Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mayor and Council and Lobbyists - Oh My!

Riders of the Gold Butte area know that the Mesquite City Mayor and Council generated and passed a resolution in "support" of creating an NCA (Conservation Area) and "Wilderness" designation encompassing nearly the totality of Gold Butte and into Bunkerville Flats! Why would they feel the need to do that?

And, the so-called "Friends" of Gold Butte have made much ado about having the City's backing in their continued attempts to close the butte to offroad use. How does such a group garner such preference?

What many people don't realize is just how tightly the two tendrils are entwined and where the culpability lies; but, what is dawning on life-long residents is just how damaging to the Mesquite experience this bill will be, if implemented. And they are becoming increasingly vocal about it!

Realizing the growing animosity toward their actions, the Mayor and Council announced an agenda item for their last meeting, ostensibly to "discuss" their previous resolution; but, as it turned out, to attempt some "damage control."

This, as a matter of course, gave another opportunity for citizens… to speak their opinion during the "public comment" section — and believe me, they DID! Person after person of standing in the community rose and demanded the council rescind their support! (More on that later)

How do you make sense of all the anger? Well ask yourself a few key questions and see what answers you can piece together:

1- Where did this bill come from? Nancy Hall, the paid lobbyist of the "Friends," had a boilerplate "wilderness" bill in her "briefcase" which she had been trying to "sell" for a long time - maybe years. It would basically close off the Butte, but she hadn't been able to convince anyone official to put it into play.

2- What started this mess? Susan Holecheck, the mayor, began pushing not only to move the airport onto BLM land, for which they had been given permission, but to expand the deal and get even more land. Somewhere she had the idea that she needed to "entice" and "grease the deal" by attaching some kind of environmental component to her request.

3- Who wanted a super-sized airport? Well if it wasn't you (the citizens), then who else could be the culprit? BEST building? Not hardly! Walmart… ACE hardware, Del Webb, Burger King? No, if anything 80% of Del Webb buyers bring their ATVs!    Gaming? Ahh, there may be rub! (But couldn't a "high-roller" just land his helicopter in the parking lot?)

4- So, how did the two get linked? Susan asked Nancy if she knew of a way to slather her request with something environmental and voila… have I got a deal for you!

5- Where is it now? The airport seems to be "on hold" with the unpopularity of their actions – and possibly the near bankruptcy of the city's largest gaming enterprise. The wilderness bill, however, has taken on a life of its own. It could be attached as a rider to any piece of the madness that is going around congress right now. I'm sure if someone thought the Health Care Bill was sure to pass they'd try to attach this to it – we could be finding the trails closed by next weekend!

6- But, the bill allows people to decide… doesn't it?   ABSOLUTELY AND MOST EMPHATICALLY NOT! At best that statement is an uninformed falsehood, at worst a deceptive, placating lie. While the mayor and lobbyist tout rhetoric that "we will have 3 years to decide on our own plan" what they don't tell you is that ALL of the so-called "decisions" MUST fall into already existing prohibitions! There is NO allowance for the offroad community! No consideration for the limitations of active, but none-the-less age-limited persons.

7- What do the other cities think of the Mesquite actions? The mayor tried to get Bunkerville in line with the "trading" of Gold Butte and the "Flats" for the airport, but was shot down flat. Mesquite seems to be in this alone, and doesn't appear to even inform other municipalities. Both Bunkerville and Logandale are public in their disapproval of Mesquites actions.

8- Can the Mayor and Council stop it? Not any more, the snake is out of the sack and is prowling for your bare ankles! The absolute best they can do, and it is critical that they do it, is to rescind their support and JOIN all the other surrounding cities in the area against its attachment to any bill or passage.

9- Is there anything that can be done now? YES! All of the supposed concerns over protecting "the Butte" could be accomplished within the existing structure for allowing "multi-use"! The butte has been held in "inventory" but NEVER has been actually "managed" appropriately!

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your grand-kids high school class is running the country.”
Kurt Vonnegut

Mesquite MUST rescind it's absurd "resolution," provide adequate but not excessive access to the city, join WITH not AGAINST the majority of citizens and surrounding communities, listen less to lobbyists and thereby need to spend less of their time on "spin control."

You, can email the mayor with how you feel about it - .

The BLM can step up to the plate and actually manage the area for multiple-use in a way which is rational and engenders the cooperation of the offroad, senior, local and rational resource-protection communities.

[Next, the public comment from the meeting.]


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