Hey, for once I agree with Wallace Martin. The people of Ridgecrest should have voted on whether the casino was a good project for Ridgecrest. Citizens should have had the same input as they did with Walmart.
Walmart dissidents came up short. Got a feeling same thing would happen on a vote of the casino.
Consider: Martin beat Scott Leahy (pro-casino) by 0.56 percent and Leahy didn’t even campaign much after he had heart surgery.
The other two anti-casino candidates were a split. Lindsey Stephens won with slightly over 16 percent and Mayor Peggy Breeden trounced anti-casino foe Jim Sanders. She garnered 45.8 percent of the vote.
Still, a vote would have put to rest all of the issues this town is facing now: friend vs. friend, church members vs. church members; family vs. family; business vs. business.
But that ship has sailed (an election). The city has a contract with the Timbisha Tribe. It’s time to move on and get the best deal possible. Still, on record, it (the casino) should have gone to the fairgrounds, not the business park.
Moving on to elections. Over the weekend I was asked if I or the paper would endorse/support a recall of Lindsey Stephens. Simply put: ABSOLUTELY NOT!
There is no basis for a recall of Ms. Stephens. While I do not understand some of her decisions or statements, she is an elected official and does what she was elected for: represent her 16 percent-plus constituents.
As for her meddling in city hall business, that’s bogus. You have to garner information to make decisions. No fault there.
So unless somebody has something against Ms. Stephens other than her stance on the casino, then as noted above count me and the DI out of any recall attempt. It would only be more divisive for the community.
I'm really looking forward to the May 21 finance committee meeting when City Manager Ron Strand and staff will present a first look at the 2018-19 fiscal year budget. That’s a prelude to the budget presentation to council members on May 30.
Knowing Strand, it will probably be the first budget presented to the community in many years that will not be cloaked in secrecy.
The city manager forewarned what the budget might look like in a calm demeanor response at last Wednesday’s council meeting.
Simply put and to paraphrase, Strand said the city is not flush with cash.
Following up on the council meeting, it will be interesting times at the next meeting when the council considers joining other state counties and cities in support of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his immigration stance.