For this week's Mike versus Mike debate, we asked this question:
Now that a decision has been made on the proposed indoor sport center, did the City Council do the right thing? Over the course of the last year, what could they have done differently with the process? What did the councilors do right and what did they do wrong?
As always, we welcome your input into the debate. Leave a comment at the end of this article for others to read and ponder.
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Mike Young's turn
Extraordinary, that is what we saw with the Council's move to not accept the bids for construction of the sports tent. Thank you all for standing up for what is right for this town. Thankfully there is a new wind blowing in Mesquite and one I hope sweeps our country.
Usually projects like this develop a life of their own and are almost impossible to derail or kill. And you could see the remnants of that thinking with a few of the Council’s comments, saying that they were willing to consider someone bringing it back with a few changes.
Bring it back? Are they kidding? It took an uprising of the people to kill the beast and someone thinks we should incubate more eggs? These public private partnerships are a scam. The public puts up the capital and the private side is supposedly putting in the business expertise. The business goes belly up and who is left hold the bag? You might consider that it used to be a bag full of money but now it’s empty.
Our country is still (for a little while longer) based on capitalism. The government needs to not get involved in business; just get out of the way. If building the sport tent was a good idea, private money would have funded it, like it did with the complex in St George.
Look at the tremendous debt cities get into by building stadiums for sport teams. What business is it of government to use public money to build a stadium for a private business to use? Sports team owners are a smart bunch of business people. That’s why the franchise owners are rich and the cities are broke.
I remember when the Brooklyn Dodgers came to Los Angeles. Walter O'Malley talked the city into giving the Dodgers the land to build Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers would build the complex. Now teams want it all, land, complex and all. Believe it or not, some are getting it.
This whole idea of the public being involved in building sport facilities is outrageous. Government should stick to what it was designed to do. Protect us, insure orderly commerce, and to insure the rule of law. Nowhere does it say build sport facilities or stadiums.
All this rhetoric about public/private partnerships is just so much bunk. It’s all about trying to get money from the government for enterprises that are not viable without huge public subsidies. A
great example is all the green energy rhetoric. None of it would work without our taxpayers’ dollars and that is not what the money was collected for.
So don’t let the beast have a second life unless it is a private enterprise without government support. And let's hope that wind of self-sufficiency and reason, that we felt as a breeze in Mesquite, sweeps our country.
Mike McGreer's turn
The Mesquite City Council still thinks the proposed indoor complex is a good idea but voted unanimously that it is too expensive for the city to construct at this time. It's not a good idea since it does little to create jobs and increase the flow of money in the community. Those are the two basic elements of any economic redevelopment initiative.
You can't just build anything that comes to mind and think it will stimulate the economy. Both business and government people know that an investment must return a profit that exceeds what would be earned if the money was invested in low risk stocks, bonds or Treasuries.
The idea seems to be that visitors will come to town and spend. The truth is that there is little to spend on except in the casinos. And casinos do not stimulate economic growth for reasons that I have written about Ad nauseam.
For a community, any investment must go beyond business profits. Any investment must stimulate the flow of money in the community. This is done, for example, when a retail business or government purchases wholesale products from another business in the community.
Another example, is the hospital which meets the demands of the retiree community, receives income primarily from Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance premiums and pays high wages for professional personnel who then have disposable income to spend in the community if the community offered high-quality goods or services they desire.
The hospital example highlights a local problem. Simply put, the community lacks anything that people with disposable income wish to purchase. Instead they spend in Las Vegas, St. George, or any number of cities north, south, east and west of the city.
There is one example of a local businessman that deserves mention. He is Matthew John. He, and his wife, are individuals who have taken abandoned restaurants and turned them around. He took over a dead diner and turned it into Peggy Sue's. He took over a closed Mexican restaurant and turned it into Cucina Italiana. John also manages the Redd and Grill rooms at the Oasis golf course. Most restaurants purchase their food supplies locally and, in case of the Cucina Italiana, a lot of money was spent creating a welcoming ambiance.
Don Muse, a local advocate of downtown redevelopment also has the right ideas when it comes to investments. Muse, and others, argue that downtown needs to be redeveloped in a way that advances the cultural heritage of the geographic area. Done correctly this would draw visitors, and small business ventures that increase the flow of money in the community.
The Mayor and City Council should stop spending time, energy and money on pseudo-economics and task the City Manager to develop a marketable master plan for downtown redevelopment based upon advancing the cultural heritage of the community.