thumb UP to ... HEALTHY TENSION. Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez, who for months has not returned our messages, responded to an e-mail about an open-government issue recently. We hope this is the beginning of a new approach to dealing with us “inky wretches.”
The mayor has become something of a mystery man since he stopped communicating with the Optic last March (other than at City Council meetings, where it’s harder to avoid us). This has on occasion left the newspaper and its thousands of local subscribers in the dark about the goings-on in city government.
No politician is going to like all of the media coverage of his or her actions and statements. A natural tension exists between the government and the media, and that’s exactly how it ought to be. After all, we’re a watchdog for the public’s interest, not a lap dog for the politically powerful.
thumb UP to ... WORKED HARD. Mora County Assessor Angela Romero has worked overtime to get the word out about her effort to enforce state law for properties classified for grazing uses. The state came down on her office to make sure all people with grazing land, which enjoys a lower tax rate, are actually using it for such purposes.
In many cases, it was difficult to determine if properties were still being used for grazing. So she ended up having to increase their taxes.
Each taxpayer gets a notice for value, for which they can protest. Many people with sharply increased tax rates didn’t take advantage of this process.
When tax bills go out next month, Romero is expecting a lot of angry people. But that’s not fair to the assessor, given her office’s work in informing the public.
thumb DOWN to ... BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVER. Things are going retro. That much-discussed, highly visible electronic sign near Robertson High School has been advertising early dismissals, athletic contests and other events during most of October. Trouble is, the events being publicized are for September. But not to be outdone, West Las Vegas Schools are doing the same. Take a look at the September notices of games and activities on the sign in front of Tony Serna Elementary School.
Doesn’t anybody notice? Apparently the month-old messages are both schools’ way of declaring the primacy of history over current events. Or perhaps it’s their way of inching closer to consolidation?
thumb UP to ... A HELPFUL DUO. In the recent past, the Camp Luna area transfer station hired Manuel “Val” Valencia, an extremely helpful, courteous attendant who is newly retired.
Now, there’s Blas Duran. Early mornings find him raking, tidying up the area. When you drive up, don’t be surprised to see him walking up to your vehicle to give you a helping hand with the trash.
It’s great to have men like Valencia and Duran, who appear so contented with their work.
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AND WE QUOTE
“The city should not be expending resources to investigate who released public records.”
— Las Vegas Mayor Tony Marquez