Stop climate change now
We are exposed every day to news detailing the current effects of climate change as well as predictions of the future impact of global warming and climate change. Scientists are in nearly unanimous agreement that our planet is warming, that weather patterns are changing and that they will continue to change for the foreseeable future.
The scientific community is sending a clear message that we need to take immediate steps to reduce climate pollution. As citizens, it is up to us to make sure that our legislators and our corporate leaders hear this message and take action. The most immediate step we need to take is to reduce our pollution production to a level that is no greater than the level we can remove — that is, to a net zero or a 100 percent clean economy.
Nevada is well-positioned to make progress toward this goal by increasing solar and wind energy production, but further innovation will be required in every sector of the economy. This means moving toward increasingly fuel-efficient automobiles and manufacturing and reducing agricultural pollutants and energy consumption.
Nevada voters have shown that we want to move in this direction. Last November, we approved Question 6, committing our state to adopt 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, and Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Senate Bill 358 into effect, putting our will into action. That said, we need action at the federal level as well.
There is currently a bill being introduced in Congress that will put our country on this path to a 100 percent clean economy by 2050. It’s called the 100 Percent Clean Economy Act, and we need environmental champions like our representative, Susie Lee, to step forward and join the growing coalition that supports this legislation.
We cannot afford to delay on this action.
Wasteful spending by city leaders must be curbed
Too often, public officials spend other people’s money unconcerned with how many people will directly benefit from or use what’s often a massive commitment of undeniably scarce resources.
Those who float hollow rationalizations for their personal project fancies care little about broadly delivering value to the community.
Our small city has two publicly owned, underutilized golf courses, a high-maintenance municipal airport, a $1.4 million dam arch and landscaping at Nevada Way and Buchanan, an $18 million redecoration and reconfiguration of Boulder City Parkway that will generate little incremental public or private revenue, an upcoming $35 million railroad museum, a now-$30 million ($60 million with interest) proposed swimming pool complex placeholder per the city manager and an unnecessary $2 million water pipeline to the Interstate 11/U.S.. Highway 93/U.S. Highway 95 interchange.
These are all telling examples of expensive public facilities championed by previous city regimes tangibly benefiting relatively few Boulderites.
As for our municipal utilities, past city officials approved over $21 million of capital improvements currently providing zero benefit. After four months of staff effort, no one can accurately reconcile project status or, more importantly, the location of the unspent, budgeted monies extracted from captive ratepayers.
Any individual who ran their household or business budgets in a similar, slipshod manner would be overwhelmed by debt or bankrupt.
The city manager’s extensive wish list of future capital projects includes $28 million for the airport, $1.5 million for unspecified City Hall changes, and a $5 million community center. Much of the lengthy list is discretionary at best and wasteful at worst.
Maintenance of the numerous existing public facilities, more than adequate for a static population, takes a back seat to the continuing edifice fantasies.
The relatively new City Council must thoroughly and vigorously probe, then rectify, veto and/or revoke the many untenable and absurd capital project spending proposals.