Editorial Thumbs

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By The Staff

Thumbs DOWN for ... VAGUE REASONING. The West Las Vegas school board worked into the wee hours Thursday night and finally voted down a contract renewal for Superintendent Jim Abreu. After three years on the job, he’ll be leaving the post at the end of June.

The reason for his dismissal? Well, only a vague reference to moving the district “forward” was given. It seems to us that such a huge decision deserves a clearer public explanation.

Thumbs UP for ... STABILITY AT CITY HALL. Las Vegas City Manager Timothy Dodge recommended and the council unanimously approved the reappointment of all city department heads, thereby keeping the political winds of change out of sound management practices.

That’s two campaign promises fulfilled by Mayor Alfonso Ortiz — while running for office he said he’d support a contract for Dodge and keep the city’s leadership in place. Done and done.

Thumbs DOWN for ... UNLIMITED PUBLIC SPEAKING. With all due respect to Councilman David Romero’s good intentions, we think time limits on public input is a good idea. Without them, some of our more verbose citizens would speak well beyond what’s necessary to make their point, thereby discouraging public attendance and others’ participation at council meetings. In fact, sometimes we wish there were limits on city officials’ time, too, since some council members have, in the past, seemed enamored by their own words.

Governmental bodies aren’t known for efficiency, and that shouldn’t take priority over letting voices be heard. But we don’t need any filibusters at City Hall either. We say, make the point and move on.

Thumbs UP for ... HOMETOWN RETREAT. Thanks to city officials for keeping their latest retreat in town. In the past, they’ve been held elsewhere, so public access was limited and Las Vegas tax dollars went elsewhere. Thankfully, the new administration has seen fit to stay at home for this one.

Thumbs UP for ... HEALTH CARE PASSAGE. With the incredible amount of spin coming from both the left and the right, it’s not so easy to judge the national health-care plan passed and signed into law this week. We see both good and bad ingredients in it — but this much is certain: History was made, partly because America’s history is replete with inaction regarding this important issue. And in that regard, we’re glad to see it.

As for the frothing Tax Party extremists, we wish their leaders — such as Sarah Palin, who said, “Don’t Retreat. Reload.” — would behave more reasonably. The nation needs a “loyal opposition,” but acting as hate-mongers, fear-mongers and propaganda pushers does no one any good. What we’re seeing from too many in the right wing is, well, anti-American.

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“We’re doing a heck of a job. ... We’re moving forward.”

— San Miguel County Commission Chairman David Salazar, in justifying a 3 percent salary increase for county employees who didn’t receive a pay hike earlier this fiscal year.