(Las Vegas Review-Journal) – During a March 15 conference call with local elected leaders, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was expressing concern to Michelle White, the chief of staff for Gov. Steve Sisolak, that closing schools would be detrimental to children’s supervision.
Instead, the politically independent mayor suggested, there should be someone assigned at every point of entry to take the temperature of students. In school, she said, they would be in a safe environment.
Then, the Democratic governor cut her off.
“The decision’s been made in consultation with our health districts and the school superintendents. This is a courtesy call I’m giving you guys 20 minutes before I announce it,” Sisolak said, according to a recording of the call obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The schools are closing tomorrow morning.”
That difference of opinion on how to handle schools amid the coronavirus pandemic mirrors the disagreement between the two over the response now: Goodman wants the state reopened, while Sisolak, guided by public health experts, has rebuffed her and set the parameters to start gradually lifting restrictions, warning last week, “we’re not there yet.”
It is not the first time these current leaders of Nevada and its biggest city have clashed. But their past is rooted in far less consequential matters: namely ribbon-cuttings and proclamations.