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North Las Vegas Mayor Positive About Economy, Police Relations

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee says his city is ready to focus on economic growth as it emerges from the pandemic lockdown.

Lee told State of Nevada that the North Las Vegas economy, which relies more on industry than tourism, chugged along during shutdown

“We haven’t seen any blip at all in the diversified areas of our economy,” Lee said, adding that closing the city’s four major casinos did pinch the city’s budget and hurt those workers.

Still, he is bullish about North Las Vegas’s prospects, saying some companies are looking at sites in the community as businesses bring operations back from Asia to shorten supply lines.

“We have two speeds in North Las Vegas: fast and faster,” he said, “and we will try to get ahead of any slowdown that is coming.”

Continued diversification of the economy was a suggestion Lee made with Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick in a blueprint for reopening the economy that was published in the Las Vegas Sun.

Lee said Southern Nevada geography and connection to one of the most important north-south routes on the interstate system grabs the attention of a lot of businesses.

“Diversification for North Las Vegas has been a very, very easy sell to large corporations,” he said. 

The mayor said he is in talks with some companies looking to move back from China and to the United States. 

The city is also working on speeding up the construction sector by speeding up permitting and inspections. It is also working on putting in sewer and water lines to speed up development.

“I do everything I can here to keep as many jobs moving,” Lee said.

Lee also said that police relations with the community remain good, even amid the nationwide protest following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

“What happened in Minnesota was totally unacceptable," he said, "The tactics that were used by that police officer that is the most hated man in America right now. No one, no one could understand how he could do that but we understand since that happened that we do fully support exercising the right to protest peacefully and there are real issues in this country that need to be addressed. “

The mayor credits strong training, a commitment to community policing, and a diverse group of officers.

John Lee, mayor, North Las Vegas

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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.