“That’s our house,” I hollered. I was referring to our very own City Hall. That building was my home for many years. I often spent more time in City Hall than I did in my own house.
Although you may have to be “buzzed” into the city manager’s office today or a department is closed because staff is having a meeting or you can’t walk into public works to see the director or city engineer, I will never, ever feel that City Hall is anything other than “our house.”
I recall the first council meeting I attended in the summer of 1995 and physically feeling how different it was from a Chicago council meeting. People got up and spoke. Boy, was I impressed! I wasn’t used to community participation.
Although things may have changed in the past 19 years, I still feel that I can attend a council meeting and say exactly what I think, walk into City Hall like I own it and talk to any council member or city employee with or without an appointment. I’m not saying I always get the responses I want, or that my issue is resolved, but I get the conversation started.
Over the past several months, I have made an effort to get to meet as many of the candidates running in the Nov. 4 election as possible. I want to get a conversation started with them right now, as well as talking to our city elected officials and staff. Those running in the upcoming election are not as accessible to us as those in Boulder City, but they have phones, emails, websites and meet-and-greets where everyone can find out what they are all about.
I get so tired and angry when I hear that politicians are worthless and don’t do anything. I will agree that some, perhaps many, elected officials don’t earn what we pay them, but when you don’t call them on their actions, and don’t flex your muscles at the ballot box, the more they will remain ineffective.
If you pay good money for a car or an appliance and it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, you take it back. You complain. You want things made right.
You pay the salary of elected officials. Did you put them in office to let them do whatever they wish? Unfortunately, politicians don’t come with a guarantee, but you can sure let them know if they are using the power you gave them the way they said they would when you voted for them.
So Nov. 4 is your opportunity to tell politicians what you think of their performance.
One thing Nevada does well is early voting to give everyone the chance to vote. Early voting begins Saturday at the Galleria at Sunset, Boulevard and Meadows malls and several other sites in Clark County. Boulder City’s early voting takes place Oct. 21 and 22 at City Hall. An entire seven-page document of all early voting locations can be found by going to http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/vote.
I’m always astonished when people think so little of their enormous power that they choose not to vote. I can’t think of any logical reasons to give up any power I have. Can you?
When you don’t vote, you give your power to someone else. Until every registered voter casts a ballot, some people will determine the fate of many.
If you are fine with not voting, stay home. If you want to give up your power, that’s your choice, but don’t complain when veterans and their families aren’t being taken care of properly; Nevada ranks last in education, from a 2013 study on America’s Top States for Business; the state’s economy is far from diversified; new jobs are scarce; and the list goes on.
If you think your one vote doesn’t matter, ask a powerful elected official, or even an elected official in a small town.
You are the government. City Hall is your house. You have the power unless you give it away. Vote on Nov. 4.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-347-9924.