Centennial Hills’ Ronemus Drive, gateway to the undisclosed location that houses Las Vegas’ city archives, is almost purposefully unassuming.
“It’s not long. I don’t think it even makes it to the other side of Cheyenne (Avenue),” said city spokesman Jace Radke. “It’s basically just an access road to the west (road maintenance) yard.”
The half-mile-long road, marked by a single, beat-up sign underneath a city-maintained trail bridge spanning West Cheyenne Avenue, gives a wide berth to city street sweepers and gravel pushers before allowing for a single-lane entry to baseball fields at neighboring Doc Romeo Park.
To the uninitiated, it looks short, wide and otherwise unremarkable, the opposite of former City Clerk and namesake Roni Ronemus.
Ronemus, who ended her almost three-decade-long career in city government six years ago, had already spent years corralling City Hall’s paperwork and administrative staff by the time city officials got around to dedicating Ronemus Drive in 1994.
The 63-year-old New York native got her start in the city manager’s office in 1979, having already worked stints at the governor’s office and Nevada state Legislature in the months after her graduation from Aptos, Calif.-based Cabrillo College.
She picked up a full-time position as city clerk in 1997, when she set to work almost immediately lobbying on behalf of the massive city archive building located somewhere along the road that today bears her name.
Ronemus stuck around the office for nearly a year after the archive building’s grand opening until her retirement in 2007.
She still counts the center as one of her proudest achievements, behind only the road city officials named for her some 13 years earlier.
“I remember I told (former City Councilman) Scott Higginson that everyone seemed to have a street named after them except for me,” she said with a laugh. “It was very nice, and I felt very honored, especially since it ran to my records center, which I worked so hard to put together.
“That was one of my goals: to open that records center before I left.”
Ronemus concedes that after decades spent in the city government trenches, she might have gotten away with asking for her name to go on a freeway but added that she’s always been more than happy with a quiet road in exactly the right place.
So are her parents, who moved from New York to join their daughter within a few years of her Las Vegas arrival.
They, like her, took to the desert almost immediately, which helps explain why one of Ronemus’ family favorite photos features herself, her father and now 96-year-old mother huddled around a small street sign with a funny name, surrounded by sagebrush.
“You want to know something? I’m very proud of that road,” she said. “Anything bigger is not really my style. I was able to see it back when there was nothing there, just a bridge by the wash.
“It was still desert when they finally put up the sign, when I took that picture with my parents, but it’ll always mean something to me.”
Contact Centennial and North Las Vegas View reporter James DeHaven at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3839.