My Point of View/By Rolando Larraz
Every time I have the misfortune of communicating with business or government offices, I realize how old I am.
Everything nowadays is punching this and punching that, but I do not want to punch; if I wanted to punch, I would go into my closet and get my old typewriter out. I have a telephone to talk, not to type or punch.
The other day I wanted to call the governor’s office to find out the name of the Public Information Officer so I could send an email with the questions I have about the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) and after one hour of punching numbers, a man claiming to be named Eric, answered the telephone.
Eric, with a very arrogant attitude, told me he could not tell me the name of the Public Information Officer because she is not to be bothered. I called back and the rude woman (not a lady) who answered the telephone in the governor’s office hung up the telephone giving me the impression that she did not indeed want to be bothered and was upset that I had interrupted her afternoon break.
I wonder when these people are going to comprehend that working for the governor’s office does not mean their salaries are coming out of the governor’s pocket; it is the taxpayers paying their salaries.
Later on, I learned that the Public Information Officer is a woman named Melany Delaney, but she cannot handle the amount of calls from news people asking for answers to the fiasco of the DETR taking money from the unemployed citizens of Nevada that have not been paid for the last seven months.
Later, I received a call from who I assume is Delany’s boss, because Gregory Bortolin told me that he is the Director of Communication, which I assumed is for the State of Nevada, but it could be just for the office of the governor.
Then another lady, by the name of Rose who did not offer her last name, called. I did not ask for her last name because I did not want to hear that same old excuse that she cannot give her last name “for security reasons.”
I believe that if they are afraid to disclose their full name, they have two options: 1) they could get another job if they feel their job performance doesn’t go with the expectation of the position, or 2) they could buy themselves a dog to protect them.
All I wanted to ask Ms. Delaney, Rose and Mr. Bortolin was a very simple question — why is the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, aka DETR, using the services of out-of-state call centers when Nevada residents can benefit from those jobs if those call centers were in Nevada.
It is very simple: those who apply for unemployment benefits can get a job in those call centers. Even homeless people willing to work can get a job there; DETR would pay them a salary and the State of Nevada can save money by not paying them a monthly check for not working.
In the telephone conversation with Rose, she told me they are in the process of opening a call center in Nevada, and again, in order to not be insulted by a wimpy answer, I did not ask why it took them almost a year to think about that possible prospect.
Many times, people may think that because I speak with an accent, I also think with an accent, but that is very far from the truth.
There are several call centers in Las Vegas, three of them in the old Commercial Center, one on East Sahara Avenue that I know of, but if they think they need more, the market is wide open.
Rose told me they receive close to a million calls every day; that number of calls sounds astronomical to me, but if it is true that close to a million people have the necessity to call those call centers, it means that close to a million people are not receiving their unemployment benefits.
Hundreds are moving out of the State of Nevada because the government is holding their unemployment benefits and they cannot pay rent, electricity, gas and water. Holding those funds for an indefinite period of time is hurting the economy even deeper.
Just because barber and beauty shops are open it doesn’t mean they are making money because the citizens have no money to pay for the services.
The main problem is, as much as it pains me to admit it, that everybody wants to blame the coronavirus but it is not the virus’s fault, it is Governor Steve Sisolak who does not want to open the economy, so he can blame President Donald Trump for the depressing state of affairs.
The Governor’s hate for the president is so strong that he prefers to sacrifice the economy of the state he is supposed to represent and protect, watching people lose their homes, seeing senior citizens spending nights in the dark because the power company has disconnected their services, and that includes gas—people are not able to cook a nice meal while the governor eats a hot meal on a daily basis. In some cases their water is affected, and even the hauling away of their garbage. Parents unable to pay internet services, something imperative for children to perform their school duties, sacrificed already as they are, are also going away.
Governor Sisolak keeps destroying our economy with the intention to blame President Trump and make him look bad. Sisolak is misjudging the citizens of Nevada, Nevadans are not stupid and they already know the game he is playing.
This is why he is holding the DETR money, that is why he is working with out-of-state call centers, and that is why he wants to make our state and especially the City of Las Vegas into a war zone or a concentration camp.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at 702-272-4634.