Debate, not personal attacks, best way to discuss city issues
There has been much debate in the national media and locally about the First Amendment and freedom of speech, and what that looks like in a public meeting.
The City Council meeting on Nov. 14 gives one the opportunity to examine this important issue.
Does freedom of speech allow some members of the audience to bully, intimidate and mock others who disagree with their position? Should freedom of speech permit someone to call several women, to their face, “whores” because of their support on an issue? When people disagree, does that necessarily make the other side “liars”? Does a person have the right to flip off the mayor and/or council in a public meeting? How about multiple people shouting “Shame, shame, shame on you” after the council has come to a 4-1 vote after debating an issue for weeks and months, considering the legalities of and those most affected by their decision.
Another consideration was those present who are now conducting business with the city. They vocalized how offended they were by the blatant, religiously bigoted remarks they overheard in the audience. Another audience member said he would like to throw a bomb at the “three of them” — referring to council members. I wonder what the local fourth-graders are learning about democracy from attending our City Council meetings.
It has been said that this is what democracy “looks like.” Well, I believe that we can disagree civilly and respectfully. I also believe that it is imperative that every citizen of Boulder City should feel safe expressing their opinions in the City Council chambers. Let’s have the debate and not resort to personal attacks.
Boulder City Councilwoman
Building codes must be upheld
I am confused by the actions of four members of our City Council. We do not need to give the keys to the city to every developer who wants to build in Boulder City.
I am proud of the legacy I left, upholding the city’s building code and sign ordinance. Our members of the Planning Commission followed the same rules. Both of those things were important to me in the 1980s and ’90s. Allowing developers to make more money than required off our future quality of life is puzzling me.
Who is benefiting from these decisions? It is certainly not the citizens of Boulder City nor the future of our community, which is now at stake since every time our city has a developer in front of it. It appears our City Council must make the developer wealthier than they need be.
Our City Councils were working from the same assumptions I held until the city decided to violate its building code. We can succeed by following our building code and sign ordinance. Indeed, that is the only way to succeed. It is only about six homes.
When Robert Lewis of Lewis Homes brought his subdivision for the second half of the municipal golf course to the City Council in the late 1980s, he asked for the mineral rights underneath the homes. I told our then-city manager, George Forbes, to remove that from the negotiating point of view of the city. He told me that likely would end the deal. It did not.
That is the kind of City Council I would expect to have and assume that we will attempt to elect in 2019. It is the job of every city councilman to consider the community and its future quality of life in every decision that they make. That is what I did as a member of City Council and mayor twice from 1985 to 1997.