Gillespie’s calm demeanor serves police well during tough time

Notes from a city in mourning:

There aren’t many thanks for the sheriff of Clark County. Doug Gillespie learned that lesson early in his tenure.

Now Gillespie is a few months from passing the difficult duty to either Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo or retired Capt. Larry Burns, capable men who easily moved on to the general election following Tuesday’s primary.

Gillespie has had a rough ride in the past year as he has tried unsuccessfully to make the case before the Clark County Commission for funding for additional officers. Perhaps that experience reminded him why he decided not to run for a third term.

But nothing can prepare a sheriff, or the two men seeking to replace him, for Sunday’s shooting deaths of officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo.

Gillespie has handled the tragedy with the understated character that citizens have come to expect from him. That calm, respective demeanor hasn’t always served him well politically, but during these awful days it has helped provide a reminder that the citizens chose well when they elected him to lead local law enforcement.

GENTLEMAN BOB: To a person, everyone I’ve spoken with regarding the late Bob Faiss has offered essentially the same praise: That he was one of the finest men they had ever known, that he was a gentleman in a tough racket, and that he would be embarrassed by all the adulation.

Family, friends and colleagues will gather today at 3 p.m. at the historic Fifth Street School to pay respects to the life of the hall-of-fame gaming attorney, who died recently after a long struggle with cancer.

After leaving the city desk at the Las Vegas Sun, Faiss worked for the fledgling Nevada Gaming Commission and then accepted a position as Gov. Grant Sawyer’s executive assistant. With the commission, Faiss was responsible for helping to literally write the book on gaming regulation in Nevada. He penned words that helped the state shake its outlaw image.

“Bob turned out to be an absolutely phenomenal writer,” Sawyer recalled in his oral history “Hang Tough!”

As Sawyer’s executive assistant, Faiss specialized in putting out political fires and writing Sawyer’s speeches.

Sawyer would recall that Faiss, “took care of making sure that my speeches indicated that I knew what I was talking about.”

Faiss did the leg work necessary to research a topic, recruiting department heads and state experts to provide perspective. Then, Sawyer said, “Bob would rewrite the ones that were not particularly competent. ... Most of what I wrote or said in the last several years of my governorship came out of Bob Faiss, who would rewrite it and was the final arbiter on all of those things.”

Although his father, Wilbur Faiss, served in the Legislature, gentleman Bob never held public office. But he held more than one public office together from just off stage.

POT POLITICS: At first glance, fallout from the recent selection of 18 medical marijuana dispensary license applicants by the Clark County Commission has been minimal.

That might not last. Some jilted applicants are beginning to speak up about what they perceive was biased treatment by the county. If they decide to go on the record, commissioners are likely to catch an earful.

And we’ve not yet heard from real estate and business owners who only recently received notifications of the possible approach of medical marijuana operations in their areas. Not everyone is as excited as county officials about the changes in the wind.

GUBERNATORIAL SACRIFICE: Robert Goodman will represent the Democrats in the general election against Gov. Brian Sandoval, but Oscar Goodman would have been more fun.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Months after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and wife Landra decided to officially move from his hometown of Searchlight, a story on the subject only recently surfaced. ... Now that he has been edged out of the Republican nomination for governor by the incumbent, perhaps Eddie Hamilton will now give his relentless assault on Twitter a rest. Please.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call 702-383-0295. Follow him on Twitter @jlnevadasmith.