Competent leadership of a family or another entity usually comes with weighty responsibilities and the absolute certainty that someone won’t be happy with some of the decisions made.
One way of measuring a person’s core character and capability of leading is a demonstrated willingness to take on tough challenges and make complicated decisions, while expecting nothing in return. Our City Council members and mayor don’t invest hundreds of hours campaigning, attending committee meetings, researching issues, reviewing tens of thousands of documentation pages and other civic responsibilities for the money. Each of them would financially benefit far more from a minimum wage job, but pursue this job to make our community a better place.
The consistent, balanced and businesslike manner in which Boulder City’s Mayor Kiernan McManus has addressed his duties, both as mayor and as a city councilman, have led to a number of accomplishments worth noting amidst the petty criticisms from some in our community.
Boulder City does not want to become the Las Vegas Valley, where unbridled development brings congestion, crime, trash, scarcity and an almost complete lack of community. Boulderites enjoy a slow-paced, small-town vibe. We have something in Boulder City that no other place in Nevada can claim: a safe, secure place to live, with big-city amenities nearby, with local shopping and services, with people who selflessly volunteer in many capacities, but without the insurmountable problems of mass population density.
Mayor McManus has delivered on the majority’s request by controlling growth. Despite the lack of gambling revenue, we benefit from the increasing number of solar leases that feed a steady stream of revenue into our community. Our community’s minimal sales tax income ordinarily makes up a large portion of most Nevada governments’ budgets. Mayor McManus has continued to push for these leases, which largely replace sales taxes and support our many parks and public amenities uncommon for a community of our size.
With future revenue uncertain from the virus’ impact to our economy, Mayor McManus successfully advocated for a six-month moratorium on new capital projects until we have a better understanding of revenue impact.
This mayor took the initiative to halt regular utility rate increases every six months until a rate study could determine whether they would or would not be necessary to keep water and electricity reliably flowing. Similarly, he advocated to halt the unnecessary and unusable city facility inventory by Stantec.
The utility advisory committee came into being as the mayor worked with the late Councilman Warren Harhay. The committee continues to work toward determining the extent and cost of necessary restoration projects and unspent money available after decades of neglect toward our water, sewer and electric systems, three of our city’s crown jewels.
The pool advisory committee also sprang into existence through Mayor McManus’ leadership and in response to the crushing ballot box defeat of over $40 million in proposed new municipal pool spending that would have been placed on the taxpayers’ credit card.
Despite the virus challenge, Mayor McManus ensured funding for virus testing and other protective measures, police, fire, long-underfunded animal services and cost-effective substitutes for the city’s absence of a formal health and human services department: Lend a Hand and Emergency Aid. These two nonprofits have been instrumental in helping our most vulnerable residents survive economically and emotionally.
Let’s all remember that it is far too easy to criticize, but far harder to create workable alternatives to situations and problems that offer something constructive to everyone. Mayor Kiernan McManus has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to strike this hard-to-achieve balance as Boulder City negotiates the many challenges it faces.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.