NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The City of North Las Vegas has avoided a state takeover by reaching long-awaited agreements with the last of it’s employee unions bolstered by last minute intervention efforts from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.
If the city was unable to reach an agreement that included union concessions further cuts would have been made to the already shrunken workforce, which is not a good option for a city that already seen major layoffs.
The most viable option left in absence of an agreement would have been a state takeover.
Sandoval let the top brass know that a state takeover would not be a bed of roses and would with 100% certainty result in layoffs, an outcome the unions have long stated they wanted to avoid.
There is a faction of people who blame union greed on the problems North Las Vegas and other financially strapped cities have suffered.
That faction subscribes to the belief that unions have force fed sky high salary and benefits packages that nearly crippled the city and are not at all interested in “fair pay”.
Although the beleaguered city has been plagued with problems for years and is often compared to Detroit, Mich., there is a key difference in organizing affairs. Detroit opted for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy, but that is not an option for North Las Vegas since Nevada is one of a handful of U.S. states that does not give explicit permission for municipal Chapter 9 bankruptcy in its constitution.
In 2012 the City of North Las Vegas declared a controversial state of emergency and said their biggest problem was salaries and compensation and benefits. That same year, they were hit with approximately $15 million dollars in separation costs paid to city employees and were listed by USA Today as one of the worst run cities in the nation.
The biggest hurdle was settling with the firefighters and teamsters unions and, it is believed, they finally accepted the more than $3 million dollar settlement that they were previously offered and rebuffed.
Until the next union negotiation, which will likely be filled with outrageous demands in an attempt to make up for the current negotiation shortfall, the City of North Las Vegas have avoided a state takeover.