Several years ago, during the height of the recession, Mesquite laid off numerous employees. None of them have been replaced. Are we existing without them? You could argue that we are. I would say yes we are. I would also say we are not in many cases.

Existing is the minimum level. It’s living on the edge, and that’s a formula for failure.

We continue to grow in population. We are expected to provide a quality level of service and you deserve it. So where am I going with this? Let me explain.

We have only one building inspector and a very part-time retired individual that helps when available. The workload on this department is unacceptable. I don’t want inspections hurried or delayed because we don’t have the necessary time to do them and do them right. I will be asking the city to fund at least a regular part-time assistant in this department.

It becomes just as bad or worse regarding code enforcement as we currently have no one in this position. It’s more obvious in code enforcement issues as all you have to do is drive around and look at the condition of many neighborhoods, empty lots and unkempt buildings that dot the city.

HOA’s police themselves, for the most part, and are not the issue. However, most of Mesquite is not in HOAs. I will be asking the city to fund a part-time position in code enforcement also for the coming year.

In the meantime, I am turning to the citizens of Mesquite to step up by fostering civic pride in our community. I’m not looking for volunteer code enforcers, but I am looking for those who want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Let me quote from the vision statement of Fillmore, California. “People taking responsibility to do the little things to make a difference in the present and future of their community; residents keeping homes and businesses in a neat and attractive manner; city workers and citizen volunteers keeping streets, sidewalks, paths and parks well-maintained and neighborhoods free of blight.” Fillmore is talking about civic pride. It should be the same everywhere.

Encouraging pride in our community is essential for achieving the quality of life desired by our residents whether it be supporting local businesses, participating in civil organizations, clearing vacant lots of trash and weeds, or working to prevent crime; civic pride results in community improvement and self-sufficiency.

Civic pride must be nurtured to the point it becomes contagious in our community. Neighbors, local officials, service clubs and religious organizations all must play a role to foster strong civic pride and remind us that civic pride is often about doing the little things that make a big difference.”

We all, hopefully, have a vision for what we would like Mesquite to be. I’ve heard Palm Springs. That’s not us. I’ve heard Park City. That’s not us. Mesquite needs to be Mesquite, but a Mesquite that fosters civic pride, personal responsibility, and maintains its small town sensibility in light of a world in chaos.

I love Mesquite. It’s not perfect; no place is, but if we work towards fostering civic pride as part of our vision, we will be well ahead of the game.