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Ample information, public vote needed for Gateway project

There are two projects that are potentially coming to Boulder City.

One would increase revenue to the city, as well as jobs, and include lease money from new industries. It would help reduce the pain inflicted by the loss of revenue from Interstate 11. It would help keep the tax base up while keeping traffic down in the main part of town. And add that it will all be funded by developers, not taxpayers’ money, and you have to admit, it’s a great project.

The other project is the beginning of the end of Boulder City. It is only being promoted and pushed down our throats by corrupt politicians who want to line their pockets with money. It will replace our current downtown and only lead to more boarded up buildings. It will ruin all the pristine desert we have left and lead us to be the next Henderson. It will cost us millions in utilities, which will be paid for by us. It is the worst project you can think of and must be avoided at all costs.

So, what are these two projects? They are both the Hoover Dam Gateway project.

The truth, as is usually the case, is likely somewhere in the middle. Where exactly it lies will be our job to discover over the next little while. So, a few requests I have for everyone involved in the debate:

1. Can we stop trying to stop information? I don’t understand those who are outraged when a report or other information comes forward that disagrees with their viewpoint. We need both views and we need information.

Reports, consultants, newspaper articles, and YouTube videos are all important steps to helping us get to an informed decision. We can disagree with a report or article and not be outraged that the report was even put together or funded.

2. Let’s stop the accusations and stick to the issue. I have zero proof that Rod Woodbury is not meeting with developers to work out how to illegally use this project to fund a yacht. But there is also zero proof that he is.

The accusations that he, or any other councilman or woman is going to have any personal gain has no evidence behind it, at least none I have seen presented. And using that as a way to try to avoid truly debating the merits of the project is a distraction that hurts honest debate.

3. Let’s all admit this is a big enough issue that the public should weigh in by a vote. I have seen lots of speculation about if a vote is “legally” required because these are potentially leases, not a land sale.

My thought is, legal or not, it just makes sense. I think it would help build trust and help elevate the debate if each councilman, woman and mayor would publicly state they would not support any dirt moving for this project without a public vote.

If we do this, I have no doubt we can help make it a great project or come to a fair decision that it simply doesn’t make sense and move on.

Nathaniel Kaey Gee resides in Boulder City with his wife and six kids. He is a civil engineer by day and enjoys writing any chance he gets. You can follow his work on his blog www.thegeebrothers.com.

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