In the 82nd session of the Nevada Legislature, which saw a Democratic majority working with a Republican governor, a bill updating Carson City’s charter was one of few bills to come out of the session unamended, according to Stephen Wood, the city’s government liaison.
“It is done,” Wood said Thursday, adding Carson City is grateful to legislators and the governor for approving the updates.
“We identified those needed changes, and the Legislature and the governor recognized those were important for Carson City and gave us what we needed,” Wood said.
Senate Bill 16 regarding the charter was unanimously approved by the Nevada Senate on April 17 and by the Assembly on May 22. It was signed into law by Gov. Joe Lombardo on May 29.
The updated charter enables the mayor pro tempore to assume the office of mayor for the unexpired term if the office becomes vacant. The change follows the 2020 death of former Carson City Mayor Robert Crowell, who died in office. The current mayor pro tempore is Supervisor Stacey Giomi.
In the event the mayor pro tempore is needed, the charter update says the resulting vacancy in the Board of Supervisors must be filled following an existing section of the charter.
“A vacancy in the office of supervisor must be filled by appointment by a majority of the members of the board within 30 days after the occurrence of the vacancy or after three regular or special meetings, whichever is the shorter period of time,” reads the charter.
It also says such an appointment will not extend beyond the first Monday in January following the next general election in which a replacement is elected.
The charter update deals with realignment of supervisor ward boundaries as well. It states wards should be realigned whenever “reliable evidence” indicates the population of a ward exceeds the population of any other ward by more than 5 percent or as determined by the U.S. Census. It prohibits realignment during general election years from 30 days before candidate filing opens to the election date unless circumstances make it “impossible or impracticable” to do so, in which case realignment can take place up to the first day of candidate filing.
Wood, also the city’s public information officer, said it was his first time representing the city during a legislative session.
“The city and local governments had a pretty successful session,” he said.
He said despite difficulties, “we were able to get some good things passed.”
Wood will be giving the Board of Supervisors a briefing on laws and changes that came out of the session at the board meeting scheduled July 6.