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North Las Vegas City Council swears in new member

There was a new face sitting with the North Las Vegas City Council at its July 6 meeting.

Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown was sworn in during a special event beforehand. She now officially represents Ward 2, taking over for former Councilman William Robinson, who was term-limited.

Catherine Ramsey also was sworn in before the council meeting as North Las Vegas Municipal Court judge Department 1.

There were only four council members present. The Ward 4 seat remained empty as city officials painted a bleak economic picture unless cuts are made quickly to fill a $30.3 million budget gap in fiscal year 2012.

Former Councilman Richard Cherchio, whose term ended July 1, sat in the audience. A special election had been set for July 19 in one Ward 4 precinct to determine the winner in the contested race. Dentist Wade Wagner secured a victory in the June 7 election by a single vote; however, Clark County Election Department officials said a ballot was cast by an ineligible voter, tainting the results.

A district court judge ruled July 8 that the North Las Vegas City Council must canvass its election results in the Ward 4 race and declare dentist Wade Wagner the winner.

It was business as usual at the city council meeting — except, council members voted orally because City Hall’s aging technology wasn’t working properly.

During the public forum portion of the meeting, residents condemned signs scattered throughout the city by the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association. One man called it “an act of terrorism” meant to scare away people and commercial growth. Another man called upon the union to “take down these invitations for crime.”

City Clerk Karen Storms presented the council with a review of the 76th legislative session. Storms said the city tracked 417 bills, including red light cameras, eminent domain and economic development.

The council directed staff members to bring back a plan by July 20 that makes $8.6 million in cuts to the fiscal 2012 budget. Al Noyola, acting director of administrative services and finance, gave options about how to save money, which included privatizing the city’s utility functions and selling off the city’s new $300 million wastewater or the yet-to-open $130 million City Hall, outsourcing parks and building maintenance and legal, payroll and custodial services.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 20 at City Hall, 2200 Civic Center Drive. For more information or to get a copy of the agenda, visit cityofnorthlasvegas.com.

Contact Downtown and North Las Vegas View reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@viewnews.com or 383-0492.

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