Home>Articles>Meet Tera Anderson, Mayoral Candidate for the City of Las Vegas (Part Two)

(Photo provided by Tera Anderson)

Meet Tera Anderson, Mayoral Candidate for the City of Las Vegas (Part Two)

Anderson: ‘The significance of this race is not minor, it depends on who is in the seat and what they do with it’

By Megan Barth, June 3, 2024 5:40 pm

This is part two of an our interview with Tera Anderson, mayoral candidate for the City of Las Vegas. Part one can be found here. 

Outside of the Badlands, what are the challenges facing the next Mayor of the City of Las Vegas?

Tera Anderson, mayoral candidate for the city of Las Vegas (Photo: Tera Anderson for Las Vegas)

This is such a vital time in the city’s history and its evolution, not only because you’re rounding out a 25-years of the Goodman’s legacy running the city of Las Vegas, but in this open race, it is imperative that we are diligent in scrutinizing and identifying the next leadership for the City of Las Vegas.

The significance of this race is not minor.

The capacity and the capability of the mayor’s office providing real leadership and direction for the city is vast, but it absolutely depends on who is in the seat and what they do with it.

You can be a ceremonial mayor, or you can lean in to the full capability of the office in not just effectuating things for Las Vegas, but you also will have reach and influence on all the other regional bodies that operate in Southern Nevada and, ultimately, the economic output of the state.

We must be deliberate and intentional on how we grow when it comes to resources, especially water. It is common sense that we can’t outpace our natural resources. The Colorado River Compact has a grievance clause which is the mechanism where you can call member states back to the table and elevate the caliber of these negotiations.

Quality employment is the root of human dignity, so we have to attract business and industry that is well suited for the area and diversify our economy so we can weather economic uncertainty.

We have to have a combination of increasing transparency and predictability in government in order to allow us to attract the quality of business, industry and employment that we want so we can be a well-rounded, economically-stable city.

Right now, if you’re a developer or a business owner, you want to know from the outset: “What is it going to cost me? How long is it going to take? What kind of licensing is required? What kind of permits are required? What kind of fees do I have to pay?”

So, I want to increase the transparency and predictability of government in order to court business and industry to the community so that we have quality employment opportunities. Business and industry care about the predictability of the jurisdictions that they’re entering.

Right now, the city is not competitive. Our peer cities, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, are eating our breakfast. The city has got to start looking at itself through the lens and ask of itself, “Are we competitive?” And today, I would say the answer is “No.” I do think the city is well served to reevaluate its fee schedules, because the cost burden that is on business and industry to enter the market is cost prohibitive, especially startups.

The city should be operationally evaluating to identify the impediments that are preventing us from evolving the way we want to in value-add ways for the community. Time is money, especially if you’re a small business. There’s a cost of capital. The longer things take, the more expensive it becomes, and then we just add additional cost burdens to consumers. So, obviously this doesn’t solve for the whole inflation dynamic, but there are things that the city can do through making it more navigable for business and industry that will translate into to more attractive pricing to consumers.

Tera Anderson reviews a blueprint (Photo provided by Tera Anderson)

What are the top issues you are hearing from voters?

There’s a constellation of issues that are significant and warrant attention.

Housing is a huge issue. A lot of people feel like stable housing and home ownership is out of reach for them. This is not just a an issue facing young people. Median home prices are outpacing median income by 42 percent. Home prices have increased in the last seven or eight years by 63 percent. So, you have the working-class people who help us pull off these exceptional events, who maintain our world-class brand of entertainment, and they’re displaced from reaping the benefits of it.

The state legislature and North Las Vegas is kicking around rent control. We can’t have a knee jerk reaction to solving this problem. The unintended consequence of rent control is that you create slum lords.

What you do is you increase home ownership. You can do that by selling any city assets, putting a deed restriction on city owned assets that constrain it to owner- occupied use only. We also have federal down payment assistance program still available. We have to create home ownership for our working-class community and eliminate the unfair fight that is currently existing between owner-occupied buyers and these large, highly-liquid institutional investors that are taking over all of our residential inventory.

The city could take a different tact and could deed restrict them to owner-occupied only so that they didn’t have to compete with institutional investors. This way, the city subsidies made available are passed on to homeowners and to the consumer, rather than the developers. Home ownership is the most stabilizing economic force in history, so we need to address the housing issue by increasing the opportunity for home ownership for our working class. 

Safety, of course, is an issue. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reports that violent crimes are down. I don’t know that people feel that way. I don’t know how much of that is influenced by things that go viral online that may not occur in our community, but it ramps up the concern of crime and safety. If people don’t feel safe, it impacts the way we engage with each other. It builds up walls from how people communicate and interact with each other. Whether it’s perceived or a reality, it matters because people need to feel safe. 

