Las Vegas Councilman Steve Seroka says those pushing for his recall are looking for “a side door” to bypass the will of the voters.
A recall effort kicked off last month to unseat the first-term councilman over issues connected to the closed Badlands golf course in his ward.
Developer Yohan Lowie, who bought Badlands in 2015, wants to build a mix of single- and multi-family residential units. Some neighbors oppose his plans, and Seroka expressed skepticism over the proposal in his 2017 election campaign.
Seroka said the effort to force him from office is an abuse of the recall process. He said it should be used to remove corrupt office holders, not resolve policy disputes.
“What they’re saying is they don’t want the voters' voice to have counted in the last election,” Seroka told State of Nevada. He added that those supporting the recall “seem not able to win their own election, they just want to come in the side door.”
Former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman has said she would oppose Seroka if enough signatures are gathered to force a recall election.
When Seaman spoke to KNPR's State of Nevada, she said Seroka was not doing enough to solve the Badlands dispute. Seroka denied that was the case.
Instead, he says the developer is not doing enough to work with the city council.
“Instead of taking a path to move forward or working with his councilmen in the city, he has chosen a path of litigation,” he said.
Seroka said Lowie made a financial investment but didn't know much about the zoning and land use rules, which he says prohibits homes from being built there. Instead of following the process to change those rules, Seroka says Lowie is filing lawsuits and losing in court.
“I think it is very clear that the developer’s position is flawed. He does not have a right to develop on the land," Seroka said. “It doesn’t seem that there is a way forward until he is willing to work with his neighbors and work with the council office.”
Seroka also defended his open space ordinance that Seaman and others have said would hurt development. He said he got input from developers and residents to craft the ordinance, which he says improves transparency and clarity of developing open space.
The councilman also pointed out that while the Badlands issue is a big one for the developer and for the people living on the now-closed golf course, it is not the major issue in his ward. He said crime continues to be the biggest concern.
He said his focus on addressing that issue and the concerns of veterans in his ward makes him confident that the recall effort won't be successful.
“And as a result of me doing what I said I would do in the campaign, which is to be the voice of the people and to take care of our communities and our public safety, I’m confident that the recall will fail,” he said.
Steve Seroka, Las Vegas councilman