North Las Vegas Says Deficit Constitutes an Actual Disaster

As Stockton, Calif., leaders prepare to vote Tuesday to declare bankruptcy due to deficits fueled (as pretty much all of California’s debt has been fueled) by pension increases and development expenses incurred when the economy was booming, North Las Vegas, Nev., is attempting a different strategy: declaring their city a disaster area in order to get out of some costs.

Via the Assocated Press:

After five years of declining property taxes, massive layoffs and questionable spending, leaders of the blue-collar, family-oriented city outside Las Vegas declared a state of emergency, invoking a rarely used state law crafted for unforeseen disasters.

No matter that the statute, which allows municipalities to suspend union contracts and avoid paying scheduled salary increases, doesn’t actually include fiscal emergencies among the list of potential disasters.

“It says, in case of ‘emergency such as.’ You can’t list how many different types of emergencies there are in the world,” City Council member Wade Wagner said of the move, which will save the city $9 million.

Maybe they got the idea from website Pension Tsunami?

Stockton had attempted a similar trick, but was met with legal challenges. Unions are mounting their own challenges in North Las Vegas:

Union workers, long among the highest compensated government employees in southern Nevada, claim the city won’t be able to defend the emergency designation in court. The police union filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the city was misusing the law.

“Everybody in the city is basically using all their time and all their effort to try to break the unions,” said Sgt. Leonard Cardinale, president of the North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association.

Public perception turned against the city’s public safety workers after some union leaders put up billboards last year that read: “Warning: Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety!”

North Las Vegas has nearly doubled in population since 2000, and stood at around 220,000 in 2010. But it has been hit hard by the recession: Unemployment for North Las Vegas in March 2012 was measured at 14.3 percent, almost three percentage points higher than the state average. Like Stockton, the city spent its boom years growing the size of its government, adding staff, building parks and starting construction on a new City Hall.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Everybody in the city is basically using all their time and all their effort to try to break the unions

    So there's hope for them after all?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    How fucking cool would it be for one of the Top Men to go all Ivan Drago and tell the Union chief, "I must break you..."

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Um, my federal and state taxes are a "natural disaster" from supporting so many of you nonproductive fucks all these years, so...

    No?

    Didn't think so, but you can't blame a brutha for trying.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "Warning: Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety!"

    You couldn't guarantee my safety before, dumbass.

  • ||

    Like Stockton, the city spent its boom years growing the size of its government, adding staff, building parks and starting construction on a new City Hall.

    -------------

    Progressive cunts immorally and wastefully expand government and build new, useless crap, get into deep shit, whine about cuts and union reign-ins. What else is new?

  • Voros McCracken||

    My parents live in Surprise, Arizona which, during the boom, built a baseball stadium for the Royals and Rangers, and ridiculously huge new city hall complex that as it stands is mostly empty.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They should now add an exclamation point to the end of the city name.

  • Agammamon||

    Or a question mark.

    Surprise?

  • mr lizard||

    How long till some police agency just throws a temper tantrum and simply takes over their jurisdiction like an occupying army?

  • ||

    Good question. Martial law and just start looting every home.

  • RFID||

    takes over their jurisdiction like an occupying army?

    This is opposed to how police agencies act now?

  • BakedPenguin||

    The lootings would no longer be random.

  • ||

  • Tulpa the White||

    Warning: Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety!

    Did they guarantee your safety before?

    And I hope they're referring to not being able to protect you from criminals, not the other interpretatin.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Technically if the laid off cops start attacking citizens it will just be the rest of the police being unable to protect people from criminals.

  • Sevo||

    But can the laid-off cops shoot dogs?

  • mr simple||

    "He was coming right for us!"

  • lawyist||

    in what way has liberalism not been a disaster?

  • ShagNasty||

    Wow. Liberals' blind devotion to Unions reminds me alot of fundamentalist muslim and christian extremists. It doesn't matter that the unions are bankrupting the state and municipal governments, a temporary moratorium on scheduled pay increases is a "effort to break the Unions." These people are fucking delusional.

  • ||

    Their ludicrous machinations are slowly killing a once-free superpower. What concern is it of theirs if a few cities, or even states, fall into the inescapable shitter?

  • Brutus||

    Reigning in Hell over serving in Heaven-like, no?

  • ||

    Well, I suppose when you're as pitiful, worthless, and disgusting a creature as the run-of-the-mill unionista, being somehow important in a wasteland -- reigning over nothing but the steaming piles of shit and rubble your fellow degenerates transformed prosperity itself into -- is preferable to being the pitiful, worthless, and disgusting creature that you are in a free and wealthy society.

