after Schonherr made some complaints about businesses in the county not in compliance with regulations to the county planning and zoning department.
Both men have admitted that the phone conversation was heated and that a following meeting at Paavola’s business was also heated.
A complaint was made against a tow service that Paavola operates in Jefferson County. County Planning and Zoning Director Bill Noll said Paavola came into compliance within a day of the complaint being filed.
During the June 7 meeting Paavola raised an issue with the rest of the council about Schonherr’s businesses not being in compliance and asked for an investigation into the matter.
City Zoning Administrator Danny Dodge investigated Schonherr’s businesses and he was notified of three violations to his conditional use permits.
Schonherr said he was told that the violations included a light that needed to be fixed, issues with the security of the tow lot gate and the length of time that cars were being stored in the lot.
Paavola indicated at the June 7 meeting that his reasons for filing the complaint against Schonherr were personal.
Schonherr attended last week’s meeting and requested that Paavola leave the meeting so that he could discuss the issue with the rest of the council. He said that request was denied by City Attorney Mike Hayes.
Paavola did not leave the meeting. Before Schonherr left the meeting he told the council he would be back.
On Monday Schonherr told the Independent that he would seek legal council but was not sure exactly what direction he would be going with the issue.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Schonherr said. “It’s just a big mess.”
Schonherr said since the meeting he has experienced vandalism at the shop and the storage units. He said several car windows were broken out, many of which are not his.
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