Residents weigh in on North Las Vegas budget battle
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV)- The North Las Vegas budget battle is getting ugly ahead of the looming deadline to submit a balanced budget to the state. City leaders hope to save jobs after announcing earlier this month they'd have to get rid of more th Video by ktnv.comvideo
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The North Las Vegas budget battle is getting ugly ahead of the looming deadline to submit a balanced budget to the state. City leaders hope to save jobs after announcing earlier this month they'd have to get rid of more than 200 emergency personnel.
In this war of words between the city and the unions, both sides have reasons not to budge. But the citizens of North Las Vegas are speaking out and telling us what they think should be done.
"In this economy it's just hard for everybody," says Nancy Hardesty of North Las Vegas.
It is also hard for entities like the City of North Las Vegas, who is trying to fill a $33 million budget hole.
Earlier this month, one possible solution included laying off more 200 people -- 100 of those police officers and more than 50 firefighters.
"It's got to come to a point where you need the police and the fire. These are essential services of the city," says Spencer Lucius, North Las Vegas.
"You can't cut corners by taking services that people need. Like police. Especially in North Town," says Tony Michaels, another concerned citizen.
Hoping to save some jobs, the city manager is using a state law to propose a plan that temporarily suspends some of the police and firefighters union's benefits, including raises and uniform allowances.
"It doesn't apply at all. The assembly states under the NRS they're trying to use in the cases of natural disasters, riots, war," says Mike Yarter, President of the North Las Vegas Police Officers Association.
"So I think this action, albeit I agree it's not one that's desired by either party, we just believe it's the best course of action to again ensure public safety," says Tim Hacker, city manager for North Las Vegas.
At the end of the day, residents we spoke with say the plan seems reasonable.
"Unions are nice, but they got to make concessions. They got to do something," says Lucius.
The city hopes the unions can still make some last minute concessions and avoid having to cancel parts of the union's contracts.
The budget is due by June 1, 2012 to the state and so far only one of the three police and fire unions has scheduled a meeting with city leaders.