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John L Smith Unpacks Latest Contentious City Council Meeting

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Last week’s Las Vegas City Council meeting took a turn for the interesting. 

The city council voted to call for a performance review of City Manager Scott Adams before renewing his contract. 

The effort was led by Councilwoman Michele Fiore. 

State of Nevada contributor John L Smith attended the meeting that became very heated at one point.

“It was a surprise, to say the least. Just within the 11 th hour this was added to the agenda," Smith said, "Michele Fiore has been upset with some of the decisions that Adams has made and she’s made that criticism very clear.”

The agenda item was hurried on because Adams' contract was set to be renewed for two years.

Smith said the problems stemmed from Fiore making a suggestion about a hire that Adams didn't go through with and a problem with an employee that Fiore didn't think got addressed properly.

However, Smith noted that other councilmembers at the meeting didn't have the same problems with Adams.

"They weren’t questioning his competence, in fact, if you had heard them speak, whether it was Starvos Anthony, Cedric Creer or Mayor Pro Tem Lois Tarkanian any of those three, they were all very laudatory,” he said.

However, they agreed there were problems that needed to be looked into and agreed to go along with a limited review. The one dissenting voice was Councilman Bob Coffin.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman was not there because she is undergoing cancer treatment and was sick from chemotherapy.

“I have to believe that had she been there that she would have been even sicker hearing some of the things that were said between the council members, especially between Bob Coffin and Michele Fiore,” Smith said.

He said the meeting turned chaotic at times. To the point that he felt a referee should come out and put the councilmembers in timeout chairs.

“Clearly, Councilman Coffin has problems with Fiore and the feeling is mutual," Smith said.

Smith said the big problem now is what the vote could mean for the council going forward.

“The problem with that is when you call to terminate someone’s contract you’re asking basically to end the relationship. This is not a good way to keep your relationship on friendly terms when you’re basically holding someone’s job over their head," he said.


“It is difficult to summarize. I guess if you want to speak bluntly about it this is a really ugly report,” Smith said of the 200-page report about Wynn Resorts and the allegations against Steve Wynn.

Smith said the report paints a picture of a corporate culture that knowingly turned a blind eye to problems of sexual harassment. He said the report shows main players in the company knew about the allegations against the former CEO and founder. 

“Those bad actors, those folks who were questionable in their actions, they are gone from the company and that is the new management’s argument to the Massachusetts gaming regulators,” Smith said.

Wynn Resorts is now trying to show it has swept house and put in new guidelines to prevent a harassing workplace, Smith said.

However, Smith believes the report makes it difficult for some people from the old management to stick around, including Matt Maddox, who is currently running the day to day operations.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Matt Maddox was either sanctioned somehow or even forced out of the company.”

Steve Wynn has denied all the allegations against him, which is one of the most surprising things about the 200-page report for Smith.

“One of the elements was Wynn’s denial of any kind of wrongdoing other than some poor judgment on his part," he said, "Clearly, not appreciating the fact when you’re the CEO of the company and you’re hitting on the hired help for sexual favors – I don’t know what decade that went out of being popular but it has just not been appropriate in forever and yet he kind of passes that off as a mistake in judgment.”


John L Smith, KNPR contributor 

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.