When city officials travel south for annual meetings of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, well, sometimes they do a little economy-boosting of their own in Nevada's welcoming casinos.

Fonnesbeck got lucky at the nickel slot machines in Mesquite, coming home with her pockets loaded down with 1,400 nickels.

But extra pocket change isn't unusual, the city councilwoman boasts. "I always win at nickel slots. I set a limit. And nickel (machines) are as high as I go. Quarters become real money."

Fonnesbeck should hang onto her $70 windfall, because this year's dismal economy makes the prospect of raises for City Hall types look as scarce as slot machines in Utah.

"It takes a long time for a thousand nickels to fall out of the slot," Fonnesbeck said. "And all these people who you've never seen before come up and pat you and say `Good job.' "

Nobody shared the congratulations with Fonnesbeck's colleague, Council Chairman Tom Godfrey, however.

How much did he lose playing the slots? "Never mind," he snapped.