THUMBS DOWN to Republican State Treasurer Dan Schwartz and Michael J. McDonald, chairman of the Nevada State Republican Party, for an apparent cozy deal funded by taxpayer dollars.
McDonald, it was reported last week, has been working for the treasurer’s office since July 20. His taxpayer-paid yearly salary is nothing to sneeze at, either, at about $95,000. And what does he do for the taxpayers? Something called community outreach activities. We’re not sure what that involves, but it sounds like a job description for an inside hire.
McDonald didn’t have to compete with other applicants to get this community-outreach position. That should tell you plenty.
THUMBS UP to Gov. Brian Sandoval for his action in another matter dealing with state employment.
The governor said he asked Greg Cox, the director of the Nevada Department of Corrections, to submit his resignation when Cox failed to submit on time an important report on shootings at the state’s prisons. The report was supposed to be ready in 30-60 days, but still wasn’t ready 120 days after it was requested.
The governor sent a strong and appropriate message about the importance of keeping state employees accountable.
THUMBS UP to another successful Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off, which brought large crowds to Victorian Square. The event shines a much-needed spotlight on Sparks every September and requires a lot of preparation and planning. Thanks to the Nugget and others for ensuring that the event ran smoothly.
THUMBS UP to Sparks High School and its staff for improving the school’s graduation rate, which was 74 percent last year, compared with 68 percent in 2014 (see today’s story in the Sparks Tribune). The improved rate shows that a little extra attention– at home, in the classroom and during school breaks when students can catch up on their courses–can make a difference.
THUMBS DOWN to Wolf Pack football coach Brian Polian for throwing tantrums at the referees during Nevada’s loss to Arizona, drawing two unsportsmanlike penalties. What did the coach hope to accomplish by screaming at and chasing the officials along the sideline? A fine? Well he got that.
THUMBS UP to the university’s athletic director, Doug Knuth, for fining Polian $10,000. Knuth also said Polian will have a babysitter—a university administration official–on the sidelines during the games to keep an eye on him.