North Las Vegas laid off nearly half-a-dozen department heads Thursday, part of a reorganization that will see the city’s Administrative Services Department folded into other, as yet unnamed city agencies.
City officials confirmed that Community Services Director Frank Fiori, Parks and Recreation Director Mike Henley, Utilities Director Reed Scheppmann, Administrative Services Director Al Noyola and Assistant Administrative Services Director Skip Grey all received pink slips Thursday morning.
The move comes as part of a planned reorganization announced by first-term Mayor John Lee in his State of the City address last month.
Only Henley’s position stands to be replaced under a new-look Parks and Leisure Services Department.
City Manager Jeff Buchanan could not be immediately reached for comment on the City Hall shakeup. Lee declined through a spokesman to comment on the move.
Some of the five officials let go this week were hired under former Mayor Shari Buck’s tenure, though city spokeswoman Chrissie Coon denied any political ties to the move.
Officials had canceled a planned shared services meeting that would have been held at Las Vegas City Hall within hours of Thursday’s restructuring.
Coon said North Las Vegas’ reorganization had nothing to do with city leaders’ hopes of cutting costs through a plan to share municipal services with nearly a dozen Las Vegas agencies.
She said the reorganization was simply long overdue in some corners of City Hall. In some others, it hasn’t yet arrived.
“There has to be some sort of reorganization to make the city run more efficiently,” she said. “We certainly couldn’t sustain the way we were functioning in the past.
“I would say there are more changes to come, but I wouldn’t say there will necessarily be more layoffs.”
Mike Yarter, president of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association, agreed the reshuffle would probably prove a good move for the city’s bottom line.
Neither he nor Coons cared to guess how much money the effort might save the city.
Both agreed public safety jobs were not on the chopping block.
“Personally, I think it was a long time coming,” Yarter said of the reorganization. “I think it’s a smart move. They’ve got this whole shared services thing going on and now they’re looking to consolidate some departments so I’ve heard it might have something to do with that, but I haven’t heard anything about police or fire layoffs.”
Jeff Hurley, president of the North Las Vegas Firefighters Association, also supported Thursday’s overhaul.
In fact, he remains willing to extend the city’s spirit of consolidation a little further.
“We’ve always said we would support (regional) consolidation if it’s in the best interest of the citizens,” Hurley said. “I think for now, this reorganization is probably in with the sort of lower level reductions the city wants.
“I don’t think they’d be looking at us because we’re already down 30 or 40 people. We’re at the bone. There is literally nowhere else to cut.”
Contact reporter James DeHaven at 702-477-3839 or firstname.lastname@example.org.