City Councilman David Romero has been sidelined since August because of a stroke, so Ward 4 has been unrepresented since then.
Sure, the mayor and other council members have chipped in, but the southwest Las Vegas ward hasn’t had its own council member.
Of course, everyone involved wants to show compassion for Romero, an auto repair shop owner elected in March. Yet there is a need for Ward 4 to be represented.
When Councilman Andrew Feldman recently brought up the idea of having a temporary replacement for Romero, he was told that this wasn’t allowed under the city charter. One of Romero’s friends wrote a letter to the editor recently criticizing Feldman for even suggesting the idea.
But there is a way to show compassion and ensure Ward 4 representation. Why not have Romero step down from his position and put in someone he trusts while he is recovering? His son, David George Romero, a politically engaged guy who is a West Las Vegas school board member, may fit the bill as a replacement.
When the elder Romero gets better, his son could resign and Mayor Alfonso Ortiz could reappoint the father back to the position.
I haven’t run this by anyone involved. Obviously, it would require the agreement of the mayor.
But it seems like such a solution would satisfy the concerns of all involved.
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Political bodies don’t like tough votes, so they avoid them at all costs.
Last week, the Las Vegas City Council finally had to decide on what to do with the controversy-prone Fiesta Council.
The council voted unanimously to have the city take over Fiestas de Las Vegas.
It was pretty clear that Councilwoman Diane Moore would oppose the Fiesta Council. Three months ago, the group kicked her out of one of its meetings.
But it was less certain how council members Andrew Feldman and Tonita Gurule-Giron would come down on the issue.
Feldman has a good friend among the Fiesta Council’s leadership, and Tonita Gurule-Giron had never really spoken publicly about the issue. Neither had criticized the group.
The controversies began when Fiesta President Mathew Martinez kicked out six members from the council in July. Then we found out the group had a bunch of problems: It hadn’t submitted a financial report to its membership in months, turned in a late event permit to the city, botched its music schedule and forgot to ask for its annual monetary donation from the city.
Those things were disturbing. But I’m betting what really turned the public against the Fiesta Council was its dealings with 2009 Fiesta Queen Carmela Montoya.
The council complained that she missed required appearances as the queen. But she said she was tending to her sick grandfather, who raised her. He later died.
Most people in this family-oriented town could understand the 22-year-old Montoya’s reasoning.
Nonetheless, the council halved her promised scholarship and publicly criticized her in the process, but it wouldn’t give her a chance to speak in her defense at a subsequent meeting. Shouldn’t the Fiesta Council have sought the other side of the story before attacking someone? That it didn’t seemed grossly unfair to many.
At yet another meeting, the council resumed its attacks, even saying Montoya took the crown.
Instead of making Montoya look worse, the Fiesta Council sullied its own public reputation.
That’s probably why the City Council ended up voting unanimously against the Fiesta Council. It was hard to defend a group that showed no mercy to its former queen.
David Giuliani is managing editor of the Las Vegas Optic. He may be reached at 425-6796 or firstname.lastname@example.org.