Public safety project delayed over petty prevailing wage law dispute

Workers installing bollards along the Strip. (R-J pix)

Talk about the tail waging the dog.

The geniuses at the Clark County Commission postponed approving a $2.5 million contract to install 500 steel post barriers along the Strip to protect pedestrians from vehicles veering onto sidewalks, because three construction workers might have been shorted a couple of hundred dollars for work performed on a previous contract, according to the Las Vegas newspaper today.

It is all because of the state’s prevailing wage law that mandates public works projects pay workers what amounts to union scale, inflating the cost of such projects by millions of dollars and now delaying a public safety project by at least a few weeks over a petty dispute.

According the paper, the Nevada Foundation for Fair Contracting, whatever that is, complained that three, just three, concrete finishers performed jobs that under the law should have been paid at a higher scale — $6 to $7 an hour more. Of course, Tuesday was the first the company heard of the claim.

At $5,000 per post, called bollards, apparently the job is not as simple as digging a post hole and cementing in a steel pipe, but what government job ever is?

Local police would prefer there be no delay, but have no control over the situation, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Larry Hadfield said.

“Although it would be optimal for these to be installed on time the LVMPD is not part of the construction of the bollards,” he said.

Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak was quoted as saying of the delayed contract, “That’s just the beginning, the next 500. We’ve got thousands coming after that, and I want to make sure the company is doing the right thing by paying their workers at the appropriate rates.”

Why should a dispute over a past contract delay a future one, especially over such a petty amount. In fact the head of the complaining organization was quoted as saying, “They basically got cheated who knows how many hundreds of dollars.”

Where are the liberals shouting: If it saves one life, it is worth it?


How far will people have to walk to an exhibition football game in August?

The Clark County Unified Development Code states:

The regulations in this Chapter establish minimum parking requirements. The property owner shall be responsible for ensuring that adequate parking is provided for resident, guest, customer, employee, delivery vehicle parking, and/or company vehicle parking if additional spaces in excess of the minimum requirements are necessary.

A 7-Eleven without adequate parking would be rejected.

Though all animals are equal, some are more equal than others.

The 65,000-seat Raiders football stadium has parking for only 15 percent of the cars needed.

How far will people have to walk to an exhibition football game in August? Well, there are plans for a 30-foot pedestrian bridge over Interstate 15 connecting the Strip to the stadium. Yeah, that’s the $750 million ticket.

Plans for football stadium are presented to a planning board. (R-J pix)

Lot of ink spilled for naught?

Front page of R-J.

Front page of R-J.

You like to save back something local for the Monday front page after an uneventful weekend. I understand that.

But a top of the front page feature on public relations flacks for local governments with four, count them, four bylines in the Las Vegas newspaper?

The story explains that these $100,000-a-year-plus flacks “push out press releases, field reporter calls, post blogs, take photos and manage social media,” without ever explaining in what way any of this serves taxpayers or why elected and appointed officials can’t perform all of those functions, since they benefit no one other than themselves.

The story also reports that local governments often “recruit straight from the news outlets that cover them,” and points out the Mitch Fox was on public television before becoming North Las Vegas’ flack, but fails to mention his predecessor, Juliet Casey, was a Review-Journal reporter. I doubt there is anyone left there who even remembers.