ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 30 Apr 2001   For week ended April 27, 2001
Most Recent Week
Front Page
Local News
Arts & Entertainment
·New Products
·New Websites
·Mormon Stock Index
Letters to Editor
Continuing Coverage of:
Boston Temple
School Prayer
Julie on MTV
Robert Elmer Kleasen
About Mormon News
News by E-Mail
Weekly Summary
Submitting News
Submitting Press Releases
Volunteer Positions
Bad Link?

News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church

Sent on Mormon-News: 25Apr01

By Mark Wright

Maverick LDS Mayor of Mesquite Nevada in Political Fight

MESQUITE, NEVADA -- Mesquite, Nevada is a small, rapidly growing town located just a little more than an hour north of Las Vegas. Like Vegas, Mesquite has a frontier-town heritage with an eclectic mix of hotels, motels, casinos, multi-million dollar homes, golf courses and just plain folks. Unlike Las Vegas, however, Mesquite is currently embroiled in a power struggle for control of Mesquite's future that's shaping up like a political version of the legendary "Shoot-out at the O.K. Corral." Mesquite's Mayor, Charles "Chuck" Horne, an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, finds himself in the thick of the gunfight.

Horne's attitudes about his role as mayor and the direction of development for Mesquite has successfully galvanized opposition forces who are not enamored with Horne's vision for the future. Specifically, Horne has vowed to "clean up" Mesquite and get rid of what he perceives to be "corruption." In addition, Horne is actively working to change Mesquite's form of city government so that the mayor, not the city manager and council, calls the shots. Finally, Horne is actively trying to change the makeup of the city council by supporting three candidates who are trying to unseat incumbent Horne opponents in the June election. These various activities have put Horne at odds with the City Council, city administrators, casinos owners and developers.

Representative of the many voices raised against Horne is that of local newspaper editor Bill McClure, who is responsible for publishing the Desert Valley Times. "He's a self-styled anarchist is what he is. I fought 22 1/2 years for our country and our flag and I'm not going to let this turkey take it down. He wants to run this town with an iron fist and I'm not going to let him get away with it." Similarly, Mesquite Chamber of Commerce President, and Director of Marketing for the Oasis casino, Kirk Lee opined, "Mayor Horne has a right-wing agenda that is destroying this town."

While his detractors are numerous and vocal, Horne also has a loyal following of supporters who are glad to see someone in authority stand up to the development interests that have ruled Mesquite for so long. It also appears that, at least for the present, Horne's opponents have done little more than "wing" him. For example, a petition for a recall initiative against Horne died for lack of signatures when the mayor successfully contested the validity of some of the names on the petition. In August of last year, despite a record turnout of voters, Horne survived an actual recall vote by a fairly convincing margin of 1,351 to 919. Horne has also demonstrated a willingness to fight back at his opponents, even going so far as spending more than $90,000 to sue the city council.

All of this posturing and infighting has not been without cost in this small, close-knit community. In addition to alienating many of his opponents in the Mesquite political arena, Horne has also brought some rancor and discord to his religious community as well. While almost all of the city council members are also members of the Church, there is no brotherly love lost between the mayor and his opponents. Apparently, some members of the Church even refused to sustain Councilman David Anderson, a Horne opponent, in his LDS Church leadership position. While such an action is not unheard of, it is certainly very rare and yet another indication of the strong emotions on both sides of the issues.

With only two months until the next election, and with both sides working at a feverish pitch, the residents of Mesquite remain divided. And, given the relatively high stakes, it's very possible that the repercussions of this gunfight could reverberate far into the future.


Maverick Mayor Tweaks Mesquite Establishment
Salt Lake Tribune 22Apr01 T2
By Mark Eddington: Salt Lake Tribune


[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information