North Las Vegas, Nevada,
April 3, 2023
Pat Spearman steps up
North Las Vegas (Nevada) Senator Pat Spearman is a retired military veteran who held the rank, of lieutenant colonel and she is trying to assist in modernizing and developing a City Council in the City of North Las Vegas, NV that is more responsive to the citizens. The residents say that they need open communication, more direct contact, more cultural diversity and they need personal business relationships.
During the 2020 redistricting in North Las Vegas, residents wanted to know, in their rapidly growing City, why it had been so long since the City increased its number of Ward Representatives. In order to address the concerns of their constituents, a Bill was drafted that ended up being a part of the 2023 Legislative Session.
Nevada is currently holding their 82nd Legislative Session which should end, on June 05, 2023.
Senate Bill 184
(SB184) seeks to increase the number of Wards from 4 to 6, each with their own Council Member; redistrict the boundaries of the six Wards; the City Manager is to present a report to the Joint Interim Standing Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections during the legislative interim regarding the redistricting of the Wards; the City Manager become an actual resident of the City not later than 6 months after the date of his or her appointment and remain a resident of the City while in office; requires any appointed administrative officer who is the chief financial officer, an assistant city manager or assistant chief of staff to become an actual resident of the City not later than 6 months after the date of appointment and remain a resident of the City while in office; requires the City Manager to: (1) prepare an annual diversity study to determine the number of city employees who are in managerial positions and are women, veterans or members of a minority group; and (2) establish a supplier diversity program; provides that the City Attorney or an attorney with whom the City Council enters into a contract to perform all or a portion of the duties of the City Attorney may not opine or provide legal advice to the Mayor or a Council Member on any issue or matter that does not directly relate to the official duties of the Mayor or the Council Member; requires the City Manager to submit a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Government Affairs and the Assembly Standing Committee on Government Affairs on vacant or leased space in the North Las Vegas City Hall: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/82nd2023/Bill/9929/Overview
North Las Vegas, Nevada has had the same Mayor and City Council format since 1970 – No changes for the past 53 years. The City’s estimated population all many decades ago was approximately 36,000. Today, the City of North Las Vegas will admit that there are approximately 278,000 residents. The City covers about 102.4 square miles.
However, the City also claims that they are growing by about a thousand new residents a month and the last Census was in 2020. So, there is more likely than not an excess of three hundred thousand residents in the City of North Las Vegas at this current time. A multitude of residents in the City of North Las Vegas have complained about the lack of communication and lack of representation among Mayor Pamela Goynes Brown and some of her counterparts, Councilman Scott Black, Councilman Isaac Barron, and Newly appointed Councilwoman Ruth Garcia Anderson who was appointed with very little experience.
On the other hand, the residents of Ward 4 are apparently very pleased with Richard Cherchio’s efforts to represent them and address their issues and concerns.
On June 12, 2019, Governor Sisolak signed AB 50 into law and as a result, extended the 4-year terms of the Mayor and City Council in North Las Vegas to 5+ years. To extend any term of an elected official is surely a dream come true for any politician. Former Mayor John Lee is eventually termed out and decides to run for governor of Nevada. He performed poorly in that election and was not elected. Pam Goynes Brown was elected the Mayor which left an open seat in which Ruth Garcia Anderson was appointed for reasons unknown. For unknown reasons, the City of North Las Vegas did not hold an open election and the City did not check with the North Las Vegas Charter Committee for recommendations (according to their own Charter Committee).
Is Pam Brown TERMED OUT?
North Las Vegas Mayor, Pamela Goynes Brown Will be termed out in July 2023 and includes any “magic” extension. When she has to step down, many are wondering if the City will hold an Open Election or will, they just continue the practice of appointing certain people to certain positions as they have in the past. You know, keep it within the “Family and Friends” plan as it is so called.
With the best possible outcome for the Citizens of North Las Vegas, during a Senate Committee meeting, Senator Spearman explained, “If you want good policy outcomes, you need a council with a wide range of ideas and experiences,” Spearman said. “In fact, we are the most diverse city in the state, and we need diverse voices to ensure all communities are represented and valued.”
