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Mesquite was recently named one of the safest cities in Nevada, second only to Boulder City.

But the nation turned a spotlight on Mesquite last year for a very different reason. The person who killed 58 by shooting into a concert from his Mandalay Bay hotel room had a home in Mesquite,  87 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Mesquite Mayor Allan Litman told KNPR's State of Nevada that no one considered Stephen Paddock part of the community.

“No one considered him a resident of Mesquite except that he had a piece of property here," he said.

Litman is more focused on the improving economy and finding affordable housing for workers that are going to be needed for companies coming into the city.

A few weeks ago a developer that was planning to build apartments ran into resistance from a handful of homeowners. Litman said residents have to understand the need. 

The developer is moving ahead with a plan to build the apartments just in a different location.

Litman said building affordable housing is his main priority this year.

“We realize the need but now it’s just getting someone to come in to do it but I think we’re okay,” he said.

Another priority for Litman is getting businesses back into some of the empty storefronts that have been there since the recession.

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“That is one of the goals I have for the coming year is to get a summit going with the developers and the owners of the properties… I would like to see a meeting of the minds where we could start getting properties occupied again,” he said.

He is also concerned about the water rights that are currently wrapped up in the Gold Butte National Monument. He said the paperwork for the monument is vague about the water rights and the city's access to it.

“We want it where it is absolutely carved out,” he said.

Litman said he's confident something will be worked out for the water rights.

He is also confident about the future of the city with an upswing in tourism, new big companies coming in and more houses being built. 

Guests

Allan Litman, mayor, Mesquite 

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KNPR's State of Nevada