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EDITORIAL: Thumbs

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By The Staff

UP thumb ... MAKE SURE IT’S SOUND. Last week, the Las Vegas City Council delayed a decision on a proposed ordinance that would make it easier for landlords to avoid being held responsible for their tenants’ unpaid utility bills. The council opted to put the matter on hold until the ordinance is determined to be legally sound.

This issue has been lingering for years. Let’s make sure that the ordinance, which looks good on the surface, will resolve the issue once and for all.

UP thumb ... HOPEFUL SIGNS. The Las Vegas Community Water Board gave a mixed assessment recently regarding the city’s water needs. In its most recent progress report, the board reported that no new storage capacity has been developed and that water conservation isn’t much of a priority these days — but that the city’s utility advisory committee has been working on some conservation measures that would give consumers a financial incentive to save water. Plus, there’s potential for progress in talks with other area water users to reach mutually beneficial agreements.

Other concerns were also named in the report but, overall, we see encouraging signs that some real progress may be around the corner. And, apparently, water board members are hopefully as well.

DOWN thumb ... NOT TALKING. While Alta Vista Regional Hospital’s parent company, Community Health Systems Inc., has done just about everything it can to block good-faith negotiations with the union that was voted in nearly two years ago, it’s a different sort of story at Highlands University. There, President Jim Fries says his administration has been trying to get the union to the bargaining table, while a union leader has documentation that shows that both sides have canceled their fair share of the meetings.

It appears that the union has some legitimate concerns about faculty salaries and administrative priorities. On the other side of the coin, Fries has always come across as a reasonable leader. So both sides should be able to get beyond the bickering, sit down and have some productive talks — and we encourage them to do just that.

UP thumb ... SPRINGTIME. Could it be that after a couple of short-lived springtime snow, warmer weather is finally here to stay? Our guess is that it is, and that you, like us, are ready for it.

It’s the season for rebirth and new life. Let’s make the best of it.

• • •

AND WE QUOTE

“We’re not on a witch hunt. There’s nobody we’re specifically interested in.”

— Jeffrey McWhorter of Accounting & Consulting Group, auditor for the city of Las Vegas, on his firm’s plan to conduct a more thorough investigation into the utilities department’s finances.