Bottom line – if the City refuses to take any steps to modernize and do what is best in the interest of its citizens, then its legislative representatives and their citizens will have no choice but to act – they cannot have it both ways.
There was some comprehensive reporting in the Nevada Independent on SB 184:
Some are saying that most of the reporting on the Bill is dancing around the real issue. North Las Vegas does not want fresh eyes and new, progressive ideas to be infused with the old. The City leaders have had it too good for too long and they are holding on for dear life.
Military Veteran & Retired Cop Screwed Over
Military Veteran, 25-year Police Lieutenant (Ret.), and 25-year resident of the City of North Las Vegas, Wilson “Wil” Crespo summed it up, “After living in the City for more than 25 years, I can tell you that there is little to no contact with the Latino and Afro-Latino residents from the North Las Vegas Mayor and City Council. If the City Council does not want to expand their ability to have contact and to represent the residents, including the African American and the Latino communities, then we welcome any and all help that the Nevada Legislature is willing to provide.”
Retired Police Lieutenant Wil Crespo continued, “Legislative Committee is more than well-equipped to act in the best interest of her constituents, Military Veterans, and the minority community and they have the will to do so. Without the Legislator’s leadership and experience, the City of North Las Vegas would continue the same old dismissive culture that cannot relate to the majority of their residents because they simply do not care.”
Wil Crespo was diagnosed Permanently Total Disabled (PTD) due to a permanent disabling heart condition. The City and their 3rd party administrator, CCMSI have been filing appeal after appeal and delaying his medical treatment and resolving his claim for nearly 4 years. The City of North Las Vegas and Cannon Cochran Management Services (CCMSI) has been ordered to pay the claim through Worker’s Compensation, but their “bad faith” practices and their outright refusal to process the claim with no legitimate reasonable explanation.
We give a voice to the Voiceless
The President of Veterans In Politics International, Steve Sanson wrote an article on November 16, 2022, in an attempt to bring some attention to the problem. The article was read by many but those in power essentially turned a blind eye and a deaf ear:
Fighting for what is RIGHT!
Crespo has sent emails to the Mayor and City Council of North Las Vegas explaining the details of his heart claim and trying to find out why the City is refusing to pay a legitimate claim of a Military Veteran after he spent 25 years retiring with Honor as a City of North Las Vegas Police Lieutenant.
Wil Crespo explained, “Councilman Richard Cherchio has tried to learn the reason why he is being told that claims are not being processed in a timely manner and being held up for long periods of time. Wil continued, “Councilman Cherchio is a man of Honor.”
Perhaps if the City had two new North Las Vegas Council Members, those two new Council Members would be the kind of Representatives of the people that will fight for what is right and they would fight for people like Wil Crespo. Crespo should receive what he has earned by Nevada Law perhaps these new City Council Members would ask questions and they would want to know what is really going on behind the scenes that is being kept in secrecy from the public. Why would the City Elected and the City Management refuse to take care of a Police Lieutenant that protected and cared for their citizens for 25 years?
City Manager makes more $$ than a US President
The City Manager, Ryann Juden does not live in the City of North Las Vegas where he is paid to work; Juden’s 2021 salary according to Transparent Nevada, was approximately $397,000 in pay and a whopping $568,000 in pay and benefits. If you are calculating that is over $47,000 per month in pay and benefits. That’s more than the President of the United States. By contrast, in the last 10 years, North Las Vegas has grown its economic base through companies relocating to the area, according to KTNV-TV. The city’s median household income also grew in recent years from $59,835 in 2019 to $60,972 in 2020, a 2 percent increase. If you are calculating that is approximately $5,000 per month.
Former Mayor John Lee and current City Manager, Ryann Juden have a reputation for being very tough during contract negotiations with the police unions and with the city workers. They nickel and dime every inch of the contract and every benefit. But, when it comes to Juden’s excessive pay and benefits, there’s no limit to how much pay and benefits he is willing to negotiate for himself.
So, hypocritical. Juden must have forgotten his phony deep concern for the citizens’ tax money. May Juden forgot that he is being paid with the residents’ tax money, maybe that is why certain unions were never able to get an accurate account of exactly how much money was coming in during negotiations.
