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Letters to the Editor

Apology owed to council, preservation committee member

Shame on Fritz McDonald for his comments in last week’s paper regarding the appointment of a candidate not of his choosing for the latest Boulder City Historic Preservation Committee appointment, and additionally for his derogatory remarks regarding certain members of our present City Council for being “spineless” because they didn’t see things “the McDonald way.”

Where has the irate McDonald been these many years when Ray Turner has been fighting for historic preservation in Boulder City? Anyone who has been involved in the slightest way with preservation here knows of Turner’s steady contributions.

McDonald owes not only the council members he’s insulted an apology, but also Turner, especially before McDonald considers running again for an elected office in Boulder City. Thank goodness the people spoke wisely in our last election. In my mind, McDonald doesn’t measure up to the waist belts of those he’s insulted.

Linda Barnett

Utility commission would benefit city, keep rates structure in line

I write in support of creating a utility commission for Boulder City.

As a newer resident, I have a great appreciation for how wonderful life is in Boulder City. That would certainly include the fact that the cost structure relating to living in Boulder City, especially utilities, is significantly less than the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

This leads me to commending (Warren) Harhay, one of the new city councilmen, and I also believe that Councilman (Kiernan) McManus is involved, and hoping to create some type of utility advisory group. I believe this is an excellent idea.

Many years ago, I was involved in the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and how rates are structured and created for private utilities in the state. For Boulder City, it seems to me that it would be great to create an advisory body which will monitor whether utility bills relate to actual utility costs, solely.

Certainly, there are several rumors, and I have no idea how accurate they are, that sometimes the utility bills have less than 100 percent correlation with the actual utility costs and a reasonable infrastructure for future wear and capitalization. I believe that the utility bills should relate only to utility costs.

It is my opinion that many residents in Boulder City, at a minimum, wish to know whether or not their utility bill pays for something other than utilities.

Given the above, I strongly recommend the Boulder City Council create a utility group. I look forward to something along these lines occurring in the near future.

Robert Martin

Angel Tree’s success relies on donations, volunteers

Angel Tree is complete, and we are proud to have provided gifts to over 200 seniors and 60 local families.

Angel Tree happens because of the generous donations of the community, numerous individuals and hard-working volunteers. Thanks to all who donated and volunteered.

Thank you committee chairpersons Pat Benke, Lori McHugh and Kathy Mills.

Thanks also to the Boulder City Elks, Boulder City Community Club, Rotary clubs, Boulder City Library, Boulder Dam Credit Union, Chatty Hatters, Lori Hartig, Boulder City Cruisin’ Association and Emergency Aid of Boulder City, which sponsor Angel Tree.

The Angel Tree committee would like to thank previous leaders like Don Walker, Sue McCullough, Barbara Dempsey, Jan O’Donnell, Jan Barbour and McHugh for passing on the torch of organizing the event with such grace, honor and integrity. Your experience and knowledge have been invaluable.

Helen Breeden and Kathleen Wood

Angel Tree co-chairmen

Republican Women appreciate support of wreath project

Having finished its third year of participating in the Wreaths Across America, Boulder City Republican Women would like to extend its appreciation to our members, the community of Boulder City and surrounding communities for sponsoring wreaths for the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. A special thank you to the Boulder City Community Club, Cokie Booth and St. Anne’s Girl Scouts for their generous sponsorships.

The support Boulder City Republican Women received has been overwhelming, resulting in over 425 wreaths donated.

Also, Boulder City Republican Women would like to send a “shout out” to our volunteers who sat at the (Boulder Dam) Credit Union on Friday afternoons: Bernice Delabarre, Maraya Evans, Linda Scott and Allis Sega; each of you were instrumental in our success this year.

And thank you to Maraya and Charles Evans, Karen Lampus, Sue Mazzola, Julieanne Miller, Joyce O’Brien, Allis Sega, Linda Scott and Toni Stephenson for their help in placing wreaths for those who requested a specific gravesite placement.

Thank you one and all; Boulder City Republican Women couldn’t have done it without you.

Boulder City Republican Women

Delay in refinancing vote cost city a million dollars

A recent article in the Boulder City Review discussed a proposed ballot question to refinance a city debt raises an interesting question. The article states that a financial advisor contacted the city in 2016 indicating that the city could save $3.5 million by refinancing the $26.1 million water line debt.

Rather than immediately submitting the refinancing to the voters, city officials spent almost two years attempting to refinance this debt without having to seek voter approval for new debt of $1 million or more. They have now determined that voter approval is required and apparently will place refinancing on this year’s ballot, a delay that cost the city $1 million in interest.

