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April 21, 2014

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LEGISLATURE 2013:

County to select Brooks’ replacement from field of nine applicants

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Assemblyman Steven Brooks office sits empty before the start of the 2013 legislative session Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 in Carson City. Brooks will be sworn in and then take a leave of absence to address medical issues.

Updated Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 9:22 a.m.

Clark County commissioners will have nine candidates to consider next week when they’re expected to appoint a replacement for expelled Assemblyman Steven Brooks.

The deadline to apply to be considered for the vacant seat was 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The county received nine eligible applications and at least two other applications that were ruled ineligible. One application was received via email at 5:06 p.m. Tuesday, but county spokesman Erik Pappa said Wednesday the applicant did not meet residency requirements for the position.

To be considered for the seat, applicants are required to be registered Democrats and live in Assembly District 17, an area bounded approximately by Lamb Boulevard on the east, Clayton Street on the west and Craig Road on the south, stretching north past the 215 Beltway.

Commissioners will have the option to interview candidates individually leading up to next Tuesday’s board meeting, where they’re expected to make a final selection after a public question-and-answer session with candidates.

Commissioner Tom Collins, whose district overlaps with most of the area Brooks represented, said he plans to make a motion next Tuesday nominating whomever Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick chooses, although Collins doesn’t know who that will be yet.

“That’s the proper thing to do,” he said.

Here’s a look at the nine qualified applicants:

    • Meli Pulido

      A Las Vegas city employee for 25 years, Pulido now spends her time directing the nonprofit Project 150, which assists homeless high school students in the valley.

      Pulido has the backing of Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow, who wrote in support of her candidacy in a letter included in Pulido’s application.

      “I have no reservations in supporting Mrs. Pulido as she seeks to fill Assembly seat for District 17,” Barlow wrote. “I am confident that she will be dedicated to the residents and waste no time getting to work.”

      Pulido also received letters of support from leaders of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Southern Nevada Hispanic Employment Program.

      In her application, Pulido describes herself as an “active listener” and a “fast learner.” She lists education, quality health care and community empowerment among the issues she’d advocate for in Carson City.

      She also said her retiree status would allow her to focus her efforts on representing the district in the remaining weeks of the session.

    • Michelle Jotz

      After spending the 2011 legislative session in Carson City as a lobbyist for police unions, Michelle Jotz says she wants to use that experience representing Assembly District 17.

      “I’ve been in that building. I’m familiar with the process. I know a good portion of the legislators,” she said. “I’m able to hit the ground running with very little training.”

      Jotz, who now works as a detective for Metro’s Internal Affairs Bureau, said she would work to address concerns raised by constituents and represent them while bills were being amended and improved.

      A licensed foster parent, Jotz said she’d take a special interest in legislation that affects the foster care system.

    • William Robinson II

      The son of a former North Las Vegas city councilman, Robinson has spent years volunteering for the city, including stints on the Citizens Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Board.

      A banker, Robinson said he wants to provide a voice for constituents who have lacked representation so far in the legislative session.

      “I believe I have the right energy, enthusiasm and judgment to be effective up in Carson City,” he said. “I want to go in and get up to speed and just try and basically be a caretaker for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to make a difference.”

    • Glynn Coleman

      Coleman spent 22 years as a business service representative working for the state of Nevada and now works as a career specialist for GNJ, a job training company.

      A native Nevadan, Coleman said as an assemblyman he’d focus on ways to reduce unemployment and promote education in the state.

    • Kelly Thomas

      Thomas’ background is in land planning and development, and he currently works as director of operations for Better Building Performance, a contractor specializing in energy-efficient renovations.

      He previously represented Assembly District 16 in 1999 and touted his familiarity with the Legislature’s structure and processes in his application.

      Thomas said he’d been closely monitoring more than a dozen bills throughout the session and would be prepared to quickly transition into the role of assemblyman.

      His top goals are to provide a voice for residents in the district, assist Assembly leadership in closing out the session and offer his knowledge on creating jobs through energy and sustainability policy, he said.

    • Fred Young

      A retired business manager and court bailiff, much of Young’s political experience comes from the boards he served on when living in Illinois.

      "I have the knowledge, experience, and the ability to immediately step in and fulfill the responsibilities and duties of this position,” Young said in an email to the Sun. “I am retired, and I am able to dedicate the required time and commitment to the job.”

    • Tyrone Thompson

      Thompson, a North Las Vegas native, said his first goal if appointed to the vacant seat would be to “turn on the lights” at the Assembly District 17 office in Carson City.

      “Open up that office. Have a website. Allow residents to call in, email, be able to meet in person,” he said.

      Even with the session more than halfway finished, he thinks whoever is appointed to replace Brooks can still serve a valuable role acting as a voice for the community.

      If chosen, Thompson, a regional initiatives coordinator who works on homeless issues for the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, said his focus would be on contributing to the state budget discussion and advocating for education, immigration reform and social justice issues.

      “I’ve been following the legislative bills. Whoever goes up there is going to have to be a quick study. I know I am,” Thompson said. “I’m very adaptable. I’m always in troubleshooting mode. I’m always thinking of resolutions for situations.”

    • Mujahid Ramadan

      Ramadan’s work experience spans both the public and private sectors, a trait he says he’d used to his advantage in Carson City.

      A state drug policy director under former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller and a regional representative for U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in the 1980s, Ramadan now serves as the CEO of M.R. Consulting, which provides workplace training and development on diversity issues.

      Ramadan said he’d made connections throughout North Las Vegas and the rest of the state he’d hope to leverage as an assemblyman.

      “My work here in Clark County has allowed for me to have access to what the needs are all over the valley,” he said. “My fingers are already on the pulse. I’m (the candidate) most in touch with those different issues.”

      Ramadan said if chosen, he would work to help those facing challenges in education, health care and public safety.

    • Michael Kelley

      As a compliance investigator for the Nevada Taxicab Authority, Kelley said he’s learned how to balance the needs of businesses with the needs of government.

      In his application, Kelley said he’d work with state and municipal leaders to find common ground and work in the best interest of North Las Vegas residents.

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    1. Good grief, not one regular citizen among the group. Every one of them has a special interest to promote.

    2. boftx,

      It appears you are saying that someone clueless with no business or government experience should be representing the folks in Dist. 17.

      I think that is what has got most of that area into the problems they currently have. Blind leading the blind.

    3. "That's the proper thing to do," [Collins] said."

      What a traversty government is. Unless I'm missing something, no elected representative at any level -- here or in Carson City -- seems a bit concerned with the legislative session being more than half over while this district has not been represented by its duly elected representative. Nor have I seen anything about Brooks' constiuents recalling him

      "Good grief, not one regular citizen among the group. Every one of them has a special interest to promote."

      boftx -- I'm with you on this one!

      "It appears you are saying that someone clueless with no business or government experience should be representing the folks in Dist. 17."

      vegaslee -- and your herdspeak hightlights the real problem: that the un-clueless are the ones who have been in charge and completely, hopelessly put this state in the mess it's currently in. The Assembly, like the federal House of Representatives, was set up to represent ordinary people. It's why their terms are half the senators'. It was never intended to be a professional class running things.

      "...no man is good enough to govern another man, without that other's consent. I say this is the leading principle -- the sheet anchor of American republicanism..." -- Abraham Lincoln, Speech at Peoria, Illinois, October 16, 1854

      In my experience government