Strengthening the relationships with public safety, making sure that we’re investing in in public safety..you know…I have called 911 myself and I have sat on hold. So, there’s a lot of administrative services that are provided by public safety folks that we need to better provide in order to renew new community confidence and have adequate services–especially for populations of the community that are the most vulnerable.

Complex issues require complex solutions, but if you don’t understand the root cause of the problem, it’s like saying:”I want to get to B, but I don’t know where A is.”

Do you consider yourself an outsider or an insider since you worked in and for the City of Las Vegas?

Well, I am not part of the political machine. I don’t go to all the chicken dinners. I have never been a part of the horse trading that oftentimes happens in politics.

I’m not such an outsider that I’m unfamiliar to the landscape that I’m entering. I’ve been civic minded and a very participatory member of the community. I have my finger on the pulse, but I certainly don’t know everything and I don’t know everybody, but I’m certainly not a part of the political machine. 

People are growing frustrated, and I don’t think that that’s constrained to one party or another. I think that’s human instinct. This is a nonpartisan race. There’s a lot that needs to be solved for, and there are there’s a lot of things that are great. I think there is some fatigue in the same cast of characters, the same political talking points, and the same middle school food fight of modern-day politics that people are tired of.

I’m just astonished that media hasn’t taken a higher degree of curiosity to represent the general sentiment amongst the public, or even to give people information that they want and deserve. 

The average busy person who is living their life, raising their family, and working their tail off to make something of themselves, doesn’t have time to to navigate through all of the political discourse that makes it too complicated for them to engage in what’s happening in their own community.

When I talk about transparency and government, it’s not just about having an open microphone and telling people what’s going on. It’s also communicating with people in a way that makes government and its operations digestible to the average person that makes it easier for them to participate in the process. 

And so, to me, transparency is the understanding of how your government works. I want you to understand what’s going on. I want it to be easier to navigate the government construct when you have an idea or a problem that you want solved or something that needs to be changed. But, if we’re all just talking aspirationally, well, then we’re just talking at the problem and not actually having substantive conversations to move the needle in a way that produces a result.

The thing that’s been really exciting is for for me is that I take nothing for granted. Every day I’m doing the work to be accessible and transparent and talking to people. I am walking the walk. I give out my cell phone number and voters are shocked that I gave them my personal cell phone and answer the phone or return their call.

My vision for the city is to renew confidence in transparent and accessible government. Politicians are people representing you, so there should not be barriers to engage with them.

There are people in the community who have something to say, who have a need, and if you’re going to understand the complexities of what people are experiencing, you have to talk to them and you have to be accessible to them.

It is easy for me to talk to people because this is what I believe and I love this city. This isn’t a shtick. I don’t think any reasonable person can argue that there is a growing loss of confidence in the community and a desire to find quality candidates, not just abdicate elections to career politicians. 

Editors note: Las Vegas Councilwoman Victoria Seaman responded to our interview with Tera Anderson via text with the following statement:

“This statement made to the Globe by a candidate is false and misleading regarding my responsibility for the Badlands Litigation disaster. Firstly, it is essential to note that when the crucial votes on Badlands were taken, I was not on the council. This fact is clear and undeniable. Furthermore, it’s important to remember that I was actively working towards a settlement that would have resolved all four cases related to the Badlands litigation. Regrettably, this settlement fell through at the last moment due to the city’s attempt to alter the terms of the deal. Despite this setback, my dedication to seeking a resolution was unwavering, always with the best interests of our taxpayers and property rights in mind.

It’s worth noting that I initially supported the decision for outside counsel and appeals when I first joined the council. This was based on the assurances given by city leadership that they were actively working towards a settlement. However, my stance changed in 2021 when it became clear that city staff and the rest of the council had no real intention of settling but were instead prolonging the litigation with no end in sight.

Her insinuation that my actions somehow contributed to the ongoing challenges with the Badlands Litigation is not only unfounded but also demonstrates a blatant disregard for the facts of the case. It is disappointing to see deliberate misinformation, especially by someone who previously worked for the city.It is concerning that she would resort to such deceptive tactics, especially considering her sudden and unexpected exit from her position in the City of Las Vegas. I’m unaware if this behavior played a role in her departure.

Moving forward, we need a solution to the Badlands Litigation that prioritizes the best interests of our community and taxpayer dollars. Suddenly, candidates engage in deceptive Monday morning quarterbacking while I’ve been actively working on solutions.”







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Megan Barth
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