First Council Meeting of 2015 brings long public comment period

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Mesquite Police Chief Troy Tanner presents Lori Todd and Mike Bennett with awards for their roles in saving a child’s life on December 15, 2014. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Tuesday night’s meeting brought more media attention than normal, as Chief Troy Tanner presented the incident from December 15, 2014 in which Officer Quinn Averett saved a young boy’s life. Averett, who was off-duty and on his way home at the time of the emergency call, arrived on scene just over a minute from the time the call came in. Thanks to the collaborative effort by Officer Averett and dispatchers Lori Todd and Mike Bennett, a life was saved that night. All three were awarded Tuesday night and received a standing ovation for their efforts.

“I commend Officer Averett for going above and beyond and stopping to deal with an unknown [that night],” said Tanner. “Had he chosen not to respond that night, things could have turned extremely different.”

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Chief Troy Tanner presents Officer Quinn Averett with the Life Saving Award, one of the highest awards in Law Enforcement. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Averett was awarded a Life Saving Award, one of the highest honors in Law Enforcement.

The meeting carried on afterwards with reports from Belinda Guglielmo about the C.E.R.T. program, which is gearing up to supply residents with free changes of batteries for smoke detectors. Fire Chief Kash Christopher, and Firefighter Spencer Lewis, about their Vial of Life program in Mesquite. Thanks to the donation of 4000 pill bottles from Smith’s Food & Drug Store in Mesquite, the program has given out over 800 bundles. Essentially, the package is meant to make it easier for EMS and emergency staff to quickly find all needed information if a patient is incapacitated. A form is provided for the patient to list their medical information, placed inside the pill bottle, and then placed in the refrigerator where it can be found easily. Then, a sticker provided is placed in your window closest to your front door. Vial of Life packages can be found at the Fire Department and at other locations throughout Mesquite, including Smith’s Pharmacy.

As public comment continued, the community was informed by Kathy Bussman, a representative with Kids for Sports, that the tournament at Wolf Creek Golf Course this weekend has been sold out and all sponsor spaces were sold out as well, all within two weeks of announcing the event. This is the first year for the organization, spearheaded by Corey and Chad Clementson, owners of Wolf Creek.

Volunteer police coordinator, Don Woodmancy, also gave his quarterly report for the department, which has saved the city over $121,000 in volunteer police hours. Full details of his report can be found below.

After several other public comments, the council was finally able to get back to their agenda items, just 42 minutes later.

Councilman Kraig Hafen motioned to move an item up in the agenda, which passed. The said item happened to be the approval of the appointment of Robert “Bob” Sweetin to the position of City Attorney. Based on the reaction from the council, Sweetin will be a good fit to the ever-changing face of our city government, “a breath of fresh air,” as some council stated.

Sweetin will be taking over the full duties, as he has over the past few months with the retirement of former City Attorney Cheryl Hunt, of both the City Attorney and the Deputy City Attorney, which were both full time positions. Doing so will actually save nearly a half million dollars by Sweetin’s six-year employment mark.

Council then approved Resolution 844, which would allow Aaron Baker, the city’s Liaison, to form an ad-hoc committee to study city-sponsored economic development incentives and other matters related to it. More information on what this will entail will be released from the city in the next week or so, and interested residents will need to apply to voice their interest in being part of the committee.

Finally, council approved Special Event Permit No. 14-39 for a 3-stage bicycle race that will be set up on April 11 and 12 to coincide with the Senior Games. This will be Mesquite’s first event of its kind.

After a lengthy conversation with Dirk Cowley, with Race Day Event Management, council seemed optimistic about the event, although it would close off a small area of down town. However, all affected residents and businesses will be able to come and go as needed with little interruption. “From my experience,” said Cowley, “We could get them in and out within a one to two minute waiting period. It’s not going to be a big hassle.”

The proposed race will not cost the city any money, either, as Race Day will be providing the barricades and will pay for all staff needed to provide security on site. Safety, Cowley said, is their number one priority for both the bicyclists and the community.

The next meeting for City Council will be Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 5 p.m. at City Hall. After a short agenda, Mayor Al Litman will be presenting his State of the City Address.

Volunteer Police Statistics for 2014:

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