Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor:

In your paper dated April 16, 2016 you announced the candidate’s forum on May 7, 2016. Jeff Powell will serve as moderator with panelists MLN Editor Barbara Ellestad, Ken Cook and Karen Beardsley asking about local issues. I find this dishearting to have Mr. Cook as a panelist after his remarks about Mesquite in your paper dated March 25, 2016 and I quote:

“In an email statement to the Mesquite Local News, Cook said “This is to confirm the fact that I have decided to withdraw from the Mayoral election. After evaluating the pro’s and con’s of being Mayor with a number of prominent local residents and some City staff, reviewing the City audited financials, hearing about pending litigation, and speaking with leaders of major organizations outside of Mesquite, I have concluded that the lack of leadership, vision and progress of the current administration has caused Mesquite to be at least 10 years away from developing into a well-balanced, thriving and respected community.

“Given my personal time horizon, and after having already given many years of volunteer time and personal expense to the community, I concluded that it’s time to move on to a town that has made better progress. Therefore, I am not only withdrawing from the mayoral race, but I am also withdrawing from Mesquite.”

So with someone this disenfranchised with Mesquite, why would you have him as a panelist?


Julie Stoltz



Ms. Stoltz,

I chose to have Ken Cook as a panelist in the upcoming MLN candidate forum because his past involvement in various activities and organizations throughout the city give him insight into problems and situations potential council members will face if elected. Part of the reason I chose him was directly based on his observations and opinions of financials, litigation, lack of leadership, vision, and progress. I wanted someone on the panel who will ask really hard questions from a base of experience and not easy, simple ones that candidates can dance around.

I hope to see you and many others on May 9 at the Eureka Town Square beginning at 5 p.m.

Thank you,

Barbara Ellestad

Editor, Mesquite Local News


  1. Yoli Bell says:

    In reality, candidates dance around questions due to the fact that they are not in a position to speak, in length, about topics they have little information on (they haven’t worked for the city). I am so tired of candidates being put in a position that makes them appear incompetent when issues they are asked about are, at times, go back countless years. To focus on problems that scratch the surface only serves to rile the public and often ALL THE FACTS are not presented. Also, Ken failed to expound on the reality that Mesquite may be 10 years behind the times, but 8 of those 10 years we, like so many small and large cities, have been struggling in a recession – why is he on the panel if he didn’t grasp this problem and, did Ken not care or see that businesses, too, would be affected by his comments? Again, why is he on the panel? He may have some knowledge on some issues, but I seriously doubt he got it all on his own, by doing extensive research going through minutes and other records at City Hall. I hear complaints from many – where are the solutions? One of the key questions by the panel should focus on what each candidate has contributed to our community that makes they feel qualified to be on the Mesquite City Council. Have they had extensive involvement in council meetings and key issues? Issues that do not effect a small group by the whole city?

  2. Herb Calhoun says:

    Seems to me that someone withdrawing from Mesquite would have no meaningful questions to ask. Mr. Cook, by his choice to withdraw from Mesquite, shows he has no interest in our community. Very poor choice.

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