LETTERS: Commission needs to rein in Metro

To the editor:

Sheriff Doug Gillespie should be ashamed of his actions regarding contract matters with his officers. All the sheriff does is try to bilk the taxpayers out of money any way he can to increase salaries, health and retirement benefits and spiked pensions for him and his department. This idea of him carrying hat in hand, pleading poverty and scaring the public while always asking for more money has to come to an end.

The sheriff has well over $100 million in a reserve account, yet he has the arrogance and gall to continue to ask for more money by imposing another tax on Clark County citizens. I would suggest he use those millions in that reserve fund to operate the department.

In recent contract negotiations, the two-page arbitrator report was a farce. It clearly looks as though there was some deal between the arbitrator, the police officers union and the sheriff, allowing the fudging and manipulation of state law in these contracts. If so, that’s bad. Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is well within his rights to call out Sheriff Gillespie on this situation. It stinks to high heaven. Why is it that Metro, whose officers earn some of the highest salaries, benefits and pensions in the nation, is always screaming for more? I say it’s gluttonous greed, pure and simple.

When it comes to giving Metro everything it wants, Tom Collins — the rootin’ tootin’ cowboy — is the one commissioner who protects the department and finds no fault with these suspicious actions involving the arbitrator, the police union and the sheriff.

The Clark County Commission should rein in Metro sooner rather than later, do away with these lousy arbitrators in union negotiations and refuse to give Metro any more money on the tax-for-cops question. Metro is out of control. Always has been, always will be.

One good thing is that Sheriff Gillespie said he will not seek re-election. Hooray and good riddance. But he gets what he wants. The sheriff will walk away with pension and retirement benefits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars over his lifetime — something no one in the private sector could ever hope to see. What a joke on us, the taxpayers.



Shriners tournament

To the editor:

Regarding your editorial “Getting golf to the fore” (Oct. 23 Review-Journal), I disagree with your overall assessment of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open as far as the tournament being fan-friendly on several fronts.

Ticket prices were increased to help subsidize the increase in prize money, which would have been justified if it attracted a stellar field, rather than what most people perceived as a “B” field of players. Patrons were dinged $20 for valet parking instead of opting for a shuttle bus. Food and beverage prices weren’t a bargain either, and the merchandise tents gave very little in the way of discounted tournament prices.

As a person who has attended and covered many professional golf tournaments, the energy, the vibe and the creativeness needed for success is just not alive and well at the Shriners event. The Shriners started on the right path by getting rid of Justin Timberlake. Now they need to finish the job by doing three simple things:

— Get rid of tournament director Adam Sperling, who brings nothing to the event because he doesn’t have the connections needed to attract world-class players, nor is he an independent thinker.

— Change the format of the tournament.

— Stop wasting the sponsor exemptions.

Even having the money to subsidize this event, how long do you have to be hit over the head before you get tired of losing money? Changes need be made from top to bottom.



Prosecuting cops

To the editor:

The senseless killing of Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson is a disgrace to all veterans in Las Vegas (“Shooting settlement pending,” Oct. 9 Review-Journal). I have observed misconduct over the years by the Metropolitan Police Department and am ashamed to live in a county where ordinary citizens are afraid to dial 911 because of the extraordinarily unprofessional behavior and conduct by — as we said in the Marines — that 10 percent who give good cops a bad name.

Where is District Attorney Steven Wolfson in this mess? He refuses to prosecute cops, regardless of the evidence. No wonder there are so many shootings committed by police. There’s no fear of punishment.



Lack of leadership

To the editor:

It was known well in advance that hundreds of thousands of federal employees would receive back pay when the partial government shutdown ended. So would it not be logical for President Barack Obama by executive order to direct all federal workers to stay on the job and place their earnings in an interest-bearing escrow account until Congress ended the shutdown through a normal path of legislative action?

National parks and other agencies would have remained open for business. Those who depend on federal agencies for their livelihood would not have been harmed. Families and businesses would not have been placed at risk.

Instead, our president decided he couldn’t let a good crisis go to waste, inflicting as much pain as possible on the American people in order to blame on Republicans.

His lack of leadership in this regard was petty, childish and unforgivable. And our dysfunctional government marches on.