Do your priorities guide your life? Whoa! Who has time for priorities? Here are a few of mine.
Priority one is being content with daily life. If I’m not happy with what I’m doing, I have no energy, no drive. How can I spread contentment if I’m not? I’m partial to being funny and making folks laugh. You might say it’s good medicine for me and everyone I talk to. I run into someone having a bad day and give them a dose of hilarity by surprising them with one of my zany expressions. I feel good. They feel better.
Priority two is staying healthy. I’ve lost a good amount of weight in the past year. I take a few prescribed medications. I exercise, go for annual checkups and keep myself from getting stressed out about small, medium and large issues.
Priority three is keeping my finances in order. I’m not big on shopping, and I keep my travel expenses low by watching travel TV.
Let’s compare my priorities with those of Boulder City government.
It’s difficult to explain how a government can feel contentment, but I will take a stab at it. If our government were content, I would say its employees would show that. I would say city employees who see me are happy when we’re face to face, but when asked how they’re doing, they are not really thrilled with their job.
Now, it’s your turn. When was the last time you experienced a contented police officer, a cheerful clerk in the utility department, a happy public works employee or other delighted city employees? If any of these folks were less than helpful or acted as if they were doing you a favor, I would say we have a problem with morale or contentment. If those we pay aren’t comfortable with what they’re doing, maybe they should change jobs or change what’s making them discontented.
Every city employee won’t leave their job, nor are all employees despondent, but Boulder City government, through its employees, doesn’t exude “warm and fuzzy” when contact is made with them. How city employees interact with us is the bottom line, priority No. 1 in my book. I can’t say where employee contentment ranks on the priority list of the council and management, but perhaps it should be up there in the top three. The new budget is calling for new employees, and before that happens, a good, hard look should be taken toward the morale of existing employees.
When it comes to health and finances for the city government, those two priorities run together in my mind. If there are maintenance plans for city buildings and vehicles, the public needs an update at one of the future town hall meetings.
More than 10 years ago I heard that city buildings were put on a list of “to be repaired/updated.” It would be nice to see the list, hear what improvements have been made and if the “list” still exists. There is also a vehicle replacement plan. It might be beneficial to see this plan and if there is a dedicated fund for this project or whether vehicle replacement is simply an idea that comes and goes every few years.
I’ve seen many budgets over the past 23 years and wonder about the city’s progress toward making our government technologically efficient. Sure, there is a city Facebook page, but as I look at it right now, a notice of electrical work to shut off power was posted a day before it took place, and only two people shared the notice. Power shutoffs are not listed on the city calendar.
Speaking of the city calendar, I recently sent an email to find out about a budget meeting not posted there and discovered that April 30 had been tentatively “set aside in the event the City Council had concerns after the tentative budget was presented on April 10th.” Hmm. So, there were no concerns from council. Good to know all their questions were answered.
I don’t know about you, but I’m concerned about the priorities held by those presenting and approving our city’s annual budget. I suppose everyone sees issues differently, but, more importantly, where do your priorities fit within those of the current administration?
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-339-9082.