Supreme Court to hear Culinary appeal on proposed ballot measures

The Nevada Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit calling for the city of Las Vegas to put two measures on the June 2 municipal election ballot.

The order was issued today.

The city and those supporting the measures, which were organized by the local Culinary union, have until March 19 to file briefs. Oral arguments will take place in Las Vegas at 1:30 p.m. April 6.

"It appears the petitioners have set forth issues of arguable merit" and don't have a fast enough remedy in "the ordinary course of law," the order states.

The measures concern the city's redevelopment plan. One asks voters to repeal the plan altogether, and the other states that voter approval is needed on appropriations to pay back "lease-purchase" financing.

That's the financing method being proposed for a planned new city hall. Leaders of Culinary Local 226 have sharply criticized that project as wasteful and risky. City leaders and representatives of construction unions call it an economic development project that will create jobs.

Last week, the City Council voted not to put the measures on the June ballot after the city's attorney presented them as "legally defective" with the potential to violate the U.S. Constitution and create a wave of litigation against the city.

Culinary's lawsuit challenging that vote argues that the council has no right to keep a qualifying ballot measure from voters and accuses the city of deliberately delaying the action until it was too late for a regular court challenge to happen before the election. It also says that the proper time to raise the issues they're concerned with is after the public has a chance to vote.


Contact reporter Alan Choate at or 702-229-6435.