Businesses need all the help they can get these days. Businesses brave enough to launch or expand in this economy deserve even more — a standing ovation and a bear hug, for starters.

But the city of Las Vegas, as a matter of standard operating procedure, has long made the process of building and obtaining permits unnecessarily costly and inefficient. …

Last month the City Council received a report from Kirchhoff and Associates that lays bare the government’s shortcomings in helping new businesses open their doors — and offers some well-timed, common-sense solutions. …

Among the report’s 95 suggestions for improvements: reconciling the codes of the building and planning departments and allowing the Planning Commission, not the City Council, to authorize special use permits. …

The council should follow the report’s recommendation and resist the urge to bog down routine permit issues. It’s a bright sign that the city of Las Vegas finally appears to understand that, given the recession and the government’s huge revenue shortfalls, the stakes are too high to continue the status quo. Business as usual is bad business.



When “times are tough, you tighten your belts,” President Obama explained to a carefully screened “town hall” audience in New Hampshire on Tuesday. “You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

The lecture in home economics came not quite a year after a speech at an RV factory in Elkhart, Ind., in which Mr. Obama warned bankers whose companies had received federal bailout money, “You can’t take a trip to Las Vegas or down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime.”

The irony of a president who just proposed the biggest budget deficit in the history of the world then assuming the mantle of a budget-cutter and lecturing everyday Americans on the need to “tighten their belts” did not go unnoticed. …

There’s no need for hysteria, here. But it’s not just a lazy verbal tic, either. … For some reason, the president never seems to advise against “blowing a lot of cash on a new GM car.” …

At least he didn’t mention Special Olympics.

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