Teachers, cops and firefighters, oh my!

Whenever the issue of laying off government employees is raised, the Left likes to misrepresent the discussion by declaring that to mean teachers, cops and firefighters " as though there are no other kinds of government workers employed by taxpayers. With that in mind, I did a quick search of taxpayer-funded UNLV's Web site to see if there are any government workers there who AREN'T teachers, cops or firefighters.

And you'll never believe what I found.

There are!

For example, here are just a few from among the 107 UNLV employees whose last names begin with the letter "A."

- Family Services Specialist II ($43,639)

- University Parking Enforcement Officer II ($35,475)

- Library Assistant III ($30,192)

- Mail Service Technician ($38,523)

- Head Coach Softball ($75,317)

- Public Affairs Specialist ($52,416)

- Dental Assistant II ($32,677)

- Assistant Director of Parking ($67,600)

- Executive Chef ($62,057)

- Sous Chef ($42,805)

- Assistant Track & Field Coach ($41,600)

- Painter I ($47,606)

- Degree Audit System Analyst ($44,587)

- Assistant to the Vice President ($91,520)

- Special Assistant to the Vice President ($94,104)

- Creative Services Manager ($68,350)

- Art Professor ($110,846)

- Associate Professor of Dance ($57,226)

- Associate Professor of Music ($79,556)

And this is just for one school in the Nevada System of Higher Education. It doesn't even scratch the surface of the rest of government " especially K-12 and Health & Human Services. And don't even get me started on the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Consumer Affairs Division.

I'll concede that some of these jobs are probably important, necessary and useful. But do taxpayers really need to pay $63,724 for a "Yucca Mountain Coop Agreement Manager" at UNLV's Harry Reid Center, or $163,000 for a "Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion"?

It's time for us to debate the necessity of the entire state government work force without pretending that every government worker is critical to the proper and efficient running of the government " or a teacher, cop or firefighter. M'kay?


With that out of the way, let's turn our attention to the upcoming primary elections in Carson City. Early voting is already underway and for many of you I have just two words: DON'T VOTE!

That's right, don't vote. While you have a right to vote, there is no obligation to vote. And with rights come responsibilities. Which means if you don't know the issues or anything about the candidates, do us all a favor and STAY HOME on election day. I don't want my informed vote cancelled out by some yahoo who goes eenie-meenie-minie-moe in the voting booth. That being said, here are some of my personal recommendations:

Congress: Dean Heller. Supreme Court Justice: Don Chairez or Kris Pickering. State Board of Education: Dave Cook.

Mayor: Bob Crowell. If there is a better qualified, more experienced candidate to lead this city over the next four years, he hasn't come to my door this campaign cycle. Bob and I haven't always agreed on every issue, but I'm confident the city will be in good hands under his stewardship.

Supervisor - Ward 4: Molly Walt. If you're happy with the lack of progress in downtown revitalization; if you're happy with the lack of recreational activities for kids; if you're happy with using more tax money for the V&T; if you're happy with the existing traffic and crime problems; by all means vote for the incumbent. I'm not, so I voted for Molly.

School Trustee - District 2: "None of the Above." That option doesn't appear on the ballot, but it ought to. The incumbent, Jim Lemaire, is unopposed " which is a shame. Carson City's schoolchildren deserve better. Much better.

Remember, I'm not saying you can't vote if you don't know anything about the candidates or the issues (which means you're not reading the Nevada Appeal anywhere near often enough). I'm saying you shouldn't. If you don't know what you're doing, leave the voting to those of us who do.

- Chuck Muth, of Carson City, is president and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a political blogger. Read his views Fridays on the Appeal Opinion page or visit www.muthstruths.com. You can e-mail him at chuck@chuckmuth.com


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