Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2018

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Sun Editorial:

Key local races

Endorsements for Clark County Commission, two ballot questions

Full list of endorsements

The Sun has made its endorsements of candidates in the general election. The full list of endorsements can be found by clicking here. Editorials discussing the endorsements began Sunday.

Today, the Sun’s endorsements in the races for the Clark County Commission, which are partisan; the Sun also weighs in on two local questions on the ballot.

Clark County Commission

In his first term on the commission, Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, has earned a reputation as a government watchdog. He has a long business background and has used it to examine contracts, spending and other issues that come before the board. His common-sense approach toward government transcends partisan politics; as it should. His main opponent in the District A race is Republican Barry Herr. Herr, a CPA with good credentials, is a likeable and thoughtful candidate, but he’s running against a strong and effective incumbent. The Sun endorses Steve Sisolak.

In the District B race, former School Board member Ruth Johnson is the Republican challenging Tom Collins, the two-term Democratic incumbent. We have endorsed them both in the past, and we like Johnson, who is a good candidate. However, we see no reason to remove Collins, who has been a very good representative for his diverse district. It includes urban areas in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, as well as Mesquite and the rural Moapa Valley. Finishing his second term, Collins calls himself a “pothole guy” who gets things done, and that he does. But Collins, who spent a decade in the Legislature, also is keenly aware of the larger issues facing the county. The Sun endorses Tom Collins.

Democrat Larry Brown is running for re-election in District C after one term in office. Brown, who served on the Las Vegas City Council, has been a good commissioner. He has a firm understanding of local government and how it affects citizens and businesses. Brown is the clear choice. He’s smart, thoughtful and effective, and voters in the district should be pleased with his work. The Sun endorses Larry Brown.

Lawrence Weekly is running for re-election in District D and deserves a second term. Weekly, a Democrat, knows his district as well as anyone, and he represents it diligently. He is actively involved in the community and is an outspoken advocate for it. A former Las Vegas city councilman, Weekly has worked hard to improve the community. He has done a good job in office and should be re-elected. The Sun endorses Lawrence Weekly.

Local questions

Clark County Question 2

The Clark County School District is asking residents to approve Question 2, which would increase property taxes for six years to provide for school maintenance and some construction projects. The owner of a home valued at $100,000 would see her bill go up by a little more than $74 per year. That’s not insignificant, but the maintenance work is badly needed — the schools have a long list of necessary repairs, particularly involving heating and air conditioning, and some older schools have classrooms that can’t support more than a computer or two because they were wired long before the days of Macs and PCs. The ballot measure is responsible — the money would only go toward maintenance and construction, it would cap the amount the district could receive at $120 million a year, and there’s no bond — the district will pay for projects as it goes on a cash basis. And at the end of six years, the tax ends. This is a wise approach and good stewardship. Clark County residents paid to build the schools, and now they need to maintain them. The Sun endorses a vote for yes on Question 2.

Henderson Libraries Question 1

After a significant amount of budget cutting, the Henderson District Public Libraries is asking for a small increase in property tax to keep all of its branches open. This measure would raise the property tax in Henderson by 2 cents per $100 of valuation, meaning the owner of a home worth $100,000 would pay an extra $7 per year. That’s a minor amount, but it would be huge for the libraries. Over the past few years, the libraries have seen a $3 million decrease in revenue, and staffing has been cut, hours trimmed and branches closed on Sundays. The tax increase would pay for current operations, and without it, at least two branches will close and there will be further cutbacks in services. (And if they close, don’t expect them to come back.) The issue comes down to whether residents support libraries, which these days offer a large array of services. This is a small amount to pay for libraries, which are a great benefit to the community and its quality of life. The Sun endorses a vote for yes on Question 1.

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