Goodman recounts good and bad during time as Las Vegas’ mayor

"I can’t imagine Las Vegas without Oscar and the showgirls one on each arm," laughed Dom Addonzio, a retired physician who moved to Sun City Summerlin 11 years ago. "He has been mayor for as long as I’ve lived here."

That essentially sums up the tributes from many others to the old guard, better known as Oscar Goodman, as he prepares to step down after the June 7 general election.

But his farewell address was just one of many for the happiest mayor in the universe, as he sipped for the last time from his customary cocktail glass. It has been a long-standing tradition for the Sun City Residents Forum to provide the mayor with his glass of Bombay Sapphire Gin each time he visited.

And indeed, Goodman was in his glory. He recited many of the usual sayings from his bag full of Oscarisms.

"People treat me like royalty all over. I’ll miss it."

"This is a nothing job. You could be a moron and do it."

"If I have to declare an emergency, so I declare an emergency."

"Our tax structure has great advantages. This is even a good place to die. There’s no estate tax."

Of course he talked about his years as a criminal defense lawyer, when he represented underworld figures of such renown that a mob museum will become a major tourist attraction when it opens in December in the old federal courthouse at 300 Stewart Ave .

And so it went. That is until Goodman got serious for a few moments. That was when he reminded his full-house audience that despite all the razzle-dazzle, he should be remembered for some genuinely meaningful accomplishments in the years since June 1999, when he was first elected mayor.

We brought world-class medicine here, Goodman said proudly. High on that list is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health at 888 W. Bonneville Ave. The center is a highly specialized facility for research, early detection and treatment of such neurological diseases as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The center opened its doors in July 2009.

Another facility Goodman championed is the Nevada Cancer Institute, which opened in Summerlin almost six years ago. The institute, which delves into research and provides treatment for cancer patients, is at 1 Breakthrough Way, near the intersection of the Las Vegas Beltway and Town Center Drive, and sits on 6 acres that were donated by The Howard Hughes Corp.

"We also helped bring world-class culture to Las Vegas," Goodman said proudly.

He referred to the Smith Center for Performing Arts being built in Symphony Park at Grand Central Parkway and Bonneville Avenue. The 200,000-square-foot center, with state-of-the-art theatrical and concert facilities, is scheduled to open next year.

"We have so much to be proud of," Goodman said, as he ticked off one accomplishment after another. Of course there’s the revitalization campaign for downtown Las Vegas. He talked about the World Market Center, the Historic Fifth Street School, construction of the new city hall complex and the eventual move by Zappos, the online retailer, into the old city hall.

That will do wonders for bringing back the downtown area, the mayor said.

On the negative side, one of his biggest disappointments was the inability to bring a major sports franchise to Las Vegas. The way he explained it, the city could have had a National Basketball Association franchise, but it doesn t have the kind of arena required by the NBA.

"I worked to get David Stern, the NBA commissioner, to remove his objections," Goodman said, adding that ultimately Stern and the team owners gave Las Vegas their OK. " But we don’t have an arena that s suitable. And the Legislature was no help."

But regardless of the economic catastrophe, Goodman said, " Las Vegas is still in great shape. We have the most beautiful hotels in the world, best food, best entertainment, higher room occupancy than New York City and Orlando …"

And so it went. Oscar Goodman ambassador of good will, the voice and face of Las Vegas, right to the end of his final term as mayor.

Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. He is the author of the novels Falling Dominoes and One At A Time. Contact him at hjaffe@cox.net.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Herb Jaffe Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like