Las Vegas Sun

April 19, 2014

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Looking in on: Suburbs:

Henderson hopefuls spill a little about fired manager

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Mary Kay Peck

Henderson mayoral candidates Andy Hafen and Steve Kirk had plenty to say in recent interviews about the firing of former City Manager Mary Kay Peck.

Both said they made the right decision to fire Peck last month, only 18 months after she had been promoted from assistant city manager.

“I think we made a bad hire,” Kirk said.

Peck has sued the city over the termination, claiming the City Council violated her employment contract.

Kirk said he lost faith in Peck after she lied to him about the ability of city employees to go to Texas to see examples of mixed-use developments.

Peck told him employees, including Finance Director Steve Hanson, had other plans or family emergencies or did not want to take the trip, Kirk said, but he later learned Peck had directed the employees not to go.

“If she was going to lie about something like that, it made it hard to trust her about bigger issues,” Kirk said.

Both candidates said employees told them about Peck being abrasive and micromanaging.

“The major thing is that she was very divisive,” Hafen said.

Peck and her attorney dispute the accusations. In the lawsuit filed last week she says council members conspired against her and have painted a false portrait of her integrity, character, loyalty and competence.

The City Council voted unanimously to fire Peck last month, citing a host of allegations.

Last week it appointed Mark Calhoun, a former assistant city manager, to the position.

Calhoun will be paid $225,00 annually, as Peck was.

•••

The ethics complaint filed against North Las Vegas mayoral candidate William Robinson has been dismissed by the secretary of state.

In a letter, Matthew Griffin, deputy secretary for elections, said the department had no legal authority to take action on the complaint.

The North Las Vegas Police Officers Association claims Robinson, a city councilman since 1983, misrepresented the support of the police union on mailers.

The police association, which represents nearly 500 North Las Vegas police officers, endorsed Robinson’s opponent, Councilwoman Shari Buck.

Robinson has been endorsed by some police officers through the North Las Vegas Police Officers PAC, which formed in February.

A political action committee can be established by one person to raise money for political races or causes.

Scott Hafen, president of the PAC, has said many officers support Robinson because of his experience and his support for promoting high-level officers from within the department.

Hafen said his group has about 50 officers supporting it.

In addition to offering the “endorsement of police,” Hafen has since made a pair of automated phone calls supporting Robinson.

•••

Questions have been raised about a Henderson City Council candidate’s business license.

Cathy Rosenfield considers herself the owner of a vacation rental property business. But her business consists of only one condominium unit.

The three-bedroom condominium is in Brian Head, Utah, only minutes from the ski slopes.

Rosenfield has not applied for a business license in Henderson, because the condo is roughly 220 miles from city limits.

She does have a business license in the small Utah community.

Rosenfield finished second in a six-candidate primary with 22 percent of the vote. Her opponent in the June 2 Ward 3 election, Kathleen Boutin, finished first with 45 percent of the vote.

Boutin is considered a heavy favorite in the race, having raised more than $100,000 before candidates registered for the ballot.

In comparison, Rosenfield raised $7,000, mostly from her own pocket.

Rosenfield said she wasn’t surprised by the concerns over her rental property. “I expected some mudslinging,” she said.

But she expressed surprise that the media have not been more critical of Boutin’s relationship with County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.

Boutin has dated Sisolak and the commissioner has aided her campaign.

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