Why, instead of seeking a way around gaining voter approval, didn’t city officials place this question on the ballot in either 2016 or 2017 for voter approval? Refinancing is obviously in our interest, in my view, (and) would have passed by a large majority.

If the city determines to build a new aquatic center, I would hope that they obtain voter approval of the total costs prior to proceeding.

Dan Jensen

Editor’s note: According to city spokesperson Sue Manteris, the City Council had not discussed refinancing the raw-water line debut until its Dec. 12 meeting when it directed staff to create the ballot question. “Neither staff nor council have tried to circumvent the voters and refinance the debt without voter approval,” she said. The only previous discussion was “whether a refinance was considered new debt and after determining it was, there has never been discussion on not seeking voter approval.”

Donations make Lend A Hand raffle for tours a success

Thank you to all who purchased raffle tickets or donated to the recent Lend A Hand air-tour raffle. Because of your support, the raffle fundraiser was a success and will help Lend A Hand continue its mission for Boulder City seniors and disabled residents.

Congratulations to the winners of the air-tour raffle: Marge Phegley won the 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopter-Las Vegas VIP night Strip tour for two; Eva Caulder won the Grand Canyon Airlines-Grand Canyon deluxe tour for two; and Tony Scheppmann won the Serenity Helicopters-Skydancer landing and picnic for two.

A big thank you to 5 Star Grand Canyon Helicopters, Grand Canyon Airlines and Serenity Helicopters for your generous tour donations. Your commitment to Boulder City makes a difference in our community.

Phyllis Bachhuber

Board member

Transparency needed before any city debt refinanced

This is my favorite season. When my computer-capable grandkids visit, I get answers to the questions I have been saving all year. I know what I am looking for. I just do not always know exactly how to find it. A case in point is the collection of questions I had after reading last week’s article on the ballot measure to refinance some of the city’s debt.

Searching through the city’s online records, we could not find any contract or agreement to establish that Marty Johnson had been retained by the city as a financial advisor.

A few more inquiries turned up Johnson’s company, JNA Consulting Group LLC, but still no contract between the city and that company. The bread and butter of JNA’s business comes from the issuance of municipal securities — bonds.

A visit to the secretary of state’s website revealed that JNA is based in Boulder City and has retained attorney Shawn Morris as its registered agent. Shawn Morris is the brother of acting City Attorney Steven Morris.

Before the city restructures any of its debt, we need to revisit the subject of transparency. As matters stand, the city attorney is writing a ballot question that will likely provide a business opportunity for his brother’s client. That client, in turn, is providing advice to the city in a matter where he would probably also like to provide the services of his company.

My granddaughter summed the situation up nicely with a quote from a Bugs Bunny cartoon: “There’s something really screwy going on around here.”

Dick Farmer

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.

City manager bids fond farewell

I may be leaving Boulder City, but it was not an easy decision. From the first time I came in and met the staff and community leaders, I saw a city filled with people who truly care about where they live and work. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to work with some incredible people.

Is the grass always greener?

Many people in the past played a golf game to cement a business deal, didn’t they? They also played golf to socialize. Has Boulder City recognized lessening play on golf courses? Or, from another perspective, what happens when million-dollar homes are placed around our open space golf course with views of the McCullough Mountains? Do fewer people play golf on the Boulder Creek golf course?

Parting is such sweet sorrow

Shakespeare was the man when it came to comedy and tragedy. His ability to make people feel the intense emotions of the characters is still imitated today. The past few months have been filled with a bit of excited anticipation at City Hall as several longtime and high-level employees have found new roles in other acts. I’m here to borrow some Shakespearean lines, the first being from Ophelia, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” (Hamlet)

Me, my brother and Silo Sam

Recently, I’ve been enjoying watching shows on A&E related to professional wrestling back in the earlier days, with profiles on wrestlers I grew up watching as well as classic rivalries.

Let’s talk about the ‘D Word’

OK, as a starting point, I must note that it’s weird to think that I might be writing something that would put me in agreement with the Language Police.

Make a new plan, Stan

A plan is a method for achieving a desirable objective. It’s a program of action, usually memorialized in writing. Plans start with goals and ideas. But ideas alone (even good ones) don’t constitute a plan.

Time to recognize unsung heroes

We have so many functions within the Boulder City Police Department, from school resource officers to road patrol to the detective bureau. The work that they do keeps Boulder City among the “Safest Cities in Nevada” (newhomesource.com, alarm.com) year after year. One unit is the backbone of our public safety response: Public Safety Dispatchers.

Honoring National Public Health Week

In my eight decades of this amazing life, I have worn a great many hats: son, brother, father, major (USAF), grandfather, council member, state representative, state senator.