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Las Vegas Council candidate Knudsen talks about Badlands, light rail

It’d be “irresponsible” to give an opinion on development at Badlands golf course before being elected. Las Vegas officials should increase enforcement against those violating the city’s restrictions on short-term rentals. The Las Vegas-area needs light rail to meet the needs of its growing population. That’s all according to Brian Knudsen, who’s running for Las Vegas City Council in Ward 1.

Development at Badlands “is in the courts right now,” Knudsen said while filming Nevada Politics Today. “There’s not a lot the city council can do until the issue is decided at the courts. I have enjoyed my time listening and learning as much as I possibly can. I look forward to working with the city council and the city staff and the developers and the residents when the time comes for the city council to make a decision.”

Pressed for his position, Knudsen said, “I think it’s irresponsible of me to come out and say what a position would be until I have all the information.”

Knudsen told a much firmer stance on the need for restrictions on short-term rentals.

“I have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old,” he said. “I have a short-term rental right door next to me. I can tell you I don’t necessarily feel safe with my children going out with new people coming in every Thursday and new people leaving every Sunday. I appreciate the work of Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian with the ban, but I think a lot more can done.”

Knudsen called for a “more collaborative approach” between city officials and companies like Airbnb.

“Right now there really is no enforcement capacity at the city,” Knudsen said. “It’s simply a piece of paper and a law. But if no enforcement is available, it doesn’t mean much. I’d like to work more collaborative with the technology companies to put some teeth into what’s already been existing.”

Light rail is needed to help the Las Vegas Valley accommodate the expected population increase, Knudsen said.

“Whatever transportation challenges we have now are going to be exponentially, significantly more in 10 years,” Knudsen said. “So I think it’s incumbent upon us as leaders in the community to identify mass transit options. Light rail, I think is a good option to explore. I love the fact that it ends in the medical district, because there’s so much activity that’s currently going on in the medical district. When I knock on doors, people are asking about the traffic congestion that exists now. Mass transit is one option to bring about greater options for people in our community.”

Asked if he’d support a tax increase to pay for it, Knudsen said, “I think it depends on the community and how they feel about what’s needed. When I knock on doors I can tell you that traffic congestion comes up a lot.”

As a consultant, Knudsen had a 2016 contract with the Clark County School District that paid him $200 an hour. Knudsen said the district set his rate.

“The opportunity I had with the school district, they set my price,” he said. “They worked with me for probably 10 years now. I worked with a lot of our community leaders on facilitating discussions on how the school district can be more efficient. A lot of the conversations that I led, a lot of the recommendations that I made, led to cost savings for the school district.”

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