Nevada justices reject union's petitions

Chris Rizo Apr. 8, 2009, 5:17pm

LAS VEGAS (Legal Newsline)-Two proposed initiatives pushed by one of Las Vegas's most powerful unions suffered a setback Wednesday when the state Supreme Court refused to put measures on the city's June 2 ballot.

The measures, organized by the powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226, concern the city's redevelopment plans, including construction of a new city hall.

The high court said supporters of the initiatives should have sued in district court, rather than going directly to the Supreme Court, over the city's decision not to place the measures on the ballot.

"There are expedient and efficient remedies available in the district court to address matters such as those presented here," the ruling said. "We are not persuaded that extraordinary intervention by this court is appropriate at this time."

One of the proposals would have asked voters to repeal the city's redevelopment plan altogether; the second initiative said that voter approval is needed to pay back "lease-purchase" financing to bankroll a new $267 million city hall.

Officially, the measures are the Las Vegas Taxpayer Accountability Act and the Las Vegas Redevelopment Reform Referendum. The Las Vegas City Council voted not to put the measures to city voters after the city's attorney said the plans were faulty.

The union has said the City Council has no right to keep a qualifying measure off the ballot. The union collected about 14,000 signatures for the ballot measures to qualify.

In a statement, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman said the justices came to the correct decision.

"This is a great day for the future of Las Vegas and Nevada," Goodman said. "Workers will have jobs. They will be able to pay their mortgages and feed their families."

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