I'm Michael Thomas. I'm running for Clark County Commissioner, a position previously held by Governor Sisolak. My opponent is his appointee, who is funded by over $1 million in special interests’ money.
But I never give up. I'm a retired police officer. I may not be funded by special interests, but I have something better. I am blessed to have a group of passionate volunteers helping me challenge the establishment.
Many people ask me, "Why do you run for a post against the multi-million-dollar establishment? The answer is simple. I love Las Vegas and I love Nevada!
As you all know, our state and our city are the hardest hit economically. Already a low-income state, we have a record unemployment and a record number of small business closures. Current leadership of Nevada failed us!
My opponent has hundreds of signs scattered throughout Clark County. But there is something he doesn’t have. He has no plan. He has not outlined any issues or platform to help our economy, our medical system, and many other critical issues. As of today, October 10, 2020, you will not even find an “Issues” page on his website outlining a single issue that hard-working Nevadans struggle with.
My campaign and I have worked tirelessly to develop our platform reflecting the needs of hard-working Nevadans, those who have lost their jobs, struggling businesses, and forgotten retirees.
Join me! Together we will rebuild Las Vegas, Clark County, and Nevada!
Simplify County Construction & Development to Create Jobs!
Currently, there are increased costs, bureaucratic levels of approvals and paperwork, that result in major delays when it comes to Real Estate Development projects. This is extremely unproductive to our county, our economy, and creation of jobs. This creates a very unfriendly environment to attract new investments in our community.
We must simplify and streamline the process for approvals by Clark County for development projects without sacrificing the environment and long term planning and development strategies. This will result in attraction of new investments into our county and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
Housing, Roads, and Highway Development
I believe that there has been poor infrastructure planning that hasn't caught up with the population growth. We must attract the highest talent from around the US to help us better plan the development of our housing, highways, and roads.
Traffic jams are becoming a roadblock to the growth of our community. We spend too much time commuting to and from work. We must do a better job at balancing our residential development and the infrastructure that must supports it. This includes properly sized roads, highways, nearby medical facilities, parks, and shopping centers.
The current leadership of Nevada and Clark County have done a poor job treating those who lost their jobs. Nevada is the #1 hardest hit state.
State and county leadership have no plan to responsibly re-open Nevada while protecting our high risk residents. They did not balance the protection of jobs and businesses with the proper response to the pandemic. The response should have included better protection for our most vulnerable and high-risk members of our community.
Many lives were lost due to the current leadership's reckless response to the pandemic.
Many hard working businesses did not receive any assistance. Many Nevadans, including Union Members and independent contractors, did not receive adequate financial support and relief.
The current leadership of Nevada had no plan at the beginning of the pandemic, and they don't seem to have a clear path moving forward. This is apparent by seeing that my opponent's website does not even have a single issue. In fact, his website does not even have an issues page.
Taxes & Government Fees
Nevada is fast becoming a high tax State. Governor Sisolak, and his appointee, who happens to be my opponent, are floating the idea of a State income tax. California has the highest income tax rate at 13.3% and also has the highest gasoline tax, highest property tax, highest road tax, highest crime rates, highest homelessness rates, highest healthcare rates, etc.
The Governor and my opponent have a vision of enacting the same failed taxation policies that resulted in a mass exodus of businesses and jobs from California.
Where do these funds from taxation go? Improved infrastructure? Raises for teachers? Betterment of public school education? Unfortunately, the answer to all these questions is no. Financial mismanagement at all levels of government is the reason that California in in a economic decline. Las Vegas and Clark County pay the bulk of Nevada's tax revenue, and our Governor and his appointee want to raise taxes even higher.
One of the taxes raised on all hard working Nevadans is a whopping 62 cents per gallon fuel tax. Hidden on your receipts, it becomes apparent when you cross over to states like Arizona to fill up your fuel tank. This hidden tax, among many others, is extremely high and is unfair to low income workers and struggling small businesses. Taxation on all Nevadans for annual car registration is astronomically high even by California standards!
Behind closed doors, the Governor and my opponent are drafting a creative list of various new forms of tax increases on Nevadans, ranging from the afore mentioned fuel and car registration taxes, to increased business license fees and income taxes. These new taxes, will, no doubt, trickle down to Nevadans in the form of higher bills at a gas station, a restaurant, or at a grocery store.
I don't believe that hard working Nevadans and small business owners should pay for the mismanagement and misappropriation of funds raised from various existing forms of taxes, that we are already burdened with paying.
Campaign Finance Reform
Many local establishment politicians "raise" enormous donations from local businesses in exchange for "favors". These range from business permits to special waivers of existing regulations and other forms of special treatment.
Representatives of the people should not use their power to extort large sums of money from local businesses to fund their campaigns. We must have a major reform, curbing large campaign contributions from lobbyists and special interest donors. The smaller the allowed contribution amounts, the higher the chance, that they come from the genuine hearts of Nevadans.
Replace Political Extremism with the Spirit of Compromise
Most importantly, I would like to put aside the divisions and labels - Democrat vs Republican, Blue vs. Red. We have become too polarized. First and foremost, I am an independent, fighting for Nevada and Nevadans.
We must not buy into the national media hysteria of polarizing and labeling of each other. We must put hard working people and small businesses of Nevada first. We are the hardest hit state during the pandemic and lockdown.
The only way to get through these challenging times is to compromise. I am a "middle of the road" uniter and not polarizing divider. Contributions to my campaign have come from hundreds of small donations. I'm proud to say that I haven't sold out to large donors and special interests lobbyists.
Unlike my opponent, who raised over $1 million in special interest donations, my definition of compromise is not based on the size of a donation to my campaign, but what is in the best interest of the voters.
