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Connections common in small town

Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living beings in the entire world are only six steps away from being connected in some way. And that’s an Earth of 7 billion people.

So I wonder how many degrees of separation we would find as the maximum to connect any two people in our little town of Boulder City, especially if you were raised here, work here, live here, go to church here, shop here and raise your children here. Is it any surprise that those same people who are so well-connected in Boulder City are those who choose to run for city office or serve in city committees?

As long as I have been in Boulder City, people’s connections have been used to cast a shadow of doubt on their reasons for various actions or votes. Some say, “They only voted that way because they are Mormon” or “Of course, they gave them the contract; don’t you know he used to work for them?” Or perhaps, “He was only hired because his wife worked on her campaign and her son is married to his daughter.” (I know, this stuff can get hard to follow.)

Those looking for some connection to justify their anger in this town can find it. Such ideas may be fun to write about, justify why people don’t agree with us or excuse our anger with certain politicians, but they do little to help the city we love.

The reality is usually much less exciting, and that is that those whom we disagree with did what they did, voted a given way or supported a given candidate because they love this town and did what they think would be best.

Yes, there is such a thing as nepotism and collusion, but truth is that most such accusations are just that, and when there really is an issue, it is exactly as Mayor Rod Woodbury’s ethics violation was: unwillful and unsubstantial. Meaning, while trying to do what was right, he accidentally (unwillful) made a very minor (unsubstantial) mistake. I worry that too many hear, “unwillful and unsubstantial ethics violation” and all they hear is, “ethics violation.”

We will not always agree with our leaders, but their job is to lead us; sometimes that means, rather than ignore uncomfortable issues, they may have to lead us into them. I often disagree with our mayor, but I applaud his willingness to tackle tough issues despite the level of discomfort it must bring him.

Raising utility rates, asking for financial flexibility and now looking at our growth ordinance. It would be easier to ignore these issues than tackle them and hear all our opinions, especially in such a small town where he has to hear our opinion of him and his ideas at work, at church, at his kid’s schools, at Thanksgiving dinner, at the grocery store and in our local paper.

When we disagree, may we bring up our disagreements in kindness and civility. And when we are tempted to tarnish our leader’s reputation because some random or even not so random connection becomes public, may we reach a reasonable conclusion. For me, it is simply that we are in a small town filled with people who were raised here, work here, live here and raise their children here, who love this town as I do and are doing their best.

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.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.