Laughlin residents vote down city status

The city of Laughlin was not meant to be.

Voters turned out in droves Tuesday to have a say in whether their community should incorporate – 1,691 registered voters out of about 3,000 took part in the election.

The verdict: 57 percent gave a resounding no, trumping the 43 percent of voters who supported change.

Boos echoed off the walls of Granny’s restaurant atop the Pioneer Hotel and Casino during a pro-incorporation party when early voting numbers showed a majority of Laughlin residents were not ready to turn their town 100 miles south of Las Vegas into a city.

The faces of supporters fell as all three precincts within the proposed city boundaries reported Tuesday’s results, and the realization set in that the cityhood ballot initiative had failed.

"We think people who voted it down made a mistake," said David Floodman, president of the Laughlin Economic Development Corporation.

Supporters already have begun making plans to try again in two years.

Rosemary Munger, candidate for Laughlin council seat B, would have gone on to the general election in November had the measure passed. She would "have loved for it to happen."

"My side may have lost," Munger said. "But the democratic process worked. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to give Laughlin the right to vote."

Clad in a bright red cocktail waitress uniform, Laughlin resident Suzy Cooper cast her ballot against incorporation.

The bubbly blonde headed to the polls straight from work Tuesday at the Riverside.

"With the economy the way it is, this town’s not ready," said Cooper, a 20-year resident of the area.

Unlike the usual low voter turnout seen in primary elections, more than 900 voters, or about 30 percent of Laughlin’s registered voters, had turned out by 5 p.m. to vote on incorporation at the Spirit Mountain Activity Center.

Early voting, which ended last week, drew more than 12 percent.

Election worker Mary Audrey said early Tuesday, "there were lines out the door."

Voters leaving the polls were passionate – whether for or against – in the discussion about being under the thumb of Clark County government.

One voter, who supports incorporation but declined to give his name, likened it to "a battle of David versus Goliath."

"If we were a city, we could control our own destiny," the man said. "We could attract more business. It’s hard to get new businesses here with the licensing process."

It’s a common complaint among supporters.

"I’m invested here, I own rentals here, and this place is dying," the man said. "We don’t have a pharmacy."

The town of 7,300 people rests on the banks of the Colorado River across from Bullhead City, Ariz., which has more shops, services and about 40,000 people.

Laughlin has one local grocery store, no supermarket chains and few fast-food chains.

Over the past decade, Laughlin’s population has grown at a snail’s pace, with 247 people moving to Laughlin in that time, according to the latest census figures.

Some voters refused to identify themselves to a reporter, fearing retaliation for how they voted. They did not specify in what ways they might be retaliated against for casting their ballots a particular way.

"Everybody’s polarized; it’s a small town," Cooper, the cocktail waitress, said. "I’m not scared."

Voter Nancy Kirkpatrick, a 20-year resident, declined to say how she voted.

"It’s too nasty out there," Kirkpatrick said. "People are taking it too far."

Jerry Taylor, who has lived in Laughlin for 12 years, voted against incorporation.

"We’re just not ready for it," Taylor said. "It’s too damn small anyway. It’s not a place for a real city."

Those against incorporating now argue that becoming a city would not be financially feasible and taxes would increase as services, now provided by the county, are cut.

City revenue would have come from property taxes, consolidated taxes and other municipal fees. The largest portion of consolidated tax revenue now comes from the casino corridor, which declined to leave the county’s control and would not have become part of the city.

Had the measure been approved, voters would have selected candidates in three City Council races. The top two vote-getters in each race would have been on the general election ballot in November.

Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

ad-high_impact_4
News
See Hollywood Memorabilia for Free This Week
Looking for something free to do this week? Julien's Auctions viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. Hundreds of iconic movie and television items are on display, including designs and props from Star Wars, Marilyn Monroe's undergarments, costumes from "Superman III," "The Nutty Professor" (1963), "Roseanne" and more. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Acting Coach Daryl Morris on His Craft
Acting coach Daryl Morris, whose father Bobby was Elvis Presley's conductor in Las Vegas, discusses his craft and how he leads his own classes. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Constable wanted county funds to fight Review-Journal investigation
The Las Vegas Review-Journal asked for public records to investigate constable spending. But Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell hired outside counsel to fight the request. And he wanted the county to pay nearly $7,500 for those attorneys. The county declined. And records show the constable's office owes taxpayers $700,000. County officials said the money will be repaid over three years. Mitchell abandoned his re-election before the Review-Journal story ran.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like