From the Mayor

In response to a front page article August 7,  in the Review Journal on Mesquite stating that the recent influx of people as new residents is altering the local ambience, I would like to make my comments regarding the story and set the record straight on some of the information provided, and the misconceptions readers might get about Mesquite, Nevada.

The article hints that we have come of age with a Starbucks and a Wal-Mart, along with some other fast food establishments. Starbucks has been here for years with the same location in a casino. Wal-Mart has been here about eight or nine years. The billboard with the Starbucks sign is nowhere near a, “sea of tile roofs” as stated in the article.

Yes, we experienced growth from 2011 through 2016, and continue growing at a moderate pace, nothing exceptional, but manageable. The author lists our population at 17,900 according to the census. It’s actually around 20,000 not counting seasonal residents of about 3500.

The article goes on to tell us we are,” largely lacking traffic signals and other fixings of a proper city. I don’t know what he means by fixings, but we have plenty of traffic signals and several more planned. I personally don’t find us lacking much here. We are quite balanced for a city our size.

It is a well-known fact that a city that does not have growth will become stagnant and die. It’s happened all over rural America. Of course, there are some that don’t want any growth, but they are mostly elderly, no longer working, and contribute little. Our younger population deserves more as so many see Mesquite as their future. It’s interesting though because those who tell me they don’t want growth complain that we don’t’ have enough business and available services. You can’t have one without the other. You need a customer base large enough for success.

Projecting ahead is always difficult, but the experts tell me we have adequate water for a population of somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000 residents. If we continue to grow around the same average pace of the past decade, we won’t max out for many years to come.

So the question is, are we a “Little Vegas”? I would say no in every measure of a city. Las Vegas is an exciting major city with a population, if you consider Henderson and North Las Vegas, of nearly 2.2 million. Take out Henderson and North Las Vegas and you still have around 1.5 million. They have the traffic, crime, pollution and all the ills of major cities. We don’t compare or want to.

The lady, quoted in the article, that wants to move her family of nine children to Windsor, California will need all the luck she can get. The median home price in Windsor is about five hundred thousand dollars, taxes, out of control and being only nine miles from Santa Rosa and sixty-three miles from San Francisco, well, just imagine the traffic.

So back to, “little Vegas” Having a few casinos does not make us a, ”little Vegas”. If it does, it’s the smallest version I have ever seen. Yes, the Casa Blanca Resort advertises itself with the slogan, “Just like Vegas used to be”. They are promoting what Las Vegas actually used to be, a place to visit without the stress, crime, traffic and pollution of the big city. In other words, a nice place to visit. I certainly don’t believe they are comparing us to the big city.

Allan S. Litman, Mayor of Mesquite, Nevada


  1. Excellent op-ed Mayor Litman! I agree with you 100% We have some great businesses in town, solid city government, an infrastructure ahead of its current population, and several non-profit groups that model that of a much larger city. there is a lot of passion in and for this community that you will not find in many other communities.

    • Ron Kiima says:

      Well said Mayor. As a former resident of Sandpoint, ID for six years (small mountains & lakes resort town), we had the same ongoing battle between those favoring selective measured growth largely benefiting the masses and those, typically oldtimers, obstructing any progress whatsoever (even paving dirt roads). There’s an old saying about what happens to statues in a park (think birds). The same happens to stagnant towns and cities!!! The occasional addition of a Wendy’s or a Home Depot will not destroy the ambience of Mesquite with smart zoning. Just keep on top of the crime (and restrain the temptation of excessive traffic lights) and I think we’ll be just fine for the foreseeable future.

  2. Wayne Andreola says:

    A single ride down mesquite Boulevard to Sandhill to Pioneer and back on the highway , no bridge , no Walmart , my wife turn to be in said I think this is it ! In 2010 we became permanent residence with plenty of clean streets clean air and for the most part friendly people .

  3. Bryan Baird says:

    Well said Mayor! The article had many incorrect statements. And as for Starbucks, during the economic boon of the mid 2000″s, Mesquite had four of them! One at the V.R., the Oasis and the Casa. As well as a stand alone! You talk about over kill.

  4. Barbara Tapscott says:

    My husband and I are new residents of Mesquite Nevada having moved here after retirement from Southern California. We fell in love with the views, clean air, mostly friendly people, and fewer Taxes. We do not consider this a little Vegas. Mesquite is nothing like the large cities we were familiar with Like Los Angeles, San Diego, or Vegas. It would be nice if we could keep our dollars in Mesquite and not have to travel to St. George or to Vegas for resources, however the city is so nice that if that is the trade off then so be it. We appreciate the fact that the city government is looking towards the future and dealing with issues such as water usage and infrastructure. We are looking forward to many happy years living here.

