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Who should, shouldn’t lead

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Looks like the city charter will be put to the challenge. With so many running, it is bound to be a runoff. The candidates’ reasons for running are varied and say a lot about them.

As a voter, what is it that we should be looking for? Not all mentioned our problems about water and economic development. Are we looking for a cohesive city government? One that is not divided by factions and must always have the mayor make the decisions? Are we to vote for someone with “connections” to bring in money? One who runs a periodical that promotes cronies and relatives and a return to an old Las Vegas? Do we want someone that was in city government and involved with utilities when it went in the wrong direction? Do we vote for someone who wants to give exempt directors and supervisors a year’s contract and doesn’t make time for all councilors to evaluate them and doesn’t allow time for the people to give their opinion? What is the job of mayor or council anyway? We have representatives and senators to work for us in state and federal government.

There is a reason that the city manager, supervisors and directors are exempt employees. If they are good we have no problems. If they can’t pass an audit, manage the city’s money, manage a recreation program or supervise workers safely and properly, they need to be gone as soon as possible. If a city has good supervisors and directors, the job of mayor and councilor is easy.

A city should let its city manager run the day-to-day business. It is the factions and uncompromising hardheadedness of our mayors and councilors that destroy the workings of the city.

We should be looking for councilors who are informed, are open to hear other views and open to compromise. They should table any task that doesn’t have their majority vote and never leave the ultimate decision to the mayor. They should bring their ward’s problems to the council but be ready to vote in the direction that is for the good of the city overall. I think the most important job is in evaluating the city’s supervisors and changing them when they aren’t up to the job. They should never be there to push their own agendas, get jobs for anyone or micromanage the city managers.

The mayor is the ultimate representative of the city. He is the parliamentarian at city council meetings and should see to the fairness to all at the meetings. If he makes the final vote because of a tie with the councilors, he is not doing his job well. He should call for them to work on that item more and have the councilors resolve it. He should never be there to get anyone a job or keep their job, promote a private agenda or micromanage the city.

I’m looking forward to the candidates’ debates in upcoming forums. Get informed and vote.

Jose Marquez
Las Vegas