Nevada Supreme Court Sides with Vegas on City Hall


LAS VEGAS, Nevada—Thursday, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that two union-backed measures targeting Las Vegas’ redevelopment plans should not appear on the June 2nd municipal ballot.

One of the proposals would have repealed the city’s redevelopment plan for downtown. The other would require citizens to vote for the approval in order to proceed in building a new city hall.

The district judge’s ruling that the measures were flawed legally were affirmed by the court.

To many, this ruling has seemed to open the chance for the city to seek up to $267 million in bods for the new city building, which is part of a swapping of land which would bring a new casino into downtown.

“This ruling will allow Las Vegas to be the world-class city we all envision,” Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said Thursday.

Goodman has been struggling against Las Vegas Taxpayers Committee. This group is affiliated with the Culinary Workers Union, which represents hotel and casino workers. The group’s argument is that the city’s plans take tax money away from education schooling and other more important projects.

The union also said it was disappointed by the court’s ruling and continues “to believe that doubling the debt of the city to build a $267 million city hall is inappropriate.”

“While the supreme court rejected our initiative and referendum on narrow technical grounds, we believe voters want reform of the Las Vegas City Council and Redevelopment Agency. We will continue to push for that reform,” the union said in a statement.

The group petitioned with signatures on its ballot, but the city council refused. Its argument was that if the proposals passed, it would force the city to break contracts and prompt lawsuits. The rebuttal—the union group sued.

In April, District Court Judge David Barker joined the fight for the city, citing that the proposals violated state law governing ballot measures.

The Supreme Court also sided in agreement with Barker.

The referendum seeking to repeal the redevelopment plan, “failed to inform the voters that the repeal … would also affect existing redevelopment projects. We agree with the district court that the description of effect materially fails to accurately identify the consequences of the referendum’s passage.”


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