A Nevada Senate bill updating Carson City’s charter is still in committee, according to Stephen Wood, the city’s government liaison.
A hearing on Senate Bill 16 was held by the Senate Committee on Government Affairs on Feb. 22, though no action was taken on the bill.
“There were a couple of questions from members regarding realignment of ward boundaries,” Wood said Wednesday. “They aren’t opposed to the bill but want clarification, and then everyone should be on board.”
As written, the updated charter would do several things. It would enable 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 filing.
Wood said members of the Senate Committee on Government Affairs wanted more information regarding demographic data the city receives from the state. He said they wanted to ensure no supervisor candidate could be drawn out of their ward during reelection. The Carson City District Attorney’s Office is researching the issues raised by lawmakers, Wood said.
Wood said the next step is working with the committee’s chair, Sen. Edgar Flores, D-Clark County. The committee will have a work session on the bill before it moves to the Senate floor.
“Then we send it over to the Assembly and start all over again,” Wood said.
Senate Bill 16 and other pending legislation tracked by the city can be accessed at https://www.carson.org/government/departments-a-f/city-manager-s-office/82nd-legislative-session.