Job vacancies abound for City of Las Vegas

-A A +A
By Jason Brooks

Need a job?

If you have the correct qualifications and/or certifications, the City of Las Vegas might have something for you.

From the City Manager position to some part-time jobs, the city had at least 20 vacancies as of late Friday morning. Some were created by retirements; others are simply due to a high amount of turnover.

Mayor Tonita Gurulé-Giron directed questions about hiring city directors to Public Information Officer Lee Einer, who said many of the vacancies won’t be addressed until after the April 17 runoff election for the two contested City Council positions.

“The City Charter directs the process for the appointment and confirmation of officers and directors,” Einer said. “The Mayor appoints the officers, subject to council approval. That approval takes place at an organizational meeting, which is held at the first meeting following a municipal election. The City Manager is one of the officers thus appointed and approved; the City Manager appoints directors, subject to council approval.”  

The positions that do not have a permanent designated hire perform everyday functions. They include City Manager, Police Chief, City Attorney, Public Works Director, Community Development Director and Community Services Director.

The city has not advertised any of these positions publicly.

Einer said a permanent hire for the City Manager position, which was vacated when Richard Trujillo retired in late December, will be appointed and submitted for Council confirmation at an organizational meeting following the runoff election.

A heated exchange developed at the Council meeting in February between the mayor and Councilor Vince Howell, who wanted to have some type of item about filling a director position on the March agenda.

Ann Marie Gallegos, the city’s finance director, has been filling in and completing many of the City Manager tasks since Trujillo retired. Tana Vega, the Deputy Finance Director, has moved up to perform finance director duties since Trujillo’s departure, including providing monthly finance reports at public meetings.

Commander Chris Lopez was appointed by the mayor in December to be the interim police chief, as Chief Juan Montaño retired as soon as a tort claim he filed against the city ended with a settlement. Lopez filed this week to run for San Miguel County Sheriff this year.

The Council voted in December to terminate the contract of City Attorney Corinna Laszlo-Henry. Einer said the city is contracted with two local attorneys, Danelle Smith (whom the city has called upon at times since former city attorney Chico Gallegos departed) and David Silva.

Veronica Gentry went from being an administrative assistant in the to Public Facilities Department, as recently as last summer, directly to being named the department’s interim director.

She retired in February; Street Superintendent Chris Rodarte has been introduced at meetings as the acting director for the entire department.

Renee Garcia was hired late last year to be the Director of Community Development. However, she has not been at City Hall for several weeks; Einer said he could not confirm what type of leave she has taken or if and when she will return.

Community Development oversees many aspects of city functions, including code enforcement. That division has only one enforcement officer — Levy Lujan — and has an opening for a second officer on the jobs page of the city website.

Multimedia Production Coordinator Virginia Marrujo will stay plenty busy — especially while the city actively recruits to find a replacement for the recently departed event planner and film liaison Tiara Shorty.

Marrujo is also handling much of the city’s social media, as well as helping lead the planning for Fiestas de Las Vegas and other city events.

There are nine positions advertised on the city’s website, including a computer technician and a part-time lifeguard.

The lack of qualified lifeguards has caused the city to reduce the hours of the newly remodeled indoor pool at the Abe Montoya Recreation Center.

A full list of city job openings can be found here: goo.gl/P52iaZ

The rec center was run by Community Services Director Pam Marrujo, who left last year on maternity leave.
However, this week, Einer said Pam Marrujo will not be returning to active employment with the city. He didn’t elaborate further.

Wednesday’s work session went quickly for the Las Vegas City Council, but two major items were addressed.

Councilor Barbara Perea-Casey asked Gallegos the interim city manager, about the process of reviewing the initial report from a special audit the Council ordered last September.

Gallegos said the initial review and reply was meant to be done by management only, and after reviewing the city administrators’ response, the Office of the State Auditor will post the report publicly within the next few weeks.

“Once the OSA  releases the audit report as a public record, they will post the audit report on their site (saonm.org) and we will post the report on the city website also,” Einer told the Optic.

One of the main items at Wednesday’s work session was to discuss the Lodgers Tax Advisory Board’s recommendation raise the tax from 4 percent to 5 percent.

Gallegos said 5 percent is a widely used variable by cities throughout the state.

An ordinance to raise the tax from 4 percent to 5 percent was unanimously added to the consent agenda for this Wednesday’s 6 p.m. regular monthly Council meeting.

The Lodgers Tax Board is scheduled to meet Friday, March 23, 3 p.m., in the transportation meeting chambers of the train station building, 500 Railroad Ave.