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Las Vegas mayor looks to build on past successes

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman used props and proverbs Thursday to give her take on the city’s progress in 2012 and its prospects for 2013.

Speaking for more than an hour, she gave her second State of the City speech at City Hall, splitting time between cracking jokes and telling stories centered around downtown development, a focal point for both her and her husband, former Mayor Oscar Goodman.

She opened by pulling a kitchen timer from behind the lectern, a reference to her first State of the City speech, remembered mostly for its length.

“I understand there is an over/under going on here, and you know I live with a chronic gambler,” Goodman said, setting the timer despite letting the audience know they might be in for another long speech. “When the bell goes off, it is an indication to me the bell has gone off.”

Props aside, Goodman detailed at length recent city-supported developments downtown that opened last year.

The list included The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, the Neon Museum and the City Hall building on Main Street.

But one development that didn’t land in 2012, and doesn’t appear to be coming in 2013, is an arena that could house an NBA franchise, a goal of both Goodmans. Goodman said she doesn’t expect progress on the arena until the city’s current exclusive agreement with the Cordish Companies to develop the project expires later this year.

“I do want to tell you our plans are still alive for the arena once it sunsets with the Cordish company,” she said.

The deal requires the city to send prospective arena partners to Cordish for vetting. After the speech, Goodman said she has referred “credible” potential partners to no avail.

This year’s speech from Goodman was notable for the props.

She illustrated one story about people helping one another with two small statues, one with long arms and one with long legs. The point of the story was the two unusually shaped figures who lived by the sea had to cooperate to survive, with the long-legged man wading deep into the water with the long-armed man on his back to reach into the waves and get fish.

She likened the city’s role in economic development to that of the long-legged man.

“All of you who are in private business will be able to pick from the best fish that are out there,” she said.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at
bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0285 .

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