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Las Vegas council getting new look as Ross, Beers leave

After five years of the same six councilmembers, Las Vegas’ lot of local lawmakers will be reshaped this month.

Term-limited Councilman Steve Ross has served the 12-year maximum, and Councilman Bob Beers lost his re-election bid last month.

“I have no regrets. I wouldn’t do anything differently,” Beers said. “I had a tremendous time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

Beers, a former state lawmaker, hasn’t eliminated the possibility of a future run for office. But beyond an upcoming family reunion, he isn’t sure what his future holds.

“I can’t remember if this is the third or fourth time I quit politics,” Beers said Friday morning at his final Coffee with the Councilman gathering. “I’m not ruling it out, I’m not ruling it in.”

Some of those who convened for coffee Friday suggested Beers should run for the Clark County Commission. Meanwhile Ross, an electrician, is done with public office, he said this week.

“I think I’ve accomplished what I set out to do,” Ross said. “I wanted to raise the bar in terms of political office, and I think I have.”

Ross campaigned for Las Vegas mayor in 2011, when Mayor Carolyn Goodman beat a crowded field to earn her first term. Last year he challenged Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick, but lost in the primary.

“I love the serving part,” Ross said. “I don’t love the deceitful nature of campaigns.”

The pair of outgoing councilmen are a week and a half away from officially relinquishing their seats to their successors, two city government newcomers who triumphed in a bruising election cycle.

Former state assemblywoman Michele Fiore narrowly defeated Ross’ wife, Kelli, to lead Ward 6 for the next four years. Fiore and Steve Seroka, the new Ward 2 representative, claimed victories in last month’s general election.

Ross, who was on the City Council alongside Goodman, and her predecessor, husband Oscar Goodman, said the council he is leaving “a little more challenging than the last group,” but said typically the councilmembers have been able to agree to disagree and move on.

Beers echoed that, and said the group was able to set down one issue and pick the next one up “fresh,” without lingering discord.

One of the biggest issues the council dealt with was a pitch for a Major League Soccer stadium at Symphony Park, a former rail yard. Beers vehemently opposed using public dollars to fund the stadium, and he counts “stopping” that from moving forward his largest accomplishment in five years on the council.

The northwest ward Ross represented for more than a decade has seen rapid growth and change. Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center opened, the Providence and Skye Canyon master-planned developments are adding thousands of new homes and the College of Southern Nevada has locked up land for a northwest campus. The biggest remaining issue for Ward 6 is infrastructure, as Ross sees it.

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

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