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Weekly Editorial Recap

THURSDAY

AIR FRESHENER INSPECTORS

Is there no matter over which state lawmakers will acknowledge they lack jurisdiction?

Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas, rose Monday to present Assembly Bill 234, which would set restrictions on the use of pesticides, fragrances and candles to accommodate people with chemical sensitivities.

Proponents said air fresheners give them migraines or asthma attacks and prevent them from going to the movies or to restaurants. … Critics responded that a new law banning air fresheners and candles in public places could prohibit priests from using candles and incense in celebrating the Mass. AB234 could affect everything from candlelit restaurants to weddings, not to mention leaving unmasked bathroom odors that could repel tourists.

A century ago, our great-grandparents walked streets festooned with the leavings of thousands of horses, the aroma enhanced by flies and open sewers. Those who could afford it poured on scent to mask those odors. Everyone survived.

Today’s businesses want to keep their premises agreeable to customers. If there’s enough demand for methods that don’t offend the hyper-allergic minority, inventors in search of profit will respond.

Our current smoking ban is not enforced because of a shortage of trained staff and funding. Yet the Legislature now proposes to fund squads of air freshener inspectors?

No action was taken by the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee. Good.

WEDNESDAY

PAY HIKE AS CONCESSION

It’s a stretch to call Clark County’s latest contract adjustment with a public employee union a “concession.” It’s more like a poke in the eye to struggling taxpayers.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1107, which represents about 5,500 county workers, agreed through mediation to reduce members’ base wages by 2 percent. … The pay cut could take effect a month from now, assuming members vote to approve the changes.

Most of these same members, whose average annual compensation totals $80,000 in salary and benefits, have seen their base pay grow about 13 percent over the three years of this downturn. And the new terms preserve a pending 1 percent cost-of-living pay raise and the annual 3 percent to 4 percent “merit” raises about 70 percent of county employees can collect.

The “concession” is two steps back, three steps forward. It doesn’t reduce the county’s out-of-control personnel costs, it merely reduces the growth of those costs.

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