Petitions challenging city development plans have enough signatures

Petitions challenging the city of Las Vegas’ redevelopment plan and a proposed new city hall have enough signatures to proceed, the Clark County Election Department said Thursday.

Next, the matter goes back to the Las Vegas City Council and, quite possibly, the upcoming municipal election ballot.

Culinary Local No. 226 wants voters to weigh in on two items: Should voters have to approve “lease-purchase” construction projects, which is the financing method under consideration for the $150 million city hall building? And should the existing redevelopment plan be repealed, in favor of having voters approve any new redevelopment projects?

Mayor Oscar Goodman said he had met with city staff over the weekend to discuss the measures.

“We’re gearing up to resist it, of course,” he said. How? “Lawsuits. It’s not a big secret.”

Union spokeswoman Pilar Weiss said the union is not worried about legal challenges.

“We feel very confident that these were written to prevail on any court challenge,” she said. “The constitution is very clear on the people’s right to petition, and we expect to be on the ballot.”

At issue is what is known as a “redevelopment area,” essentially downtown Las Vegas, which is considered in need of special help to attract development.

Incentives are available to developers, and new tax revenue from projects goes back to the redevelopment effort to pay for the incentives and offer more.

The union’s stance is that the new revenue would do more good if distributed to schools and other public agencies.

Goodman has criticized the union’s motivation. Because some proposed redevelopment projects involve casinos, the mayor said, the union is trying to bully the city into pressuring developers into labor talks.

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