Governor's living arrangements no small matter

We have sympathy for the governor and first lady for having to work out their marital problems in public, but they should have known that would be the case before he applied for the job.

The spotlight is part of being the state's top elected official, and, because both he and his wife are public figures, their conduct and living arrangements are fair questions.

There's also the matter of a law that requires the governor to live in the capital city in the mansion (though there is no such requirement for the first lady). Gov. Gibbons is living in Reno and driving to Carson when necessary to do business.

This is no small matter for Carson City. Should an exemption be made for this governor, or should the law itself be changed, the capital city will ebb in importance and future governors may make only occasional visits to the "capital city." Further migrations of governmental functions and duties to more populated places also could be expected to follow.

There is a grand tradition in having the governor live in the capital, and that should not be compromised. Traditionally, the first couple has also played an important role in Carson City itself beyond being its top celebrities by participating in community issues and fundraising.

Dawn Gibbons has done a good job at that task, although the governor himself is seldom seen around town outside a government building.

But if it is just one of them who is going to live in the mansion, the answer to whom that must be is not in question. Unless, that is, they change its name to the First Lady's Mansion.

• This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board


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