Information is tricky difficult to find. Town hall meetings where the public asks questions or even submit items for discussion to be shared publicly don’t take place. Public comments at meetings are limited to five minutes, and answering a speaker’s question or having a dialogue during this five minutes is not permitted. Put this all together, and you have those who believe, correctly or incorrectly, that something is being hidden.
So, what do we do?
During the past few months, there’s been discussion, rumors and newspaper articles regarding the city’s land management plan. Will a developer build 1,600 homes in Boulder City? Where will these homes be located? Will expensive city land be swapped for land of lower value? Will the growth control ordinance be changed? Will Boulder City schools close and/or consolidate because too few young families move to Boulder City? Will affordable housing for young families become available? Are backroom deals going on? Why won’t developers come to Boulder City, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?
I am 110 percent certain that everyone talking about these issues is equally certain that they are speaking the absolute truth. Everyone loves Boulder City and wants to see the community thrive while maintaining its charm and quality of life.
As is usually the case, the devil is in the details. There is no way everyone is going to be satisfied. I think the proverbial lines have been drawn, and the sides have been formed. We can’t move forward if this continues. No one person in this town has a monopoly on a perfect Boulder City plan for the next five or 10 years or more. The residents of this city have not been afforded an opportunity to discuss planning issues with council members and staff in public forums.
There are those on both sides of these “lines” who do not trust each other to allow them to be involved in a discussion. I can hear it now. “We don’t have time for all these meetings. People say the same thing over and over. It’s a waste of time. They don’t understand the real issues.”
Well, if Boulder City has a major problem, and Mayor Rod Woodbury asks that we join him in his “crusade,” what does that mean? His commentary in the Boulder City Review on Feb. 2 talked about declining school enrollment and “these disconcerting trends will just continue until we’ve sealed our own fate and become something we don’t want to be — a town that unintentionally shrivels up and dies on the vine.”
Perhaps I’ve missed it, but I haven’t been in the discussion about Boulder City shriveling up and dying. If that’s what Mayor Woodbury and others believe, why aren’t we discussing this issue? If the schools are in such an awful position, where is the school district? Where are the parents? What is Boulder City’s role in this issue?
If the city wants to discuss planning for the future, let’s do it at neighborhood meetings where residents can ask questions and get answers. If enough residents want to have a workshop and invite the council and city staff, they can make this happen.
If residents of this town believe everything is “rigged,” they can take that approach. I believe if that is the case, and it doesn’t matter what the majority of residents believe, things are very, very wrong, and we might as well do nothing and let things happen.
With eight candidates running for two council seats in the upcoming election, we have an opportunity to ask lots of questions and see where these men stand on Boulder City issues. All candidates have been invited to tonight’s gathering of the Boulder City Community Alliance at 6:30 p.m. at the Boulder City Library. The Boulder City Review and the Chamber of Commerce will host a candidate event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, at the Elaine K. Smith Center.
You can go to this link, http://www.bcnv.org/545/Candidate-Information, and read information on the candidates. See if they have Facebook pages and websites.
Where do these candidates stand on growth issues, quality of life, government transparency, public meetings and infrastructure spending? Can they look you in the eye and earn your trust?
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 702-339-9082.