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October 30, 2014

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Boulder city:

Petition submitted for ballot initiative on electing city attorney

Boulder City residents petitioning for more ballot initiatives in the upcoming general election submitted a charter amendment question Thursday regarding the appointment of the city attorney.

The amendment initiative asks whether the city attorney should be elected instead of appointed by the City Council. The ballot committee submitted the question along with 869 signatures and 195 notarized pages.

To be placed on the ballot, an initiative must be accompanied by a petition signed by at least 640 registered voters, according to the city clerk’s office.

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said signatures must be collected 130 days before the Nov. 2 general election.

Because it is a charter amendment, the city attorney initiative would have to be passed in two consecutive general elections, he said.

Two other initiatives being proposed are whether the city should take a vote from residents when going into debt of $1 million or more, and if the city should only own one 18-hole golf course.

Resident Dan Jensen started circulating the petitions after a majority of the council turned down two ballot questions proposed by two city council members at a Nov. 24 meeting.

He said being able to turn in the charter amendment signatures is an accomplishment for his small group of volunteers.

“The key in my mind is to give (residents) the opportunity to vote,” he said. “Let’s see what the majority thinks.”

Dave Olsen has served as Boulder City’s attorney for 11 years. He said all of the city councils in Southern Nevada appoint city attorneys. The only one in Nevada that doesn’t is Reno, he said.

Jensen said the ballot initiative isn’t an attack on Olsen but an opportunity for residents to express their opinions.

Resident Nancy Nolette said the group is on track to submit enough signatures for the other ballot initiatives, too. And the committee is planning to add another question regarding term limits for various city committee members, she said.

Jensen said the term initiative would limit a committee member’s term to 12 years. He said the ballot question would apply to various boards, including the Airport Advisory and Planning committees.

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