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Council Passes City Hall Vote | News

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Council Passes City Hall Vote
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LAS VEGAS -- The Las Vegas City Council moved forward with the plan to build a new City Hall. The plans to sell more than $180 million in bonds was approved in a five to one vote, with Councilman Stavros Anthony the lone vote against the measure. Councilman Steve Ross abstained.

Several people were critical of the plan, saying the city should not be taking on more debt in a time when they are cutting the budget.

"We are losing jobs in the city. We are losing services for the citizens. We are losing safety factors that we had built in our contract to protect our members. That's a fact," said Dean Fletcher, president of the Las Vegas Firefighters Union.

Fletcher says starting next year there will be reduced services and construction on three needed fire stations will be put on hold while the city tries to balance the budget. The city is also planning job cuts and an 8-percent pay cut. Fletcher does not understand how the city can take on building a new building.

But Mayor Oscar Goodman says the building is a mini-stimulus plan and does not add to the city's current budget issues. "If we did nothing, the same issues exist today as far as the budget is concerned and paying our employees and our capital improvements. Nothing changes as far as that is concerned. It is apples and oranges," he said.

Goodman says while the city does not want to lay off anyone, that decision would not change even if they voted against the new building today.

The mayor says his biggest desire is to create jobs and he says the new building will create about 1,000 construction jobs. Many can begin working as early as next month when the project breaks ground.

The project is also expected to create 13,000 permanent jobs.

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