Las Vegas Sun

October 24, 2014

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Local Elections:

North Las Vegas mayoral candidates

    • SharonBelger

      Sharon Belger

      Age: 41

      Occupation: Small-business owner, mother, wife

      Other experience: None

      Questions:

      1.) As the city continues to struggle with budget deficits, what are your best one or two ideas to help balance the budget?

      I believe that we must examine all opportunities to do more with less. To find areas to improve efficiency we must conduct a complete "bottom-up" review rather than the traditional "top-down" process that is currently done. Second, we must continue to work with the state to find incentives to bring in new business to increase our revenue sources.

      2.) What are one or two specific issues or projects you'd address as mayor?

      a. Examine a public-private partnership for the creation of a downtown district.

      b. Conduct a "bottom-up" review of every department.

      3.) What role do you think the City Council should play in addressing the foreclosure crisis in North Las Vegas? Would you support a program using eminent domain to assist underwater homeowners, similar to one proposed by Mortgage Resolution Partners?

      Housing is a complicated and emotional issue. I believe we should look at what is being done in other cities across the country to address this problem, working with both state and federal representatives to develop a solution for North Las Vegas. I do not support using eminent domain like the MRP proposal because it centers on reselling the properties to investors; we need to find ways to keep people in their homes.

      4.) Have you differed with any positions or votes taken by the City Council in the past several years? If so, please give specific examples.

      I supported the council's effort to develop a long-range master plan that would have created the potential for thousands of jobs and millions in revenue for the city. That it got sidetracked due to political agendas is appalling.

    • ShariBuck

      Shari Buck

      Age: 52

      Occupation: Mayor

      Other experience: Substitute teacher, Clark County School District; Silver Level National League of Cities Leadership program; graduate of the JFK School of Government Senior Executive Program; member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

      Questions:

      1.) As the city continues to struggle with budget deficits, what are your best one or two ideas to help balance the budget?

      As the mayor, there are two areas in which I have worked to provide a balanced budget. The first way was to make cuts in spending by trimming unnecessary waste and becoming a more lean, efficient government. The second way to balance the budget is to bring more revenue in. I have worked hard to attract new businesses to our city. Recently, Via West opened and will provide 100 new jobs. Another new company will open in April and will provide 40 jobs. These jobs not only provide revenue to city government but support the economy locally and help our underemployed and unemployed get back to work. Vacant homes are filled and neighborhoods are revitalized with new families.

      2.) What role do you think the City Council should play in addressing the foreclosure crisis in North Las Vegas? Would you support a program using eminent domain to assist underwater homeowners, similar to one proposed by Mortgage Resolution Partners?

      We passed a foreclosure registration ordinance that enables the city to keep track of foreclosed homes. Those banks or lenders who own the homes are held accountable. We are able to then address maintenance, payment of property taxes, upkeep and revitalization of neighborhoods. I am studying the proposal by Mortgage Resolution Partners. I am not in favor of any program related to this that is not voluntary, and I am gathering information on what this program really means in relation to the homeowner, the city and future consequences.

      3.) Have you differed with any positions or votes taken by the City Council in the past several years? If so, please give specific examples.

      Recently, the City Council voted to disband the McCool Park advisory board. I voted against disbanding the board and wanted to have it dormant and able to be called up again if needed. But for the most part, the City Council works well together with minor disagreements from time to time. On most major issues, we have all been on the same page.

    • Michael Hunter

      Mike Hunter

      Age: 51

      Occupation: Teacher, Mojave High School

      Other experience: Precinct delegate, Democratic Party, 2008 and 2012 general elections; volunteered for Barack Obama presidential campaigns, 2008 and 2012

      Questions:

      1.) As the city continues to struggle with budget deficits, what are your best one or two ideas to help balance the budget?

      We can start by cutting government waste. The car allowances enjoyed by Mayor Buck and other elected officials are the first places to trim. We can also look for businesses to lease out the empty floors at City Hall. And we certainly have to streamline the process for starting a business in North Las Vegas.

      2.) What are one or two specific issues or projects in your city you’d address as mayor?

      The public libraries must remain open seven days a week. The recreations centers must be open seven days a week. And there should be no entrance fee into Craig Ranch Regional Park once it opens.

      3.) What role do you think the City Council should play in addressing the foreclosure crisis in North Las Vegas? Would you support a program using eminent domain to assist underwater homeowners, similar to one proposed by Mortgage Resolution Partners?

      The City Council should explore any and all possible solutions to alleviate the foreclosure crisis in North Las Vegas. But I'd want to see all sides of the eminent domain plan. In years past, eminent domain has rarely helped those who already owned homes. It almost always helps the government or big businesses. But I'll look over the proposal, definitely.

      4.) Have you differed with any positions or votes taken by the City Council in the past several years? If so, please give specific examples.

      I have a definite problem with balancing the books by closing libraries and rec centers. My vision for the future of the city involves the use of the facilities. I can hardly believe that I live in a city where this has happened. I consider the libraries and rec centers basic amenities that have to be available to the public every day.

    • North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee

      John Lee

      Age: 57

      Occupation: Small-business owner

      Other experience: Nevada state senator, Nevada state assemblyman, executive board of the Las Vegas Boy Scouts, Eagle Scout, and most importantly the proud father of seven children and 18 grandchildren

      1.) As the city continues to struggle with budget deficits, what are your best one or two ideas to help balance the budget?

      We must immediately expand business opportunities. The chambers of commerce endorsed me to be the next mayor because they know I can get this done. We must find solutions to our budget woes on the other side of the ledger by expanding the tax base. I have built many different businesses into successful companies and I understand how we can attract businesses. Our city is nationally ranked as one of the top 10 worst-managed cities in America. Clearly, many of our budget struggles are self-inflicted, and I will provide a new direction and a fresh vision that has been proven to be effective.

      2.) What are one or two specific issues or projects you'd address as mayor?

      I will rebuild the city's relationships and image that has been nearly destroyed by the mayor. We are all in this together and we need a mayor who can get along with local governments and help end the red tape stopping growth. Businesses looking to relocate here read the newspaper and see: mounting lawsuits agains our city because people can't work with the mayor; the speaker of the Assembly saying our mayor is lying to NLV residents; a mayor found guilty of violating state ethics laws; near bankruptcy; threat of a state takeover; a police force below national safety standards; firehouses closed; and the list goes on! Clearly, we need a clean break from the past and a fresh start that can only come with a new mayor.

      3.) What role do you think the City Council should play in addressing the foreclosure crisis in North Las Vegas? Would you support a program using eminent domain to assist underwater homeowners, similar to one proposed by Mortgage Resolution Partners?

      First, I believe cities have a unique roll as “laboratories of democracy” within our federalist system of government. If a problem needs government action, solutions should originate within smaller government units that are directly connected to the citizens — like a city. MRP's presented a plan to fix the foreclosure crisis plaguing our community. While I agree that foreclosures are destroying our city, I have not been briefed on their plan and am uncertain if it solves the problem in a way that adequately protects our homeowners, neighborhoods and businesses operating within our community.

      4.) Have you differed with any positions or votes taken by the City Council in the past several years? If so, please give specific examples.

      After the economic crisis hit our city, I would not have gone on a $500 million building spree. Mayor Buck lacks vision and simply continued the projects her predecessor planned before the economic crisis hit. She confused motion for action by following outdated plans instead of leading. Competent leaders don't build a $300 million wastewater treatment facility without first having a plan on what to do with the treated water; you don't build a $120 million regional park without first making sure you have enough money to open and operate it, and you don't waste money building a $150 million City Hall for 1,500 employees when you have fired all but 300 of your employees.

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