I was sincerely sad to read Ken Cook’s perspective of Mesquite – home to many of us. What Ken does not see is the FACT that Mesquite may have its many imperfections and our City Council may indeed need improvement, however, he chose not to take the challenge and possibly make a difference; he decided to turn his back and walk away. Negative issues do face Mesquite and, yes, they definitely need serious improvement but to criticize then turn one’s back on them is not the approach one would take if they truly feel strongly about progress.
Progress does not come when any individual seeking office, makes promises, criticizes government and simply goes into unconstructive verbiage. For anyone to say he spoke with a “number of prominent local residents and some City staff, reviewing the City audited financials, hearing about pending litigation, and speaking with leaders of major organizations outside of Mesquite, and finishing with “ I have concluded that the lack of leadership, vision and progress of the current administration has caused Mesquite to be at least 10 years away from developing into a well-balanced, thriving and respected community,” does not alleviate the problems we are facing nor does he understand government in depth.
I do not disagree that Mesquite should be further advanced than it is today. Current leadership has done little to clean up the mess past leadership has left behind. Ordinances, it appears, are ignored rather than enforced or changed. The clutter of improper signage gets bigger and to resolve this problem means having to stand firm on what is or is not tolerable based on ordinances. Trashy empty lots are becoming a real eye sore. Who is enforcing anything? Unfortunately all this reflects on government; they are the keepers of our city.
One can blame it on not caring, poor leadership, litigation, poor management, old-timers fighting change, or simply to sweeping issues under the carpet because it takes to much research, effort, time, too many road blocks, or perseverance to make a difference. Progress comes with commitment, stability, and productive changes that stimulate growth.
Ken gave up before he even started because he might just have been walking into exactly what the current council and mayor walked into … a heaping mess — requiring that someone literally take a stand and fight for what is best for our city.
Litigation? Give me a city that does not have it. I believe all cities have a pile of legal issues to address. I will give credit to lack of knowledge being a key issue when new Council comes in and attempts to grab a handle on so many core issues that have existed way before they came on board.
I agree a City Manager form of government (an individual of strength of character) IS what makes a city stand apart from others. A City Manager who stands with the majority, is supported by City Council and Mayor, and does what is necessary to maintain or improve all elements of running a progressive City. Also, department heads qualified, edu- cated with experience in their field of expertise, is what any developing city must have in order to continue growing in a diligent progressive pace.