Nevada town in fiscal emergency
How did North Las Vegas end up in dire straits?
- Duration 5:07
- Date Jul 17, 2012
How did North Las Vegas end up in dire straits?
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
This is a national nightmare.
Three cities in California declined bankruptcy and cities across the nation on the brink.
One Nevada City is facing a thirty million dollar budget hole.
But North Las Vegas is barred by law from filing for bankruptcy.
So North Las Vegas is doing something out of the box they're declaring a state of fiscal emergency.
Fiscal emergency the city is using an about a lot about natural disasters to try to fix its budget disaster but then usual move is raising eyebrows.
American mayor Jerry and -- -- -- Bok joins us nice to see America.
I -- and I associates.
Program -- so you're taking some heat does some people think that what you're doing is -- union busting.
Well let me just say we.
A great city of 227000.
Residents that are really excited about a future that we have here in our city.
Right now are going through tough times and the City Council has decided to do everything within our measure.
To make our city prosperous again and to get through these tough times even taking this measure of declaring a financial emergency so it really have nothing to do -- With busting unions it has to do with the inherent duty that the City Council has to protect that the health safety and well -- -- of our citizens and two.
And to move our city forward and it in a positive direction.
My correction and and -- in that what this does is it freezes all scheduled salary hikes.
And and also the overtime and overtime opportunities it doesn't include anything -- But uniform allowance.
Holidays sell back there are provisions within that contracts that we are asking to suspend and so you're correct.
Raises we just want our employees to stay exactly where they are they're getting the same -- As of June 30 that they are now and that's what we've asked them to do they were not willing to do that they were not willing to make concessions.
They continue to want their raises and their uniform allowances so we have.
Take in this measure to suspend those portions of their contract.
Okay so it so it's a freeze it no no one's getting fired no exit -- losing my -- -- -- lower salary or lower picks up the extent we don't get over -- some your expectation -- Right.
Correct correct and and we're doing that we've balanced our budget we paid all of our bills for this here.
We have about get ready for next year -- we're moving forward.
Now -- we've been taken to court by our employees if the city.
Is not able to do this it will unfortunately mean layoffs and so the City Council has done everything they can.
To prevent these layoffs and and the employees -- really happy about it.
I you in this position because.
Being the horrible housing problems it's that you stay in particular states as well so that the -- the prices have gone down so the -- -- gone down so the revenue has gone down.
Or have you been sloppy in your finances historically -- -- -- a combination of both.
You know it's really this.
Perfect crisis here at.
The housing market falling apart North Las Vegas was on of the fastest growing cities and the nation that 14%.
We have a lot of construction workers casino workers and -- that economy crashed a lot of our residents lost their homes.
Lost their jobs and it we still have a a 14% unemployment rate in our city.
So you add that time.
A property assessed valuation going down sales tax revenue state wide down 30%.
It has just been the perfect storm in our city and and as I said we're doing everything we can to provide this -- -- that are citizens user.
And two keep our employees employed.
We've we've been sued what is it that the -- people with a group that's suing you what do they expect you to do to what -- expected to get the money or how they expect you to.
Handle the budget issue.
They've half sister raise taxes they've asked this and this is come -- I want to lease it out of Texas what I added that they have and that property.
Yes they've -- -- raise property taxes they've asked us to borrow -- from our utility funds.
They've asked -- to sell City Hall they've they've asked for you know quite a few unreasonable things -- That would be laughable if it weren't so.
The the point is we don't want to lay.
Any more of our employees who want to keep them employed -- good employees.
The problem is the salaries -- and unsustainable that benefits -- unsustainable and we've got to get them under control.
And I'll tell you our -- I mean I know the -- and it.
Have you had gone after the benefits -- -- let's say it's just to freeze in the Evian have you said anything like you're going after the benefits.
We have not we -- we we only needed for them.
To give up their cost of living raise and there uniform allowance in order for us to balance our budget so we didn't ask them.
To take a -- crease and we have not gone after their benefits.
-- think -- -- just -- Seward -- thank you very much to join us thank.