MayorAddress-02-21-18: Mesquite Mayor Al Litman gave his annual state of the city address at the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon on Feb. 14. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.

It’s a tradition as true as turning the calendar to a new year.

Mesquite Mayor Al Litman delivered the annual state of the city address at the Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon on Feb. 14 to a full crowd.

“It’s an honor to stand here today among so many people that are truly interested in our city and its future,” Litman began. “All of you play an important role whether you realize it or not.”

Saying that the city is strong and moving forward, Litman emphasized that the city is growing, pointing to healthy visitor statistics and the increasing number of building permits issued by the city in 2017.

“Over the past year we have actually come a long way, although there are times when I do start to wonder why we are moving so slowly,” Litman said. “But then I remember that progressing at a snail’s pace is still progress and slow progress is better than no progress. Never be stagnant and never give up.”

Litman reviewed the achievements each city department made over the last year including the 330 new single family residence construction permits that was the highest number in a single year since 2008. He pointed out that that indicates a population growth rate of 4.2 percent annually, the highest in the state of Nevada.

He also cited a number of new restaurants and other businesses that opened in Mesquite in 2017, using them as evidence of growing commercialism in the city.

He reflected on the newly-opened city cemetery that was the result of years of planning and building by the public works department. He pointed out that planning is underway for three new traffic lights at Grapevine Road and Pioneer Boulevard, Turtleback Road and Pioneer Boulevard, and Hafen Lane and Riverside Road.

Litman looked forward to the new Clark County Library now under construction on Mesquite Boulevard, anticipating a late spring grand opening.

Among other improvements Litman sees in the upcoming year are the participation by the police department in emergency notification and alert systems to communicate with residents via text, email or the web. “We were selected by the FBI and granted $250,000 to purchase equipment needed to convert to the new system,” the mayor said.

Fourteen full-time personnel positions were added to city departments, including five positions in the police department, four in public works, three in athletics and leisure services and two in the municipal court. In addition, the city added 42 part-time positions in various departments.

“We must continue to be financially conservative,” Litman said in looking to the future. “Our economy is fickle. It can change quickly.

“We have excellent infrastructure. We need to keep it that way. We, as citizens, must fully support our police and first responders. This needs to be a top priority.  We must be very cognizant that we live in a desert. Our parks department has saved us considerable water and expenses by reducing green space whenever possible. We, as homeowners, should consider doing the same.”

The mayor continued his look forward, saying, “We, as a city government need further collaboration with every federal resource we can to promote economic competitiveness, protect our environment and enhance our quality of life in Mesquite.”

Litman pointed out the upcoming public utility hearing for Southwest Gas as it continues its application process with the state to bring natural gas to Mesquite. “All the necessary filings have been done with the public utility commission. We will have a hearing on Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. in city hall. Hopefully we will have natural gas here within the next year. We were promised natural gas 20 years ago. We can’t wait another 20 years to get it.”

The mayor ended his annual address by saying, “we are doing well but we can always do better. We need to stay the course, evaluate our decisions carefully and I firmly believe we will be successful as we move forward. We must work at it every day.”