The fight against short term rentals in the City of Las Vegas began under Lois Tarkanian. She will be termed out of office but the fight goes on.
Robin Munier is one of two people vying for Tarkanian’s seat. Munier is a former liaison for councilwoman Tarkanian.
Where do you stand on short-term rentals?
“Where I stand is when I’m elected to represent the citizens of Ward 1 I will vote for what they want. And right now, in my canvassing of 20 weeks now… the number one outcry from most of the residents is they do not want any more short-term rentals in their neighborhoods. Therefore, that is how I would vote for their wishes.
That does not mean I would not consider voting for some in other areas if the residents in that Ward or whatever wanted them.”
Are there tweaks to the current laws that are needed?
“It really doesn’t matter what I think what I know is that other council members who do not have as much problem with them and have not been inundated with them are still looking for a way to try to work out a solution so that they can have them, and they can co-exist in the residences. And they should be able to do that. They represent their constituents and they have a different take on it. I would work with them in that fashion to do that for their areas. I think overlays are the best solution.”
Can the city do anything to help UNLV build its medical school facilities?
“They are trying diligently. The people who are working in our re-development departments are doing that. Everybody knows that we are trying to build – ‘we’ meaning the city of Las Vegas – to build the medical school. The county gave us the land where the health district used to be, but we do have to build on that by 2020 and that is a concern of mine. I think we’re really going to have to escalate our efforts and that is one of the first things that I hope to do in my plans once I’m elected.”
What was something you worked on with Councilwoman Tarkanian that you are most proud of?
“One of the things that I know is my ability to reach out into the community and establish neighborhood associations. That is not HOA’s. That is not something people pay for. That is where you get people to recognize their neighbors, meet with their neighbors, form a large group, small group, sometimes it grows… get them connected, knowing each other, discussing what their intimate problems are within their immediate community. We usually like to have no more than 300 homes in that group… doing that I was able to establish 21 of those. And what we can do with that is we then bring the city services to them. We connect them with those things. There’s grants available for neighborhood associations. There’s other opportunities to participate in activities that they would not know of and do not know of without that.”
What is one issue that you wish you could have done more on or that you think needs more attention?
“The businesses. We’ve tried several times to do the same thing with business associations and it’s not been as successful. And I think much of it is it is because so much of the time she was in office we were in the downturn, the recession downturn, and the business operators had to cut back on their staff, therefore, they couldn’t come to a meeting or participate in that type of thing… Many of them are not aware of the resources like VIP – visual improvement funding, redevelopment funding that’s available to them that they could use to increase their businesses or the looks of the businesses to make them more palatable to people.”
An ongoing issue in Ward 1 is homelessness. How should the city address the problem?
“Homelessness is a very heart-wrenching situation. I had the good fortune to be able to tour with some of the other employees of the city - San Antonio where they have a Haven for Hope facility and it’s not run by the city… this is not the city’s per se job, the way I see this.
Right now, we have absolutely dedicated totally dedicated working overtime employees trying to work on this problem. We have the area where we’re creating for the homeless to be able to receive facilities and services and stuff, but it’s not something that just one municipality can handle.
In San Antonio, it was a community and it is a community. You know the saying, it takes a community to raise a child, it takes a community to solve the homeless problem and that’s what they have there. They have all the non-profits, all the other agencies, and people that have money that donate to it and it’s run as its own entity, non-profit. You’d have the county, you’d have North Las Vegas, you’d have Henderson and the city and all, working with all of your other things such as YMCA, United Way… I liken what we’re doing to building a forest of sequoias with a spoon because right now what we’re spending on the homeless is a third of our budget… I do know one man, well actually I know two now, that are interested in trying to facilitate something such as that. So, that would be something that I would strongly encourage and try to bring them forward and help to facilitate to have that happen.”
Robin Munier, city council candidate
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