Cops in North Town getting scrwed
Former Police Supervisors Union President and 25-year Police Lieutenant (Ret.), Leonard Cardinale said, “I negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements with the City of North Las Vegas for years and I literally never received accurate, timely and/or comprehensive information on what the City accounts were actually holding. They were very good at hiding the ball.” It should be noted that NRS 288 is the law when it comes to Collective Bargaining and it is a violation of NRS to fail to report Local Government Funding that is accurate and submitted in a timely manner.
City Manager cares about his pocket before our protectors
All of a sudden for Juden, he is not worried about how much of the tax-paying resident’s money he is taking. It sits just fine in his bank account, and he enjoys benefits that the unions have never had. Such as, “personal days. The upper management has about 17 days that they can use any way they want and still be paid for the day (no restrictions). Oh yeah, and Juden or the City Attorney, Micaela Moore have their employment terminated for practically any reason, their contracts have to be paid out to the end. Which would be hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money. No union ever had the kind of contract that we are aware of.
Outsiders is also pocketing from North-Town
What about the employee that lives in South Carolina and is being paid by the City of North Las Vegas, Delen Goldberg? What is she being paid by the City in South Carolina? Two salaries; Talk about cronyism. According to Transparent Nevada, Goldberg’s salary from North Las Vegas in 2021 is a whopping, $188,680.30; pay and benefits are $294,752.73 per year. If you are calculating that is an earth-shattering $24,563.72 per month for an Assistant City Manager that does not even live in the State. The more you read, the more SB 184 will sound like much-needed, overdue, legislation that just makes sense for residents of the City and the residents of Nevada. Never mind ethics, moral compass, and legal concerns.
Let’s let the FOX guarding the HEN house
There is literally no substantive incentive for the City Manager and City Attorney to do the right thing. A two-year, no-fault contract that guarantees you will be paid regardless of your conduct is not benefiting the residents of North Las Vegas and not benefiting the population at large.
I remember when the Bell, California investigation was initiated because of the exorbitant salary of the City Manager. Hopefully, the Nevada Attorney General, Aaron Ford will read this and it will hatch some ideas.
Bell, California allowed the current Mayor and City Council to continue with a readily apparent, “Good Ol’ Culture.” It is like letting the Fox guard the Hen House. It would seem that all of their corruption may have gone unnoticed had it not been for a news article in the L.A. Times.
Bell California was able to hide its corruption for so long, according to the ABC report; quoting Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, “This calculated greed was accomplished by theft and secrecy,” Cooley alleged. It is time for the residents of North Las Vegas to have an opportunity to get some fresh eyes, some progressive thinking, and a true moral compass added to the existing Mayor and City Council.
North Town is too good for City Staff
If the North Las Vegas City Manager, Ryann Juden, and the rest of the City’s upper and mid-level management would live in the City where they work, they could patronize local businesses; good for the economy. Maybe the City Manager would possibly run into citizens who had questions, concerns, or problems. If they live in the City where they work, the City Manager, and upper and mid-level management would have their finger on the pulse of the City and be able to better serve their residents.
You know… the same City residents that are paying him $558,000 a year to do his job. Why doesn’t City Manager, Ryann Juden live in the City which has made him rich? Why doesn’t most of the upper management live in the City that has made them rich? Those who are elected in the City of North Las Vegas have to live there. The Nevada Assembly, and the Nevada Senate, We know why. We can all guess…
Good Ol” Boys Club
Is the City of North Las Vegas leadership opposing SB 184 because they want to maintain a regressive, good ol’ culture that reminds them of the good ol’ 50s, 60s and 70’s when those in charge lived ‘high-on-the hog’ and everyone else was just there to watch and provide tax money? A time when everyone knew their place, and everyone was afraid to challenge exorbitant Local Government salaries and afraid to challenge the lack of diversity in their local government representation? Is that why they fight modernization? Is that why they fight for appropriate representation? Is that why they vehemently fight that is what is best for the residents that voted them into power?
