Anthony Plans for Sweeping Changes if Elected Mayor
Las Vegas councilman Stavros Anthony discussed Thursday at UNLV his views on how public tax dollars should be spent — and how he wants to change things if elected as mayor.
Anthony started campaigning for mayor against incumbent Carolyn Goodman after the City Council decided to spend over $60 million in public financing on the downtown soccer stadium.
“The tipping point for me was when Councilman Beers and I decided to put a resolution on the City Council to let the people decide how their tax dollars are being spent,” Anthony said. “That was shot down by Mayor Goodman and three others voting against it.”
Anthony was not surprised to hear that running has cost him his position as mayor pro tem. “I did not hear the mayor say that, but it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Anthony said. However, if he loses, Anthony plans to continue representing and supporting his ward.
Anthony is also opposed to spending tax dollars on privately-owned franchises that cost public money to use, such as establishments like The Smith Center and The Children’s Discovery Museum. These places are publicly funded and require an entrance fee. Anthony feels those tax dollars are better spent on rebuilding other areas of Las Vegas, such as parks and the new medical district.
“I’m going to be paying attention to parks, fixing sidewalks, potholes and streetlights. It’s not as fancy, but it’s what people want,” he said.
In regard to the current homeless population that has begun to overflow into public parks, Anthony said: “There are always going to be homeless people in Las Vegas. For some people, it is just what they want to do.”
Since Anthony has no desire to work on decreasing the Las Vegas’ homeless population, his main focus is on drug addiction and better treatment options. “We are one of the worst states in providing psychiatric care,” Anthony said.
It should come as no surprise that the councilman, who was a member of the Metropolitan Police Department for 29 years, is absolutely against the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
“It is a schedule one felony,” Anthony said. “I just don’t think it adds anything to society. It just creates problems.”
The question remains of how the councilman plans to create jobs if he opposes the creation of the soccer stadium and the legalization of marijuana.
“The soccer stadium is just handing out peanuts for minimum wage,” Anthony said. “As far as legalizing marijuana, why don’t we just legalize cocaine and heroin and create jobs off of that?”
The councilman is also not in favor of raising the minimum wage. “I don’t see how raising minimum wage is going to decrease unemployment. I don’t see the correlation,” Anthony said. “Raising minimum wage by a couple of bucks probably isn’t going to have a huge impact on somebody’s life,” he said.
If one does the math however, raising the minimum wage by two dollars an hour for an employee working full-time would pocket about $400 extra each month.
Anthony is against creating minimum wage jobs because they serve as “stepping stones” to just start off at. “I was paid minimum wage as a kid, but I wasn’t going to do that the rest of my life,” Anthony said.
Something that Anthony is heavily involved in, however, is the ongoing development of UNLV’s medical school. The medical school is expected to be built downtown in a new medical district.
“If you create a medical district, it will have doctors and medical professionals who live and play in that area,” Anthony said. “If you create an area where they have everything right there instead of being spread out, then that will attract folks.”
This is how the councilman plans to entice new medical staff to reside in Las Vegas. By increasing the medical staff here, it will accommodate the students graduating from the medical school, as well as improve current medical conditions.
Anthony hopes to finish his race in the April 7 primary and begin his term as mayor — but it could be an uphill battle with the stances he holds on many controversial issues.
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