And those that didn’t attend but might have some passing interest in what the Boss had to say:
So once a year those who care about the city - and by those who care, we mean public relations executives, lawyers and lobbyists with business before the city, various developers, friends and family of elected officials, a gun nut and some media people trying to look not-bored - trot down to the Las Vegas Council Chambers to hear the mayor give her or his update on how things are going.
Things are usually going well. That’s the usual message. Mayor Carolyn Goodman did a pretty good job giving her update, and adding the jokes about Twitter livened up the talk, which usually is about as lively as bacteria in a petri dish. (You know that’s something is happening down there, but without expensive equipment, it’s hard to tell.)
Anyway, Mayor Goodman pretended to not understand how Twitter works and everyone pretended to be amused, so that was all good.
Again, there’s a certain pro forma structure to these talks. Mayor Goodman hit the necessary points. She bragged about successful development, especially in and near downtown. She talked about how much she loves the Las Vegas City Council members, who quietly surrounded her as she gave her talk. She talked about new parks and new construction and new business. The main point about these things, you and me and all of us understand, is to brag about the good things that happened.
The Container Park opened, La Comida opened, Slotzilla might soon open, Zappos moved downtown from Henderson (too bad for Henderson, Goodman did not say), and the city hosted the three-day Life Is Beautiful concert and food fight.
And she said we’re going to start making movies here in Las Vegas, even though honestly we’ve always made movies here so we’re not sure what’s new about that except now they’ll get a juicy tax break. Except for the pornos - they don’t get a tax break.
Mayor Goodman also touched on some of the sore points for the city, and there’s a pun in there somewhere. She noted that Las Vegas must do more to develop the health-care industry centered on the medical district just west of downtown. (One wag from CityLife noted that we perhaps could change the ending of the tired old joke: Q.Where do you go if you’re sick in Las Vegas? A. The airport.) She said we would never be a top-notch tippy-top place to live or visit as long as our medical facilities lag behind, and even if we do have some very good medical facilities, overall we’ve got issues.
Mayor Goodman also spoke, as she has in the past, for education. Of course, her dream of improving education isn’t the same as everyone else’s, or even necessarily ours at CityLife; Mayor Goodman is a vocal advocate of public school “reform” changes that haven’t always meant better educational outcomes for kids. But we’re with her in the general idea that schools need to be better. We just think they need to be thoroughly funded too.
Mayor Goodman also touched on a serious situation affecting her own family. Her son, Eric Goodman, suffered severe head injuries while jogging in Summerlin last month. Eric Goodman, a Las Vegas Justice of the Peace, doesn’t remember what happened. The mayor, however, said that her son helped avert more confusion and concern by, while briefly lucid, giving medical staff his password to his cell phone, through which they were able to contact the family.
That sparked the mayor’s sensible thought: When out alone, people should wear an identifying bracelet. People at the talk seemed to think that was a good idea.
And of course that gave Goodman an opportunity to thank the first responders who helped her son and so many others, the city staff generally and medical workers as well. She also noted that if we’re going to do something about the appalling rate of death and mayhem on our city streets, both pedestrians and drivers have to be more careful, which is just sensible.
It’s hard even for the hacks at CityLife to make fun of the Mayor’s talk, as we like most of the things she likes, too. We just hope that next year, we can say the schools are better, the health care is better, there are fewer deaths on our highways, and all the good things that happened last year are still happening. Now that would be a really great State of the City!
The CityLife staff