Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Welcome To The City Of Lies

Every year or two, the City of Mesquite or the Chamber of Commerce kicks around a few ideas for their new city slogan, like "Come for a day, stay for a lifetime" or "Diamond in the desert."
The next time this topic comes up, I've got a few suggestions.
"Mesquite: The city where truth goes to die."
"Virginia is for lovers; Maryland is for crabs; Mesquite is for liars."
"In Mesquite, don't believe it until you see it; then STILL don't believe it."
"You conceive, we'll deceive."
"Land of 10,000 Lakes."
"Land of 10,001 Lies (see above)."
"Virgin Valley: Um, yeah, we've got those."
We can put one of these slogans at the top of the sign on the west end of Mesquite Blvd. near exit 120, right below the boldface lie that currently greets newcomers:
"Welcome to Mesquite -- Population 19,754."
If you believe that number, I've got some oceanfront property in Sunset Greens you can buy.
Our city government has been lying to visitors and potential business investors for years, claiming projections of more than 21,000 people.
Then in 2010, a little federal group called the U.S. Census showed up and pulled open the curtain on the "Great and Powerful Loz."
According to the 2010 census, the official population of Mesquite, Nevada is 15,276.
Even using 2011 estimates, the Census Bureau says our maximum population is 15,423.
But that doesn't stop the city of Mesquite from claiming we have an extra 4,500 people here.
Lying about our city's population has become a nasty habit, like smoking or picking your nose.
And it doesn't look like the city government will be entering a 12-step program or Liars Anonymous anytime soon.
They just got busted on another big lie a few weeks ago.  For more than a year, a couple of the same city staffers who claimed that the Desert Falls fiasco was a sound project insisted that a soccer tent built in a remote part of Mesquite would only cost about $5 million (don't you love it when an entity funded by your tax dollars says things like "only" in conjunction with a figure like "$5 million"?).  It turns out that the real cost will be between $8 million and $10 million. 
Then there was that lie about an expensive sidewalk project on Pioneer Blvd., where a city official claimed the state would never allow it, only to find out later that the state doesn't care either way.
Then you have the normal, run-of-the-mill municipal lies like "Mesquite is business friendly" while business fees remain astronomically high and paperwork requirements continue to escalate; and "we've got to tighten our fiscal belts" claimed just before giving away $50,000 for the construction firms that told us the truth about the soccer tent costs.  (Maybe that was a bigger bargain than most people thought...it might be worth $50,000 to have some truth told for a change.)
Of course, what can you expect from an organization that used to regularly lie about a mythical state law that allegedly prohibited council members from answering questions from the public during city council meetings.
Our only saving grace is "The Mythbusters" -- our new mayor and city council.  This group of smart and honorable men has managed to poke holes in most of the malarky. 
Eventually, they'll get around to fixing the "Welcome To Lie Land" sign at Exit 120.
Until then...if you've ever thought about owning your own bridge, the city has this nice structure spanning the interstate in the middle of town that I'm sure they'd be willing to sell you.  Oh, and I'm sure they'll throw in the mountain-munching PacMan for free.

1 comment:

  1. I hate to kick a dead horse, but there are many still wondering about the Fairchild "lie."