After Tuesday night’s candidate’s forum at the Elaine K. Smith Center, one thing about this coming election is certain: Boulder City residents have a hard choice ahead of them.
All eight of the men running for one of two seats on the City Council came prepared to express their points of view and meet with residents. And, as with the event held last month by the Boulder City Community Alliance, one thing is abundantly clear: They all love Boulder City and want what is best for the community and its residents.
What was especially enlightening about the event was that it gave residents a chance to consider the candidates’ answers easily, sorta like comparing apples to apples. Each was asked the same question and given the same amount of time to answer and address the issue.
While there are many similarities between the candidates, there are also a few differences and different approaches to the same goal.
For example, when asked about the city’s growth control ordinance, not a single person wanted to abolish or eliminate the 120-home limit on new homes built annually. However, some questioned whether the 30-cap limit per developer is hampering growth, transforming slow growth into no growth.
They also answered questions about business development, the city’s role in local schools and safety issues related to on-street parking of recreational vehicles.
Many of the candidates did a very good job at answering the questions, which were randomly drawn from a list that was given to the men in advance. Others rambled on or completely ignored the issue at hand. That was the most surprising thing to me.
I realize that the candidates have platforms and comments they want to get out to the public before voting begins; however, when asked a specific question most people expect a specific answer in return. Those nonanswers surprised a few of the people there, including fellow candidates.
What made Tuesday night’s event different from other pre-election events was that not only was there a formal portion, where candidates answered questions, there were also 30 minutes set aside at the end for folks to meet one-on-one with the men and have specific questions answered or address issues that didn’t come up during the forum.
While residents could easily attend any of the candidate’s meet-and-greet events to get that same personal touch, this was an opportunity to get all the men in one location at the same time.
Some of the candidates were a little more polished than others, which can be good or bad depending on your view. Personally, I would rather that someone who does his homework, studies and understands the issues lead the city in the future — especially with the uncertainties on the horizon that will come with the opening of Interstate 11.
I felt that the way the men prepared for the event and to meet the residents was just as revealing as the answers to their questions.
It was our intention to help residents determine who they feel is the best candidate for council for them, and I hope we succeeded.
I want to thank Jill Rowland-Lagan and Brina Marcus from the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce and concerned resident Nate Lasoff for helping to make the candidates night such a success.
Remember, early voting will be held March 22-25 and the primary election is April 4. See you at the polls.
Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.