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Council candidates share their vision for city

Eight citizens have filed to become candidates for a seat on the City Council. There are two seats, currently held by incumbents Peggy Leavitt and Rich Shuman, that will be filled.

Also running are James Howard Adams, Claudia Bridges, Judy Dechaine, Brent Foutz, Trenton Motley and Tom Tyler.

A primary election to cut the field in half will be held April 2; early voting will be held March 16-29. The final four candidates will vie for the two seats in the June 11 general election.

To help residents make an informed decision when casting their ballots, the Boulder City Review asked each of the candidates to answer three questions. Their responses are below.

NAME: JAMES HOWARD ADAMS

Age: 33

Marital status: Partner of Tsvetelina Stefanova for 14 years

Family: Son of Stuart and Melinda Adams; brother of Mary Adams

Education: Associate of Science in deaf studies

Occupation: Musician/concert and event promoter

Length of Boulder City residency: 24 years

Club/organization affiliations: Dam Short Film Festival volunteer

Why do you feel you would be a good addition to the City Council?

As a 24-year resident, I know firsthand the value of community over self. I am not running because I feel that I have the best answers for Boulder City. I am running because I trust those answers can be found within our community. If elected, I promise to always put the needs of our citizens before the needs of those with deep pockets and selfish interests.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for Boulder City in the near future?

The same issues Boulder City has been facing over the last several years: the demolition of our history, the boarding up of two prominent sites in our downtown, a ballot question that would have dismantled our controlled growth, a city-funded plan to develop the Eldorado Valley. These are all issues that directly threaten the very core of Boulder City’s identity and must be addressed if we are to move forward as a community.

What is your vision for Boulder City in 10 years?

In 10 years, the citizens should have unfettered access to city services and information. Water conservation and energy independence should be among our top priorities. Our city’s focus on safety and sustainability should be the leading example for communities large and small throughout the country.

NAME: CLAUDIA MENDELSON BRIDGES

Age: 65

Marital status: Married

Family: Two daughters, one son, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, one husband

Education: Master of Business Administration in finance (Arizona State University) and doctorate in marketing (ASU)

Occupation: Retired university professor (California State University, Sacramento)

Length of Boulder City residency: 7 years

Club/organization affiliations: Emergency Aid of Boulder City Inc. (treasurer/grant coordinator), book club

Why do you feel you would be a good addition to the City Council?

I have experience in council and committee work at the academic level along with knowledge of both finance and brand management/marketing. I have also lived in a city that allowed unhindered sprawl and a well-controlled unincorporated Sacramento County community that managed its growth and had enforceable zoning codes. I bring knowledge and experience to the table.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for Boulder City in the near future?

Threats to the controlled-growth ordinance, lack of commitment to protecting our historic landmarks, lack of trust in the current council, and the importance of prudent decisions with respect to bond funding.

What is your vision for Boulder City in 10 years?

A quaint historic town with a reputation as the town that built the Hoover Dam. A popular destination for visitors, a sustainable quality of life for its residents and a prosperous business community.

NAME: JUDY DECHAINE

Marital status: Married

Family: 2 adult sons

Education: Bachelor’s degree from University of St. Catherine’s in St. Paul, Minnesota

Occupation: Retired accountant/controller for various private companies

Length of Boulder City residency: 5 years

Club/organization affiliations: American Legion Auxiliary

Why do you feel you would be a good addition to the City Council?

I am a positive person and have a firm belief that there is always an answer that will resolve a problem to everyone’s satisfaction although it might not be the absolute win some were hoping for, it will be a win-win for the community. We all live in this great community and decisions and projects need to benefit all citizens. So we need to listen and find the best answer; this usually will involves negotiation.

I have attended most of the council, planning commission and some historic preservation and park and recreation meetings for the last three or four years. I prepare for these meetings by reading the packet information posted on the city’s website and speak up in comment times, sometimes in favor of an item as presented and other times against something as presented and urge the members of council or committees to rethink their approach to something.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for Boulder City in the near future?

