Don’t expect Las Vegas Ward 6 candidates to play nice

Being next to each other on an election ballot is likely the closest Michele Fiore and Kelli Ross will be to each other during this election cycle.

Fiore and Ross, who bested seven other candidates in the April primary for Las Vegas City Council Ward 6, haven’t appeared in a debate or forum setting leading up to the June 13 general election.

Ross, a flight attendant, hopes to follow her husband into the Ward 6 seat on the City Council. Councilman Steve Ross is term limited after spending 12 years on the council.

Fiore, who made waves during her time as a Nevada assemblywoman, earned 46 percent of the votes cast in the primary— close but not enough to lock up a victory in the primary. Ross drew 31 percent to lead seven candidates for the second spot in the runoff.

When Ross challenged Fiore to six town hall-style debates two days after the primary, the two campaigns sparred through statements. Last month, the Providence Master Homeowners Association held what was billed as a two-candidate Ward 6 forum, but Fiore’s team denied Fiore had ever agreed to participate.

Q&A with Michele Fiore

Q: It doesn’t appear that you and your opponent will meet in a debate or candidate forum before the election. Why is that?

A: I don’t see that happening. I’ve run six very positive races up here. Primaries and generals, and I’ve been attacked. But this race has opened my eyes to the lies and deceit of a desperate opponent. She isn’t drawing attention to herself and her accomplishments, because she hasn’t accomplished anything.

Q: How would you balance the varying needs in Ward 6, where there’s been substantial development, but pockets of rural areas still exist?

A: Our ward is the ward that everyone wants to develop because we have the most land. When we’re looking at what has already entered our ward, do we have enough schools? And the roads. With the horse properties and rural preservation areas, rezoning occurring in the middle of these areas is really ridiculous. The quality of life for folks who have been out here for a long time, I want to make sure that’s not bothered.

Q: Should the city allow short-term rentals, and what rules should be put in place?

A: Looking at personal property rights and quality of life for folks out here, especially in homeowners’ associations, there are policies, procedures and rules. This is an emotional issue… Municipal governments and the state can make a lot of money on it, forcing folks to get licensing, and more taxes and fees. I think unless it poses a real credible problem — I’m going to have to weigh that out, carefully.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing Ward 6?

A: Our biggest challenge right now is we’re growing at a rapid speed. We have to make sure that with all the kids coming here, we have space in schools, and making sure the quality of life out here doesn’t suffer.

Q: Should the city continue to annex unincorporated county land and BLM land when the opportunities arise?

A: I personally am a fan of the county islands. I am also very good at working with our county commissioners. I have to tell you, I will always defer to the people, whether they’re in the city or county. If the folks in the county don’t want to be annexed in, I sure as heck am not going to vote to annex them in. Who is the government to encroach and change the quality of life of these folks?

Q&A with Kelli Ross

Q: It doesn’t appear that you and your opponent will meet in a debate or candidate forum before the election. Why is that?

A: I personally think it’s a smoke screen. I think they know if she starts talking again, she’ll put her foot back in her mouth. What all is she hiding? That’s why she won’t come out and talk, she’s got too much explaining to do. The fact that they’re calling me the negative person is quite hilarious, because everything I can say, I can back up.

Q: How would you balance the varying needs in Ward 6, where there’s been substantial development, but pockets of rural areas still exist?

A: I think it’s very important for the development that’s going on that you make sure it’s smart development that’s happening. I would like to see more 55+ communities out here.

Q: Should the city allow short-term rentals, and what rules should be put in place?

A: It really bothers me to put a restriction on what someone can do with their own home. It’s a few of the bad apples that are ruining it. I understand what (Ward 1 Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian) is going through, but I’m a big believer in property rights … . I’m probably in favor. I think something has to be done, I just don’t know exactly what that is yet.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing Ward 6?

A: With this being such a fast growing area, public safety is always going to be a big one, as well as infrastructure. We have so much building — one of the really important things is keeping the funds coming out here, and making sure it’s not shifted to where the (NFL) stadium will be built in the county. We need to work with public works and NDOT to make sure we’re receiving our fair share and it’s not being diverted.

Q: Should the city continue to annex unincorporated county land and BLM land when the opportunities arise?

A: That’s already being addressed with the interlocal agreement. As long as everybody is abiding by the interlocal, I think things will be great.

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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