  • Lord Humungus||

    enough of Detroit, let's talk about something else.

  • Keith3D||

    If they can use fiscal disasters to get around laws preventing spending cuts, they can use fiscal disasters to get around laws preventing them from borrowing and spending even more.

  • Adamson||

    I wonder if Pat Robertson will blame this disaster on dem homersexuals like he does all the other disasters.

  • Agammamon||

    Or on a pact the founders made with the devil.

  • Sevo||

    "...invoking a rarely used state law crafted for unforeseen disasters."

    Sorry, this is not 'unforeseen'. It's been predictable for years.

  • ||

    Black Caesar disagrees. Do you dare dispute the King of Kings?

  • Sevo||

    Yes.

  • ||

    What they are trying to do is like filing a claim against accidental injury insurance after getting "accidentally" pregnant.

  • Paul.||

    The police union filed a lawsuit Friday claiming the city was misusing the law.

    Oh that's rich. Lessee here, some states have had initiatives passed which made it tough(er) to pass tax increases (2/3ds majority etc), with provisions in the laws which said only simple majorities would be required in any year declared an "emergency".

    Amazingly, every year was declared an "emergency" by the legislature. And this was during the GOOD times.

    I believe that here in Washington, the emergency clause was invoked something like 100 times in one year. And that was before the Great Zombie Recession.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    And that was before the Great Zombie Recession.

    Oh! I was wondering what ate their brains!

  • Sevo||

    "Lessee here, some states have had initiatives passed which made it tough(er) to pass tax increases (2/3ds majority etc), with provisions in the laws which said only simple majorities would be required in any year declared an "emergency"."

    CA requires 2/3 majority in the legislature to pass new taxes. The Dems figured that was unacceptable, so they managed to pass the 'top-two' primary election rule and also got a re-redistricting act passed, which new districts were determined by 'non-partisan citizen' groups.
    The Dems are licking their chops at the prospect a Dem legislature majority of (greater than symbol)2/3s.
    So much for that check on stupidity.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I know it's a cliché, but poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

  • Sevo||

    It is a clich'e, but it deserves repeating.

  • ||

    You got another girl pregnant again, didn't you Hugh. You cad!

    "Look, yes, I have banged hundreds of broads, internationally, but know this: I wrap my rascal TWO times 'cause I like it to be joyless and without sensation, as a way of punishing supermodels."

  • Hugh Akston||

    But I learned that just because a girl is in a coma, it doesn't mean her ovaries are.

  • Paul.||

    What on earth induced coma into a pre-teen girl?

  • Hugh Akston||

    By the looks of it? Warty.

  • Sevo||

    Hugh Akston|6.25.12 @ 8:38PM|#
    "But I learned that just because a girl is in a coma, it doesn't mean her ovaries are."

    Ever read "The World According to Garp"?

  • SugarFree||

    "Arp? Arp! Arp!"

  • GILMORE||

    Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety!

    And so the random civilian-beatings commenced

  • Paul.||

    OT:

    NPR: The noise your motorcycle makes is killing mother gaia.

    Trevino heads up the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division for the National Park Service. Her team is now recording audio at more than 70 national parks around the country in order to get a handle on just how noise-polluted the parks are.

    Trevino says noise pollution can make it harder for animals to hear predators or listen for prey. Elk and songbirds have trouble finding mates. Trevino says that while there are plenty of blind vertebrates, there aren’t any deaf ones.
  • Rich||

    "No-fly zones" over National Parks in 3, 2, 1, ....

  • ||

    Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division for the National Park Service.

    Just let that sink in for a minute. Where is barfman when you need him?

  • Sevo||

    "noise pollution can make it harder for animals to hear predators or listen for prey"

    So its a wash?

  • toxic||

    Aren't we still technically at war with North Korea?

    Could always use that.

  • mr simple||

    Public perception turned against the city’s public safety workers after some union leaders put up billboards last year that read: “Warning: Due to recent police layoffs, we can no longer guarantee your safety!”

    Good. Fuck them.

    Yes, we see through your bullshit attempts to get rich off the public by not doing your job.

  • ||

    unions, and cop unions especially are often their own worst enemy this way. mine included.

    our benefits are CHOICE.

    and we have repeatedly refused to give as millimeter due to the financial crisis.

  • Nando||

    Damn but does Emma Stone need some sun.

  • Lewis H||

    Frick nando.

  • 0x90||

  • yantodant||

    Sounds like a plan dude.

    www.Dot-Anon.tk

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement