To the Editor:
Mesquite, Nevada Mayor Al Litman in his Splash Pad article seems concerned about criticism he and the city council receive from citizens.
It is untrue that the “blog site” he refers to are a “few in the community that will never be happy.” Hundreds of people write and comment on that site every day. Articles range from veteran stories, legislative activities, water concerns, health and social issues, student loan issues, educational reform, etc. Stories and comments are local, statewide and national in scope.
Mayor Litman suggests that those writers and commentators are overly concerned with Mormons and Bundy. The Mayor is concerned since he and the City Council spent taxpayer dollars sending a lobbyist to the state legislature to testify in behalf of the Bundy land grab effort. Certainly, he is trying to defend the recent council decision to cut Gold Butte in half (privatize), end wilderness protection and allow unlimited motor vehicle traffic damaging sensitive land.
The blog site, a member of the Nevada Press Association, published The Book of Bundy, The chronicles of a Welfare Cowboy. That product represents a reasonable sample of references to the Mayor, council, Mormons and Bundy. Twelve authors wrote 59 stories over one year. They received 3,645 comments from 200 individuals totaling 236,861 words in the 487 pages book. The term “Mormon” was used 53 times (.02 %). Mayor Litman received five mentions (.002%). City Councilman Kraig Hafen received 18 mentions (.08%). Being mentioned less than 1 % of the time does not constitute an obsession to find fault with Mormons, the Mayor or members of the city council. Remember, Bundy is a statewide and national story as well as a local one.
The Mayor wants the public to believe that the 1931 Prevailing wage Davis-Bacon act contributed to the excessive splash pad price tag. Yet, his own survey of splash pad costs (also following Davis-Bacon) were considerably less than the Mesquite adventure.
The Mayor fails to mention that the Splash Pad project included a local taxpayer match, and future local operating expense from the local budget. Remember federal CDBG dollars are also taxpayer dollars.
Competent elected officials know that giving away taxpayer money and creating debt does not stimulate the economy. Unfortunately, the local group keeps accelerating the debt, with the splash pad, and by gifting some $400,000 + to a start-up business to do “economic development.”
The whole point of this article is to bring to light the fact that no matter what the citizens are concerned about the Mayor gets offended.