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Mayor’s Message

No Longer Tube Socks and Tumbleweeds

For many years, residents on the north end of town (which is what it was back then) enjoyed undisturbed tranquility and stunning scenery. Everyone on the quaint streets around Prickly Pear Drive seemed to know one another in the neighborhood affectionately called Buena Vista. Aside from the residents living and raising children in homes there, other neighbors often consisted of quail running around, coyotes searching for prey, and desert tortoises who were not running around or searching for prey.

Walking the meandering sand and sandstone trails through the sagebrush on this section of the expansive base of the Red Cliffs and Pine Valley Mountain, some knew where to find the natural springs nestled amongst the desert landscape. On occasion, they would stumble upon the shedded skin of a diamondback rattlesnake or even a chiseled arrowhead from prior inhabitants and stewards of the land. Life was slower. Among the few annoyances for those who lived there at the time, were probably that kids’ white tube socks were often stained from playing in the red dirt, and that tumbleweeds would occasionally roll through their yards.

This slice of paradise was too pristine to remain undiscovered forever. As new residents began to move in, city officials began to more fully recognize the unique beauty of the setting, and with a bit of courage, and what some might call foresight, bonded for enough money to buy land there to build what would later be called Green Spring Golf Course, which opened in 1989.

As can sometimes happen when borrowing, especially with relatively limited cash flow, payments can become a burden. That was the case in the early 2000s when city officials called the bond advisor and said, as was recently related to me by him, “These bonds are killing us! What can we do?”. In response, the advisor asked if the new administration realized that more land was purchased than was necessary to build the golf course and that the intention had always been to sell the excess property to pay off the associated bond.

So that is what the Mayor and Council, at that time, did. Not only did the proceeds of the sale, which were generous as a result of a market upswing, pay off the bond, but also allowed for a significant amount of the proceeds to be applied to a new idea, the Washington City Community Center, which opened in 2008.

Here we are today. Life has evolved as time has rolled on. New community members have moved in and have been welcomed by existing residents, even when it changed their lifestyle, sometimes significantly. City officials have responded to applications for new subdivisions, and as a result, added new amenities and services that are now part of the city’s landscape.

I’m particularly grateful for those original residents on the north side of town, and welcome new neighbors who have come since. I also appreciate the value that both the Green Spring Golf Course and the Washington City Community Center provide residents and visitors alike. And while I occasionally still see quail, I haven’t found an arrowhead in a long time.

-Kress Staheli


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