By: Rana Goodman
As I was sitting in the room on the 4th floor Friday at the Sawyer Building, the overflow crowd listened intently to the hearing in Carson City on construction defects, I was impressed by the number of people who had taken time from their day to come and testify and or participate in the process.
It was 8:45 and the speeches in Carson City were still being made from a group representing the construction industry. They were trying to convince the Senate Judiciary Committee that any defect of importance would manifest itself within three years, therefore there was no need to allow the law to remain with a ten year statute of limitations to file a complaint. I'm sure they didn't think anyone would speak about the 100 million Del Webb had settled in Henderson a few years ago for a plumbing fiasco.
Several homeowners from the LasVegas area who had flown to Carson City were allowed to testify but as the clock moved around to 9:30 it became painfully clear that the chairman had no intention of letting anyone taking part in the teleconferenced hearing “down south” in LasVegas do anything but watch.
Hoping to force the issue of participation, one man,a friend of mine who is a retired engineer with important information to share on the topic at hand sat at the speaker’s table in LasVegas but said nothing. At 9:50 the chairman of the committee, Senator Tic Segerblom said;
“The man down south at the table, did you want to say something?”
“Yes sir, I do” he said and started by introducing himself.
“No time, we are taking a 5 minute break then moving on” said the senator.
With the exception of myself, the entire room in LasVegas left the hearing mumbling that their morning had been a waste of time.They were not happy!
Since this 77th session has begun I have attended many of these hearings on many different bills and have noticed an important difference to previous years and it concerns me greatly. Although the legislators say that they wish to hear from the voters that does not apply to the chairmen of the committees in general. Most of them seem to be giving “John Q. Public” the bums rush when they start to speak. On the flip side, the lawyers and lobbyists, well, they can go on and on forever. It begs the question of who voted our legislators into office in the first place.
I have paid close attention to the legislators who give time to their constituents and as I wrote in my column early on, so far I have been right, it is the freshman hands down who are walking the walk.