Vegas Initiative Games
The powerful Culinary Union in Vegas has gathered enough signatures to qualify two measures -- a referendum and an initiative -- for the Las Vegas city ballot. But the council refuses to put them on the ballot, the Review-Journal reports.
Why? The council claims that the two measures have technical deficiencies that make them illegal. The initiative would put new restrictions on lease-purchase agreements, thereby reversing the city council's approval of a costly new City Hall, a questionable expenditure at a time of profound economic difficulty in Nevada. The other would reverse the city's current redevelopment plan. The council says that if such a referendum were successful, existing projects and bonds would be in jeopardy.
The question of whether the measures may be put on the ballot now goes to the courts. While the battle is economic -- between a powerful union and a pro-business city council, the court result will test whether elected officials have the power to keep referenda and initiatives they don't like off the ballot.