Las Vegas City Hall Referendum (2009)

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A Las Vegas City Hall Referendum ballot question did not appear on the June 2009 ballot in Clark County for voters in the city of Las Vegas, based on a city council decision made on March 4.[1][2]

At stake was the city council's decision to build a new 303,000-square-foot City Hall on the northwest corner of First Street and Clark Avenue.

Culinary Union Local 226 collected enough signatures to force this decision to a city-wide public vote, but the council found the signatures non-binding and the measure potentially unconstitutional.[3][4] The culinary union promised a legal challenge,[4] and filed suit in the Nevada Supreme Court on March 10, seeking an emergency order forcing the city to place the measures on the June 2, 2009 ballot.[5]

City leaders estimated that construction costs for the new city hall would range from $150-$267 million.

The culinary union believed the project was wasteful, objected to the lease-purchase agreement built into the plan and said it had no trouble collecting signatures.[6]

Lawsuit developments

Ballotpedia News

Culinary Union files suit

Two groups funded by the Culinary Union Local 226 (the Las Vegas Taxpayer Accountability Committee and the Las Vegas Redevelopment Reform Committee) filed an appeal with the Nevada Supreme Court for emergency relief in mid-March based on the decision of the Las Vegas City Council to refuse to put the measure on the June 2 ballot.[7][8]

Basis for suit

Richard McCracken, the attorney for the union, says a court should order the City Council to add the measure, and an associated one, to the ballot because the Nevada Supreme Court has clearly ruled that "voters must be given the chance to vote" before the substance of a ballot measure can be challenged.

McCracken cites a 2003 Nevada Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled that all ballot measures with the proper signatures must be voted on before any legal challenges as to the constitutionality of the contested ballot measure be made.

Nevada Supremes disagree

On April 8, 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected the appeal from the Las Vegas Taxpayer Accountability Committee and the Las Vegas Redevelopment Reform Committee to put the Las Vegas City Hall Referendum (2009) on the June 2 ballot in Las Vegas.

The court said the groups have to file their appeal first with the Nevada District Court

The Las Vegas City Council is declining to put the measure on the ballot on the grounds that it is worded in such a way as to repeal the city's entire Redevelopment Agency.[9]

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