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April 17, 2014

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Columnist Tom Gorman: On the ugly task of going back to work after the holidays — and worse, seeing his suffering colleagues

Tom Gorman's column runs Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at [email protected] or at (702) 259-2310.

It wasn't easy, dragging myself into work on Tuesday. Unlike people who had to work over New Year's weekend, I had way too much fun and was in no mood to return to my desk.

I'm happy to report that our open house was a grand success, thanks in large part to the fact that a bunch of Henderson Symphony musicians showed up -- toting bags of pork rinds and Fritos.

Jeanne and I hosted the party for people who have been mentioned in this column. They included Nelson (the independent espresso guy next to Starbucks), Nedra (the nurse-turned-docent at the Liberace museum) and Luann (the woman who lives in Las Vegas but works on the Alaskan pipeline).

And because I attended a Henderson Symphony concert, we invited all 65 members -- and then panicked that we wouldn't have enough food.

No worries. Taking my hint in last Friday's column, a bunch of them showed up with bags of pork rinds and Fritos, and partied hard. You'll want to invite them to your next party.

But all the fun had to come to an end.

Today as I write this, reporters are struggling to report. One fellow is popping aspirin. Another guy is caressing his forehead and temples. A young woman is rediscovering sobriety. It's not pretty.

So I wondered, how were other people in town faring, back at their desks on Tuesday? Were they mindlessly shuffling papers or trying to get some real work done?

David Roger, the DA, sounded happy to get back to work. On New Year's Eve, he said, he fell asleep in front of the TV at 11 p.m. For the rest of the weekend he watched football and visited friends. "I'm pretty vanilla," he said.

On Tuesday, his plate was full. He was working on a plan to ask county commissioners for more money for additional staffing, and deciding which prosecutors should be shuffled into new assignments. "You want to keep them fresh and energized and offer them new experiences," he explained to me.

Gov. Kenny Guinn qualified for some comp time because he worked over the weekend. After he and his wife, Dema, dined out on New Year's Eve, he returned home for updates on the big storm that swamped Carson City and Reno. On Sunday and Monday he drove around the area to check on storm damage.

On Tuesday, the gov was in various meetings. He was updated by state education people, for instance, on plans to parcel out tens of millions of dollars in state funds for at-risk schools, and then prepared for today's meeting with the secretary of state and the attorney general. The three of them get together regularly to review and sign off on big state contracts. Sounds important but boring.

Rory Reid, the chairman of the Clark County Commission, and his wife, Cindy, spent New Year's Eve with friends, dining on Navajo tacos, which he could not describe. It was otherwise a quiet weekend, highlighted by a Monday matinee -- the Johnny Cash movie, "Walk the Line."

On Tuesday, Reid chaired a commission meeting that only lasted about an hour. Among other things, commissioners created a special improvement district for curbs, gutters, sidewalks and streetlights along Russell Road between Rainbow and Decatur boulevards. Property owners will get the bill. (Happy New Year!)

County Manager Thom Reilly's weekend started early. He celebrated his 45th birthday by going for a five-mile swim and, two days later, running 15 miles. It's some weird birthday tradition, he said, and if he wants to waste heart beats, that's his call.

Reilly watched the Strip's fireworks from home and on Monday adopted a 7-month-old shepherd mix from the Lied Animal Shelter.

On Tuesday, Reilly's agenda included annual evaluations for a pair of senior managers, meeting with a county attorney about the police labor contract, and a chat with park officials about how to better use park space.

To break up the day, he went jogging at noon and returned to a brown-bag lunch that sounded disgustingly healthy: a pear, tuna-in-a-pouch, sugar-free Jello, celery and carrots. (I'll invite him to our party next year, but I'm afraid to think what he'll bring.)

I was mostly curious, of course, about Oscar Goodman's weekend after leading the New Year's Eve megatoast on Fremont Street, and how he was feeling when he went to work on Tuesday.

Oscar didn't call me back, but his staff e-mailed me an Oscar sound bite in which he said he was exhilarated. "My staff was 'on fire' and definitely energized. They attributed their 'buzz' to their partaking in the world's largest toast on New Year's Eve."

Geez Louise, is everyone on the mayor's staff drinking these days?

Tom Gorman's column runs Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 259-2310 or at [email protected]

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