Debra March is wasting no time getting started as Henderson’s new mayor.
Just minutes after taking the official oath and being sworn in during a special meeting of City Council Tuesday night, she unveiled a 100-day plan that she believes will take the city “to the next level.” The five components of the plan are enhancing transparency and communication, strengthening and diversifying the economy, improving public safety, improving quality of life, and improving education.
“The plan is comprised of your priorities — the comments, ideas and concerns that I heard from both residents and business,” said March.
• Launching a new economic development strategic plan
• Creating a Henderson Premier Schools Partnership — a collaboration between the Henderson Community Education Advisory Board to bring together schools, community leaders, elected officials and the public to improve student outcomes
• Convening a forum on the Nevada Department of Transportation’s Interstate 11 planning to get an update and explore implications and opportunities for Henderson
• Establishing a women’s commission “to research and make recommendations to ensure women and girls have equal economic, social, political and educational opportunities throughout the city”
• Adopting the Henderson Strong comprehensive plan and jumpstarting implementation efforts
• Revamping the process of public records requests to make information more accessible
• Hold a retreat with the council and city manager to develop next steps and establish a strategic plan for the next three to five years
“This is ambitious but I know we have an extraordinary team,” March said. “They will deliver amazing results.”
March is Henderson’s second female mayor and the city’s 13th. A Henderson resident for more than 25 years, March was first appointed to represent Ward 2 in 2009 and subsequently elected in 2011 and 2015.
She defeated city employee Rick Workman for mayor during the municipal primary election in April. (In municipal primary elections, if a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, they win outright without a runoff election.)
March replaces Andy Hafen, a longtime staple of local government who served two terms as mayor and more than two decades as Ward 2 councilman. In her comments, March praised Hafen, calling him a “role model” to her.
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, Ward 3 Councilman John Marz was sworn in for his second full term. He defeated challenger Carrie Cox in the general election earlier this month. Afterward, he praised his fellow council members and city staff.
“(My wife and I) have gotten to know a lot of new people,” he said. “I can truthfully say the city of Henderson is full of wonderful people that love the state and city they live in.”
Finally, Rodney T. Burr was sworn in as municipal court judge Department 3. Burr was the only person to run for the position and therefore was automatically declared the winner. He will serve a six-year term.
Burr thanked his family, friends and supporters. He joked that he also owed thanks to “the people who chose not to run, whoever they were.”