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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

City of Las Vegas Town Halls and the Cultural Arts...

Over the next couple of months the City of Las Vegas will be holding a series of Town Hall meetings to discuss the economic impact of the downturn on the cities budget. It is extremely important that the citizens of Las Vegas participate in these meetings and express concerns over potential cutbacks to city services.

As someone who cares about the Cultural Arts in Las Vegas and understands the positive economic impact the arts has on a community I encourage you to engage your civic leaders about protecting this important asset. We are very fortunate to live in a community in which we can pick up the phone and talk to the very people we elected. We must remind our elected officials that the only way we can diversify our economy and bring creative businesses to Las Vegas is by our long-term sustained investment in the cultural arts.

Investments in museums, cultural centers, theater, public art and all the things that enrich the citizenry; these quality of life issues encourage economic diversification in a community. Creative businesses such as knowledge based companies, innovators, information technology and scores of others will not come to Las Vegas if we cannot demonstrate that we have the infrastructure that creative businesses demand for their workforce. Yes Nevada has a favorable tax environment for businesses to relocate here but have you noticed that they are not exactly flocking to the state nor Las Vegas for that matter? The reason is simple, we have a grossly underfunded educational system and the investment in our cultural infrastructure is minimal.

Whether you agree with me or not the truth of the matter is we cannot continue depending on one industry to sustain our economy. In addition it is not fair to that industry that we continue using them alone to sustain our budgets. These issues run far and deep in Nevada and will not be solved easily nor quickly but we can make a difference if we get involved.

Below is information related to the City of Las Vegas Town Hall meetings and how you can participate.

Town Hall meetings will be held in various locations throughout the city at various times with city council representatives from respective wards attending.

As part of the “Your City, Your Way” Initiative, Las Vegas residents weighed-in on city services and resources, and on what works and what doesn't through several forums including focus groups, a phone survey and on-line survey. The resident input is being used by city management and the City Council to help make informed, strategic decisions based on resident priorities. During the town hall meetings, city staff will present information on the city’s budget shortfall and potential reductions. Staff will also present information on Census 2010, followed by a question and answer period.

City of Las Vegas residents are encouraged to attend one of the Town Hall meetings scheduled at various locations throughout the city. Other Town Hall meetings will take place:

•Jan. 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 5: City Council Chambers, 400 Stewart Ave.

•Jan. 25, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 4: YMCA Durango Hills, 3521 N. Durango Drive

•Jan. 27, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 3: East Las Vegas Community Center / Ballroom, 250 N. Eastern Ave.

•Feb. 9, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 6: Centennial Hills YMCA, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive

•Feb. 16, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 2: Veterans Memorial Leisure Services Center, 101 S. Pavilion Center Drive

•Feb. 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 6: Northwest Career and Technical Academy / Training Room, 8200 W. Tropical Parkway

•Feb. 22, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 3: Las Vegas Chuck Minker Sports Complex, 275 N. Mojave Road

•Feb. 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 5: Southern Nevada Health District / Clemens Room, 625 Shadow Lane

•Feb. 27, 10 a.m. to Noon - Ward 1: YMCA Meadows Lane, 4141 Meadows Lane

•March 1, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 4: Starbright Theater, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd.

•March 4, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. - Ward 1: Charleston Heights Arts Center / Theater, 800 S. Brush St.

For more information and to view the results of the recent phone survey and the focus groups, visit http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/yourcity or call 229-6501.

To learn about the many services, events and facilities available to residents visit the city Web site at http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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