Power and Control
Their own Charter Committee testified in favor of SB 184 and admitted that they have not been consulted by the City of North Las Vegas leadership, even after the Charter Committee has repeatedly requested to place items on the agenda and requested to make recommendations. So, why should anyone believe that the City’s intentions are anything but to control from within with a “deflect and defend” mentality?
When the Mayor of North Las Vegas, Pam Goynes Brown tries to argue that the costs related to SB 184 are a determining factor, it really exposes the weak and illogical argument that they are squandering to invent. Actually, it comes to mind that if the City Management and Council were to take Goldberg’s excessive pay and benefits, add it to the cost of their expensive attorneys and lobbyist to fight the Bill, and add it to a cut in pay for the City Manager and City Attorney’s pay and benefits, then it becomes quite evident that there is more than enough funding to provide the citizens the proper taxation with the proper representation.
North Las Vegas City Leaders know that the City has been given the name, “North-town” by many citizens, residents, and those around the State who really know what they are up to. Everyone knows this is a pejorative term that continues to be a stigma that the City would love to shed. If the City Leaders are interested in getting rid of the old “North-town” connotation, then they will have to clean it up.
The Mayor and City Council of North Las Vegas can start by embracing SB 184 and all the modern changes that will encourage; inclusion and diversity which is sorely needed. As one resident of North Las Vegas said regarding the Mayor and City Council, ‘The residents don’t know what they are up to one minute to the next and, we only see them when they are running [for office].’ North Las Vegas needs a pattern of newly elected people who will freshen their vision for the future and modernize the stale, old-fashioned culture that fights any outside eyes on the internal operations.
If you’re wondering why Section 6 of this bill provides that the City Attorney or an attorney with whom the City Council enters into a contract to perform all or a portion of the duties of the City Attorney may not opine or provide legal advice to the Mayor or a Council Member on any issue or matter that does not directly relate to the official duties of the Mayor or the Council Member. It may have to do with a letter the City Attorney, Micaela Moore (according to Transparent Nevada, pay and benefits in 2021, $ $446,742.81) submitted on City of North Las Vegas letterhead to Office of Nevada Secretary of State, Barbara Cegavske: https://www.political.tips/post/can-she-questions-arise-if-councilwoman-goynes-brown-is-eligible-to-run-for-north-las-vegas-mayor
Keep in mind, Moore is the same City Attorney which has spent many years fighting against the pay and benefits for the police and other public employees. She was very passionate about cutting down the pay and benefits for the hard-working employees of the City of North Las Vegas, but like Juden, she doesn’t mind raking in the pay and benefits for herself.
City Attorney Moore appears to advocate on behalf of one candidate for Mayor of North Las Vegas by using the power of the City to sway the opinion of the Secretary of State’s Office. This is patently unfair to the other residents that had decided to run for the Mayor of North Las Vegas. The other candidates and even the residents have no access to the City Attorney, Micaela Moore. The candidates knew they could not request that Moore seek a legal opinion on their behalf and they could never get the City Attorney of North Las Vegas to provide their professional opinion on the City of North Las Vegas letterhead; they could not request that the City Attorney use her political clout to make official, on-the-record assertions on their behalf. Does that rise to the level of being considered unethical or legal misconduct? Maybe someone will file a complaint. Certainly sounds worthy of a complaint. We’ll have to wait and see…
City Manager to pull Veterans Funding and Trample on Veteran’s Constitutional Rights!
What if there is a local Military Veterans ground assisting Veterans and their Families? What if one of their Board members, who is a Military Veteran servicing those Veterans and wished to testify in Support of SB 184? And, that Veteran was advised by the North Las Vegas City Manager, Ryann Juden that the City would close the Veteran Resource Center and/or cut their Staff and their Veterans Programs if that Veteran testified in the Nevada Legislature in Support of SB 184. Is that illegal and/or unethical, or both? If proven, that is just one more example of why the City of North Las Vegas needs to modernize its internal structure, beginning with all of the provisions of SB 184.
Call the Nevada Senate at 775-684-6800 and let them know that you Support SB 184.
And, while you’re at it ask the City of North Las Vegas what they are up to at 702-633-9111.
VETERANS IN POLITICS- Where Change Happens!