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Mayor offers hope, but misses chance to clear air

The mayor is optimistic about the future of Boulder City. This should come as no surprise. Isn't that part of what mayors do? Tout the many benefits of their city and why people should want to live there or come for a visit.

That is exactly what Mayor Rod Woodbury did in his first State of the City address last Thursday.

Everything that is good about living in Boulder City was put in the spotlight during his inaugural speech.

Debt is down. Solar leases continue to bring in much-needed revenue. Activities for residents are plentiful. Awards are being won.

Connecting the community was theme of Woodbury's speech, and he set out to show how the city is working with businesses and residents to create and maintain a sustainable and thriving economy.

He touched on most everything you can think of with the glaring omission of two topics, which were probably the most pressing issues that citizens wanted to hear about: the fiasco at the animal shelter and sudden departure of Bill Conger, police chief of administration.

Although Woodbury did mention Conger, calling him a "fine gentleman" and thanking him from coming out of retirement to serve the city for the past three years, the controversy surrounding his resignation was ignored.

He also spoke about the animal shelter, noting that 139 animals had been reunited with their owners and 95 others adopted, while new supervisor Ann Inabnitt was named the city's 2015 employee of the year. Not a word was spoken about the former supervisor or the possible felony charges against her for animal cruelty.

No one likes to put a spotlight on their faults or problems, but when you are talking about the state of the city and the short- and long-term effects of issues, the citizens of Boulder City deserve to hear from their elected leader. At a very minimum, they need to know that the issues are not being swept under the carpet and that the investigation into the matter continues.

The one issue that didn't seemed to be sugar-coated was the difficulties that businesses have had dealing with city officials. In fact, he was brutally honest in acknowledging that there was a major problem, calling out employees for their "butcher mentality."

Woodbury compared the situation to raising sheep, saying that you can sheer a sheep a 1,000 times, but skin it only once.

Making the city business friendly is one of the five components he has in his vision for the city's future.

"We have to avoid words like 'no' and 'can't' and replace them with 'yes' and 'can do' ," he said, adding that the city has to embrace the mentality that the customer is always right.

That change, he said, is already starting in the community development, building and planning departments.

In office for a little more than six months, Woodbury has had very little time to make many changes. But, if he holds true to his vision, citizens should be seeing a differences soon. And that should help make the future as bright as the mayor sees it.

Other components of his vision are family and faith first; keeping our financial house in order; pick up the pace; and crystal clear communication.

As a result of his desire to communicate more often with the citizens he represents, Woodbury has agreed to write a column for the Boulder City Review. Details are still being ironed out, but it should start in the near future.

Special invitation: The Boulder City Review is holding an open house from 3-5 p.m. Friday. It will offer area residents and business people an opportunity to meet our editorial and advertising staff. We look forward to meeting with you then.

— Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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