There is an African proverb that translates to the familiar saying that it takes a village to raise a child. This literally means an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. What’s my point? Right now, city hall isn’t united and our village isn’t healthy.
Perception is reality. I know this from personal experience. What people say about you and who they say it to can predetermine what people think about you and how they treat you. As a publicist, I’ve always believed the best way to combat how you (or your business) are perceived is to directly address any lingering controversy. And while messaging and facts work, people often remember experiences and how they are treated, too. What you say is as important as how you say it.
On Boulder City’s official webpage, under Mayor Kiernan McManus’ biography page, it states “Kiernan has worked to bring transparency to our City government and ensure City finances are sound.” This statement is not the perceived reality for many of us citizens. Inviting responses from the mayor or requesting questions to be answered have led to many quiet moments. The perception of this mayor in town stretches from naivety or faux pas to ego-led bullying, and I don’t see anything being done by the mayor to address it.
We are in a pandemic. One thing we can all agree on is the uncertainty we share as to what the future holds for our families, our businesses and our city. This is not the time to ignore comments, pass on email replies, or engage in lawsuits — especially if your biography claims to ensure city finances are “sound.” Leading while listening is important. I believe it is more important right now for the mayor to prove that he can work with and for everyone in this village.
When the mayor singles people out who are trying to move as forward as possible during these uncertain times it doesn’t show leadership. It doesn’t bring us together. All it does is feed the perception of what the villagers are thinking and saying. The perception that is a reality right now is simply that our mayor doesn’t care what the people want or need.
Perhaps it is time for the village to raise a mayor. Perhaps it is time that we stop putting up with the perceived reality that he is just a bully and to let him finish out his term because a recall would be too hard, that businesses may be retaliated upon, or that it would strengthen the very group that helped to elect the mayor.
We need stability in these unstable times. We don’t need a mayor who shamelessly singles out volunteers, allegedly discriminates against his support staff and who seems more dedicated to leading with an iron fist than a collaborative process.
In order for our village to change and adapt to these trying times, we must first set the standard for what is acceptable leadership and what is not. We must realize that sitting around and accepting this new normal can also be perceived that we are complacent or that we are scared. In my opinion, it’s time for us to face facts. New leadership is needed and it can’t wait for the next election.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.