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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

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Electric vehicles not really friendly to environment

As somewhat of a gearhead, I am fascinated with the newest technologies relating to electric-powered vehicles, otherwise known as EVs. Tesla is thought to be the leader in these technologies. Still, others, such as Hyundai, Honda, Toyota and Kia, along with the major car manufacturers in the USA, have been making significant strides in developing electric vehicles with outstanding performance.

Pictures of past tell many stories

I know this is an opinion column and what I’ve written here is less of an opinion piece and more of an amusing anecdote. I hope you’ll forgive me for that. It was simply too good not to share and I think it’s a nice, if mundane, example of why Boulder City is such a lovely place to live.

Water conservation efforts to thwart drought delusional

I was entering my junior year at Boulder City High School when Lake Mead reached its top elevation of 1,225 feet in 1983. Water rushed over Hoover Dam’s fully extended spillway gates with such force that even an umbrella didn’t keep us dry from the downpour caused by its rebounding spray. Since then, the lake has dropped 185 feet, including a 170-foot decline over the last 22 years during the worst Colorado River system drought in recorded history.

Guest commentary: Are fair elections possible in digital age?

I am wondering whether or not we should be paying attention to how our elections are being conducted in Nevada as to whether or not our votes are actually counted fairly. I suspect that the voting machines have a lot to do with the situation.

A retreat to push us forward

Succeeding in today’s business climate is not an easy task. It’s even more challenging for women, who have had to overcome decades of inequality in the workplace while juggling traditional roles of keeper of the home and family.

Keep ‘wet blankets’ out of water talks

“Blanket statements” are usually meant to cover wide swaths of a topic. A “wet blanket,” on the other hand, implies stifling everything it touches or, in this context, greatly limiting a topic’s discussion. If this column comes somewhere between one or the other, I’ll consider it a success.

Reparations needed from president’s supporters

What exactly are reparations? The Merriam-Webster definition is: “The act of making amends, offering expiation or giving satisfaction for a wrong, injury, or something done or given as amends.”

Human presence essential for meaningful conversation

For those I speak to in person, I am better able to receive kindness, love and meaning. The consciousness of the soul is available from our hearts. For those who are willing to continue to communicate in person, there can continue to be love flowing from the hearts of each person in any conversation.

Balance between work, school volunteering tough to find

Back-to-school is one of my favorite times of the year. I loved school supply shopping as a kid and now, as a parent, I love taking my kids shopping for their school supplies. Watching my daughter choose from the colorful folders with her supply list in hand is too adorable for words. I genuinely enjoy attending the back-to-school nights, meeting my children’s teachers and learning about their curriculum for the year. But guilt often overshadows that excitement when the teachers try to rope parents into joining the parent-teacher organization.