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March 1, 2015

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Mayoral candidates debate jobs, prostitution, homelessness

Mayoral debate

KSNV coverage of Las Vegas mayoral debate, March 4, 2011.

A debate Friday night among six of the 18 candidates for Las Vegas mayor addressed issues from job creation to downtown redevelopment, collective bargaining, school vouchers and the homeless.

The forum was hosted by the Citizen Outreach Foundation and held during its First Friday Nevada event at Stoney’s Rockin’ Country bar. The debate was broadcast by KXNT radio and moderated by talk show host Alan Stock.

Clark County Commissioner Larry Brown, businessman Victor Chaltiel, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, retired school administrator Carolyn Goodman, businessman George Harris and city Councilman Steve Ross participated.

The remaining 12 candidates — written off as long shots by the nonprofit group — were not invited.

All of the candidates touted job creation and cutting bureaucratic red tape as top priorities for the mayor.

Goodman — followed in agreement by the others — suggested attracting a motion picture studio to Las Vegas to expand its image as the entertainment capital of the world.

Goodman said she was already in talks with movie industry leaders about studio prospects. “It’s not only good for jobs but good for our students who want to learn and do internships,” she said.

Giunchigliani agreed. “We’re the entertainment capital of the world, and we don’t have a studio,” she said.

On another issue, all of the candidates said they opposed legalizing prostitution in the city.

Goodman, who previously said she would consider creating a red light district, called the issue a moot point because it is “not something that a mayor can change in our lifetime.”

Giunchigliani, previously on the fence, agreed with Goodman and said, “We need to stop the wink and the nod” over prostitution in Las Vegas.

Although education is not within the job description of Las Vegas mayor, candidates continued discussing the Clark County School District and raised new points about the merits of allowing a school voucher program.

Brown, Chaltiel, Harris and Ross said they would support school vouchers to give parents more choices. Goodman and Giunchigliani disagreed.

“Our public school system is the worst in the nation. I’ve been screaming about it for 27 years. Finally, I started the Meadows School to show how it’s done,” Goodman said. “Vouchers fix nothing. (They) are just another Band-Aid. Fix the schools.”

Giunchigliani urged open enrollment instead of vouchers.

“This country was founded on free public education for every child. It’s what made America great,” she said, as some in the crowd booed. “Education is not the mayor's job; it’s everybody’s job.”

Toward the end of the debate, candidates were asked how they would address homelessness in Las Vegas.

Brown said he would give resources to Catholic Charities to “save one human being at a time.”

Others spoke in generalities, citing the large number of veterans and mentally ill among the homeless.

“It’s unbelievable that in the richest country in the world, we can’t take care of the poorest and most deprived people in the world,” Chaltiel said. “It’s a tragedy.”

Harris said he would take a tough stance on “entrepreneurial homeless people.”

He said he would charge beggars with vagrancy, jailing them for a night on the first offense. A repeat offender would then get two weeks, then 90 days behind bars, he said. They would eventually leave Las Vegas, he said.

Goodman said she was going to remain realistic. “This all costs money,” she said. “There is no extra money at this point.”

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  1. DAM,

    Ross was the only candidate who said the mayor's office is not about education. Because it was confusing the way the sentence was structured, we have updated the story.

    The article was written to highlight new issues or changed positions that we have not heard or covered before. Some candidates maintained their platform issues, which we have covered before.

    While reporting this way makes it difficult to give each candidate the same number of mentions in any particular article, the Sun strives to make its overall coverage of the mayoral race -- news articles, analyses and candidate profiles -- as equal as possible.


  2. Clark County already has a two-tier educational system. All who can afford it send their kids to private school. This leaves less support for the Public system and an ever decreasing spiral of support. Public school teachers face insurmountable odds of students coming to school Hungy, Homeless and challenging home situations.
    Yet teachers bear the burden of failing students when Politicians and Society want to Pass The Buck.
    These are not problems at the Mayors level but at the National Level.
    Prostitution will Always be here. A Red-Light district makes sense, no more than a few blocks, tightly regulated and then the revenue raised from it should be used to fight illegal prostitution. Sen. Reid is wrong, look at Amsterdam, London, etc... It's open, taxed and regulated.
    Jobs-What comes First? A Job? or An Education?

  3. morons booing education.

    someone should ask Harris how much it costs to lock up that homeless person for 90 days. that's a brilliant idea......... psyche

  4. Many families do not have the money to pay private schools. An education for our children must be available for all children, not for a selected group.

    Why would people in the audience boo Chris for suggesting school for every child? Who are the Boos Birds against education for all children supporting?

    The Citizen Outreach Foundation errored by not inviting all the candidates. The title "Citizen and Outreach" make this group a joke by not including all mayoral candidates. President Obama has showed that everyone and anyone on a ballot has a chance to be elected. How can the Citizen Outreach Foundation, or anyone, suggest the other candidates do not matter to us, the voters of the this city by deciding not to include all mayoral candidates? This type of forum conducted by the Citizen Outreach Foundation in the eyes of many Las Vegas residents shows us that we the voters do not matter, with the appearance of a set-up to feature a selected candidate of the foundation's choice.

    City Hall will never go to the next level of service to the people with leaders who are limiting our vision and disgarding the voters, and allowing a small group of self-serving power brokers control who is elected and is not elected. Growth in this City is from gaming, not City Hall. When will City Hall start to pull their weight with real leadership?

  5. I repeat...look at the community leaders, business, political...

    These products of modern education are possibly the POOREST leaders in history.

    The current education processes have produced weak-minded, easily manipulated people, who think that pounding round pegs into square a solution.

    If this is the BEST that the educational systems that can yield...shut them all down.

    Rethink, reshape & retool the educational system.

    What? There is a FLAW in my logic?

    Anyone, who thinks that doing SOMETHING is better, than doing NOTHING...

    ...should take another look at the Sand-in-the-brain budget proposal.

  6. It is limiting and discriminatory to only have a select group debating in this forum.

    There needs to be an area for LEGAL brothels, strictly regulated and taxed. Models for such exists.

    Education is about training the citizenry for military service (as needed by our nation, in time of crisis). This is FREE, and subjects youth to military service or government service in the USA. If you desire a superior, well-enriched, highly parental involved education, then private education is your ticket. Therein is the difference. Public is basic, folks. It is adequate, builds a foundation. Families put added-value to it by being involved, doing family activities that are "enriching" full of realia, literacy, and higher level thinking. Public schools can only provide so much.

  7. Another debate that excludes a majority of the candidates.
    Another newspaper article that attempts to promote one candidate.
    This sort of protectionism only dumbs down the place even more.

  8. I agree with DAM.

    While I appreciate the reporter updating his story, nearly every article The Sun has produced on the mayoral election has focused on only one or sometimes two candidates. Even when its a forum, such as this one, where multiple candidates were giving answers to the same questions.

    We count on The Sun to report what happens at these events, not to decide for us what's important.

  9. As Lewis Carroll said in Alice in Wonderland, it gets curioser and curioser. I am referring to the election process of preselecting certain politicians in office for the voters. The press ignored the Veterans in Politics forum at City Hall which invited all candidates. Where is the coverage for that. This is dangerous for democracy since the press can influence the outcome of elections.
    The voters I spoke to don't want someone who was in office and did nothing for them and will do nothing to change the direction of the City, highest in foreclosures, highest in unemployment. Yeah, we're doing great, so lets put one of those politicians in as Mayor. check out one who is being ignored, the most educated with specific plans to turn the City back from the cliff it is surely headed towards.
    hear interviews posted on on 2/28/11 8AM

  10. Careful LV Sun, your bias is showing - again.