One of the things that I have never been able to understand is this: We elect certain individuals (also called our “rulers”) who then pick people to work for us — presumably in a service capacity of some sort — and those people then end up using their positions to make a bundle of money that comes straight out of our coffers.
I have never been able to understand why these almighty rulers have to go out of state to hire someone to do the job that most likely their assistant has been doing for a very long time; if the person is good enough to be the “active” assistant for a long period of time, why cannot that person be considered for the job?
I cannot comprehend why our rulers need to spend a great bundle of money to hire someone from another state when we have many capable, intelligent, and knowledgeable individuals right here within our state, and maybe even some with inside experience for the job.
I vividly remember the two occasions the rulers went out of the state to “find” a school superintendent for a good chunk of money and neither of them are still here to fulfill their commitment to the people of Nevada; one of them didn’t finish his contract because his mommy was conveniently sick and needed his help; yet coincidentally, they both were accepted and approved by the powers that be. Yes, you guessed it: they were both Mexican.
The only time I believe I was wrong, so far, is when they went all the way to Texas to find the public information officer for the Clark County Eighth District Court of Nevada. When Michael Sommermeyer was hired for that position, I was disappointed because of the fact that he was coming from out of state; today Michael Sommermeyer is the Communications Director for the highest court in the state, the Nevada Supreme Court, and the newly created Court of Appeals, in a brand new building away from the crowded Regional Justice Center; and, in my humble opinion, is doing a very good job and I hate him for proving me wrong, but I am proud of the professional relationship that we maintain since we got to know each other.
By Michael Sommermeyer going to the highest court, it opens the path for Mary Ann Price to take over the Eighth District Court, where she is also doing a fantastic job; I am lucky I have my own sources in the RJC, but even so, every time I need a little more I can always count on Maryann to be reasonable and help me to see the other side of the coin so I can be fair and truthful in my articles.
I know of a few local news reporters that were interested in the job that probably pays more than what the local newspaper and the local news television networks would ever pay. They all were as good in their job as they could be in a city where the news is controlled by the elected officials, and if one does not follow their rules, they blackballed that publication.
The proof is in the pudding; look around and ask any and every public information officer (PIO) in any government entity where their last job was. They all came from television channels and the local “largest and most powerful” newspaper in Las Vegas (because they “manage” to keep it as the only one) where they all were happy doing the job they liked, but they have families and they need more money, insurance, retirement and paid vacation, and who knows how many other perks.
Is working for the government all that wonderful and beautiful? Of course not, but it is a job; if it was all wonderful and beautiful, it would not be work; it would be a pleasure to get out of the house, because I am sure that some of them are not as lucky as the big man in the communications department of the city of Las Vegas who has a great wife and some even greater kids that I have seen grow up right in front of my eyes.
I intentionally avoid mentioning the name of the big shot in the communications department of the city of Las Vegas because if I mention the name of David Riggleman, his counterpart in the County, Erik Pappa, will get upset with me and I can’t afford to have Erik upset with the Las Vegas Tribune.
Regardless if it’s Erik Pappa in the County, or David Riggleman in the city they are both smart enough to hire the best people to make them look good; Erik has Dan and Kelly that are both very professional and dedicated to their duties. I never deal with anyone else, but I imagine that they are all as good.
David in the city has Jace and Gail that are also fantastic; and I do know that David has others under his wing, but because I always deal with Jace, I am more than satisfied with his prompt responses and his unique efficiency.
It is a good thing that I have run out of the space allowed to me for doing public relations because I don’t even know myself with all the honey I am giving to these public information officers in the city and the county — not that it will help me in any way because they all work by the book — but they understand, because they all came out of a newsroom.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Public Information Office is a different story; the higher-ups do not allow them to give the Las Vegas Tribune the time of the day.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.