Cindi Delaney was unanimously approved as the newest city council member at the May 27 city council meeting.
The council decid
ed to appoint Delaney over 10 other candidates because she had the highest number of votes of the unsuccessful candidates for city council at the last election.
Councilor Rich Green told the council “We have a strong list of applicants for council,” and wondered where they were when positions came up at the Virgin Valley Water District and the Overton Power District. “I would have liked to have seen more people sign up for that,” said Green.
Green also suggested the list of applicants would make a good list for a citizen’s advisory group.
Councilor George Rapson noted “We have seen this situation (appointing a councilor) a couple of times in the past few years.” Rapson said in the past the decision was a “Ramrod deal and not very democratic. I am absolutely against that this time.”
Rapson then suggested that those who had ran before and “subjected themselves to the voters” should be given preference in the selection. “They’ve earned it,” said Rapson.
Mayor pro-tem Geno Withelder, the most senior member of the council, then nominated Delaney for the position.
Delaney has a long history of community involvement including being a charter member of the League of Women Voters of Mesquite, a board member of the Ms. Senior Mesquite Pageant and as a Salvation Army volunteer. Delaney has an associate degree in journalism and was an original owner of the Mesquite Local News. She currently owns Delaney Studio.
Delaney will serve until the next general election in November 2016.
In other business, the council approved the budget for fiscal year 2014-2015. In approving the budget, councilor Green told the council he planned to discuss the amount of the allocation to Mesquite Regional Business after he heard their annual report in June.
Mesquite city council will send the Hafen Park splash pad out to bid for a third time. The decision was made at the May 27 council meeting after all councilors agreed the splash pad was needed but the bids received the first two times were too high.
Councilor Rich Green asked for reconsideration of the splash pad be placed on the agenda because he believed that “All of us want to see us have a splash pad.” Green expressed his concern that the city only received one bid and that it was nearly $180,000 over the engineers estimate.
Green said that he, the city manager and mayor met with public works director Bill Tanner and discussed ways the project could be trimmed. “Our objective was to get a bid cost much closer to the $712,000 of community development block grant funds we have available without using next years grant and minimizing the impact on the parks fund,” said Green.
Tanner was asked how the splash pad costs could be reduced. “We could eliminate the restroom, the wall and some of the sidewalk and fencing around the pad,” said Tanner. Tanner asked for time to meet with the engineer on the project and determine the amount of cost savings that could be achieved by eliminating the restrooms and other parts of the project.
Tanner told the council he could bring the new cost estimates to the June 24 regular meeting of the city council. Tanner emphasized that the council would have time to re-bid the project before losing the grant funds as long as they didn’t change the specifications of the actual splash pad and dealt only with the ancillary facilities. “I need clear direction that we are going to leave the splash pad as is,” said Tanner.
The council was told by Tanner “We are not going to get this done by summer.” The city could expect to award the contract in October or November. Tanner also cautioned the council “We could very well end up where we are now with one bidder.”
Councilor George Rapson stated “I am concerned about not getting any bidders.” Rapson asked Tanner if he had talked to the previous bidder Trade West Construction and asked if they would bid again.
Tanner said “I will be speaking with them tomorrow,” and indicated his previous discussion with the owners indicated they would bid again. “They’re not going to give up,” said Tanner.
Tanner was directed by the council to eliminate the wall, fencing and the restrooms for the project and bring the new bid package back to the June 24 council meeting for approval.