Sparks City Council Meeting 7/14/2014 2:00:00 PM

    Monday, July 14, 2014 2:00 PM
    Council Chambers, Legislative Bldg, 745 4th St., Sparks, NV

General Business: 6.2

Title: Discussion and possible action on the selection of a topic for the City of Sparks Bill Draft Request for the 78th Session of the Nevada Legislature.
Petitioner/Presenter: Adam R. Mayberry, Community Relations Manager/Stephen W. Driscoll, City Manager
Recommendation: Adopt 2014 Charter Committee amendments to Sparks City Charter as the City's sole BDR.
Financial Impact: 0
Business Impact (Per NRS 237):
A Business Impact Statement is not required because this is not a rule.
Agenda Item Brief:

This agenda item allows the Mayor and City Council to publicly discuss any concepts or opportunities for the City’s bill draft request (BDR). At the May 12, 2014 Regular City Council Meeting, the City Council discussed the possibility of adopting a topic for the City’s sole BDR, but felt more time would be acceptable in the event a particular subject emerged as a suggested BDR.


In Nevada, city’s with a population under 150,000 may submit a single BDR to the Legislative Counsel Bureau on or before September 2, 2014. It is important to note that the City is not required to submit a BDR. In some cases, legislators have sponsored specific and important legislation for the City. As an example, during the 2013 session, Senator Debbie Smith sponsored the City’s Charter Bill amendments (SB 304). The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Smith, sponsored the bill that restored the city’s hotel room tax for Victorian Square (SB 509). Both were ultimately signed into law.

To follow is a short history on recent BDR activity for the City of Sparks:

2013 Session – No BDR was utilized

2011 Session – BDR was contingent upon an advisory questions for public safety which failed to pass.

2009 Session – Assembly Bill 98 was introduced on behalf of the City of Sparks and would have allow the City to administer its own occupancy (hotel room) tax. The bill had a hearing before the Assembly Committee on Taxation that went no further.


Charter Committee Proposal Amendments: The Sparks Charter Committee has completed its business for this cycle and has adopted proposed changes that would allow the City Charter to comply with the Nevada Supreme Court ruling as it pertains to the Municipal Court issues.

Attached to this staff report is a memo from chief assistant city attorney Shirle Eiting on a summary of the Charter Changes by the Charter Committee. To preface the memo by Ms. Eiting, “In City of Sparks v. Sparks Municipal Court, 302 P.3d 1118 (2013) the Nevada Supreme Court found that “based solely on the court's inherent authority to manage its own affairs, the legislative and executive branches are strictly prohibited from infringing on the court's incidental powers reasonable and necessary to carry out the duties required for the administration of justice.” From this broad finding the Court then went on to address the separate issues raised by the parties.”

Because of the uniqueness of these proposed changes and the impact on the day-to-day operations of the City and Municipal Court, the chairman of the City’s Charter Committee Bob LaRiviere, has requested the Council use its sole BDR for the proposed City Charter changes addressed by the Supreme Court ruling. Additionally, both parties (City Council and Municipal Court) have recommended the noted changes to the Charter.

The Nevada League of Cities & Municipalities is on a parallel track in selecting five BDRs. The League’s BDRs are expected to be identified in early August. Based on past practice, the League’s BDRs are generally topics that have an impact on all municipalities.

Since Sparks has an opportunity to submit only one BDR, staff recommends a topic that is specific to the City of Sparks, and allows a realistic path for success - adopting the Charter Committee’s changes to the City’s Charter achieves that goal. Additionally, adopting a BDR now allows the City to work with the Legislative Counsel Bureau prior to the deadline of September 2, 2014. The Sparks City Council will not convene on July 28.

Alternatives: The City Council could decide not to use its sole BDR.

Recommended Motion: I move to submit proposed amendments to the City Charter adopted by the Sparks Charter Committee to the Legislative Counsel Bureau as the City's sole BDR.

Attached Files:
     Eiting memo on Charter Changes_2014.pdf
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