Thursday, February 3, 2011

First Thoughts on Henderson City Council Forum

Wow. It's one thing to hear all the rumors swirling around the campaigns and candidates of 2011, but it's something else to hear directly from the people in the news. That's what happened last night when I grabbed a front row seat at the Henderson Democratic Club Candidate Forum.

Here's what I noticed last night:

- Debra March is definitely knowledgeable on Henderson issues and what she feels she can do to continue making this city great. She had an interesting take on "rightsizing" local government- that is, making local government more efficient while continuing to improve the essential services that everyone loves about Henderson. I was definitely getting a Clintonesque vibe... In a good way, of course! And as the former Director of The Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at UNLV, I could most definitely see her inner policy wonk shine through! As y'all know, I do have a soft spot in my heart for wonks. ;-)

- Sam Bateman is new to campaigning. I could tell. However, he isn't new to community service. As soon as he started talking about his "family values" of utilizing local policy to ensure Henderson families have access to good jobs and economic security, I was melting. And when he described in depth what Henderson's Planning Commission does and how he relishes his role in protecting the quality of local neighborhoods, I could tell he may be new to campaigning, but not new to getting a tough job done.

- Gerri Schroder has real passion. I could feel it, and I most definitely heard it in her speech last night. She clearly knows Henderson and knows Ward 1, as she was telling us stories of fighting NV Energy's attempt to mount huge transformers in people's backyards, meeting regularly with rural homeowners who want to preserve their community as they know it and love it, and working on a truly balanced budget that keeps city finances in the black while also keeping people working and services running. It was hard not to be moved.

- Kevinn Donovan also showed up. He explained why he jumped into this race after losing his State Assembly race last fall. After November, someone reminded him of a promise he made to run in this election after the decision was made on the Ward 2 appointment in 2009. He spoke about being on the job at Cosmopolitan as the new casino was opening, and that his business experience there best qualifies him to run Henderson. He then proceeded to attack current Henderson leadership, then offered proposals on issues like severing Henderson from Clark County School District, issues that I don't think the city has too much control over.

That's what I saw last night. Oh, and the snapshots above as well. Local politics certainly isn't dull, and Henderson may be in for quite a dramatic election this year.

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