As we enter into the fall season, the number of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in Clark County has been decreasing gradually over the past few weeks. Gov. Steve Sisolak has issued new guidelines as a result that allow the few businesses still closed in Boulder City to reopen. The governor is closely following the advice from health experts when issuing the guidelines. Our city government is then following the guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.
When the reopening of businesses was initiated in late May, the spread of the virus began a steady increase as the heat of the summer set in. It became necessary to issue guidelines that closed some businesses for a second time. The number of new infections and deaths began to decrease again in late July and August. The decrease has continued in September, allowing for the few closed businesses in Boulder City to reopen.
Sadly, over this period of time we have lost nine Boulder City residents to the virus based on recently released information from the Southern Nevada Health District. The district reports all of these residents were age 65 or older. The district also reports the majority of positive test results are among people age 25 to 64 in Boulder City. There have been five positive tests for children under age 5.
I quote these statistics as a guide to what we can do as individuals to slow the spread of the disease in our community. We must all be cautious and respectful of others in order to keep this disease from flaring up again. The economy of Southern Nevada depends on tourism. For a period of time, Nevada was identified by the federal government as a “red zone” state due to the high number of infections. Travel to and from Nevada was restricted by other states as a result. This prevents tourists from coming to Las Vegas and Boulder City. This harms our economy and local businesses.
We can help ourselves and our businesses by slowing the spread of this disease. We have done so twice now over the past seven months. A vaccine is likely to come sooner rather than later but there are things we know we can do now. Wear a mask when in public. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made clear how important wearing a mask is when around others in controlling the disease. Maintain social distancing, wash your hands often and respect the rights of each of us.
We have a large portion of senior citizens in our community. Slowing the spread protects their lives as well as the health of all us. COVID-19 does not much care about who it infects. It just exists to continue infecting us.
I wrote last month about the issue of the current City Council having the authority under the City Charter to choose the appointed officials responsible for carrying out the policies of the council. The current council is not bound to the policies of the previous council. The city charter is clear on this point.
State law in Nevada requires a specific type of notice be given to any appointed official if the council is to consider their employment at a meeting. The city manager and city attorney are aware of this notice requirement and received letters notifying them of such a meeting previously. These appointed officials chose to file a lawsuit against the city to avoid the meeting and to prevent me and Councilmember Tracy Folda from participating in any such meeting.
The city manager and city attorney did not, however, appoint replacements while they pursued their lawsuit. When a judge was finally able to hear from the city, the judge denied the arguments presented by these appointed officials to prevent all of the council from considering their employment.
The city manager and city attorney then became difficult to locate to receive updated notifications. My inquiries to them requesting their whereabouts were rebuffed. While the city is being sued by these officials, city resources are used to report one side of the story. I ran for mayor with the promise to protect and promote this city. I will continue to do just that.
Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.