EDITORIAL: Barron’s big blunder

Being elected by the people means answering to the people, not hiding from them. Isaac Barron should have known that upon winning election to the North Las Vegas City Council.

A Sunday fire destroyed a North Las Vegas home Mr. Barron was renting to dog hoarders. The blaze killed 41 dogs and sent 52 more to a shelter for care. Mr. Barron, a public figure, needed to provide answers about his tenants and the condition of his house. But the first-term councilman didn’t want to face the press or the animal advocacy groups enraged by the fire.

So, even though the fire has nothing to do with council business, Mr. Barron had city government spokesman Mitch Fox serve as his shield by producing a news release and screening media interview requests. “I think I got my money’s worth out of him,” Mr. Barron said Wednesday.

His money? He means the public’s money. Mr. Fox works for the city, not Mr. Barron, and his duties don’t include providing statements about council members’ personal affairs. We had hoped that North Las Vegas was moving beyond this kind of insular, unaccountable behavior. Mr. Fox should have pushed Mr. Barron in front of the cameras.

Welcome to public life, Mr. Barron. It’s what you wanted. Start acting like it.

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