How a gust of wind may have doomed mayor recall effort | NevadaAppeal.com

How a gust of wind may have doomed mayor recall effort

Barry Ginter

The recall effort against Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira is dead, according to Rheba Montrose. She’s the woman who filed the recall papers on April 19, several weeks after Mayor Marv Teixeira was arrested for drunk driving. Teixeira was stopped March 5 by the Nevada Highway Patrol at the intersection of John and Carson streets for driving 50 mph in that 35 mph zone. Ultimately, he pleaded guilty to the DUI, was sentenced to 46 hours of community service and paid a fine of $650 and at least $200 more in related fees.

Montrose has until 90 days to collect the 5,529 signatures (25 percent of the total number of voters who cast ballots in the mayor’s race three years ago), but that’s not going to happen, for two reasons, she said.

One is a gust of wind and two is that, while several people offered to sign a petition, few offered to help in the effort, she said.

First the wind. On May 1, she went to her brother-in-law’s house to help him paint the garage. As she walked around the corner of the garage, a sudden gust of wind- greater than 40 mph, she estimates – hit her suddenly. She maintained her footing, barely, but the wind blew down a ladder. It struck her in the left arm and ripped the skin from her wrist on up. It was a horrific, bloody accident and peeled back a great swath of skin.

Doctors were able to put the skin back in place.

“It was unbelievable because it happened so fast,” said Montrose, a senior citizen. She won’t give her age, saying “it’s irrelevant.”

While she is recovering (“I’m in terrific health,” she said), the accident sapped her energy.

She believes that, even working alone, she might have been successful gathering the required signatures if the injury had not happened.

Montrose said she had dozens of people contact her to sign the petition, but that’s all they wanted to do. No one was willing to help gather signatures and take on the other tasks required.

“I learned people don’t care … all they want to do is sign a petition,” she said.

“One person cannot do all this.”

For the record, the Appeal’s editorial board, consisting of the paper’s editors and top management, came out in opposition to the recall effort, saying a better option than spending more than $30,000 on a special recall election was to let voters have their say in the regular election in 2008.

Montrose believes her efforts will damage the mayor’s chances of being re-elected in that 2008 election.

“I do not believe it was a failure,” he said. “I hope I did him damage. He should be kicked out and supervisors don’t have the guts.”

•••

Everywhere I’ve lived, readers have told me to be careful on the streets because that just happens to be where the worst drivers in the world live. Well, obviously they can’t all be right.

That’s why a press release from the GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test caught my attention. Turns out Nevada’s drivers rank 19th in the nation in knowledge of the rules of the roads, at least according to the test administered by the company. That’s pretty good, especially since we were ranked 39th the year before.

The problems are serious, however, in that many people don’t know the driving regulations (could that include stopping for people in crosswalks?) The study says one in six drivers would fail a written state drivers test if they took it today, and that nearly 36 million licensed drivers in the United States may not be fit for the roads.

This shouldn’t surprise local law enforcement officers, especially the ones who’ve done recent crosswalk stings where they’ve cited drivers one after the other.

Nevada drivers had an overall average score of 77.7 percent (70 percent or higher is required to pass the test). The worst drivers, at least according to this test, are in New York. The East Coast in general has some real problems, apparently, with Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, District of Columbia and New Jersey filling the other bottom spots.

Idaho has the most knowledgeable drivers in the United States, followed by Arkansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas.

The questions people found most difficult were determining the proper following distance from the car in front of them (two seconds); and what to do when approaching a steady yellow traffic light (stop if it is safe to do so).

You can take the test all of this is based on by going to the Web site http://www.gmacinsurance.com. It uses real questions from DMV license exams.

And, one final finding from the study, the older you are, the better you are likely to do on the test.

• Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at 881-1221 or via e-mail at bginter@nevadaappeal.com