THUMBS DOWN to the possibility that major Northern Nevada casinos may emulate what MGM Resorts International decided to do with its resorts on the Las Vegas Strip: start charging for parking.
MGM announced last week that the parking fees will go into effect sometime between April and June. A gaming expert told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the parking fees “could be a historic shift.”
Let’s hope the shift doesn’t extend north. Locals and visitors alike are used to free parking before dropping some money into a slot machine or lining up at the buffet. What’s next? A fee to take the elevator to your room on the fourth floor?
THUMBS DOWN to Washoe County School District officials for trying to downplay the significance of the attorney general’s finding that the board committed another violation of the state’s opening meeting law.
The attorney general, in what was an easy call, determined that the board violated the law when it voted at a March meeting to appoint Traci Davis as superintendent without proper notice to the public. The agenda item only specified that the board would discuss a search for a superintendent, not make an appointment. Later in the meeting, the board took corrective action and rescinded the appointment.
A school district attorney said that because that corrective action effectively cured the violation, the school board could not be successfully prosecuted. Nevertheless, the board’s legal team advised the board to accept a settlement with the attorney general’s office, which the board did.
The board shouldn’t have been in the position to take corrective action in the first place. Board members should have known that taking action without clear public notice is a fundamental, easy-to-comprehend violation of the open meeting law.
Furthermore, did the board members on their own suddenly recognize they had broken the law and decide to correct themselves? Nope. The attorney general’s office said a board member, during a recess in the meeting, learned of the problem thanks to a newspaper website posting.
THUMBS UP to Blackstone Development for donating $5,000 to Spanish Springs High School. The money will be used to support AP test fees for students and to also support the ongoing needs of children in transition at the school.
THUMBS UP to the volunteers and organizations from Northern Nevada who participated in the Martin Luther King National Day of Service on Monday.
The Food Bank of Northern Nevada, the American Red Cross and the University of Nevada, Reno sponsored volunteer events on King’s birthday. The federal holiday in honor of King was designated as a national day of service by Congress in 1994.
THUMBS DOWN to solar-energy advocates who are attacking Gov. Brian Sandoval in the heated dispute over rates for rooftop solar users. Their anger is misdirected. Sandoval clearly has no power, nor should he have any power, to tell the state Public Utilities Commission, an independent regulatory body created by the Legislature, what to do. Yes, the governor appoints members to the PUC, but that’s as far as his authority goes, for good reason.