[Editor’s note: Mayor Litman has agreed to run a monthly column with the Mesquite Local News to assist in answering questions and concerns the community may have. You may submit questions to Mayor Litman by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending them to the MLN at email@example.com]
As your new mayor I have been asked by a number of people, just what do you do? How much of your time is involved? Do you like the position? And frequently, is it worth it to be on the firing line daily?
I’ll start with the first question. The role of the mayor is limited with the form of government that Mesquite operates under. To begin with the mayor presides over the city council meetings, which occur every two weeks. The mayor does not have a vote unless there is a tie. He may then break the tie. This does not happen very often as absent council members usually will call in if they are not able to attend the meeting. In between council meetings the mayor presides over technical review meetings, which are also open to the public. They are held to review the upcoming regular meeting, make agenda changes if necessary and to ask questions of the items. No discussion or voting takes place.
In addition to the scheduled meetings I am given the authority to appoint various officers of the city according to the Nevada Revised Statutes, but these appointments must be approved by the city council.
I sign licenses, contracts, and other legal documents on behalf of the city. The statutes state that the chief executive of the city shall be the mayor. However, I do not manage any employees. That role belongs to the city manager. The statutes further define my general duties as “exercising a careful supervision over the general affairs of the city.” I’m not sure what that exactly refers to, as our statutes are not always crystal clear in meaning, but I think I have an idea; keep things running smoothly. There is much more of course, but I’ll save that for another article.
The next question, how much time is involved? Short answer, whatever it takes. Even though the mayor role is not full-time, I try and be in my office daily and stay until the work is done.
Third question, do I like the position? Another short answer. I love it. This is a great community and I find it an honor to serve it.
The last question, at least for now, is it worth it to be on the firing line daily? Answer, I don’t mind because I have worked with people for a very long time; the good, the bad and the indifferent. I think my professional training and background gives me the insight I need, the ability to deal with stressful situations and the skills necessary to work with difficult people when necessary.
Mesquite is ready to move forward with a bright future ahead. I’m glad to be a part of it; I’m glad to be here.
In future articles I would like to see this format more of, “Ask the mayor”, rather than me just running at the pen. Let see how that goes.