Las Vegas Sun

August 14, 2018

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Council members tackle strategic plan for Las Vegas’ future

Creating new iconic spaces for Las Vegas’ 43 million annual visitors, residents and businesses will allow the city to remain the entertainment capital of the world for the near future, members of the Las Vegas City Council said today.

Council leaders said developing more meeting and event facilities and accelerating construction of downtown Las Vegas projects will also stimulate additional economic activity.

“We have an enormous responsibility as a local government to move our city forward,” Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “We must continue to pound on the Legislature.”

Today’s comprehensive strategic planning meeting was the first such gathering since March 2014. Such meetings typically occur every four to five years as the City Council lays out general themes and priorities for future years.

No monetary figures were discussed, and city officials acknowledged that some proposals outlined today will not be possible without help from the Legislature.

Among other items, expansion of the city’s workforce via growth in technical and vocational training was also listed among six strategic priorities.

Councilwoman Michele Fiore argued that while not every college-aged Las Vegan will seek higher education and obtain a degree, some form of vocational training is “absolutely necessary” for people before entering the workforce.

City officials also listed making Las Vegas a “smart city,” developing relationships between at-risk populations and local aid organizations, and preserving the quality of life for those who are more well-off, as other priorities.

One item not initially listed on today’s meeting agenda, public safety, was added by the request of council members Stavros Anthony and Steve Seroka.

Seroka argued that inadequate law enforcement resources have made city officials “unable to enforce the rules.”

He cited “rampant” marijuana use on Fremont Street and the prohibited short-term residential rentals as examples of where the city has fallen short.

“We have not kept up as we’ve continued to grow,” Seroka said. “We’re still way behind.”

“People won’t invest and people won’t want to live here if the city isn’t safe,” Goodman added.