NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — There are no signs of rioters, wind-damaged homes or flooding. The brand new City Hall features marble floors and the public recreation centers offer Zumba, karate and Pilates classes.
Despite its suburban trimmings, North Las Vegas is officially a disaster area.
After five years of declining property taxes, massive layoffs and questionable spending, leaders of the blue-collar, family-oriented city outside Las Vegas declared a state of emergency.
They invoked a rarely used state law crafted for unforeseen disasters that allows municipalities to suspend union contracts and avoid paying scheduled salary increases.
No matter that the law doesn't include fiscal emergencies among the list of potential disasters.
Officials say they had no other choice. Some residents and union officials say it was an overreach.