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The fight against short term rentals in the City of Las Vegas began under Lois Tarkanian. She will be termed out of office this year, but the fight goes on.
One of two people vying for Tarkanian’s seat is Brian Knudsen. Knudsen is a consultant to non-profits and previously worked nine years for the City of Las Vegas.
He’s seeking the Ward 1 seat, which includes Las Vegas’ near-west side and downtown’s growing medical district.
Where do you stand on short-term rentals?
“I have a short-term rental that is right next door to me. I have small children. A 1-year-old and a 3-year-old from a parents’ perspective it is scary to live next to a hotel. I very much support what the councilwoman has done in making sure our neighborhoods are protected and preserved. That being said, I don’t know that a ban has been as effective as we would have liked. I think we need to take it a few steps further and work with the technology companies and work with those short-term rental operators to better understand where they are and put in some regulations and enforcements.
I think my job as a council person will be to listen to neighborhoods protect and preserve those neighborhoods where it's needed but also compromise where it’s appropriate.”
Can the city do anything to help UNLV build its medical school facilities?
“I think from the city’s perspective our job is to shepherd in the growth of the medical district. I can tell you I sit on the medical school admissions committee and talking to incoming students who are going to be doctors what they want to see in their medical community and in their neighborhood is they want to see infrastructure that supports healthy economic growth in that area.
Doctors, when they graduate from medical school, are going to want to set up shop. I think the city’s role is in making sure that they can set up a business that they can serve patients in an appropriate and expedient way. I think overall that’s a great way to diversify our economy but also improve access and quality of health care in our community.”
An ongoing issue in Ward 1 is homelessness. How should the city address the problem?
“I have a very direct experience working with the homeless population. I represent many of the shelters in our community. I think what needs to happen is the city, the county and state need align around the strategies they’re using. I know in the Legislature right now there’s a lot of conversation around obtainable or affordable housing that’s going to be one part of the solution. Another part of the solution is working with Medicaid and our managed care organizations or health insurance companies to make sure our homeless population has the resources they need. Most importantly, it’s the efficiency of government providing those services. Multiple parties coming in with different approaches is not the right path in my opinion.
Once in office, I plan to leverage the relationships I’ve already built with the county commissioners, with our nonprofit community, with our stakeholders at the state level to build more comprehensive solutions that are more efficient for our community but also provide better outcomes.”
What other issues in Ward 1 that you would like to address if elected?
“Knocking on doors over the last several months I’ve talked to lots of people, traffic comes up over and over again. I think it’s important as a community we think about the next 20 years of growth and what that looks like. The RTC has predicted that there will be about 500,000 new people that move into Southern Nevada over the next decade. As an elected official, I think we need to talk about what the growth in infrastructure looks like so that we’re not complaining about traffic for the next 20 years.
I do think that requires another look at mass transit and talking to the voters about what they want our community to look like, knowing that there will be 500,000 more people coming into town.”
Brian Knudsen, city council candidate
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