102°F
weather icon Clear

Candidates weigh in on staff levels, trust issues

Residents were able to hear from candidates vying for a city leadership spot about staff levels, growth and trust in government at a forum Monday evening.

Incumbent council members Rich Shuman and Peggy Leavitt along with challengers James Howard Adams and Claudia Bridges as well as Mayor Rod Woodbury and mayoral candidate Councilman Kiernan McManus answered questions submitted by the public during the forum presented by the Boulder City Review at the Elaine K. Smith Building.

“It was very informative,” said resident LeGrand Neilson. “I’m glad I came.”

Neilson said he attended the event to find out what’s going on with the candidates and the election.

“I think every one of us wants to be an informed voter,” said Paul Matuska, who serves on the Planning Commission. “I wanted to get a better feel for the candidates. It was good.”

Kevin O’Keefe also said he came to the forum to learn about the candidates’ viewpoints so he could make an informed decision.

“I’m convinced the city is under great leadership,” he said. “I will vote for the incumbents because of the good things going on in the city. I’m glad I came.”

During the discussion the candidates weighed on the new staff positions implemented by the city.

“We are back to the level prior to the Great Recession,” McManus said.

Additionally, he said the majority of the positions accepted by the council are for the betterment of the city and its residents.

Woodbury said he agreed with McManus. He also said he agreed with the city repurposing some internal finances through those positions, which has allowed it to save money.

“You always have to balance that, but I think it’s been of value to us,” he said.

Shuman said he also supported those changes and some of them have allowed projects to be brought in-house for the city.

“I put a lot of faith in the city manager and what he recommends,” he added.

Leavitt said the purpose of adding staff was to save money and improve the level of service and accountability for the public. One example she gave was the city utilities department becoming separate from the public works department.

“That’s certainly created more accountability and better service,” she added.

Bridges said there seems to be good reasons for increasing the number of staff and the numbers are reasonably justified. She also suggested a cap on the number of city employees be implemented because with the growth ordinance the city does not have the need to increase the budget.

Adams said he would like to believe that the new expenditures have been beneficial and that the staff should have goals to be efficient and not just do the bare minimum.

“The biggest threat to that is high turnover,” he added.

Additionally, he said he thought a new culture at City Hall should be cultivated, one that has more accountability and that can be more transparent without threat.

The candidates also discussed how to increase the public’s trust in local government and future issues the city could face.

The general election is Tuesday, June 11, and early voting starts May 25.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Fire department targets sites to improve response times

Two locations are being targeted for a new Boulder City Fire substation that the City Council approved last month to help the department improve response time to emergencies. The proposed new fire station, labeled Station 122, is looking at sites at Quartzite Road and Nevada Way as well as at 701 Adams Boulevard. The city owns land in both locations.

Ex-manager sues city; claims retaliation

Former City Manager Al Noyola filed a lawsuit against the city Friday, July 29, alleging that his civil rights were violated when he was fired Oct. 13, 2020.

School begins Monday

School is almost back in session for the quartet of schools in Boulder City.

Storms cause minor damage

Monsoon season brought damage to Boulder City as the town was hit with a collection of storms last week. Luckily, the city was able to handle the storms in an efficient manner, according to officials, who dealt with the typical gravel and rock erosion, power outages and roof leaks.

Lend A Hand awarded $101K from state

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Nevada has awarded $30 million in Community Recovery Grants to nonprofit organizations including Lend A Hand of Boulder City. The local organization was one of the 30-plus applicants that received money funded by American Rescue Act Plan dollars.

Drought drives tough talks to cut water use

Nevada and two of its neighboring Southwestern states are still working on ways to drastically cut water use from the Colorado River as a deadline set by the federal government to address the worsening conditions along the river quickly approaches.

House passes bill with help for Lake Mead

WASHINGTON — Sweeping legislation to provide $500 million to raise plunging water levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell passed Friday, July 29, in the House despite Republican opposition over concerns for farmers and ranchers.

Kayaker drowns at Lake Mead

A 31-year-old man drowned at Lake Mead National Recreation Area near SCUBA Beach on Wednesday evening after he went into the water to retrieve a loose inflatable kayak, according to the National Park Service.

More remains found at Lake Mead

As water levels continue to decrease, another body has been discovered at Lake Mead. National Park Service rangers responded to a witness report of human remains spotted at Swim Beach in the Boulder Basin area of the lake at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 25.

Water district targets pool sizes to aid conservation

As water managers grapple with shortages across the Southwest, pool sizes in the Las Vegas Valley are the next target slated for cuts.