Interview #27: North Las Vegas, NV City Clerk Catherine Raynor (with podcast)

This podcast interview is available on iTunesStitcherPlayer FM and right here:

Catherine Raynor has been city clerk of North Las Vegas for eight months, after being a clerk in two California cities and an Army officer. We played a game that tested her memory of the city council chamber! Then we talked about time she met John Denver and about unusual uses of the council chamber.

Q: We’re going to start off with a little game called “How Well Do You Know the North Las Vegas City Council Chamber?” I’m going to put 60 seconds on the clock. Are you ready?!

A: We might have to stop after 30 seconds…okay, yes.

Q: You’ll do fine. How many projector screens are behind the council?

A: There are two, but there are also two that you do not see.

Q: Correct, and I’ll give you extra credit for that last part. Which company manufactured the computer monitors you’re using?

A: We have Dell.

Q: Correct. Which council member sits left of the mayor?

A: That is Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown.

Q: Correct. Does the door beneath the clock open inward or outward?

A: I would say it opens outward.

Q: True or false: there is only one hand railing in the chamber.

A: False.

Q: That is correct. Congratulations, you got all right!

A: Okay!

Q: You were assistant city clerk in Monterey, California. Were there any differences between their city council meetings and those in North Las Vegas?

A: [Monterey’s] meetings are actually split. They have an afternoon session and an evening session. They have a dinner in between. They have the more routine items in the afternoon and they have the other items in the evening so the public can attend.

North Las Vegas, NV City Clerk Catherine Raynor

Q: You were also the city clerk of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Clint Eastwood was once mayor of Carmel. Did you ever see him?

A: He had a movie premiere in Monterey and we purchased tickets to go the Unforgiven film and I saw him there. The only [actor] we were able to talk to was John Denver.

Q: Wow! How would you describe your job to someone who has never seen a city council meeting?

A: For the council, I provide assistance to them in the decorum, the rules of the meeting, how we vote. I also prepare items for council consideration. It’s really a lot about the who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Q: What skills did you learn in the Army that are useful for city council meetings other than being able to kill someone with your bare hands?

A: That was not the kind of Army I was in. I was an intelligence officer and so it’s who, what, when, where, why, and how. Learning that information helped me for taking minutes and for proofing the minutes for what happened at the meeting.

Q: What kinds of things do people use the council chamber for?

A: Congressman Hardy, he uses the chambers. Our police use the chambers for training. The capacity is 344, so if we need a venue that can hold that many people–

Q: So no Zumba or yoga classes?

A: The seats are permanently affixed and it tilts down, so yoga wouldn’t work in there. Unless it was yoga in your chair!

Note: Afterward, Catherine remembered this video of a mannequin challenge in the council chamber:


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