Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 | 2 a.m.
I worked with Steve Sisolak every day from 2011 to 2016 while I was county manager. Based on that experience, I can say without hesitation that the portrayal of him as a tax-and-spend elected official who is determined to raise property taxes could not be further from the truth.
Steve’s leadership brought Clark County through the Great Recession by cutting spending, eliminating waste and opposing tax increases, all the while protecting important priorities like public safety. Despite what has been suggested in this campaign season, his record of fiscal responsibility is undeniable. During the recession, Steve was frequently praised for exercising diligent oversight of the county budget. The Review-Journal called him a “fiscal conservative” and the Nevada Policy Research Institute praised his “efforts to hold government accountable” — this is the Steve Sisolak I know.
In contrast to the representations made recently, Steve has been “vehemently opposed” to increasing the property tax rate, which has stayed flat during his entire time in office. In opposing a suggested tax increase intended to address University Medical Center’s persistent budget deficits several years ago, Steve instead pushed for a change in governance at the hospital. The ensuing change was a key part of UMC’s financial recovery.
Steve has never been shy about tackling waste and abuse in order to save millions of dollars for taxpayers. He fought abuse of overtime and excessive sick leave usage in the county. His advocacy led to a $7 million reduction in overtime costs and paved the way to a $30 million savings through arbitration. Steve also supported the elimination of a county agency in order to transfer over $31 million to fund critical services including schools, law enforcement, and public health care.
During the recession, Steve consistently pushed vendors to accept a 10 percent reduction in payment for services and justified it by pointing to the financial hardships our residents were experiencing. His advocacy for financial concessions led to millions of dollars in savings during some difficult financial years for the county.
These are but a few examples of Steve’s consistent record of fiscal responsibility. Steve Sisolak is a dedicated, compassionate public servant who I believe will continue Gov. Brian Sandoval’s legacy of balancing the budget and investing in Nevada’s future.