On Wednesday, Feb. 22, Mayor Al Litman, City Attorney Bob Sweetin and City Charter Committee member Burton Weast attended and testified at a hearing in Carson City before the Senate Committee on Government Affairs to determine if the proposed Charter for Mesquite will progress through to acceptance.

The Charter will authorize the city council to “establish certain fees and impose certain taxes, requiring the city council to levy a tax upon the assessed value of real and personal property.” As noted in the bill’s overview, doing such may have an impact on the fiscal level, creating more revenue for the city to operate. If approved by legislature, the Charter would go into effect July 1, 2017, and align with the city’s fiscal calendar.

“We are in the first of five stages,” said Aaron Baker, city liaison officer. “Their vote will determine if we move on to the next step.” Baker and a handful of other Charter Committee members and city officials watched the event from an office in Las Vegas.

“If all goes well, we could see this on the governor’s desk by late March or early April,” said Warren Hardy, the lobbyist for the city. “We are cautiously optimistic, I expect it to go well.”

If things do go well, the next steps would be sending Senate Bill 56 to the full senate, Assembly on Government Affairs, the full Assembly and finally, the Governor’s desk.

At the time of press deadline, the meeting had yet to be held, but Hardy noted the night before that the response he was seeing from a few of the Government Affairs Committee members were pleasing. “The response is a result of a lot of really good work by the community in such a short time,” he said, remembering that the Charter Committee formed the Charter in under two months.

To check the status of the bill, go to https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/79th2017/Bill/4696/Overview.

An updated version of this story will be available online with the results of Wednesday’s meeting by Feb. 23.