The words “quality of life” have been replaying almost constantly in my head for some time now. What do the words mean to me, to you and to those who do not know us in Boulder City or know each of us intimately?
When my husband, Mickey, and I decided to move to Boulder City at the urging of his dad in 1994, both of us were ready to make a change in our life. In March of 1995, we purchased a condo; I did everything by phone with Lillian Kerriger at the Boulder Dam Credit Union, and Mickey moved to Boulder City to run Sweet Treats in Hotel Plaza. I stayed in Chicago with our son, Victor, and joined him on June 1, 1995. I knew very little about this town that would become our home. I came to find out that the girl with the big city concrete in her veins could make a wonderful life in small-town Boulder City.
In the years of my transplantation, I’ve learned the city’s history, gotten to know some of its first residents and their families, seen those who had become good friends leave us, watched as brand-new Boulder City residents were born and became adults, seen very few things change and others maintain the character I first saw when I arrived.
Boulder City’s population has grown little over the years I have been here. Do I like that? You bet. Do I want to continue to enjoy the quality of life, small-town life, in which my family has thrived? Yes, size matters.
When I first came to Boulder City, all my time was eaten up by working at Sweet Treats, where my daily routine began at 4 a.m. It was a grueling new beginning, but the upside was meeting the folks of Boulder City. I had never been a baker or a waitress, but I learned both. When I took an order, I’d write down the person’s name on the check and learned not only who got what but everyone’s name. Knowing names helped me later when I went to work for the Boulder City News.
Boulder City always felt like my old neighborhood in Chicago, where generation after generation lived in the same house and went to the same church and same school. This wasn’t exactly the same situation in Boulder City, but because the town was small, each year brought me closer and closer to an ever-expanding number of friends and their kids. Size matters.
I have never been against planning or change, but at this point in my life I have to question what right I have to be a part of both that could affect our city’s life in a future that is not going to be mine. I can’t say by pointing to any empirical evidence that the majority of people who have moved here in the past decade or two or three came to Boulder City because of its quality of life, small-town charm or character, but I would bet good money on those being the reasons for a majority of folks.
I feel I have an obligation to the founders of Boulder City and their families to uphold the values they planted here. Certainly we can plan for some future residential development within the guidelines of our current ordinances, but that doesn’t mean we must create designs for decades into the future or let go of the policies that have served so many for several generations.
Boulder City is not dying, nor does it need to be saved from decay. The sky isn’t falling. We are not a town of all “old” people. Half of our population is under 50, and half is over 50, according to the TownCharts website, which has a number of statistics to verify that fact: http://bit.ly/2jRRp0S.
It is your decision to transform our town or not. It is your decision to plan 25 years or more into the future. Before we do that, we should examine what brought us to Boulder City and why we stay. We should assess our quality of life and consider what it is about our town that either adds to or detracts from that life we live today. We should plan for the future with the past in mind. Size matters.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.