LAUGHLIN — The coffee was hot, and the public’s questions were even hotter during Michael Naft’s Coffee and Conversation on June 10 in Laughlin.
Naft is the newest Clark County commissioner and represents District A, which is the largest in the county. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, who previously held the spot, appointed him to the position six months ago.
“This is an important part of District A,” said Naft after the meeting. “That’s why I am back here for the second time in the last couple of weeks. It helps put into perspective the needs of the people who live in Laughlin, and exactly where they are coming from.”
Throughout the meeting, Naft answered questions on public works, the building permit system, how to contact him and other issues. Once the floor was open for questions, Naft was immediately asked for his thoughts on the proposed bridge over the Colorado River. The proposed location is south of Laughlin, connecting Needles Highway with the Bullhead Parkway near the Mohave Crossroads shopping center in Bullhead City.
“I don’t love the location, but I understand if there is going to be a third bridge that’s where it’s going to be,” he said. “That’s my belief from what I have read, and you can tell me if I am wrong.”
Naft also said he wanted to make sure the bridge is a good deal for Nevada. The deal regarding the state not losing out on tax revenue, and not paying more than its fair share for the project.
Naft was asked if he would inform Laughlin if another incorporation attempt occurs.
He said, “To the extent that I am apprised of it, I’ll keep you apprised.”
Ashlyn Bilbray-Sainz and Laughlin Town Advisory Board member Kathy Ochs voiced concerns about how long it takes to get building permits.
“Coming from the commercial side of businesses, the building department down here is really nonexistent for companies trying to process permits,” Bilbray-Sainz said.
This is an issue the commissioner said he wants to continue working on.
One of the major issues regarding permitting is the state and country are in a building boom right now. It puts a lot of strain on county resources to expedite permits in a quick manner, Naft said.
“If you’re in the middle of a project and have to come to halt because you can’t get your permit process quick enough, that’s a problem,” he said. “There has been no modernization and increase in staff since the recession. I am aware of the problem. It’s a longer solution, but its something we are working.”
Overall, the commissioner said he wanted to stress that he cares about Laughlin, and for people not to be afraid to reach out to him.
“We might not always agree,” Naft said. “However, I think that’s OK, and I am fighting for Laughlin. I just want to run home the point that if people are in need, services that the county can provide, that they pick up the phone and ring my office.”
To contact Naft’s office, call 702-455-3500, or email ccdista@ClarkCountyNV.gov.