Las Vegas Sun

December 19, 2014

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North Las Vegas residents hear presentation on budget woes

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Shari Buck

Budget shortfalls were the focus of a town hall meeting in North Las Vegas on Tuesday hosted by Mayor Shari Buck.

About 100 North Las Vegans attended the hour-long meeting at city hall as Buck and other city officials answered residents’ questions.

Much of the meeting consisted of a presentation on the city’s budget, presented by acting City Manager Maryann Ustick. Consolidated tax, which makes up about 20 percent of the city’s general fund revenue, is down 26 percent compared to last year, Ustick said.

The city council had outlined core services, including law enforcement, that it felt members couldn’t cut. Other service priorities included road maintenance, libraries and emergency response systems.

“My highest priority is public safety,” Buck said. “I think that’s the responsibility of government.”

To help with the shortfalls, the city already has made five rounds of budget cuts since December 2008, Ustick said.

“The good news is there are some signs of economic recovery coming,” Buck said.

“We are hopeful,” she added. “We are realists, though.”

As the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis, Southern Nevada is expected to emerge from the recession more slowly than other parts of the county, Ustick said.

“The financial picture continues to change,” she said. “We sure hope it gets better.”

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