Guest Editorial by Brian Paco Alvarez
The Nevada Supreme Court says NO to the Culinary Unions Ballot Initiative
In one of the biggest battles Downtown Las Vegas ever faced, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld the lower courts decision in denying the Culinary Union the right to place an initiative on the ballot that would have stripped the Redevelopment Agency of the power to redevelop blighted neighborhoods and invest in new ventures Downtown.
In writing the opinion for the court Justice Hardesty stated that “the City Council improperly refused to place these measures on the ballot. In the future, should the City Council believe that a ballot measure is invalid, it must comply with its statutory duty to place the measure on the ballot, and it may then file an action in district court challenging the measure’s validity.” At the same time the court stated that “in applying NRS 295.009 to the measures at issue, the district court properly found that the proposed initiative pertains to more than one subject and that the description of effect for the proposed referendum is materially misleading.” In the end the court stated “we affirm the district court’s order denying appellants’ petitions to require that these measures be placed on the ballot.”
Those of us who live and work Downtown are very fortunate that the decision by the court was upheld. Otherwise we may have lost years of progress in the redevelopment of our neighborhoods. The reason the Culinary Union wanted this ballot initiative was basically out of spite because the city and developers refused to sign agreements with them that guarantee any potential future hotels casinos would be unionized. The Culinary Union lost this battle but we must be vigilant in the future of any groups wanting to destroy years of progress in Downtown.
Brian Paco Alvarez
Las Vegas SUN
Nevada Supreme Court Opinion