Las Vegas Sun

June 2, 2015

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NLV residents frustrated by spat over looming police layoffs

North Las Vegas residents continued to express their disgust with the tension between the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association and the City Council at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Complaints started coming in after the union put up signs across the city last month that read, “We can no longer guarantee your safety,” in response to proposed police layoffs. Residents say that the signs are meant to instill fear into the public and that they invite crime.

Union President Mike Yarter deemed the signs necessary, and the organization later filed for an injunction on layoffs that were set to start July 1. District Judge Nancy Allf issued a 90-day injunction last week, which postponed layoffs and gave the city and the union a chance to negotiate.

City spokeswoman Juliet Casey said that if the two don’t compromise, the city will be forced to lay off more people.

“If there were no concessions we would end up laying off close to 50 nonpublic safety employees,” Casey said. “We’ve already laid off over 150 nonpublic safety workers.”

Acting city Finance Director Al Noyola presented the council its options on Wednesday, outlining alternatives to more layoffs.

Noyola suggested that outsourcing some services and raising property taxes for the next two years would help manage the city’s debt.

Councilwoman Anita Wood disagreed, reminding Noyola that North Las Vegans already pay the highest property taxes in the valley.

Another option Noyola suggested in place of laying off police officers was to lay off the remaining nonpublic safety staff, which may cause the city to shut down some facilities.

The council will continue to research its options and discuss the budget crisis in two weeks.

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