THUMBS DOWN to State Treasurer Dan Schwartz for issuing a laughable news release about the resignation of Michael McDonald from a high-paying job in the treasurer’s office.
McDonald happens to be the chairman of the Nevada State Republican Party who somehow landed a $95,000-a-year job with the Republican treasurer. He was hired this past summer to do something called community outreach, a signal that the hiring was an inside job at the expense of taxpayers.
The news media rightfully questioned this cozy arrangement, and suddenly the treasurer decides that McDonald won’t be collecting any more state paychecks.
But in his news release, Schwartz attributes McDonald’s resignation to office logistics, not public outcry over the shady hiring. Schwartz said he was basing senior staff members in Carson City for a major program his office oversees, and McDonald, who has a home and family in Las Vegas, would rather resign than move to the state capital.
Now that’s some of the most inventive press-release writing we’ve ever come across.
THUMBS DOWN to the serious shortage of schoolteachers in the state, which one member of the Nevada Board of Education called horrific.
Is low pay to blame? We aren’t convinced, especially when you consider the time off during school breaks. Lack of respect for teachers, for proper student behavior in the classroom and for the education system in general? Now you might be on to something. Teaching can be a thankless and deeply frustrating profession, made harder by the demands society has placed on schools.
One partial solution to the shortage that we think has potential is getting rid of the requirement that teachers must have a college degree in education to get a license. Let’s open up the teaching field to people who have degrees in other fields and who may want a career change.
THUMBS DOWN to the presidential campaign. Can it be that we are already tired of the presidential contenders who seem to visit Nevada every other week, delivering what seems like the same tired message? Yes. It kind of makes us wish we were one of those “fly-over” states in the Midwest.
THUMBS UP to Gov. Brian Sandoval (a favorite THUMBS UP recipient) for putting a big smile on a 9-year-old boy who invited—via a poster displayed on Facebook—the state’s chief executive to visit his fourth-grade classroom in Reno. The governor, of course, accepted. The boy’s reaction said all you need to know: “Awesome.”