Name: Michael Thomas
Office: Clark County Commission, District A
Party Affiliation: Republican
Biography provided by candidate:
I have been a resident of Clark County since moving here from Los Angeles with my family in 1993. I have been married for over 31 years to my wife Diane and we have two daughters, Nicole and Rachel. Nicole attends UNLV (GO REBELS!) and Rachel just started high school.
I have been in Law Enforcement for over 25 years, starting in Los Angeles as a Deputy Sheriff, then with North Las Vegas as a Police Officer and ended my career with the Clark County School District Police Department.
I have been very active with unions all my adult life and I have served as Secretary, Vice President and President of the Police Union. I have sat on both sides of the bargaining table and know how to work with management in asking for reasonable and fair wages and benefits for employees.
I speak my mind and vote with my conscience; trying to educate myself to any issues that I become involved in.
Question: In a 140 characters, introduce yourself as if you are introducing yourself to a neighbor:
My name is Michael Thomas and I'm running for Clark County Commissioner in District A.
Question: If you could sign the paper that started immediate work on a new transportation project right now, what would that project be and why?
I'm sure that no one living in Clark County would argue that unless they travel the tourist corridor (the Strip) for work, they would avoid being there on weekends and holidays due to the traffic congestion and foot traffic.
Years ago, the county sought to build a light rail monorail system between the MGM Hotel and the Sahara Hotel (now the SLS). Because of the influence of the others, this monorail system was not expanded as it should have been to travel to and from the airport to the Strip.
The current Clark County Commission has proposed spending in excess of $200 million to have an airport by-pass traffic lane running parallel to Koval to the airport.
I am of the belief that this type of express lane would be outdated before it would even be completed. The better answer is to expand the light rail system and take advantage of the efficiency of going to and from the airport by monorail as has been done successfully in other US cities.
With the addition of the NHL stadium and potential NFL stadium and other events and venues, traffic will increase exponentially regardless of any express lanes and there has to be a true vision to deal with these issues moving forward.
Question: Do you support an increased Sales tax to hire more officers? The MoreCops sales tax is distributed to law enforcement agencies throughout Clark County?
I do support an increase in sales tax or better, the funding for my police and to hire more police officers through an entertainment tax on hotel rooms in Las Vegas.
But when it comes to policing Clark County, finds and revenue used to hire more police and support staff personnel needs to be distributed in such a fashion so that all of Clark County benefits. Police are needed not only in the Resort corridor, but also in other parts of Clark County and in outlying and unincorporated areas as well.
Question: As the city sees its first professional sports franchise with an NHL team, and possibly others in the future – should Metro get the funds to beef up its force now in preparation for those events? If so, where should that money come from?
This is an absolute. Whether it is an NHL team or NFL team that plays in Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department needs the staffing and manpower along with support staff to assist and ensure that these events are safe and that those going to these venues are protected.
For years, the current Commissioners resisted any increase in funding and tax dollars for the LVMPD before agreeing to raise the sales tax from 8.1 to 8.15 percent this January to effectively hire and train 133 new offices.
No extra funding was sought for civilian personnel and support staff. That alone shows a lack of knowledge of the needs that Clark County must have to support public safety demands as the population grows in these times of global terrorism.
This money should come from an entertainment or room tax to lessen the burden on the property taxes of the homeowners in Clark County.
(Editor's note: The candidate's biography and answers were not edited for content or length)
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