Right now, the three things citizens ask me about most are the Aquatic and Cultural Center and its cost, how we keep and attract more businesses, and the cost of utilities and infrastructure. Many citizens seem to be worried about our slow-growth ordinance and historic preservation, too.

Residents have mentioned the economic slump that hit the whole country in 2008-2009 and are concerned that the people making financial decisions are forgetting and it could happen again. As citizens try to keep a “nest egg” for emergencies; they feel the city should too. We have a $26 million debt for the raw water line we are still paying for and another $40 million would make it $66 million the city needs to come up with. It doesn’t matter what revenue source the bonds are backed with, they still need to be paid for by the residents.

We seem to have a trust issue between citizens and the city and we need to put trust back in the community; the city needs to be more open about what and how they are doing things. There have been various disagreements between some citizens and the city in the past that have led to costly lawsuits. That has resulted in sides being taken and no one comes out a winner. We need to learn to listen and resolve issues without spending a year or more in court.

What is your vision for Boulder City in 10 years?

I would like to see us continue our slow growth, marketing our city as a good place to build a business in, building some of the wish list items we can’t afford to build right now, and stay fiscally responsible in our spending.

NAME: PEGGY LEAVITT

Age: 70

Marital status: Married to Charlie for 35 years

Family: Four sons; three live in Boulder City. Eleven grandchildren; nine live in Boulder City

Education: Bachelor of Science from the University of Wyoming, master’s degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Occupation: Retired. My profession was social work, but I spent the last 20 years of my career in management positions. I worked at the Southern Nevada Children’s Home in Boulder City, a permanent placement for abused and neglected children for 20 years, 12 years as superintendent. After the closure of the Children’s Home, I worked for Child Haven as a manager until my retirement from Clark County in 2002.

Length of Boulder City residency: I started working in Boulder City in 1974; I moved here to live when I married Charlie in 1984.

Club/organization affiliations: My current assignments as a Councilwoman are the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for which I was recently elected to be the secretary to the executive board and Southern Nevada Water Authority. Past assignments include Nevada League if Cities, Workforce Connections and Southern Nevada Strong, which was a regional consortium that developed a regional plan to integrate jobs with housing and transportation options in Southern Nevada. In Boulder City, I am past president of Boulder City Sunrise Rotary Club (its first woman president) and a past district governor’s representative. In addition, I have served as a board member on Friends of the Arts, Lend A Hand, the Senior Center of Boulder City and Red Mountain Music Co.

Why do you feel you would be a good addition to the City Council?

I have been on City Council for eight years so I have the knowledge and experience of how local government functions with respect to understanding policy, setting goals and strategic priorities, linking policy to the budget and making decisions about the scope of services our city will provide.

I have a strong work ethic and I’m always well-prepared and well-versed on the issues. I am not afraid to make tough decisions and will always make the best decision for all Boulder City residents.

I have served on the following regional boards: Workforce Connections, Nevada League of Cities, Southern Nevada Strong, and am currently serving on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (was recently elected to be the secretary to the executive board) and the Southern Nevada Water Authority. By serving on these boards, I have built relationships with other elected officials in the valley and around the state that have benefited the city.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for Boulder City in the near future?

Because this is a legislative year, city staff, the mayor and myself, the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Vitality Commission have lobbied our legislators in Carson City to obtain $25 million in funding to provide for the expansion of the Nevada State Railroad Museum. Many residents don’t realize this museum hosted 55,000 visitors last year, making it the highest attended state-run museum and thereby generated the most revenue. This museum has the potential to attract thousands more tourists because it will be located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 93 and Boulder City Parkway — a gateway to the Lake Mead National Recreation area and Hoover Dam.

An important topic which will be presented to the voters in the form of an advisory question is if the residents want to allow off-highway vehicles on the city streets in Boulder City. The chamber of commerce is hosting monthly workshops until the general election to discuss this matter with residents.

