Las Vegas Planning Commissioner Christina Roush has resigned following nine months of struggling to balance official duties with her workload as a real estate executive, she told the Review-Journal.
“I tried to hang on as long as I could,” Roush said Tuesday. “It comes down to strictly a personal consideration.”
Roush, a managing principal for real estate brokerage firm Cushman & Wakefield since last year, was handpicked for the commission by then-Councilman Steve Seroka in August 2017 following his election.
Before then, the two had battled for the council seat in Ward 2 against incumbent Bob Beers, seeing eye to eye in their opposition to a proposed housing development on the defunct Badlands golf course. Roush was eliminated in the primary contest and Seroka advanced to defeat Beers in the general election.
With Seroka’s resignation two months ago, the winner of next month’s special election called to fill the emty seat could have chosen either to retain Roush or appointed a different commissioner to the seven-member body tasked in part with advising the council on broad land-use policy.
But Roush, who said she had been unaware that Seroka would step down and has not spoken with him since, insisted her decision was “not a knee-jerk reaction” to the likelihood that a new council person would have sought to put his or her own appointee to the commission.
She resigned “unfortunately, and with regret,” effective immediately on Monday night in an email sent to Planning Director Robert Summerfield and Deputy Planning Director Peter Lowenstein.
“My current workload at the office and other obligations have made it impossible for me to continue in my role,” she wrote in the email, a copy of which was obtained by the Review-Journal. “I have truly enjoyed serving our city and being an advocate for not only my Ward 2 neighborhood but all of our wonderful communities in the city of Las Vegas.”
Roush told the Review-Journal that serving on the commission was “a labor of love” and reinforced her belief in the process that allows residents to address the board on neighborhood quality of life issues. But she noted that the volunteer position often requires long hours which can be particularly difficult for full-time professionals.
“It’s hard on all of us,” she said. “You try to do the right thing always and I did what I think was the right thing for as long as I could.”
In January, Roush was entangled in an ethics complaint filed by a city lobbyist who represented her husband, a real estate agent, in a bid to acquire a short-term rental license. The lobbyist, Nathan Taylor, said she failed to disclose that relationship while routinely voting on vacation rental matters brought by Taylor on behalf of other clients.
“I didn’t have any business ties with him, but I can’t comment on it,” Roush said Tuesday, adding that she had hired an attorney. She also noted the still-unresolved complaint before the state Commission on Ethics was confidential.
She later acknowledged that criticism had come with the territory of public service: “I’ve got a thick skin.”