Timothy Hacker, City Manager, City of North Las Vegas
by IAN MYLCHREEST -- North Las Vegas is short “fourteen or fourteen and a half million dollars,” according to Tim Hacker, the city manager. But Hacker told KNPR he’s far from sure that will be the end of the budget woes. In fiscal terms, next year looks very much like last year.
The city council will consider tomorrow night whether to continue the declaration of a fiscal emergency. Hacker is hoping to maintain wages and benefits and services for residents with the access to the sewer reserve fund that the Legislature authorized shortly before Monday’s midnight deadline.
Much of the money will be used to top up payments for police and firefighters whose cost-of-living increases were cut after the city declared a disaster emergency. Hacker said other cities across the country had used enterprise funds like the sewer fund in question as “funding vehicles for quality of life.” But even with the infusion of additional money, Hacker said, “We can’t sustain the growth that’s in these contracts. Again, those contracts were struck in much better times.”
On the other hand, Hacker said, conversations with city unions are proving “much more productive” this year. In addition, overtime will not be cut as it has in previous years and that means the city will not have to “brown out” some fire stations.
Hacker wants to restore the money eventually but that will not realistic in the foreseeable future. The sewer and water fund will have enough money for the repair of sewers because of a cushion required by state law. And, according to Hacker, the public safety unions will be reducing their future demands to help the city balance its books.