Jim Gibson has had a long political career, and it’s about to get longer.
He was the mayor of Henderson for three terms, from 1997 to 2009 and he became a county commissioner last year when Governor Brian Sandoval asked him to fill a vacant seat.
Earlier this month, voters decided that Gibson should keep his seat on what many believe is the most powerful political body in Nevada.
The Clark County commission oversees development on the Strip—the engine that drives taxes for everything from schools to roads throughout Nevada. It also oversees McCarran International Airport, and University Medical Center, the state’s only public hospital.
Gibson represents District G, which includes Henderson, Boulder City and other parts of the Southeast valley.
During the campaign, Gibson said he would like to focus on infrastructure and creating jobs. He believes undeveloped land that is owned by the county could help.
He said there are about 1,000 acres of land, which is scattered around the county in many parcels, could be used to boost the economy.
“Much of that property ought to be developed," he said, “My view is that if we were work to assemble it properly there might be an opportunity to really do some economic development.”
Gibson has directed county staff to not only map all the parcels but also to develop ways to make the land more enticing to developers.
“Right now, it is just sitting there. We are really not aggressively doing anything with it,” he said.
With more development, comes the question of water. Gibson doesn't favor the idea of a pipeline that would bring water from counties north of Clark County to feed the water needs of Southern Nevada.
“The last thing we need to do is destroy the incredible ecosystems in some of the most beautiful places in this state," he said.
He believes that a lot more can be done with conserving water in the first place.
Some of the other issues that might come before the county, Gibson has not made is mind up about quite yet, including pot lounges. The commissioner is not sure if the lounges make sense but he does understand that visitors to Las Vegas need a place to legally consume legal marijuana.
He would also like to see the state step up and address the issue of gun violence. Gibson said the county really can't make any ordinances to address that.
When it comes to homelessness and mental health services, an issue the county can address, singling out a specific solution is tricky, Gibson said.
One thing he has already done while a commissioner is working on private-public partnerships to provide more services for people with a mental illness.
Jim Gibson, Clark County Commission, District G
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