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Letters to the Editor

Discussion with city attorney may have violated city charter

When (Councilman Cam) Walker and (Mayor Rod) Woodbury held a private meeting and requested the resignation of City Attorney Dave Olsen were they acting as private citizens or as members of the City Council?

According to the city charter, all powers to remove city officers is vested in the City Council, not individual members. It further proscribes the City Council, much less individual members, from holding closed meetings to consider terminating an officer or to consider their professional competence or performance.

Their discussion and conclusions about termination dates and severance package are questionable because they were done in private without the participation of the other members of the City Council and without a written record.

I don’t believe that on Feb. 28 the City Council can vote on a motion that was developed in apparent contradiction to provisions of Section 8 of the city charter. I believe that the agenda item for the City Council meeting should be amended to allow the opportunity for an open hearing to evaluate the performance of the city attorney, and to consider whether the City Council should request his resignation, establish a termination date, and discuss the severance package.

Tom O’Farrell

Study’s good suggestions for city seem to be ignored

While our city fathers tell us the sky is falling because of the impact of the Interstate 11 bypass, I can’t help but wonder why they aren’t implementing recommendations made by the well-respected RCG Economics for a UNLV study commissioned by the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce. The study was delivered in May 2015 and nothing has even been mentioned at City Council meetings.

Just some of the common-sense things that the study recommended and have not been discussed much less implemented are:

■ There still is no economic development plan, business recruitment plan or a business retention and expansion plan. The study recommended “immediate action” to implement these plans.

■ The study recommended collaboration and participation from all segments of the community to solve the bypass issues. So far, the only community segment that has apparently been consulted has been the developers.

■ The study recommends “more frequent and regularly planned communication” events. The only events that have occurred were to share with citizens decisions already made with no input from the community.

■ The study suggests further development of existing events like Art in the Park, the Dam Short Film Festival, and others, and creation of new events, and a master marketing plan to highlight the tourism aspects of Boulder City. Nothing on this front either.

■ Creating a “pro-business” culture. This report came out about the time the city drove away the developer of two restaurants in town, creating huge holes in our downtown retail center. It hasn’t improved since then.

■ Taking advantage of the “four corners” area created by the intersection of I-11 and U.S. Highway 95, is “an outstanding development opportunity for the city,” according to the report. The only plan we’ve seen for that area is a 1,600-home plan that requires a land swap for worthless land …, with a plan that would destroy our slow-growth ordinance and the character of our town along with it.

The chamber spent a lot of money commissioning this study, which came back with solid, reasonable and workable recommendations. It’s a slap in the face to the chamber and the entire community that this study has been ignored, and unpopular — and right now illegal — solutions are considered instead.

Roger Gros

Heller needs to discuss safe drinking water with voters

(I am) a resident of Boulder City for 35 years and someone who is concerned by recent congressional votes to permanently take away protections that limit dangerous methane pollution and safeguard our drinking water from toxic coal mining waste.

However, in a disappointing turn of events, Sen. (Dean) Heller, who will be home on a congressional recess this week and should be using this time to engage with the people of Nevada, has failed to schedule a public event to hear our needs and concerns. Heller is not making an effort to listen to us.

Across the country, people are engaging in civic culture with energy that we have not seen in years. Protests have amassed impressive crowds that are voicing concerns with the new administration. Constituents are calling their members of Congress in mass, overwhelming the Capitol switchboard and filling members’ in-boxes, ensuring our federal lawmakers feel the prevalence of our concerns.

Recently, crowds have gathered at town hall meetings, seeking to discuss policy choices face-to-face with their members of Congress. In short, people across this great democracy are asking their lawmakers to listen. We are asking Heller to listen.

Vicki Ratcliff

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Job guarantee would help millions

Do you get tired of all the suffering and dying we cause each other? I sure do. What do we do about it? Here’s what I do: read and learn. I read and learn how we can solve problems, not just talk, rant and rave on social media and share unfounded opinions with others.

Pets have special place in our hearts, lives

Over $95.7 billion — no, it’s not how much we spent on recent elections — it’s how much we Americans spend each year on our pets, our “fur babies,” our “four-footed friends,” “our cuddly companions,” our… well, you get the picture.

Trump doesn’t require reality to act

Is America finally able to understand the consciousness of Donald Trump based on his behavior? To assist, I am able to ascertain the consciousness of human beings according to Theosophical tradition.

Varying opinions vital to democracy

Periodically, I have to remind readers that the “articles” featured on this page are not news stories. They are opinion pieces.

Time to focus on truth

We are into the first week of a new year that brings new promises and continuing challenges. Of great promise are vaccines against the COVID-19 virus. The city has already received and administered hundreds of doses to health care workers and first responders. The progress that will be made depends on how many doses of the vaccine are available. The city paramedics and the hospital staff will work to provide the vaccine based on the priorities established at the state level. More information is available at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.

Here’s to a better 2021

Today is the last day of 2020. I know I am not the only one who is eager to see this year end.

’Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. As you read this, I will be at home, enjoying the fruits of my labor after spending a week’s vacation knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, in the true spirit of this message.

Public schools need to open

What do the library, post office, police department and public schools have in common? They are all owned by the citizens. All are open for business except, of course, schools. Schools in particular were built using funds collected from taxes that all of us paid. All of the expenses to run these institutions along with teacher’s salaries are paid by us as well.

Celebrate power to get things done

As I write this, a picture comes into my mind. It’s a Sunday in December, 22 years ago, when I wrote my first holiday piece for the Boulder City News and the Henderson Home News. It was the day after the Boulder City Christmas parade. It was 7 a.m.; I was sitting at my desk typing and a light snow was falling.