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Boutin handily wins Henderson City Council race

Updated Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | 11:22 p.m.

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Kathleen Boutin

Click to enlarge photo

Cathy Rosenfield

Kathleen Boutin made it look easy -- she cruised to a 4,400-vote margin of victory Tuesday night to win the Ward 3 seat on the Henderson City Council.

Boutin began with a large lead over challenger Cathy Rosenfield as the early results came in and won with 62.08 percent of the vote to Rosenfield’s 37.92 percent.

According to unofficial final vote totals with all the early votes and all 15 voting centers counted, Boutin won by 4,461 votes, or 11,465 to Rosenfield’s 7,004.

Boutin will succeed Jack Clark in Ward 3, which includes the northern part of Green Valley. Clark faced term limits after 16 years in the seat.

“I’m just very grateful for the opportunity to serve and I just want people to know that I’m going to serve very well,” Boutin said.

Boutin said she plans to get to work in her first meeting. She listed her top two concerns as the city’s budget and the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former City Manager Mary Kay Peck, whom the City Council unanimously fired in April.

“I mean what I said when I think we should require departments to do zero-based budgeting,” Boutin said, adding that she plans to suggest the idea in her first meeting.

As for the Peck situation, Boutin said the city needs to create a system of public evaluation for its appointed personnel. Peck’s biggest complaint about the city is that the City Council never gave her a formal evaluation to alert her to their concerns and give her a chance to address them.

“I’m going to, probably at the first meeting, volunteer to spearhead the public evaluation process,” Boutin said.

Boutin, a longtime Henderson resident and founder of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, ran an aggressive campaign that cost more than $229,000. By comparison, Rosenfield, the volunteer chairwoman of the Henderson Parks and Recreation Committee, spent about $10,000.

Now that she is elected, Boutin revealed that she plans to donate “the majority, if not all” of her $44,287 annual salary as a councilwoman to a trust fund she has set up, which will help fund community projects by the Metro and Henderson police departments.

“My intent going into this was never to seek higher office or run for 12 years or use this to supplement my income,” Boutin said.

The candidates differentiated themselves based on their backgrounds -- Boutin as a successful businesswoman-turned nonprofit manager and Rosenfield as a longtime city volunteer with knowledge of the city’s inner workings and good relationships with city staff.

Boutin said she embraced that perception as an outsider and believed it was what voters responded to so favorably.

“I feel like because I’m not on the inside and I’m not a bureaucrat, I just bring a fresh set of ideas and a common-sense approach,” Boutin said. “I’m a taxpayer, and I can’t tell you how much it means to me that the taxpayers and constituents supported me.”

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