At one time, Mesquite was on what I term, the sucker circuit. Just a bunch of country bumpkins waiting to be taken, or at least that’s what some outsiders thought. Sound harsh? I guess, but sadly, true.
Well, in the case I’m writing about now, we were fortunate and survived in good shape. It might have been just luck, or the solid thinking of a past mayor and city council. I’m still trying to put all the pieces together.
What brings this up goes back to last fall when SouthWest Gas came to Mesquite to make a presentation on the feasibility of bringing natural gas to Mesquite. I was happy to introduce them and hear what they might be able to offer to Mesquite.
Midway through the presentation, their speaker was interrupted by a someone later identified as Carl Palmer of St. George, Utah. Mr. Palmer ranted about a study Mesquite had done regarding a proposal to establish Mesquite City Gas. I asked Mr. Palmer to please sit down. He refused until approached by one of our police officers. I asked Mr. Palmer when this study was done. He replied 1996, or there about.
Mr. Palmer says I welcomed SouthWest Gas with, “outstretched arms into Mesquite without a vote of the citizens.” Untrue. Southwest Gas arrived to make a simple informational presentation and nothing more.
Mr. Palmer goes on to talk about an engineering/feasibility study that was commissioned by Mesquite to give city leaders future direction for gas service. Again, untrue. No study was ever done. The city did send out a request for proposal to have gas companies come to Mesquite to make a presentation. No money was spent in this process. However, Mr. Palmer offered to do a preliminary study for us for $35,000 plus some expenses. I have that proposal.
Early in 1997, our city council decided they wanted natural gas and elected to go with SouthWest Gas. Or at least, that’s how they voted. I don’t know what happened after that, as we still don’t have natural gas some 20 years later. The one thing I do know from the official minutes of a council meeting is that they decided it was not in our best interest to have our own gas utility.
By the way, Mr. Palmer was involved with bringing natural gas to Nephi, Utah. Check their commercial rates. They are 28 percent higher than the natural average.
Back to Mr. Palmer and his original proposal to do a study for us back in 1996. At that time, Mr. Palmer and Associates had a very interesting associate, Mr. Laird Dyer, the Director of Integrated Solutions for ENRON Capital and Trade Resources. His resume says he structures custom designed natural gas energy packages for municipal and investor owned utilities, using the full scope of Enron’s capabilities.
Remember what happened to ENRON and those associated with them? Many lives ruined, many companies that failed, many individuals who went to prison. By the way, Palmer said, and I quote from his proposal, “Mr. Dyer is experienced and seasoned in gas deregulation issues and creative financing for new municipal gas systems.” Just what we needed. I know nothing of Mr. Dyer, just what is public record.
Back to Mr. Palmer. He feels that I neither have the talent nor vision to pull together a team of Mesquite, “pioneer blood” to set up Mesquite City Gas. Mr. Palmer, I believe you are talking about the pioneer families that established Mesquite. I have too much respect for them to ask them to invest in your outdated scheme.
So Mr. Palmer, let me publicly state, I have no agenda with SouthWest Gas or any other company period. I have no intention of having a public debate on a Mesquite City Gas Company or SouthWest Gas with you or anyone else. It’s not what a mayor does.
At your age, you should be enjoying retirement in your beautiful state of Utah, and not trying to sell your outdated concept to Mesquite. We might have been on the sucker circuit in the past, not any more.