Voting opened Tuesday in municipal elections that will bring new council members to the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Boulder City while also answering questions with financial implications in Boulder City.
Voters may cast a ballot between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at any vote center throughout Clark County regardless of voter address or precinct. A list of centers, with maps, is available in sample ballots and online at www.ClarkCountyNV.gov/vote.
As of Friday, 8.4 percent of registered voters had cast an early or absentee ballot. That figure lags behind the average 8.89 percent rate logged over the past 20 years in Clark County.
Assembly Bill 50, which passed the Legislature this session, would consolidate all municipal elections in even-numbered years along with those for president, Congress and state offices in an effort to boost poor turnout. While not yet signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak, the bill would also add a year to the typical four-year terms of candidates elected in 2017 and 2019 in order to sync the next election with the 2024 cycle.
Las Vegas Ward 1
Two candidates with experience in City Hall are vying to replace term-limited Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian to represent a ward that includes the Medical District. Robin Munier is a former longtime special assistant to Tarkanian, advocating for the city to be more user-friendly with everyday issues. Brian Knudsen, a consultant to nonprofits who previously oversaw difficult cuts to city programs and workforce during the economic downturn, wants to build a children’s hospital.
Las Vegas Ward 2
After Steve Seroka resigned in early March, a Laborers Union Local 872-led recall effort against him was dumped and the City Council called a special election to fill his remaining term. Seven candidates jumped at the opportunity, including former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman, who began campaigning months earlier when the recall effort was launched.
Ex-Assemblywoman Valerie Weber, public relations executive Hilarie Grey, contract analyst Patsy Brown, lawyer Derrick Penney, homebuilder Richard Plaster and former real estate services business owner Bruce Feher also are contending for the seat to represent the Summerlin area.
Las Vegas Ward 3
Councilman Bob Coffin’s replacement in a ward that covers part of downtown and eastern Las Vegas will be either an ex-state lawmaker or a neighborhood activist.
Teacher and former Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz has focused on developing public spaces for families and promoting education while using local, state and federal relationships to tackle wide-ranging issues. Melissa Clary, a Veterans Affairs project manager, is known as a Huntridge community advocate and historical preservationist, and she has vowed to make inroads on neighborhood blight, entertain a creative approach to community-oriented policing and fast-track attainable housing projects.
North Las Vegas Ward 4
Longtime businessman Pete Shields has criticized Councilman Richard Cherchio’s support for high-density housing, although he has also said he is not entirely against that type of development. He wants to keep density away from aging residents and homeowners. Cherchio has said he opposes high-density development in areas with existing single-family homes, but a shortage of affordable housing is a reality the city needs to face.
In Boulder City, races for mayor and two council seats will be decided.
Incumbent Mayor Rod Woodbury will face Councilman Kiernan McManus. In the April primary, McManus trailed Woodbury by less than 2 percentage points. Councilwoman Peggy Leavitt, Councilman Rich Shuman, retired university professor Claudia Bridges and event promoter James Howard Adams will square off for two City Council seats.
Boulder City voters will also weigh in on four ballot questions.
Questions 1 and 3 pertain to a proposed aquatic facility. Question 3 would authorize the city to issue up to $40 million in bonds for recreation projects, including the aquatic center. According to the ballot question, the bonds are expected to require a property tax levy for 30 years.
Question 1 would allow the city to spend $5 million from the capital improvement fund on the complex, reducing the amount the city needs to borrow.
The City Council is not allowed to spend $1 million or more on capital improvement projects without voter approval.
Question 2 would allow the City Council to refinance Boulder City’s debt without voter approval. Question 4 only gauges public opinion on whether off-highway vehicles should be allowed on city streets, but it does not spark a legislative action.