Seeking voter approval to issue a general obligation bond to fund the new aquatic center is another important decision for Boulder City voters. Related to that, another ballot question asks voters to approve spending $5 million from the capital improvement fund on the aquatic center, which would reduce the general obligation bond to $35 million. The city plans on holding a series of workshops to educate the public about the estimated costs of the aquatic center and strategies the city could implement to minimize the total bond amount or possibly avoid tax increases to the community.

What is your vision for Boulder City in 10 years?

I am hopeful and excited about the future. It is a great time to continue to build on the positive momentum that is being generated from City Hall to move this community forward. With new city leadership in place, I can envision that in 10 years Boulder City will have made great strides in historic preservation and will have renovated and repurposed many historic buildings. I believe that the historic preservation codes and ordinances will better reflect the more progressive attitudes toward historic preservation.

It is reasonable to assume the Nevada State Railroad Museum will be expanded and attracting thousands more visitors to Boulder City.

These enhancements will tie into and add to the improved economic development picture in Boulder City. A thriving and vibrant local economy will ensure another dependable steam of revenue for the city. Because of Boulder City’s commitment to prudent financial management, Boulder City will be in a strong financial position making the best use of solar lease revenue to enhance and expand city services and capital improvements.

Communications and transparency with our residents will continue to improve resulting in informed citizen participation, community pride and satisfaction and improved services. And, Boulder City will retain its small town, historic heritage and unique identity.

NAME: TRENTON MOTLEY

Age: 21

Marital status: Single

Family: Grandparents, Kevin and Gail Motley; parents, Kris Motley and Stephanie Pelton; brother, Logan Motley

Education: Boulder City High School

Occupation: University of Nevada, Las Vegas mechanical engineering major with a criminal justice minor; welder at Tiberti Fence; process server at Boulder Township Constables Office

Length of residency in Boulder City: 21 years

Club/organization affiliations: Eldorado Valley OHV Conservation Club

Why do you feel you would be a good addition to the City Council?

Being so young I have a fresh outlook on everything Boulder City as well as a lot of ideas to make the city prosperous. Being from Boulder City I feel I can best represent the people of our town. I am a headstrong person who will argue for the people where it is needed.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for Boulder City in the near future?

A new pool, given the new-found cracks in the current pool, is one of the bigger issues — maybe not $40 million big though. Preserving the historic buildings is a pressing issue that the historic preservation committee is already working extremely hard to keep them where they are. Another pressing issue for me is the preservation of the desert for both animals and human use be it motorized, human powered or horseback riding. Our desert has many uses; I grew up using it to just about the fullest extent and the last thing I want to see is random hotels in the middle of it.

What is your vision for Boulder City in 10 years?

Boulder City in 10 years I see as being a place pretty close to how it is now. A bit more tourists than now staying longer than a day to check out our many historical features or to take part in our great events we have here in town (and even more events by that time). Boulder City should be thriving then and not having our income depend on the solar leases or even one certain thing for that matter.

NAME: TOM TYLER

Age: 67

Marital status: Did not answer

Family: Did not answer

Occupation: Retired from Retail Clerk Union

Education: Bachelor of Science from University of California, Riverside

Length of residency in Boulder City: Did not answer

Club/organization affiliations: Did not answer

Why do you feel you would be a good addition to the City Council?

I am retired from the grocery industry. I worked for several companies due to buyouts and ended up with Safeway. I have managed stores and worked in corporate settings. I understand profit-loss statements, inventories, human resource matters, dealing with unions, audits, loss prevention, staff scheduling and building maintenance.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues for Boulder City in the near future?

If elected, my priorities would be:

1. Establish a good working relationship with the city employees by listening.

2. Establish good communication with the mayor and fellow council members.

3. As a City Council member, I will have access to the knowledge needed to make proper decisions on city matters.

4. Read and study current contracts and revenue streams.

5. Be accountable for my thoughts and actions as the steward of the citizens of Boulder City.

6. Important topics of focus are utility rates, rebuilding electrical infrastructure and solving the pool issue.

What is your vision for Boulder City in 10 years?

Did not answer

Editor’s note: Responses to our request were not received by all candidates.

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