Posts Tagged ‘incorporation’

Former Clark County Commissioner, State Senator Speak Out In Favor Of Laughlin Incorporation

By Sean Whaley | 1:26 pm May 31st, 2012

CARSON CITY – Supporters of making Laughlin the state’s newest incorporated city have sent out YouTube messages favoring the move by former Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury and state Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City.

Early voting is under way for the June 12 primary, which includes the incorporation question for the community on the Colorado River 90 miles south of Las Vegas.

Laughlin. / Photo by Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons.

In his YouTube message, Woodbury said Clark County oversight of the area just doesn’t work being so many miles away. The county’s existing small cities, Boulder City and Mesquite, are both doing well with quality services and low taxes, he said.

“There will be plenty of time after the vote to work things out with the county and the state on revenues and the transfer of services,” he said.

In his message, Hardy said Laughlin voters have nothing to fear in supporting incorporation.

“You lose nothing by voting yes, as before the Legislature will allow the incorporation to occur, it will have to be assured that the new city will not only just survive, but have the potential to thrive,” he said.

In sending out the messages of support to Laughlin voters, Dave Floodman, an incorporation proponent and president of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, said opponents are using “fear and innuendo” to win support for their position.

“Please make sure that your families, friends, and neighbors understand that there is no risk in voting ‘yes,’ ” he said. “The only risk is to bloated county government spending and the ineffective administration of our community.”

Incorporation opponents could not immediately be reached for comment.


Audio clips:

Former Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury says the county’s other two small incorporated cities are doing well:

053112Woodbury :27 are quite low.”

Sen. Joe Hardy says the Legislature will make sure incorporation works for Laughlin if voters approve creation of a new city:

053112Hardy :13 potential to thrive.”



Legislative Commission OKs Laughlin Incorporation Vote But Lawmakers Could Reject Cityhood In 2013

By Sean Whaley | 3:42 pm March 29th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Legislative Commission voted today to let the residents of Laughlin decide in June on whether they will become Nevada’s next incorporated city.

The 10-2 vote by the panel imposed several conditions, however, including a review by the 2013 Legislature that could delay any incorporation from the July 1, 2013 target date or overrule a favorable vote entirely if it determines it is not financially feasible. Two studies have presented conflicting data on whether it would be financially feasible for the town of about 7,500 on the Colorado River to become a city.

Laughlin. / Photo by Stan Shebs via Wikimedia Commons.

Laughlin is much larger in population than Mesquite, the last city to incorporate in Southern Nevada, in 1984. Mesquite had about 1,200 residents when it incorporated.

The last city to incorporate in Nevada was Fernley, east of Reno, in 2001.

The vote for moving the process forward was 10-2, with Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, and Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, voting no.

The additional conditions were included to ensure there would be enough votes on the 12-member commission, comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats, to support moving the incorporation process forward.

Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, said during a discussion of the issue that it was the only way she would support a vote in Laughlin on incorporation.

“I don’t know why for once we can’t do something in a bipartisan manner to help the process move along but yet have a fallback so that we can put that horse back in the gate,” she said.

Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, who heard the Laughlin incorporation bill in his Government Affairs Committee in the 2011 session and supports giving residents the chance to vote on the issue, said the additional protections would allow the vote to go forward. He presented them to the commission as a way to gain support for a vote by Laughlin residents.

“I think it’s going to be one of the more remarkable pieces of legislation for the whole state of Nevada,” he said in testifying before the panel. “But if it doesn’t work this will fall under its own weight, and it’s just the way it’s going to be. And you and I will decertify this community.”

The commission also wants voters to know that there is the potential for their taxes to rise if incorporation moves forward, and so sought to have the pro and con arguments that will be published with the ballot language include that information. The ballot information would also be published in the newspaper to ensure transparency.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said Laughlin residents are likely already aware of the potential tax implications of incorporation.

“I get the idea, although I don’t necessarily agree with it; I understand the concerns that we need to publish so that the folks in Laughlin understand this may require a tax increase,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, who also serves as chairman of the commission, said the panel has a fiduciary duty to ensure incorporation is feasible because if a city fails, the financial consequences could be borne by the state as a whole.

