To the Editor:
Ms. Stephanie Frehner’s article in the Mesquite Local News reflects a poor understanding of opposition to the Mesquite Regional Business Inc. (MRBI). Here are the primary concerns.
The government should not spend tax dollars on start-ups. Doing so is out-of-scope and economically unsound. It is against the “gifting” section of the Nevada Constitution. It is against the wishes of voters who turned down three attempts by various Governors to allow “gifting” to the private sector.
The Nevada Attorney Generals first opined that the MRBI is the functional equivalent of a government activity. He then argued that the MRB might be a private sector activity if the city takes a hand-off approach pays [better] attention to its funding. That is a polite way of saying get out of that business.
The term “economic development,” is misleading. MRBI does business analysis, conducts tours and holds job fairs. Analysis is an activity paid for by interested parties not taxpayers. Conducting tours and holding job fairs is a member supported Chamber of Commerce function.
A member supported tax-exempt structure is the wrong approach. The MRBI is not now, nor never has been member supported. .
The non-competitive, personal services contracting process used by the City to contract with MRBI is inappropriate for a competitive business activities such as those carried out by the MRBI.
The failure to set measurable deliverables is detrimental to the effective and efficient running of government at any level. .
Doing the wrong thing with unavailable tax dollars in the wrong manner is simply unacceptable to conservatives and progressives alike.
There are solutions
- Recognize that business follows populations not the other way around.
- Recognize that the city is growing in retirees but declining in work-age residents. Job fairs encourage low-paid workers to find other positions thereby creating other vacancies. This is an artificial solution to job creation.
- Support Mayor Al Litman in bringing the city, water and electrical utility planners together to develop an integrated infrastructure plan.
- Support the Mayor, and add funds, to the cities GIS effort as an efficient and effective way to contribute to economic development. Make access to the GIS system “free,” to the user.
- Take advantage at our number one resource: the climate. Market the city to cold, snowbound cities during the winter