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City of Las Vegas Budget Cuts
City of Las Vegas Budget Cuts

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AIR DATE: May 19, 2010

The city of Las Vegas is duking it out with the firefighters union over wage and benefits concessions. The city and firefighters had a principle agreement, but that has since fallen apart. Now, the mayor says more than 200 city employees could lose their jobs.

We talk with City Manager Betsy Fretwell, and Don King, President of the Las Vegas City Employees Union, about the layoffs and the efforts to balance the city's $80 million budget shortfall.

GUESTS
Betsy Fretwell, Las Vegas City Manager
Don King, Pres, The Las Vegas City Employees Assoc

What are your thoughts on how the city is balancing its budget? Are Mayor Goodman, and City Manager Betsy Fretwell being too heavy handed with city employee layoffs?

How should the city negotiate with other unions, namely firefighters and police?

Is it time for Las Vegas to merge services with Clark County and other munipalities in the area?

Post your thoughts and comments and questions below.
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    COMMENTS:
    I cannot understand why the city of Las Vegas employees will NOT give up their pay. Their excessive pay impacts the services I use as a citizen. They should take part in paying for the services I use in their compensation!
    JMBMay 20, 2010 22:34:12 PM
    My cell phone dropped the call before I was able to make my point about the current budget crisis. Mr. King's union is in their present predicament because of the greed and the intransigence of the other city unions, most notably the firefighters union. The attitude of the firefighters seems to be, "I've got mine, and the hell with you." All the talk about firefighting being a dangerous job is somewhat overblown. Statistically, the most dangerous municipal job, in cities where this service is provided is the job of a trash collector.

    As an aside, Mr King seems to be accusing the city and the city manager of financial malfeasance with his comments regarding the "hiding and finding" of money.

    BobMay 17, 2010 00:00:00 AM
    In my opinion the City of Las Vegas should follow the lead of cities such as Vallejo, California and file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. This would allow the City to jettison most of their union contracts and bring the bargaining units to the table to negotiate with a modicum of reason and accountability.
    Bob GloverMay 17, 2010 11:34:20 AM
    Please ask Betsy why the talks with CLVFD fell apart?? Is it because the FD knows something about the City's finacial state that the City wants hush hush
    Joe SmithMay 17, 2010 11:09:19 AM
    Please ask Betsy about the large 25 to 35 million dollar public safety grant that she chose not to apply for with the feds. When asked why, she replied because she could not lay off as many people if she received the grant money
    Joe SmithMay 17, 2010 10:38:41 AM
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