We’ve all heard the old adage, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I find that statement to be so true for Southern Nevada. While the people of Boulder City have accomplished many amazing things over the past 92 years, there has always been a spirit of teamwork, collaboration and strong alliances that drive us forward.
Think back to those early days, 1931, as thousands of people descended upon our community for the Boulder Dam project. Where were all of these families going to live? Where would they eat? While many were focused on the construction of the dam, homes, businesses, school houses and churches needed to be constructed. Our community became the first developed in new town planning in the 20th century. Housing was built during 1931 and 1932 by the Bureau of Reclamation as well as Six Companies. Sims Ely, then the city manager, started issuing permits for commercial buildings in 1931. Teamwork built this city from dirt and dust to a bustling community.
Over the years, the city remains quite unchanged. Yes, technology is different, but we still value what made Boulder City great. While we’ve watched communities “over the hill” grow substantially, Boulder City has been steadfast in staying the same size.
This can present challenges at times. For example, Boulder City Fire Department has more than two dozen men and women in its ranks, with seven on duty at any given time. There are often times when there are just not enough paramedics or firefighters to respond to multiple ongoing incidents.
We have been fortunate to build solid relationships with Henderson Fire Department and Community Ambulance. When our crews are tied up in emergency calls, they step in to assist. Collaboration has saved property and lives.
Along with our City Council members, I serve on several regional boards and committees. I’m on the Southern Nevada Health District Board, the Civilian Military Council, the Regional Transportation Commission/Regional Flood Control District boards, and the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. Council members serve on the Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition, Nevada League of Cities Board of Directors, the Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority and the Workforce Connections consortium. Even though Boulder City accounts for a very small percentage of Clark County residents, membership gives us an equal voice at the tables of these large, important organizations.
These strong alliances benefit Boulder City residents. Case in point: in 2021, the Clark County School District announced a plan to consolidate our facilities. Council member Sherri Jorgensen was appointed to the Clark County School Oversight Panel for School Facilities. Her concerns (along with those of parents across the community) resulted in the district re-evaluating — and ultimately canceling — consolidation.
In the end, we know what we know. As a medical doctor, I know how to diagnose many ailments. But when a challenging case comes along, I know my limitations and I refer the patient to a specialist. When council selected who would serve on the various local and state committees, we selected areas of experience to each of our council members. They could hit the ground running.
I personally appreciate the invitation to sit at the same table as my peers from other communities, to hear their ideas and discuss best practices. When we collaborate, we can formulate solutions that make all of our communities better.
Joe Hardy is mayor of Boulder City. He previously served in the state Assembly and Senate.