North Las Vegas interim city manager speaks out
Photo: Video by ktnv.com
CREATED Sep. 10, 2013
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- 41-year-old Jeff Buchanan is a local guy, a UNLV graduate who has worked for North Las Vegas since 2001. He is the fire chief and the married father of two.
You could also say he's a North Las Vegas cheerleader who refuses to see anything but positives in the city's future, "It's a lot of hard work, but I do it with a smile."
Interim city manager Buchanan has his hands full. He inherited the job from Tim Hacker.
Hacker resigned on Aug. 14 after two years of budget battles and union battles, and a failure to see eye to eye with new North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.
Buchanan said he's focused on the future, "I think the brightest spot that we're looking for and that we're tackling as a challenge is getting Craig Ranch up and off the ground."
The opening of the 150 acre regional park has already been pushed back from Labor Day to Nevada Day on Oct. 25.
Some question how North Las Vegas will pay for its upkeep. The bill is more than $2 million in the first full year alone.
That's one year after Hacker declared a fiscal emergency for the second time to force union concessions and fill a $30 million plus budget deficit.
Buchanan said he's a different kind of leader, and Craig Road Regional Park is just one of many bright spots he sees on North Las Vegas' road ahead.
He said, "I'm not sure how you characterize my relationship with the unions, but if you want to characterize me, I think I'm a cooperative, reasonable, logical and optimistic person and hopefully more than just union members find that appealing as we try to face the challenges that are within our city."
Buchanan won't say whether he'd rather be city manager or fire chief.
He said that's up to Mayor Lee, the North Las Vegas City Council and department heads at city hall.