NLV mayor outlines future

North Las Vegas State of the City addresses are traditionally upbeat affairs that focus on the bright side of life in the city.

But even term-limited Mayor Michael Montandon, in his last such address to the city, couldn't ignore the tanking economy and declining revenues that have touched his and every other local municipality.

"We have difficult decisions to make," Montandon told an audience of about 750 gathered to hear him speak on Thursday at Texas Station. "There's no doubt in my mind that when all is said and done, every Nevadan will have given something."

North Las Vegas, like other local municipalities, has been forced to trim departmental budgets and institute a hiring freeze to save money in the wake of falling tax revenues.

The city has a $15.6 million budget shortfall this fiscal year and plans to trim nearly $23 million from its 2009-10 budget.

But Montandon, who made no mention of his intention to run for governor in 2010, praised the city's fiscal responsibility and smart planning for helping see it through the tough times.

"We will weather this storm."

The mayor spent the remainder of his 24-minute speech dwelling on more pleasant topics, such as plans for a $130 million city hall, a state-of-the-art water reclamation facility and several upcoming road improvement projects.

He noted that a new library and a $27 million multigenerational recreation center will open this year, and that work will begin this spring on the first phase of the 135-acre Craig Ranch Regional Park.

North Las Vegas's spending plans focus on "critical services" that are "urgently needed ... and which can be funded from available resources," Montandon said.

The projects will create jobs and "breathe some life into our economy," he said.

"I hope to bring you a message of optimism today," he said. "I'd like for you to think positively today."

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at or 702-383-0285.