Culinary Union Leader Finally Granted Seat on Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Monday appointed Culinary Union executive Geoconda Arguello-Kline to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board of Directors that oversees the construction of the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium just off the Las Vegas Strip.
News about Ms. Arguello-Kline’s appointment arrived a couple of weeks after the Clark County Commission rejected her nomination to the board of the public stadium.
Ms. Arguello-Kline is the Secretary-Treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, a powerful labor union that along with the Bartenders Union Local 165 represents more than 60,000 hospitality workers in Las Vegas and Reno, including Downtown Las Vegas and Strip casino resorts employees. Both unions are affiliates of UNITE HERE, which represents more than 300,000 workers from the gaming, hospitality, and food service industries across North America.
Ms. Arguello-Kline will replace former casino executive Scott Nielson on the Stadium Authority Board of Directors. Mr. Nielson’s term as board member expired on December 31, 2019. Gov. Sisolak also reappointed on Monday Steve Hill as Chairman of the nine-person panel. Mr. Hill is President and COO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
As mentioned earlier, the Las Vegas Stadium Authority through its board is tasked to oversee the construction of the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium. The facility is currently under development near the Las Vegas Strip and is slated to be launched this coming summer. The 65,000-seat arena will serve as the host venue for the Raiders starting this year, following the NFL franchise’s move from Oakland.
Focus on Workforce Development
Of her appointment, Ms. Arguello-Kline said in a statement that she was pleased to accept it and thanked Gov Sisolak for “recognizing the value of having a hospitality expert on the Stadium Authority Board” and for his commitment to “diversity at all levels of government.”
Ms. Arguello-Kline also said that now as the construction of the stadium is nearly over, the board needs to focus on “job training, equal opportunity hiring, and workforce development.”
Last month, the Clark County Commission rejected Ms. Arguello-Kline’s nomination and instead voted to re-appoint Laborers Union Local 872 Secretary-Treasurer Tommy White to the nine-member panel overseeing the construction of the new stadium.
Ms. Arguello-Kline’s nomination was backed by a number of big political names, including US Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen as well as Harry Reid.
The Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer said in a statement following the rejection of her nomination that the Clark County Commission “let Nevadans down” with their refusal to “appoint to the board a qualified candidate who understands hospitality jobs and workforce development.”
The statement went on that with its decision, commission members clearly showed that they did not care “about the conduct and reputation of their members on the Stadium Authority board” and that they missed an opportunity to show “their commitment to equity and diversity.”
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