In 2005, Las Vegas was boom city. Cranes in the sky. Homes going up by the thousands.
Three years later, it fell apart during the recession, going from one of the fastest-growing cities to one of the hardest hit.
Lois Tarkanian saw it all through the prism of local politics.
She termed out this year as city councilwoman for Ward 1, a position she held for the last 14 years.
“I really liked the people in our ward,” she told KNPR's State of Nevada. "I liked them very much. Even the ones who yelled at you. I liked them."
Tarkanian is proud of her efforts to help people connect with the city and its services. She helped establish neighborhood organizations around her ward that work with the city on a number of issues.
The councilwoman is also proud of the efforts to clean up downtown, but she does admit the homeless situation continues to a problem that no one around the world has been able to solve.
While she's proud of her efforts on those issues, there was an issue that still bothers her.
“I think that doggone short-term rental," she said. "I’m so tired of that."
Tarkanian led much of the city's efforts to regulate and eventually ban short-term rentals. She said that people who want to rent their homes out as a business don't understand the residents who didn't want a business in a residential area.
And she doesn't think the issue is settled.
“I’m expecting that some of them have waited for me to term out and they’ll come back again and they’ll push hard and they back certain candidates … I’m assuming that will come back again. I did the best I could and that’s all you can do,” she said.
Despite that frustration, she said there were more things that she felt good about during her tenure in the city council than things she felt bad about.
Over the past 14 years and the hundreds of votes on hundreds of issues, Tarkanian said there were only a few that she decided later she had voted the wrong way on.
Brian Knudsen has taken her place on the council.
“My words of advice are ‘good luck’ and ‘always work hard for the people,’” she said.
She hopes her focus on her constituents will be her legacy.
“I would like it to be that I did the best for the people and I gave the people power in order to set their goals,” she said.
Tarkanian said leaving the council is bittersweet. The politics within the council were frustrating but she'll miss the interactions with people working to make their neighborhoods better.
As for the future, she's resting and traveling to Alaska to sail on a friend's yacht.
She is also considering a run for Board of Regents because she strongly believes in the region's need for a medical school.
Lois Tarkanian, former city councilwoman, City of Las Vegas
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