By Mayor Al Litman
This month I’d like to comment about comparing our lovely community with another about the same size, but in another state with different demographics. A well-meaning lady who happens to be a snowbird took the time to compare us to Ukiah, California. Normally I would not say anything, but she also took the time to discuss our shortcomings in several other areas. I said last time I wrote here I would talk about apples to oranges so here goes.
Mesquite has three public schools and other than two pre-schools and a small college that’s it. Ukiah has ten public schools, six private schools and a large college in a city smaller than Mesquite. How can this be? Simple answer, they are the county seat for Mendocino County. 40,000 people work in the city and nearby and most bring or bus their children in daily. Ukiah has more than 30 wine-tasting rooms and a number of major wineries in the area. 1000 hotel rooms and with their temperate climate are packed year round with tourists. Only one golf course and no retirement community. Need I say more? Apples to oranges.
Another thing that puzzles me about the lady is her need to travel to St. George for groceries. I’m not a snob when it comes to grocery shopping. I find Smith’s just fine. Clean, well-stocked and fair prices. Of course, the lady, in her letter, puts in caps, LES SCHWAB. Folks, it’s just a tire store in California. Everything you can get there you can get here with about the same prices. Enough said about this subject, at least for now.
I also look on occasion at an online blog about Mesquite where rarely is anything positive said about this great little city. I happened to read a comment last week also probably written by a part-timer because they are not up to date about what’s going on or how a city is operated. I think she means well, but just not informed. I’ll try and enlighten her. Her first comment is about a marijuana business opening here and not being family oriented. I don’t ever expect this type of facility to be family friendly. It’s not for children and not retail in nature. She goes on to suggesting the city build on the lot that was purchased in the hope the county would someday build a library in the site. The lot was acquired in 2009 and so far nothing. She has a good point. The only problem is that we don’t have the money to build another park. She wants a bandstand Gazebo, trees, benches, craft fairs and concerts along with a farmers market. These amenities are built with private money, not taxpayers. She further goes on to pose the questions as to what type of shops and business you would like to see on Mesquite Blvd. Or do we just want to drive down the street and look at dirt lots. I would love to see this area developed, but again, it’s private money that does this. With the exception of the library lot as it is called, the land along Mesquite Blvd. Is in the hands of private parties. They set the price and they will sell for development as they please. We can’t force them. We will do everything we can to bring a buyer and seller together, but that’s normally done by a real estate broker and a customer. The blogger does say that our awesome adventure park is a great addition, but it’s out of business. It was built on private property with private money, but because of the nature of the activities, I understand the private insurance was too much. Not our fault, not their fault, just the cost of doing business.
Don’t despair I am hoping to have positive news about development in the near future. Remember, we cannot control or force anyone to develop in Mesquite. I assure you we are business friendly. Our staff at city hall is the best and will always go the extra mile to bring business to Mesquite