Opinion: City Council comments get out of hand

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I just want to remind everyone that the resolution the Mesquite City Council passed Tuesday holds no legal weight in the eyes of anyone, anywhere.

Congress isn’t going to look at it and immediately make changes. It is just a written statement of support, or in this case “sort of” support, of designating a National Conservation Area in Gold Butte.

I know it’s still a very important issue to several residents and Gold Butte lovers. I understand that this resolution basically reflects how the town feels. But if you really stop to think about it, the way it is written mostly reflects how the community feels about the issue.

About half of the comments at City Council reflect those who want federal protection for Gold Butte. The other half want nothing to do with it and think the feds should just stay out of it.

Well, Council drew the NCA line at Whitney Pockets and That should make everyone a little irritated. They still supported a NCA designation but not all the way. So really, no one is getting what they want.

I once heard a true compromise occurs when neither sides are really happy with the agreement. I think that’s what we have here.

I think what really matters is that everyone loves Gold Butte and can help protect it, whether that be by picking up trash or supporting (or opposing) federal legislation.

But the way the last two City Council meetings ran it felt like Mesquite was going to have the final say so on the matter. I had to keep reminding myself just because Council wrote down in a resolution what it wanted to see didn’t mean it would happen. Like I said before, this is just a statement of support, or lack thereof.
When people stormed Council about medical marijuana facilities in the city I understood. Council was the final stop, it would give the ultimate ruling.

In the last month though, I felt like very few people’s comments evolved.

Those who didn’t want federal protection still didn’t want federal protection. They said almost the exact things at the second meeting that they did at the first. Federal protection, as far as the council was concerned, was expected. Maybe it would have been better and more constructive to give tips, like Councilman Kraig Hafen did, about what to do with the disagreement. He said to push it back. There you go, an idea.

The other side kept repeating the same things as well. Gold Butte needs protection, Gold Butte needs protection. I would have liked to have heard why the area north of Whitney Pockets needed protection because that’s what had changed since the last meeting.

I’m not saying I agree with Hafen or Councilman George Rapson for that matter. I am simply saying they both saw something they didn’t like in the bill and made a suggestion to change it. That’s what I feel the public should have done as well — offered solutions instead of endless complaints.

Don’t even get me started on the petty personal attacks that happened Tuesday night either — on both sides. I was a little bit embarrassed to be sitting there listening to grown men and women sling mud at each other. If you’re going to consume my night with public comment I’m okay with that; I just ask that you make it constructive, intelligent, and stick to the subject at hand.

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