Child advocate quits incoming governor’s team
December 21, 2006
One member of Nevada Gov.-elect Jim Gibbons’ nearly 200-member transition team has quit in frustration, saying she doesn’t think her input was valued as anything but window dressing for the incoming Republican.
Donna Coleman, former president of the Las Vegas Children’s Advocacy Alliance, says she felt Gibbons had essentially used her as a campaign prop, then ignored her once he won the Nov. 7 election.
Coleman was named earlier this month to Gibbons’ 14-member transitional working group on public safety, homeland security, emergency management and corrections. She said she wasn’t sure what her role was on the committee.
“I’m just disappointed there wasn’t a child welfare transition team,” she said. “I’m very disappointed I haven’t been contacted by anybody about anything since the election. People don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing with these transition teams.”
Coleman, who owns a recruiting business, has lived in Southern California for more than a year but remains an active voice in Nevada children’s issues. She said living out of state also was a factor in her quitting the Gibbons team.
Gibbons spokesman Brent Boynton said he regretted Coleman’s departure, saying, “Jim Gibbons has always welcomed her input, and he hopes to get input from her in the future.”
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Boynton added that Gibbons has a five-point plan to better track child molesters, and it was partly because Gibbons already had a set policy on the issue that he didn’t devote a working group to child welfare.
As for the transition team as a whole, “Jim Gibbons is very committed to the input of these people,” Boynton said.
“He knows he’s getting diverse opinions, and he believes that’s the best way to get input about the issues important to Nevadans, although not everybody is going to agree.”