‘Good for business’? Not hardly

To the editor:

In response to your Jan. 6 editorial (“Good for business”) on economic diversification and the importance of keeping existing business, my experience with the governing entities has been far from “good for business.”

For the past 18 years, I have been the owner and operator of a construction company in Nevada. I am constantly forced to pay, pay, pay or wait, wait, wait. I truly believe that our elected officials are all about getting business into Nevada, but once a new business owner is turned over to the employees of the governing agencies, the excitement ends.

I had to wait four months for the Fire Department to inspect my building so that I could receive my business license and start operating. I received this inspection only after I went to the County Commission meeting and complained during the open forum — and it still took an additional two weeks for the inspection. I paid rent and employees’ wages for four months waiting on the county.

If county officials truly wanted to have my business, they would have an immediate inspection or a temporary business license.

One time, I submitted a traffic barricade plan to the county for an excavation to cross a street with a sewer line in a new housing tract and it was approved. One month later I submitted the same approved plan to cross the same street with the gas line, which was 8 feet away from the sewer line … and the plan was rejected. No valid explanation was given for the rejection. Two weeks later, after another $150 in re-submission fees, the new plan was approved.

But the developer had to pay an additional two weeks of interest payments on his construction loan, and I incurred costs by having my equipment sitting idle for two weeks. My employees sat at home for two weeks waiting to go to work, and this is all “good for business”? None of this is good for business.

I again went to the County Commission meeting to voice my frustration during the open forum. I was asked to leave my business card and told they would have a representative get back to me with an explanation. That was two weeks ago, and I have heard nothing.

I have a family member who has a small business in Clark County that employs 20 taxpayers. Their firm provides services and goods to companies in every country in the world. They recently had a county employee (unknown to them as such) sit in on a baking demonstration at their building. After the demonstration, the county employee asked if she could purchase a set of the tools that were used in the preparation of the pastries. She was offered the tools at no charge. She insisted that she pay for them. They sold her the tools for less than $10 and no receipt was given.

The next day a representative from the county business license office showed up at their plant and fined them for having violated zoning ordinances. The day after that, someone from the Clark County Health Department showed up and fined them as well. The next day an official with the county Fire Department showed up and also fined them. The following day they contacted their Realtor. They’re planning to move to Texas. “Good for business”? Yeah, right.

Walk into any county, city or state offices and see if you feel any inkling that someone has an attitude to help, to make things better or easier for business — or for anyone, for that matter. I fear you won’t.

I would like the citizens of Nevada, as well as our elected officials, to know that we business owners spend far too much money and time combatting red tape and ineptness, callousness and the otherwise poor attitudes of far too many government employees. Because of the overwhelming abuse, red tape and burdensome regulations that are placed upon me as a business owner, I am not a good ambassador for companies yet to come to Nevada. And that is a shame.

ED McSWAIN

LAS VEGAS

The writer is president and CEO of Terra Contracting Inc.

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