Gibbons reiterates stance on brothels during rural tour |

Gibbons reiterates stance on brothels during rural tour

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

VIRGINIA CITY – Speaking in a county with three brothels, Gov. Jim Gibbons on Friday repeated his opposition to prostitution but said he has no intention to take action to make it illegal.

“I never said I would work to stop (prostitution),” he said at a lunch meeting at the Storey County Senior Center. “I don’t think prostitution should be advertised. I don’t support prostitution. I don’t think we need it in our state.”

He said if the Legislature were to pass a bill outlawing brothels he would sign it, and counties who relied on prostitution for income would have to figure out where to get additional funds if it were ever outlawed.

“That would be up to the counties to figure that one out,” he said, adding that if the Legislature took up the issue it would be up to representatives from counties with brothels on how they would vote.

Storey County is one of 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties where brothels are legal. The county has three operating brothels along Interstate 80 and receives tax money from the industry.

He made the comments on the last leg of a tour of rural Nevada that began Monday in Carson City and included stops in Minden, Tonopah, Hawthorne, Yerington, Fallon, Eureka, Austin, Elko, Ely, Battle Mountain and Winnemucca.

Gibbons said he embarked on the tour with staff to “take government to the people,” and added that he would create a program where department heads would take similar tours.

He also said he would be meeting on Monday with the governors of Idaho and Utah in Boise to create a working agreement to share assets in fighting wildland fires and rehabilitating the land after a fire is out. He said he hoped that could become a multi-state project, including other states that border Nevada.

“Fires don’t recognize boundaries of state,” he said.

He also said he was working on putting together teams to develop partnerships between federal and state governments, private entities and volunteers to better manage wildland and plant native grasses and sagebrush.

“For those of you who have nothing better to do and want to spend your days out planting sagebrush, we’re putting together teams,” he said.

Gibbons also touted his education program, which he called “empowerment,” where 29 schools in a pilot program where principals, teachers and parents at individual schools will set curriculum and school schedules to meet the needs of individual student bodies.

“Nevada is at the bottom of every good list and at the top of every bad list on education,” he said. “I crafted a concept of empowerment that is going to say to our school districts, ‘you are going to let schools be in control of that unique student body.'”

He said the majority of schools look like every other school and have the same curriculum, which doesn’t work for every child.

“Schools in Reno, schools in Virginia City, schools in Las Vegas, do not always have the same type of student body or the same needs or academic needs,” he said. “Let those schools that teach those children craft the educational plan.”

In the aftermath of the Minnesota bridge disaster, Gibbons said Nevada’s roads and bridges were among the nation’s best, and said taking $20 million from future room tax revenues in Las Vegas would aid the state in building and maintaining roads and bridges.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.