Henderson City Councilman John Marz answered questions from Ward 3 residents during his first Neighborhood Connections meeting Oct. 1.
The meeting was at the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center, 1575 Galleria Drive.
About eight of the residents who came to the meeting asked about the proposed construction of an access road from Galleria Drive to the housing developments at Tuscany Village and Calico Ridge.
Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen said he knows the frustrations of those residents who have to use Lake Mead Parkway or Boulder Highway instead of a direct road.
“I know it would take you five minutes instead of a half-hour to get here,” Hafen said, referring to the drive from those developments to the Whitney Ranch Recreation Center. “I have a daughter that lives in that community, and she always asks me about it. I know we have been working on that for years.”
Hafen said that after recent briefings with the public works department, he thinks the access road could be done within a year.
Another resident brought up the number of vacant or abandoned developments in the city, including Vantage Lofts, a condo project on Horizon Ridge Parkway that has been vacant since the developer went bankrupt in 2008.
“Vantage Lofts has been sold,” Marz said.
The City Council has met with the new developers about finishing the project.
Hafen said the city could not have foreseen what the economic downturn would do to developments such as Vantage Lofts. He added that the city is looking to create a completion bond in the event that the new developers go bankrupt. The completion bond would allow the city to take over the project.
Other residents wanted to discuss the November 2011 hiring of city attorney Josh Reid, son of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. Hafen said no standards were lowered for Reid’s hiring.
“I think there was a disservice by the media,” Hafen said about the coverage of the appointment.
Hafen said the council could have appointed anyone and that human resources had developed a list of things it wanted in an ideal candidate.
Marz and Hafen praised Reid for saving the city $2 million by eliminating outside contracts and by helping the office operate more efficiently.
Aside from answering questions, Marz updated residents on projects such as Union Village, the proposed multibillion-dollar health, retail and cultural center near Galleria Drive and U.S. Highway 95.
“It will bring really good jobs to the city,” Marz said.
Marz also said there has been interest in land near the Henderson Executive Airport. The city plans to make an announcement soon.
“It will supply 200 jobs to the community,” Marz said.
Hafen and Marz were asked if they would run for re-election.
Hafen was an automatic yes.
Marz, who was appointed in January to fill Kathleen Vermillion’s vacant seat, said he wasn’t sure. When he was appointed, he said he wouldn’t seek a full term.
“I’ve been getting a lot of pressure for me to reconsider,” Marz said. “Right now, I would say I’m not going to, but I’m not going to close the door on that, either.”
Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5201.