Lawmakers must not care about saving millions on municipal elections

A last-ditch effort to change the date of municipal elections (and save $1 million of taxpayers’ money every other year) went phooey in the Assembly Elections Committee on Tuesday.

Two of the four opponents of the proposal explained they didn’t like the idea that some municipal officials — citing Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and Councilman Gary Reese as the prime examples — would serve longer terms to get everyone on the same schedule.

Wasting millions is preferable?

Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, introduced a bill to move municipal elections to even-numbered years and piggyback them onto state and federal elections. In April, his nose count showed that he had bipartisan support — and bipartisan opposition — so he pulled his bill before it went down in defeat. I wish he’d put it up for a vote so people would know which legislators opposed this practical, common sense idea.

Maybe because the legislators are up in Carson City dealing with the budget, they don’t realize that the sample ballots for the June 2 municipal elections have just been mailed out, and people are being reminded of how wasteful it is to hold municipal elections in the spring of odd-numbered years.

My 12-page sample ballot in English and Spanish (a federal requirement) has just one race to be decided. Count on early voting sites across the valley being lonely places. On Election Day, the polling sites will be void of voters. A line of three at one site will be a crowd.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said the municipal elections cost about $1 million. (The cities reimburse the county for the costs, so the cities are the ultimate losers.)

By my count, dividing the costs for the primary and the general, on a per vote basis, the cost for each of the 48,855 people who actually voted in the primary averaged $10 a head. Let’s call it a poll tax and be done with it.

So yes, I am a proponent of Segerblom’s bill to move the dates of the municipal elections to even-numbered years, because the cost would be minimal. And if that meant Goodman and Reese and some others would serve longer terms, so be it.

Segerblom made another push and on Tuesday tried to amend Assembly Bill 256, into Senate Bill 263. But that also failed in the Assembly Elections Committee.

So, when the following legislators come to your door next year, ask them why they didn’t see the need to save $1 million every other year, especially when there are far better ways to spend that money than in low-turnout municipal elections.

Voting against it were all from Clark County: Democratic Assemblymen William Horne, Harvey Munford and Marcus Conklin and Republican Assemblyman John Hambrick.

To get out of committee, it needed seven votes, and it only got six. The supporters were Segerblom, committee chairwoman Ellen Koivisto, James Ohrenschall, Ruben Kihuen and Harry Mortenson, all Democrats from Clark County, and Ty Cobb, a Washoe County Republican.

Being of a suspicious nature, I wondered if some of the political consultants who helped elect the four opponents might have whispered in their ears that this is a bad idea because they need the income in odd-numbered years.

So I looked through their campaign and expense reports to see who their consultants were in the 2008 election, searching for a pattern. But there really wasn’t one powerful consultant pulling strings.

Horne’s consultant is Gray & Associates.

Conklin listed Christine Dugan and Paladin Advertising.

Hambrick listed Christine Dugan and Nathan Emens.

Munford failed to identify by name anyone he paid in his 2008 contribution and expense forms. However, on Friday he said his consultant was Nathan Jackson and no consultants lobbied him against the bill.

Hambrick and Munford said they didn’t like the idea of longer terms. But what are the options? You can’t shorten someone’s term. Do you create a special 18-month term and have people run for that?

“Constituents didn’t want them to serve longer terms,” Munford said. “Others elected are term limited and don’t have this opportunity and privilege.”

Conklin and Horne couldn’t be reached to find out their reasoning against the bill.

When did $1 million every other year become so inconsequential that elected officials can blow off saving the cities money?

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. E-mail her at or call (702) 383-0275. She also blogs at

Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like