Erin Lale filed to run for the Henderson City Council Ward 3 seat on the first day of filing, January 22, 2013. Lale was one of the applicants for that job when the City Council decided to appoint a caretaker instead of having a special election after the elected incumbent, Kathleen Vermillion, resigned in December 2011. The Council chose to appoint John Marz because he promised he “absolutely” would not run for election as the incumbent.
Erin Lale moved to Nevada in 1995. She was originally a farmer from Sonoma, California. She is active in local arts, historical, political, and faith communities, She is an author and an Acquisitions Editor, a career in which she makes buying decisions on intellectual properties.
Lale says she wants to “Grow the local economy by removing barriers to starting a business. With the local official unemployment rate in double digits for the third year in a row, it is time that we remove artificial government barriers to job creation.
Increasing freedom of opportunity will help our economy.
“Microbusiness is a proven model to help people lift themselves up out of poverty. A microbusiness is defined as a business that can be started for under $200. The structure of licenses and fees to city, county, and state government in Nevada puts the cost of starting a business legally, over that amount, except for internet-based businesses. That means only internet-based businesses can be legally started as microbusinesses here.
“Even that narrow avenue of opportunity is closing, as the state is now taxing internet sales via the governor’s mandate even though the voters of Nevada rejected an internet tax initiative. New businesses do not simply start collecting tax on actual sales; they have to buy a sales tax permit to collect sales tax, and it is expensive. The last thing we need to do is add more economic barriers on top of that by also charging business startup fees at the city and county level.
“I propose that we legalize microbusiness by having a total tax, fee, and license fee holiday for all new business startups during the crucial period of a business’s first three years. This will help businesses of all sizes to revitalize our economy. It will have an outsized positive effect on the smallest of new businesses, providing an engine for economic growth in our city.
“Fill empty buildings to revitalize abandoned commercial districts and vacant shopping centers.
One of the things I accomplished as the founding Chairman of City Lights Artists’ Co-op was to fill an empty, city-owned building on Water Street that had been boarded up for decades. We were so successful in drawing other businesses to the area that the gallery had to relocate to a side street. I am hoping to replicate that success by encouraging owners of empty commercial properties to fill their empty units with artists’ studios, city government depts., local nonprofit agencies, civic groups, and microbusinesses. I will encourage the city to fill city-owned empty buildings and to use existing commercial space for any necessary expansion or relocation of city departments instead of building new buildings from scratch, until the local commercial vacancy rate drops to a normal level.
“Eliminate Work Cards. Like Clark County and the other two major cities within it – Las Vegas and North Las Vegas- Henderson requires people wanting to work in some jobs to buy permission to work in the form of a Work Card, also known as a Sheriff’s Card. Originally the work card system was intended to keep the Mafia out of our local casinos. Work cards were supposed to be required only for “key” casino employees. Over the years, work cards got mission creep. Today, many jobs that have nothing to do with casinos require work cards. The only function of the work card system is to be a barrier to employment. It keeps qualified workers from accessing jobs. Exchanging one’s labor to earn a living is a natural right recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1915. Workers and businesses have a right to contract with each other for any work that is legal, without interference from government. Workers have a right to apply for jobs without having to buy permission from the government. I respect your right to earn a living and will work to reform or eliminate the work card system.”
During her appearance on the “Veterans in Politics” radio show on January 12, 2013, Lale stated that once the economy grows stronger and property values go back up, and the city budget goes back up as a result, she would like to designate a city Veterans Services Officer, but that, “This is not the right time to ask the city to add an employee; the city is cutting its budget. We have to get the economy rolling first.”
Erin’s opponent, John Marz sent out a letter to Henderson Democrats on January 18, four days before filing began, claiming he was the “only candidate for Ward 3 with a private-sector track record of fiscal restraint.” On the date he sent the letter, no one had filed to run yet, including Marz. Erin Lale is an expert on frugality and the author of Skinflint Hints: a guide to saving money. She is running a fiscally responsible campaign that includes radical recycling to produce grassroots handcrafted signs at zero cost. As a member of the SNAMH Advisory Board, 1998-2001, Lale initiated an action by the board which successfully blocked a move by the DMV to deny driver’s licenses to people who had received “any counseling services,” including marriage counseling; the board’s letter to the DMV had to be printed on member Prof. Hurlburt’s stationery because the board had no budget, and was successful while spending no money.
The Erin Lale Campaign is holding its Campaign Kickoff Party on Feb. 3, 2013, from 1pm-3pm at Total Promotion Company, 10 W. Pacific Ave., Henderson. Lale’s campaign website is erin-lale.org.
As of close of business at the City Clerk’s office Jan. 22, Erin Lale is the only candidate who has filed for the Ward 3 seat. Marz has not filed.