Criticism of new offices completely unjustified

To the editor:

It was interesting to read Frank Geary’s Aug. 2 article, “Police union paid top dollar for new offices”:

It would appear obvious to us that in Mr. Geary’s haste to criticize us he has failed to provide balanced information about the benefits of purchasing property compared to that of leasing or renting.

Anyone with common sense, especially as it relates to real estate, knows that there are significantly more benefits to ownership than there would be to leasing or renting. Owning property creates tax deductions, equity, control over day-to-day decisions and can transcend fluctuations in the marketplace, such as we are currently experiencing.

As we all know, the real estate market in Las Vegas is at a historic low. When our board of directors voted to move ahead with the construction of our members’ new building in 2006, the construction costs associated with it were reasonable and consistent with the “market.”

Look at two of the examples that were contained in the article.

According to the information provided by Mr. Geary, both purchases started to plummet significantly. Yet even with that decline, one purchaser paid more per square foot for a 13-year-old building, while another one paid $127 more per square foot than we did.

Mr. Geary chose to use Wes Christian, who is a well respected attorney in Houston, to criticize us. But what does he know about the real estate market in Las Vegas that qualifies him to evaluate the value of our project? Did he inspect our building, look at our lease agreements or evaluate our security systems? Of course not. With all of the real estate experts in our community, it makes you wonder if Mr. Geary just couldn’t find someone here locally to say what he wanted them to.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association were diligent in their efforts to bring about the development of their members’ new building. They fulfilled their fiduciary responsibility while consistently evaluating the costs associated with providing our members a source of value and pride.

The fact that the Review-Journal and Mr. Geary may not agree with our decisions does not make our position wrong. I hope this article will show the residents of our community that the Reivew-Journal’s incessant need to constantly criticize public employees and their actions is unjustified and unwarranted.

Will Mr. Geary write a follow-up article when the value of our new building increases over time as the real estate market in Las Vegas continues to improve and exceed its previous highs?

CHRIS COLLINS

LAS VEGAS

The writer is executive director of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.

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