  5. Steve Clutterham says:

    Great response Mr. Mayor. I felt pretty much the same way when I read the article and was wondering exactly what the writers motivation was. We have lived here for 9 years now and it is certainly our forever home. Never again will we endure the traffic, violence and pace of a big city again. Nearly half a century of L.A. was more than enough for me. While we may miss some of our family, and friends, Mesquite is our home now.

  6. Michael Stilley says:

    Thank you Mayor Litman. While it might be nice to be recognized by the Review Journal, the writer has little or no conception of what a pleasant city this is. Yes it would be nice to have a Macy’s or a Kohls or all the other trappings of a big city. But, we can go to St. George for all of these. I lived in Denver for quite a few years and I had to drive almost as many miles for these stores through horrendous traffic, stop lights, etc. What a pleasant change of pace Mesquite is.

    I have only one question for the author: How many stabbings, shootings, killings, pedestrian deaths, auto accidents, etc. do we have compared to Las Vegas? I don’t blame the author for wanting to move but, California? Good luck.

  7. Paul Villanueva says:

    For me, there is no other place I would want to live. I absolutely love Mesquite.

  8. Harold White says:

    Unfortunate that you believe the town will become stagnant without growth. Moved here for the peace of a 5 car rush hour. The town will grow without being pushed or encouraged to become a “little vegas”.

    • Al Litman says:

      Mr. White,
      It’s not just what I believe, it’s what happens period. I’m not looking for fast or uncontrolled growth, but a very moderate increase in population with new young people moving in as our employment base grows. Someone needs to provide the necessary services for those who are retired here. A city cannot survive with only people my age being residents. With less than 200 kids graduating HS here yearly, I believe you can see what could happen to our population.

  9. Doug Morgan says:

    We agree with the mayor. We moved to Mesquite in June to retire. We were drawn here because of the small town and low crime rate, not to mention the warm weather year round. We grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, WA. The community planned for growth and put in the infrastructure that Mesquite has done ahead of growth. The slow but steady growth will continue to make this a destination many will want to live in.

    Doug and Joyce Morgan
    Sun City permanent residents

    • My husband and I are thinking of moving to sun city from Los Angeles. We hate California’s taxes, government, traffic, etc. We just don’t know if it would be a good place for us. We are both retired and want to stay active. Are you happy with sun city?

  10. Burton Weast says:

    Whatever happened to the days when an article would have at least a couple of accurate facts. The author had already written the slant before he arrived in town, and it shows. We love Mesquite and as Terri said we have wonderful volunteer groups and an amazing spirit in our town, and 85 miles is as close to Vegas as I every want to get. Good job Mayor Al.

  11. Thank you Mayor Litman. This needed to be said and you are the correct person to say it. I hope you sent it to the RJ

    • Al Litman says:

      I sent it and as of this morning, nothing. I guess that’s typical of a paper that size. i wonder if they actually know we are part of Clark County?

  12. Rene camacho says:

    I think there should be some growths here some people do not drive and have no way to travel to st George or Vegas to get things it’s a small town and yes beautiful but growing doesn’t always mean killings crime and stealing etc. there also should be more for the teenager to do and goals for them to accomplish besides school and sports that are coming up to be grownup adults not all children play Sports or swim to me all I see is older people is gambling their life saving away walking around with oxygen tanks it would be Nice to see a little movement of our youth that want to stay here instead of run away to the city because of nothing here kind of sucks to be raised here

  13. Wal Mart has been around since at least 2008.

  14. Cecilia White says:

    I glanced at the newspaper and read the headlines I had
    To laugh. I had just came home from Vegas this week I had work there and I can
    Tell you. No Way!!! I moved here this January and I
    Experienced the “traffic” when our seasonal residents
    We’re here and in no way should we even think that
    We are Littlle Vegas. I too would like some of the box
    Stores around, heck I would love a outlet mall
    At exit 118, but I moved here knowing that wasn’t here.
    I have no regrets and I hope that Mesquite will continue
    To thrive without sacrificing our safety. Clean air and rush
    Hour. Thanks for knowing when to comment on the arcticle

  15. Alan Riddle says:

    My wife and I moved out of California to Boise, Idaho in 2005. I worked in the grocery business for 40 years, the last 30 as a Store Manager. I could be transferred to another store at anytime. My average driving time, to and from work, was nearly 3 hours a day. Boise, was a welcome change and a great city to live in but most of our family still lives in California and since we both are nearing 70 the travel to visit was getting too much. We chose Mesquite and Sun City after researching a few other areas. Our home is currently being built and we are excited to be part of this community. The pace in California was excessive and Boise was calmer but also growing, we find Mesquite to be what we needed in our autumn years.

  16. And the news too. They seem to forget we are part of Clark Co. We and Moapa, Overton and Logandale get way left out especially when it comes to the weather. I like you article and am glad you are progressive enough to see we need a certain amount of growth to sustain ourselves. Thanks for your hard work!

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