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by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on  October  13, 2005 - reprinted with permission

   Governor Kenny you said it was in the mail and Saturday at that. How wonderful that you pulled off this nice rebate of $75. Itís too bad I didnít spend forty grand to buy a new car and get the full amount of some $275.00 back. It was really nice to receive such a personal note along with the check. I have been thinking about how far that money goes. I know it wasnít intended for such comparisons but most of us will do it anyway. Last year we, my wife and I, expensed $11,000+ for medical premiums and pills. I think of when you started the Nevada State prescription drug plan Senior Rx) several years back and we proposed that you consider allowing the rest of us, not just the poor, to become a part of the prescription drug plan knowing we would pay our fair share and make it a great buyersí club. I often wonder if you ever gave that any thought since we never heard from you. I also remember us sending you our proposal to create a preventative health care program for seniors in Nevada. Everyone knows that preventative care is very productive if we keep well rather than patching us up after we became ill. I think of how many smokers whose lives we may have extended if they had quit smoking some eight years ago. The same goes for preventative health care where we proposed simple things like losing weight and shaping up physically to stay fit in our old age. I also think of you when the tobacco money was going to be sent to Nevada in the amount of some $40,000,000 a year. We suggested that that money should have been used for supplemental premiums for smokers to help subsidize their medical premiums thus saving the thousands upon thousands of non-smokers from having to pay the medical costs of smokers as a part of their premiums. As for the millennium scholarship we were not against if but felt that it should have been a part of the general funding budget and as it turns out itís too bad that didnít happen. Then a couple years ago we wanted you to come on board with an audit of the Clark County School District (CCSD) budget after we had reviewed the fifty-some line item budget printed by the Review Journal. We made a serious study of that budget and agreed that just in the CCSD alone we could have eliminated a couple hundred million a year so doubling that in line with the state budget would have meant almost a half billion dollars in savings making all the new taxes unnecessary to begin with. That also would have meant you would not have needed to spend the some $1.5 million on mailing out the checks either. Governor I am only wishing we had a better relationship because it seems the only ones you and most legislators think of are the poor and the school kids. Those of us who have not had a paycheck for 20 plus years are in need of things also. Just because you donít hear much from us doesnít mean we canít use help. In fact at my age of 84 I still carry my registration as an architect and have a real-estate license on hold both just in case I need to go back to work. Thatís really a joke isnít it? But seriously one does think of those things even if they should be OK. That is pretty scary to even think about. I see a lot of older folks working and Iím sure many of them wouldnít be working if they didnít have to. We are sort of the forgotten ones who everyone, if they think about us, think we have no problems. One thing we are aware of is our cost of living is one of the highest in the United States and has been for at least the last half dozen years. We often wonder how so many low income people can make it; be married and have three jobs I guess.

We were supposed to raise money to hire more cops not fill the pockets of the existing force from salary to retirement and health care funding to the tune of 25%. The new Metro contract means that those new cops the sheriff wants to hire at $45,000 a year will quickly jump to $65,000 a year as well. We are not surprised but disappointed that this new quarter cent sales tax is going to fly out the window faster than we can collect it.

It was only August 2nd that I testified before the Clark County Commissioners against the proposal to authorize the ľ cent sales tax and suggested that it wouldnít be long before there would be trouble if the police were in charge of spending it. We just nicely get the quarter percent sales tax shoved down our throat and the sheriff agrees to the 25 % increase for the cops, which means quite a few less new cops when you take into consideration the added cost for new hires. This is exactly what we felt would happen. We already see a couple of the commissioners upset because they are losing their grip on the metropolitan police department again as we suggested would happen. It will be interesting to see how bad it is in a couple more months and who knows how bad it can be in a year at this rate. Why do we re-elect these people to the County Commission? Simple they were in on the redistricting so can hardly lose.

Tell us how does a Clark County commissioner build a new million plus dollar home, own another one and rent an apartment all on less than a hundred grand a year? Oh thatís right her husband Judge Gates makes a hundred fifty grand. They sure must be big savers. This swank new home is not in Yvonneís district so she will live in the apartment in her district five nights a week and move in with hubby on week ends. What a way to live. I just do not see how she can represent her constituents with the mangled mess she has created. Also I have been wondering why she has been so quiet lately. Well now we know she has been driving her architect and contractor over the hill designing and building her fancy new castle. Something else must be getting to her because now she wants two more commission seats added to the present seven member commission. I wonder who she thinks will want to pay for the extra cost of two more commissioners. You can see how far that idea will go. What is Gates complaining about, she already has the smallest county commission seat. If she is getting too tired of representing the smallest district maybe she should think about retiring from her seat and let a younger person do it. I know a great possibility.