The conditions will tighten the process and provide greater guarantees to the public and the state, he said.


Audio clips:

Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said the additional requirements would ensure transparency and gain lawmaker support for a Laughlin vote:

032912Kirkpatrick :12 in the gate.”

Sen. John Lee said the 2013 Legislature will decertify a Laughlin incorporation if necessary:

032912Lee :15 decertify this community.”

Sen. Michael Roberson said Laughlin residents already know their taxes could go up under incorporation:

032912Roberson :15 aware of that.”

Sen. Steven Horsford said lawmakers have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure Laughlin can succeed as a city:

032912Horsford :21 those local governments.”



Democrat State Sen. John Lee Calls For Legislative Commission Vote On Laughlin Incorporation

By Sean Whaley | 3:46 pm March 9th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, has added his voice to the chorus asking the Legislative Commission to take up the issue of whether the residents of Laughlin should have a chance to vote on incorporation.

In his letter sent to the Legislative Commission this week, Lee also said he supports the right of Laughlin residents to vote on the question in June.

In the letter, Lee said the panel is legally obligated to make a determination as to whether the incorporation of Laughlin is fiscally feasible.

State Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas.

“As you undertake your statutory mandate I urge you to respect the will of the people of Laughlin and give them the right to vote on incorporation, he said. “Smaller communities than Laughlin has become thriving cities and Laughlin should be given the right to decide their own future.”

Lee said today Laughlin is much larger in population than Mesquite, the last city to incorporate in Nevada in 1984. Mesquite had about 1,200 residents when it incorporated, while Laughlin’s population is about 7,500.

“I feel they have every right to pick up their flag and charge forward,” he said. “They’ve jumped through all the hurdles, and even if they get a vote to incorporate, if they financially cannot do it they just won’t be able to. But at least this moves it forward to give these patriots down there a chance to build their own community.”

Lee’s letter comes a few days after the three Republican state senators who serve on the Legislative Commission sent a letter to commission Chairman Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, asking that the panel take up the issue.

“Since the Legislative Commission failed to take action on this matter at the last meeting this would mean that the citizens of the city of Laughlin will not be able to weigh in on this matter in the upcoming election. A meeting should be scheduled as soon as possible so the citizens are not denied that right,” said the letter from Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, and James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville.

The Laughlin incorporation question was on a Feb. 15 agenda of the commission but Horsford did not allow a vote to be held.

The question then went to the Clark County Commission, which found in a unanimous vote that incorporation was not financially feasible for the community.

The Legislative Commission now needs to act within the next couple of weeks on the issue or Laughlin residents will not have a chance to vote on the matter in June.

Senate Bill 262 sponsored by Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, was heard by the Senate Government Affairs Committee in the 2011 session. Lee is chairman of the committee and said he has an obligation to follow up on legislation passed by his committee.

There was a suggestion by Hardy that the Laughlin question was tied to getting GOP support for a completely separate issue involving a regulation sought by Secretary of State Ross Miller to allow him to assess a $200 annual fee on many home-based businesses that was also in front of the Legislative Commission on Feb. 15.

An official close to Senate Democrats denied there was any link.

But the issue is moot with Thursday’s approval of the Miller regulation by the Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee to Review Regulations. The panel voted 4-2 on party lines to approve the regulation, which will now take effect.

Dave Floodman, president of the nonprofit Laughlin Economic Development Corporation, said in an interview earlier this week that there was bipartisan support in the Nevada Legislature in 2011 to allow consideration of the incorporation question. SB262 passed unanimously in the Assembly and by a 16-5 vote in the Senate.

While a feasibility study of the incorporation prepared by the Nevada Department of Taxation found incorporation was not feasible, a separate study by a reputable California company and commissioned by his group found that it would be feasible, he said.

The two reviews differed on the cost of providing police and fire protection, Floodman said.

“Our position is that the two different scenarios should be decided by the people in Laughlin,” he said.


Audio clips:

Sen. John Lee says Laughlin residents should have the chance to vote on incorporation:

030912Lee1 :16 when it incorporated.”

Lee says a vote will give residents a chance to build their own community:

030912Lee2 :18 their own community.”