Las Vegas Sun

July 23, 2014

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ANSWERS: CLARK COUNTY:

Public employees make use of ample free time with side jobs

With all the recent hullabaloo over Clark County employees’ salaries — including the $200,000 average in salary, overtime and benefits for firefighters — you might be surprised to know how many county workers moonlight to make extra money.

Their outside work came into question last week when a firefighter’s funeral home, La Paloma, won the right to be included in the rotation of mortuaries called by the Clark County coroner.

How many county employees have filed outside work forms?

By the Sun’s count, about 225. (The numbers do not include outside jobs for Metro Police or University Medical Center.)

The wide array of jobs is impressive and speaks to the enormity of county government — it employs about 10,000 people — and the variety of areas over which the county has responsibility.

The forms are turned in by part-time and full-time employees, so some may work just one hour per week at another job, while others work 40 hours a week. In total, the Sun’s rough calculations show total hours of outside work by this group each week is about 1,500.

What kind of jobs do they hold?

You name it. Some have part-time jobs selling Avon and Mary Kay products, or training with the Army Reserve and National Guard. There’s a county electrician who referees NCAA football games; a couple are casino valets; several do painting, ceramics and other art — “it rarely sells,” one wrote; tax preparation; a freelance writer; one has the title “honorary consul general of Japan”; another is on the fire/safety crew at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; another is in the band Slim Henry and the Good Uns; there’s a guy who sings Billy Joel songs; a horse masseuse; a Wal-Mart cashier; several real estate agents; a mystery shopper who “secretly evaluates customer service”; a Dairy Queen owner; a grocery store stocker; air traffic controller at Creech Air Force Base; a waitress who works “pushing pancakes and pocketing tips” at IHOP; a model; the owner of a barbecue catering company; fencing instructor; and someone who does voice-overs for advertisements.

Which department has the most people doing outside work? Is it the Fire Department, where employees typically work 10 days a month (24-hour shifts) outside of overtime or callback periods?

Yes. From our count, 33 Fire Department employees had some form of outside work. The next highest: Parks and Recreation with 27 employees.

•••

The designation of 30,000 acres of desert in the northern valley as a fossil bed national monument is close to becoming a reality.

How do you know that?

At the Sun City Aliante clubhouse Wednesday night, about 100 residents turned out to hear from the Bureau of Land Management, paleontologists with the San Bernardino (Calif.) County Museum and Neil Kornze, an Elko native and senior policy adviser on natural resources for Sen. Harry Reid. Gayle Marrs-Smith of the BLM talked about upcoming public hearings on the draft environmental impact statement recently completed by the BLM.

Kornze was asked whether the national monument designation is “pretty much a done deal.”

How did Kornze reply?

He laughed. He said in politics, “done deal” are “two words rarely used.”

But he also said that Reid is impressed 10,000 people have signed a petition supporting the designation. Equally impressive is that all of the governmental entities touching, or flying over, the acreage — Clark County, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and Nellis Air Force Base — have expressed support.

With that, Kornze said, “I very much expect we’ll see a national monument I think we’ll get there very soon.”

The audience erupted in applause.

At stake, the California paleontologists made clear during the two-hour presentation, are thousands of ice age fossils buried along the Las Vegas Wash, which is relatively untouched. A federal designation would bring the support of the National Park Service and protect the acreage for paleontologists and local schools and would likely boost tourism.

The Protectors of Tule Springs, a group led by teacher Jill DeStefano, has fashioned a brochure with a conceptual sketch of a visitor’s center.

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