LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – North Las Vegas is a disaster area, officials want you to believe. When travelers hear that North Las Vegas is a “disaster area”, they might think the town look like a scene out of Inception. But the concept of “disaster area” has nothing to do with crumbling structures; it concerns a crumbling local economy.
City Council member Wade Wagner is waging a fight to insure that North Las Vegas maintains its disaster area status. But Wagner’s assertion concerns foreclosures. He claims that, because of growing foreclosures, property values have fallen, therein causing property taxes to drop, and hence giving less earnings for the town. But does that really qualify as a “disaster area”? No, says local unions.
In a news statement this week, Wagner said that the City needs $9 million to be saved. He believes his town is under fiscal emergency. And despite his efforts, Wagner knows that similar attempts by other cities nationally to use emergency declarations have caused eyebrows to be raised.
And while signs across the city read “Warning: Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety”, the real trouble is not crime but foreclosures. He claims that his city is “ground zero” for the nation’s real estate bust. He claims that North Las Vegas is one of the worse cities to have suffered through the housing foreclosure crisis. But as the state’s fourth largest city, North Las Vegas could soon be taken back by the State.
And yet, while the disaster declaration might sound peculiar to travelers, it may soon sound even more peculiar to a Court. The police union has filed a suit against the City. They claim that the City is using the law to avoid paying local union workers. Sgt. Leonard Cardinale, president of the North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association, says that the town is not a disaster area. Rather it’s a city fighting its unions at a time of fiscal troubles.