Yet last night, a wild card emerged that shattered many observers' expectations of what was to ensue at the Henderson Council Meeting to fill the Ward 3 vacancy. Henderson Planning Commissioner John Marz was another of the 14 applicants, and he really distinguished himself during question time. Unlike most of the other applicants, Marz was able to explain in depth the problems Henderson, and specifically Ward 3, face. He spoke about retail vacancies, home foreclosures, the pending Science Center and Union Village developments near The Galleria, and how his business experience can help him build consensus on the council to solve the problems the bad economy showered upon Henderson.
Oh, and then Marz dropped a bombshell. He promised not to run for a full term in 2013. That immediately sparked a bad reaction from Ward 1 Council Member Gerri Schroder, who declared that the city needs a long-term commitment from the new Ward 3 pick, and that he or she should be ready to run for election. Sam Bateman, on the other hand, took it well and said that this solution is one that best preserves the voters' right to ultimately decide on a long-term replacement in 2013. Ward 2 Council Member Debra March mostly agreed with Bateman and found it noble that Marz was not trying to get a political lift with this. Mayor Andy Hafen sounded quite impressed with Marz, but also noted Schroder's concerns about the need for a long-term replacement.
Whoops. John Marz also came to last night's Henderson Democratic Club candidate forum. And yes, he came as a candidate. Last night, Marz explained why he changed his mind.
Earlier, Marz went into more depth in explaining what he wants to continue doing on the Henderson City Council.
Marz was asked a few more tough questions. One was on development and growth.
And as mentioned earlier, this is the greatest challenge for Henderson going forward. For most of the last 25 years, the city has been accustomed to rapid growth and easy development decisions. Yet since "The Great Recession" hit, Henderson has had to adjust to a new reality.
Meanwhile, many neighborhoods in Ward 3 are facing a different kind of development problem. As the neighborhoods of Green Valley North age, they're increasingly facing the same issues of blight and decay that have been plaguing other older neighborhoods throughout the Las Vegas Valley. While some neighborhoods have had vigilant HOA's out to preserve quality, others have not been as fortunate. And thoughout Ward 3, there's aging public infrastructure that needs to be maintained... And even rehabilitated in some areas.
Last night, John Marz promised to continue advocating for proper stewardship of the neighborhoods of Ward 3. And he suggested his past year of experience on the council gives him a leg up on the competition in doing that and working to balance the city's budget. He has about a month to convince voters of this.