Thumbs: Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board


UNDERMINING AUTHORITY. The Las Vegas City Schools board placed Superintendent Rick Romero on leave for seven days on Tuesday because of a violation of the district’s computer-use policy. Chairman Ramon “Swoops” Montaño said a complaint came from a school employee, which led to the suspension.
Such an action was probably necessary, but it’s certainly unfortunate. It undermines his leadership. And to come on the heels of public outrage over inflated property tax bills — because of a mistake made last year under Romero’s watch — puts the superintendent in a tough, tough spot.

LEAVING TOWN. Ramon “Swoops” Montaño, a long-time school board member on the east side of town and two-time candidate for Las Vegas mayor, announced this week that he’s moving to Rio Rancho. Work and family obligations are necessitating the move away from his hometown, he said.
We’ll miss him. More than once he’s taken on the political establishment and, whether you agreed or disagreed with him, he was always working to be  part of the solution rather than part of the problem. We need more like him.

DELAYED ANSWER. Here we are, eight long months away from the voters’ decision to change the city charter, and the city is getting ready to take the matter to court. We don’t even think a legal challenge is justified, but even if it is, why wait so long after the voters made their decision?
Sour grapes? Maybe, since those who are pushing for a declaratory judgment in district court are on record opposing its passage. To us, all this seems more political than judicial.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE. The Las Vegas Police Department appears to have violated the state’s public records law in its response to a citizen’s request for documents, according to the state attorney general’s office. The AG looked into the matter after Shaun McEllin filed a complaint that the PD didn’t meet the requirement that such documents must be released within 15 days after the request is filed.
McEllin now has the documents he was seeking — a police report on a car fire at Mike’s Body & Paint. Though it really shouldn’t be that difficult to get a public record, McEllin’s dogged determination is commendable.

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“We’re in dire need of water, and the school district has four acre-feet of water that has been approved by the state engineer’s office. On the other hand, the state says you are not entitled to another 38 acre-feet you thought you had.”
— Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, while asking the West Las Vegas school district to turn over its water rights to the city.