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Las Vegas-area residents get lesson in local government

Residents from wards across Las Vegas filled a room at City Hall on July 11 to attend Government 101, a class teaching the basics of city government and the services available to the community.

Attendees learned about public meetings, municipal elections — when, where and how to vote —and the city’s boards and commissions.

“Our City Council decided that there needed to be a focus on neighborhood issues,” said Jace Radke, a spokesman for the city. “City government is the closest government to the people. Things like road re-pavement, new stop signs, code enforcement issues — those are the things that really impact people’s lives closely.”

The July 11 event was part of the city’s Neighborhood College series, running from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 22 to inform the public about resources offered by the city. The city will host the classes across all of its wards. The 90-minute event featured presentations from City Hall employees and representatives from wards 3 and 5.

Many attendees were residents from the two wards and expressed concerns about community issues.

“I came here to learn more but to also ask questions about plans for the future of this city,” said Miriam Gibson, who lives in Ward 5. “I wanted to know what economic development looks like to them. I keep hearing the word thrown around, but I want a synopsis of what that is. How will you bring business into this area? What will you do to attract people?”

Gibson was one of several attendees whose main concern was public safety and abandoned houses in the area. Gibson, who works as a real estate agent, said it lowers property values.

“You have a burned house in a neighborhood with a decent family living in a home right beside it,” said Elizabeth Gebre, who also lives in Ward 5. “They face it every single day. That breaks my heart. I’m hoping things like this will bring a change in the community.”

Contact Mia Sims at msims@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0298. Follow @miasims___ on Twitter.

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