STOP THE PRESSES: Government saves money

I’m not shuckin’ and jivin’ you about this.

The Nevada Taxpayers Association checked them out before honoring three finalists at an awards dinner last night in Carson City, where saving money is the talk, but not always the walk.

The winner of the Cashman Good Government Award is the UNLV Facilities Management Department’s Business and Finance unit, which saved $11 million since 2001.

The NTA honored the unit for “maintaining a constant energy consumption rate despite increases in staff and larger facilities. A recycling program generates money and reinvests it, reducing the necessity for state funds. Energy-efficient equipment and lighting systems have boosted the savings, as have new maintenance techniques.”

A finalist was Christine Wood of the state’s Health Division in Carson City, who attracted sufficient grant funding to build a nationally-recognized oral health program for children.

And the third finalist is the city of Las Vegas’ “Celebrate” program, a program with no budget. Now that’s good government. Volunteers in each of the city’s 13 departments offer ideas for efficiency and save an estimated $200,000 a year.

There are awards aplenty in today’s world, but a favorable nod from the Nevada Taxpayers Association isn’t easy to get, so I always take special notice of the ones — people or organizations — who win the NTA honors for its good government awards.

And they say there’s no good news in today’s world.