Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
As the city fights for its ability to sponsor redevelopment projects without having to submit them to voters for approval, city officials are touting the results of a study they recently unveiled.
It was conducted by Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas-based consulting firm retained by the city’s Redevelopment Agency. As might have been expected from a study with such sponsorship, the news was good.
The 32-page study concluded that the nearly 4,000 acres the agency serves is “arguably among the nation’s most successful redevelopment areas.”
The agency was formed in 1986, according to the study, “to promote and encourage the redevelopment of the city’s downtown urban core and its surrounding commercial districts.”
The study found that since the agency’s inception, the positive economic consequences have included $2.7 billion in new development, $1.3 billion in salaries and wages paid to workers involved in redevelopment projects, and 24,348 jobs.
The history of the redevelopment agency, which the study notes, may be of some use because voters may soon be asked whether to repeal the agency’s current plan and force the agency to submit future redevelopment projects for voter approval. The Culinary Union sponsored that ballot measure and another designed to stop the new city hall project by requiring voter approval of “lease-purchase” projects.
The agency was formed as the result of a state law that sought to improve decaying urban areas. The law notes that “the process of deterioration of a blighted area frequently cannot be halted or corrected except by redeveloping the entire area, or substantial portions of it.”
There are three Las Vegas City Council seats up for grabs this year, but only two of them will be contested.
In Ward 2, which comprises most of Summerlin, Councilman Steve Wolfson can breathe a sigh of relief. The filing deadline was Friday, and no one else signed up for the race.
That bodes well for Wolfson, a criminal defense lawyer who is pondering running for mayor in a couple of years. His first council race in 2005 was also uncontested.
The other two council races promise to be at least a little more exciting.
In Ward 6, which makes up most of the northern reaches of the city, Councilman Steve Ross, also running for his second four-year term, will face two opponents, Scott Anderson and Jennifer Taylor.
Anderson, 39, is a Realtor and a political neophyte. He’s noted that he is skeptical of two major redevelopment projects that Ross has supported, the mob museum and the new city hall project.
Taylor, 42, is the managing attorney of the Las Vegas office of Robertson & Vick, a California-based law firm. In addition, she’s a community activist with a group called Northwest Residents for Responsible Growth.
Taylor, who is also a political rookie, is a veteran attorney who has litigated construction defect claims throughout Nevada, representing clients including homeowners, developers and general contractors.
Ward 4’s open seat might provide the liveliest race. The seat opened up when Larry Brown was elected to the Clark County Commission in November, and now has six candidates.
Two announced their intentions several months ago: Glenn Trowbridge, a city planning commissioner, and Metro Police Capt. Stavros Anthony, a member of the state university system’s Regents Board.
The other four candidates are Gary Hosea, a record technician in the county’s development services department who last year ran unsuccessfully against County Commissioner Tom Collins; Teresa “Terrie” Price, the daughter of former Assemblyman Bob Price; Sam Christos; and Yvonne Karim.