Foreword  


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  • FOREWORD

    Manifestly, the population explosion and considerable growth and expansion experienced by Clark County during the past decade had its inevitable and related impact upon County government. The County found it increasingly necessary during this period to exercise latent governmental powers, either State or local, to protect and promote the general welfare and interest. Many County ordinances were enacted to cope with the new problems created by growth and changed conditions, or repealing or amending already existing ordinances, or parts of ordinances. The resulting welter of ordinances made it difficult, even administratively, to ascertain what ordinances or parts of ordinances, were still valid and effective. Required research for such purpose was tedious, time-consuming, inefficient, and most uneconomic.

    More important, interested persons were deprived of knowledge as to their legal rights and correlative obligations, and also found it extremely difficult to obtain desired information and advice concerning the same.

    Convinced that the public interest, and the maintenance and very existence of representative County government required it, your elected County Commissioners decided to authorize this compilation and codification of Clark County ordinances some two years ago.

    Excluded from this Code are County bond ordinances, having no other general application. It may reasonably be assumed that the other Clark County ordinances, codified herein, were all enacted on the basis of presumed general need and requirement therefor, at one time or another, since the establishment of the County. Characteristically, they partially evidence County local self-government in action, regulating, controlling, and even prohibiting certain individual acts or conduct in the best interests and welfare of the general public. To a greater or lesser degree, therefore, this Clark County Code is pervasive in scope, exerting some influence or effect upon the life and well-being of each and all of us in Clark County.

    Unlike the "charters" of many cities, which provide the legal basis and authority for the enactment of city ordinances, counties (and cities incorporated under general law) are wholly dependent upon statutory, expressly-conferred -powers (and such other powers as are reasonably implied and necessary to carry out the same) for legal authority to enact county ordinances. There is, therefore, no "charter" to which we can specifically refer an interested person for the legal authority for enactment of all of the Clark County ordinances, herein codified. While Chapter 244 of Nevada Revised Statutes generally provides the legal basis and authority for many of the ordinances herein, there are many other statutes applicable to county governments and their many and varied facets and functions, and reference to these is also essential in order to appreciate the origin, nature, scope, functions, and operations of Clark County government.

    Thus, Article 4, Sections 25 and 26, of the Nevada Constitution, provide that the Legislature shall establish a system of county and township government which shall be uniform throughout the State, and that an elected board of county commissioners shall "jointly and individually perform such duties as may be prescribed by law". Pursuant thereto, Clark County, with County seat located at the City of Las Vegas, was created in 1909, and its governing authority consists of five elected members constituting its Board of County Commissioners, since its population presently exceeds 50,000 (N.R.S. 243.035, 244.040).

    So also, annexations by local city and county governments are regulated by chapter 242 A of N.R.S.; county officers and employees are generally governed by chapter 245 of N.R.S.; county clerks by chapter 246 of N.R.S.; county recorders by chapter 247 of N.R.S.; sheriffs by chapter 248 of N.R.S.; county treasurers by chapter 259 of N.R.S.; county assessors by chapter 250 of N.R.S.; county auditors by chapter 251 of N.R.S.; district attorneys by chapter 252 of N.R.S.; public administrators by chapter 253 of N.R.S.; county engineers by chapter 254 of N.R.S.; county surveyors by chapter 255 of N.R.S.; county statisticians by chapter 256 of N.R.S.; townships by chapter 257 of N.R.S.; constables by chapter 258 of N.R.S; coroners and coroner districts by chapter 259 of N.R.S.; public defenders by chapter 260 of N.R.S.; cities and towns by chapters 265-273 of N.R.S.; co-operative agreements: state, counties, cities, districts, and other public agencies by chapter 277 of N.R.S.; city, county and regional planning and zoning by chapter 278 of N.R.S.; counties, cities, and districts: borrowing and bonds by chapter 350 of N.R.S.; county, city, district finances by chapter 354 of N.R.S.; property taxes by chapter 36 of N.R.S.; license taxes by chapter 364 N.R.S.; water and sanitation districts by chapter 311 of N.R.S.; etc. In short the validity of any codified provision herein may be legally authorized by any one of the above statutory references, as well as by case law and legal opinion.

    It is hoped that this Clark County Code fulfills the experienced need for an orderly arrangement of the County's many already-existing ordinances; that, as codified, the within provisions are couched in reasonably understandable language; and that, as set forth and contained in this one-volume Code, Clark County's ordinances will hereafter be more readily available and accessible to all persons who may be interested therein, or affected thereby. To the extent that such hope is at all realized, the Clark County Code should prove to be a better, more effective, and more efficient instrument of local self-government in Clark County Justifying your County Commissioners' judgment as to the public need therefor, and the expenditure of public funds in connection therewith.

    It is planned to maintain the Code current by a supplementary service which will make available such County ordinances as may hereafter be adopted, whether the same relate to entirely-new subject matter, or provide for the repeal or amendment of already-existing ordinances, or parts of the ordinances.

    In releasing this Clark County Code, we are also hopeful that its defects, deficiencies, inadequacies, and errors or mistakes will neither prove too many nor too glaring. Because it is your Code, advice concerning any such matters is sincerely solicited and invited. While we will not honor any request to discard the "whole kit and kaboodle" of this County Code, we can assure you that we will give serious consideration to any suggestion responsibly submitted for its improvement and more efficient and effectual use.

    Dated February, 1967.
    JOHN A. PORTER
    Deputy District Attorney
    Clark County, Nevada