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City hiring practices questioned

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By David Giuliani

A city councilman questioned last week why some city hires are approved first by advisory committees and others are not.

Councilman Louie Trujillo raised the issue after Councilman Eugene Romero told the council that the city’s utilities committee, which he chairs, approved the hirings of laborers in the water and wastewater departments. Trujillo said city ordinances don’t call for hires to go through committees.

“Hiring shouldn’t occur in a committee. I don’t think it should be the business of a committee,” he said.

City Manager John Avila said it’s not required that committees recommend the hiring of employees but that some committees are involved in the process.

Romero said he believes committees should consider hirings to make sure there is uniformity in hiring and practices.

“That’s part of the problem — no uniformity throughout Las Vegas,” he said.

Councilman Tony Marquez said the finance committee, which he chairs, doesn’t approve finance department hires.

In August, Romero asked that two items on the council’s meeting agenda be removed because they hadn’t gone through his committee. One of the items was the hiring of a water department laborer. The council approved his request.

Near the end of the meeting, Utilities Director Richard Trujillo asked to address the council, but he wasn’t allowed. The next day, he resigned suddenly, citing personal reasons.