We are not alone, Boulder City. That point was brought home to me again last week during the Nevada League of Cities annual conference held in Henderson. The League of Cities has existed for about the same length of time as Boulder City has been a chartered city.
The goals of the league are: “To foster periodical conferences of city officials; disseminate knowledge of municipal affairs and government; to circulate publications on municipal affairs; to secure harmony of action among cities; and to render technical information and other services to the cities.”
Those goals help me and the other members of our City Council learn about and discuss issues that exist everywhere in Nevada. While a town like Carlin is different from Las Vegas and from Boulder City, there are many similarities for all local governments.
Presentations were made on education, renewable energy, economic development and changes to the open meeting law that went into effect this week. Many other issues such as taxation (it is government after all) and affordable housing were also reviewed and discussed.
Did we solve all these issues? Simply, “No.” Some of the issues probably do not have solutions we can achieve easily. Affordable housing and homelessness being examples of problems that are widespread and ongoing. But we had the opportunity to discuss possible actions with state legislators for these and other problems all of the communities in Nevada face on a daily basis. We are not alone in the challenges that communities all over Nevada and America experience.
The majority of our City Council attended the conference workshops and discussion groups as well as our city manager. Yes, there were meals included. I estimate the cost was less than $1.25 for each resident of Boulder City.
The consensus of City Council members in attendance was that we benefited in ways that will guide us in making Boulder City a better community.
The conference also reinforced how very fortunate we are to be Boulder City. Listening to elected officials from other communities discuss their challenges is a reminder of how lucky we are to have the resources present in our city. Boulder City has the lowest property tax rate for cities in Clark County. By far. Being the home of Hoover Dam provides for the construction of large-scale solar energy projects on land leased to companies that generate millions of dollars for our city each year. I don’t know of any other community in Nevada that receives the level of benefits we do from being in the right place with the right climate. It is often better to be lucky than good. And Hoover Dam made Boulder City a very lucky place to be.
As good as we are as a community we should always keep in mind that our good fortune is due to the old Realtor saying — location, location, location. Hoover Dam is what built Boulder City and it continues to benefit our community in ways large and small.
Another takeaway from the League of Cities conference is how much people from other communities appreciate the qualities of our town. These other communities are realizing the wisdom of celebrating their history and the architecture that makes that history an attraction for so many visitors. We must do better in preserving the value enjoyed by homeowners in our historic district and the businesses that benefit from the draw our history has for visitors.
Cities and towns around Nevada are realizing the value of preserving their historic buildings. I listened to elected officials from Gardnerville and Winnemucca talk about the same type of efforts we are now pursuing for our community. They are working toward economic development by pursuing preservation of their unique histories. Preservation brings value and provides for economic opportunities.
Many cities and towns in Nevada are focused on growth. That is understandable for their situations. But we are lucky to be Boulder City and have found profit and enjoyment from what we already have. We can work to improve our city and continue the conservative growth that maintains our small-town qualities.
Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.