A number of issues will probably be facing Mesquite in the coming years. Foremost, at least as I see it, will be economic development that is necessary to balance business, population growth, our demographics and the quality of life our residents and visitors have come to expect.
I have no crystal ball, nor do I consult psychics. The World Future Society focuses on three areas: Forecasting the future, imagining the future, and creating the future using techniques of planning and consulting. I like the last method. I do know one thing; I’d sleep better at night if I had a handle on our city’s financial future, because knowing our financial future would greatly facilitate our planning. If we were the Federal Government, it wouldn’t matter. They run deficits beyond our imagination can’t pass, let alone balance a budget, and can print money as needed to pay their bills. We can’t function like that. We have a responsibility to do the best we can for our residents and visitors.
So, lets take a look where we are before we attempt to look ahead. I call this our reality check. We, as a city are running a deficit of over a million dollars this year. We have run one this high or worse for the past 7 out of 8 years. In spite of this, we continue to offer high quality services to our community. We accomplish this through the dedication of our regular employees, supervisors, management, as well as our quality police and fire departments. Before the worst recession since the 1930’s we operated our city with around 52 more employees than we currently employ. Another reality; we settled our labor contract with our local teamsters. However, we have not with fire and are just starting with our police. I can’t predict when this will happen. I have no crystal ball.
Because no one wants me to ramble on with no end in sight, I will continue this article in another issue and talk about how we finance our city.