Law Enforcement Reform
The primary job of our elected leaders is to provide protection for its people. It is no secret, that Las Vegas and Clark County Law Enforcement have a lack of counseling support, inadequate stress relief programs, and insufficient staffing. We have a far lower per capita number of law enforcement officers than most other metropolitan areas, especially when taking into consideration an astronomical number of visitors and giant entertainment events (hockey, football, concerts, etc.).
Stretched thin and over worked, our law enforcement requires additional funding for adequate coverage of our metropolitan area, especially with the recent increase in violent crime on the strip. This results in a higher probability of situations being escalated and therefore a greater risk of use of force.
Many low income areas do not get the adequate law enforcement coverage they deserve for their residents and their kids to even feel comfortable playing outside. The current leadership of Clark County has no plan. They have not allowed our Law Enforcement to develop and maintain adequate stress management programs. They have surrendered low income neighborhoods to violent crime.
We want to build a closer relationship with all segments of our community, especially those in low income areas. We must increase and improve the "PTSD" and general stress management and safety training, increase law enforcement staffing. We must create relationships and building programs and events between law enforcement representatives and communities in which they serve.
Addressing the Rising Crime Rate
According to numbers maintained by the FBI, Nevada is a dangerous place to live, ranking No. 6 for violent crimes per 100,000 population. Lately, we have seen the rise in violent crime from out of state visitors.
Once lost, the reputation of being a safe tourist destination will result in incalculable job losses.
Our reputation as a city, a top tourist attraction, and a business community is on the line. We must do a better job providing adequate coverage and support to the local businesses, such as hotels, casinos, and restaurants. Collaborative programs between Law Enforcement and Private Security will be of great help.
Our city is heavily dependent on tourism. For us to be successful, visitors from out of state must feel safe, day or night.
Education - Quality, Accountability, Efficiencies, & Class Size
Work with the Clark County School Board to reduce administrative overhead and bureaucracy.
Savings and efficiencies will be discovered as a result of a detailed audit of the Clark County School District. These savings should be directed towards the much needed increase pay for teachers and reduction in class sizes. This will improve education quality, which is now one of the lowest in the nation.
Many families lack basic internet or simple computers. Many laptops that were provided are now misplaced due to lack of accountability and a tracking system. We must do a better job providing assistance to lower income families with Internet, Laptops, and basic training.
Funding for students with special needs has been inadequate. This prevents these students from receiving the quality the education they deserve.
Improve Higher Education Programs & Options
Our local universities are not rated high when it comes to many "high tech" majors and fields. We will work with our universities to help them to attract top educational staff from around US and the world. This will significantly improve quality of education in the much needed fields in our community. These include medical, IT, biotech, and others.
We must offer better quality of higher education to attract more students from out of state to move to Las Vegas. This will also allow retention of local students who then don't have to leave their families to move out of state to better rated schools.
Hospital & Emergency Care
We have a shortage of critical care and specialty doctors, including nursing staff. We must provide incentive programs to attract qualified medical professionals to Las Vegas and Clark County. For instance, right now we only have one level one public trauma center.
We must allow private hospitals to be recognized and licensed by Clark County to open and operate trauma centers. To date, many private hospitals have applied, but have not been approved by Clark County leadership.
As seen in the tragedy of October 1, 2017, we experienced a shortage of level one trauma centers in our community.
Care for the Retired Community
We must provide a safe environment for the large and growing retirement population. They are a great part of our community, economy, and they need to be protected.
I'm also in favor of providing property tax incentives for retired people from out of state to select Las Vegas as their home. We must also provide them with transportation for medical visits and trips to public venues, such as parks and entertainment centers.
Drug Addiction & Homelessness
The issue of homelessness can be best addressed by providing drug rehabilitation and mental health programs, in partnership with community leaders. These may include spiritual and non-profit organizations.
If the underlying cause that led them to being homeless is addressed, I believe that the issue of homeless will be resolved.
Union Workers & Re-Opening Remaining Businesses
I am a retired proud union member. I believe in unions, because the power of a union is stronger than the power of a single individual. This is true with negotiations of contracts which provide the benefits to the members.
I strongly support our hard working unions, including culinary, construction, and many other unions. I believe that the current leadership of Clark County and the state betrayed the union members by putting them out of work with their reckless economic policies, lack of planning, and lack of communication to return them to the workforce.
I will work hard to safely bring back tourism to our city and to safely and responsibly reopen nearly all businesses.
We are the entertainment capital of the world! We need to reclaim as a premier tourist destination.
Vote for me! United, we can work together to rebuild our state!
Environment, Land Conservation, Parks & Recreation
I believe that my opponent sold out to special interests on land conservation. We need to find a balance between residential construction, while providing land conservation, adequate road infrastructure, as well as family parks & recreation.
I believe that it's critical to find a balance in preserving our beautiful land and natural resources. New construction of roads and housing should have minimal impact to our ecosystem.
I am a strong supporter of our veterans and those programs to support them.
The county needs to dedicate an agency, specifically for veterans and their needs when it come to medical, mental health, and other VA benefits. This agency should work in partnership with other local organizations and veterans groups to also include housing, employment assistance, and participation in community events.
Living in the desert, we know how precious our water is. Meanwhile, much of our water is funneled to California. Water levels at Lake Mead continue to drop. We need to preserve our water rights and negotiate what's best for Clark County and the people of Nevada.
We must take a fresh look at and audit Clark County spending. Based on the findings on our audit, we can eliminate waste, streamline our processes, modernize using the latest technologies, and avoid filling the pockets of special interests groups.