Las Vegas Sun

August 10, 2022

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COUNTY GOVERNMENT:

Competition leads to frustration at county commission meeting

Billboard Music banners

Here is an example of a street banner proposed for light poles on Las Vegas Boulevard to advertise events sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. County commissioners were concerned that the subcontractor making them didn’t have an active business license.

Because of the poor economy, Clark County officials are seeing businesses that never considered county work bidding and doing everything else they can to get government contracts — for paving, construction, repair or whatever else the county needs.

Although the increased competition is creating some savings, it has also caused some frustration.

Why? Because rarely does a County Commission meeting go by without the elected officials being told of bidders filling out paperwork erroneously, or not submitting bids in time, or failing to meet other requirements, such as being a licensed business.

Another big issue is finding Nevada companies to do the work over out-of-state companies. That came up in August when the Las Vegas Valley Water District wanted to hire a Portland, Ore., company to conduct a survey about Springs Preserve. After hearing commissioners’ complaints, the Water District agreed to look for a local company to do the job.

It has been happening for close to two years. It happened again Tuesday morning.

In a “good news” sort of item on the county agenda, the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission sought an interlocal agreement with Clark County to put 3-by-8-foot banners on light poles on Las Vegas Boulevard to advertise events sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority — December’s National Finals Rodeo, the NASCAR race and related events, the MAGIC convention and others.

Commissioner Tom Collins, chairman of the authority, estimated that 200-plus banners would be created for each event. Costs related to the banners were not immediately available.

It’s just the kind of issue commissioners can gush about and declare as something good for the local economy.

But there was a glitch, the kind that has grown more common as the county deals with new businesses. The local company selected to make the banners doesn’t have an active business license.

“It’s posted (online as) inactive,” Denis Cedarburg, Clark County Public Works director, told commissioners.

A long pause and looks of incredulity.

“I would assume before we do business, they would comply with the code of wherever they are located,” Commissioner Steve Sisolak replied.

A representative from the convention authority, holding a prototype of a banner, stood quickly and said he would “make sure” of that.

“I think it should be standard practice, whatever board (is being addressed) that you automatically see if they’re doing business properly,” Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani said. “We shouldn’t even be having this conversation. There’s a lot of businesses that want to do work with us, and we just want them to play by the rules.”

Collins said the banner-making business is doing work for a Transportation Commission contractor, which is properly licensed.

Sisolak replied that the subcontractor making the banners needed to be licensed, too.

Collins then asked if he could put the prototype banner in his office until the banner-making company got its license.

Someone chuckled. But there was no gushing from commissioners. No proclamations about how great the banners would be for the local economy. They simply passed the measure, 7-0, and moved on.

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