The city's Police Officers Association on Monday sent a complaint about Cherchio to the state alleging the councilman, who is campaigning to maintain his Ward 4 seat, committed an ethics violation by distributing a campaign flyer that contained the image of a uniformed North Las Vegas police officer.
The flyer "creates the impression that the men and women of the North Las Vegas Police Department support Mr. Cherchio in his campaign," the complaint says. The union has endorsed Wade Wagner, one of Cherchio's two opponents in the race.
A lobbyist for North Las Vegas wrote an email to his client in which he described an incensed state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford fulminating about the local government’s decision to award a $500,000 contract to a local business. Horsford apparently does not like one of the principals of a company partnering with national giant Gensler and is opposed to carte blanche, sole-source contracts, which he has a bill in to prevent. Horsford also is seen as hostile to local governments and wants to use their budgets as a way to help balance the state books.
The lobbyist, Dan Musgrove, wrote an ill-advised email to his client (UPDATE: Maryann Ustick, whom he sent the email to, is the acting city manager.) in which he said he fears a furious Horsford will take money from the government “and any other thing that we might need or want this session. Seriously, I have never ever seen him like this.”
Musgrove said he tried to explain to the majority leader, who “looked at me and said ‘you better fix this.’”
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The North Las Vegas Police Supervisors Association has formed its own bargaining unit, separate from officers who do not hold the rank of sergeant or lieutenant.
Sgt. Leonard Cardinale, who has been with the North Las Vegas Police Department for almost 14 years, will be the president of the new bargaining group.
Cardinale said that a “natural separation” usually occurs within police unions between supervisors and officers. At some point, he says, the separation is best for both sides because the groups have different needs.
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Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010 | 2 a.m.
It was billed as a “thank-you” party. Incoming Assembly Speaker John Oceguera wined and dined about 80 lobbyists and businesspeople Thursday night on a private balcony of Boa Steakhouse overlooking the Strip.
Guests sipped pinot noir and downed Kobe beef skewers. They smiled for pictures with the leader-elect and traded stories about their families and recent trips abroad.
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Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Carson City — The tough economy hasn’t prevented at least one elected official from throwing elaborate fundraisers. Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera has recently hosted campaign contributors in a box at a San Francisco 49ers game (suggested donation: $5,000) and at a wine tasting and dinner at a Napa Valley vineyard ($1,000), setting a new bar for unconventional campaign events hosted by Nevada lawmakers.
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The North Las Vegas City Council approved Wednesday a five-year capital improvement plan calling for nearly $900 million in new projects.
Nearly half the money the city plans to spend between 2007 and 2011 will go for transportation and parks and recreation projects, including $122 million for the first phases of the North 5th Street Super Arterial and $106 million for new park development. Another $126.6 million will go toward design and construction of the city's first wastewater reclamation facility.
The rest of the funds will be divided among flood control, public safety, libraries, municipal facilities and other projects.
"There's nothing on the list we don't need," Councilwoman Stephanie Smith said. "It's like a Christmas list, you could just keep adding to it."
North 5th Street between Owens Avenue and the Las Vegas Beltway has been identified as a desirable major arterial street. The city is working with the Regional Transportation Commission to convert the 7-mile stretch into a roadway that will carry high-volume traffic between the Beltway and downtown Las Vegas via a bridge over Interstate 15. Project costs could total $250 million, consultant Roger Patton said.
Mayor Michael Montandon said the project won't be completed for at least eight years.
The plan also includes $113 million for a new City Hall campus. The current campus at 2200 Civic Center Drive will not be large enough to house the city's rapidly expanding staff. About 1,300 new residents move to North Las Vegas each month, and the city is expected to grow by nearly 30 percent in the next three years alone, according to city numbers.
"We will be looking to hire 3,000 new people over the next 20 years," City Manager Gregory Rose said.
A timeline for construction of the new City Hall has not yet been set.
A total of $213.5 million will be allocated to parks and recreation. In addition to building seven new parks, the city plans to spend $37 million on new trails and another $37 million building new recreational and multi-generation centers.
Funding for capital improvement projects comes mainly from the Bureau of Land Management, the Regional Transportation Commission, the Clark County Regional Flood Control District and general obligation funds.
Other plan highlights include:
• $27 million for construction of a new downtown central police precinct and a north central precinct.
• $19 million for construction of two new fire stations.
• $15.7 million for replacement of city vehicles.
• $11 million for technology improvements, including computer replacement and upgrades.
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Earlier this year, the City of North Las Vegas announced the departure of their utilities director. After nearly 10 years on the job, David Bereskin left for a position on the other side of the country. But instead of resigning his post, Bereskin is still on the payroll.
Bereskin left the city to manage the water system in Greenville, South Carolina. Instead of submitting his resignation, he continues to serve, at least on paper, as the city's utilities director.
He is one guy with two jobs, collecting two paychecks, while hundreds of former North Las Vegas workers are collecting unemployment.
Rick Lochner is one of those former employees. Instead of making repairs for one of the country's fastest growing cities, he spends a Tuesday afternoon scraping another project off his honey-do list.
The city laid off Lochner after nine years and six months of service -- just shy of the 10 year mark that would have made him eligible to cash-out $22,000 worth of accrued sick leave.
Though Lochner shares virtually the same longevity with Bereskin, he did not receive the same separation package. With nine years, nine months on the job, Bereskin will get his accrued sick leave at a cost to the city in salary and benefits of more than $80,000.
Steve Harney is with Teamsters Local 14, the union that represents North Las Vegas city employees.
"All these people did not have the same benefit or privilege or treatment that David's getting and that's just not right. What's fair for one is fair for all," he said.
According to records, Bereskin left the city earlier this year for a new job as the CEO of the water system in Greenville, SC. Meeting minutes from a January 18 gathering put Bereskin in Greenville with his employment established the same day. Yet back in North Las Vegas, on paper at least, Bereskin remains the utilities director, on annual leave until he reaches his 10 year mark at the beginning of May.
"Let's get real, if he's doing one job and he's spending time doing this job, he's not doing either job 100 percent, is he? That's the problem," said Harney.
Bereskin's agreement with the city hinges on his availability to provide "expertise" via phone, email and in person if necessary about the water reclamation facility, a $250 million project scheduled to open this summer.
In Bereskin's absence, Reed Scheppmann is the acting utilities director. Their combined salaries for the same position total more than $300,000.
"I think it's very good insurance for the city. If it induces him and provides the assurance that he would be available, it's like an ounce of prevention could be worth a pound of cure," said Scheppmann.
The facility that's not without controversy. Initial plans to discharge the city's treated wastewater through a regional pipeline dissolved last year and current negotiations with Clark County to use an open flood channel remain tenuous.
"They've got a water treatment plant that they can't use, but yet they're relying on the guy that's created all this. I've got a problem with that and I think the taxpayers should have a problem," said Harney.
For his part, after more than eight months without a paycheck Lochner just wants to return to work, even if the city values his service less than someone else's.
"It's very discouraging how the city seems to be handling it. I'm just very disappointed," he said.
After first agreeing to an interview with 8 News NOW, last week City Manager Mary Ann Ustick changed her mind. Ustick signed the deal with Bereskin. 8 News NOW is scheduled to meet with City Councilwoman Anita Wood to get her perspective on the arrangement and we will have that for you in the near future.
Bereskin did not return our phone calls seeking comment.