Worrying could be a full-time job. You worry about yourself, the kids, relatives, your job — an endless list. There’s no energy left to get involved with city issues, much less volunteer your time. How can you do everything? Why should you?
How you spend your time is a matter of your values. Being with the family, enjoying yourself and decompressing is good, but it that all there is?
Say you have a specific talent but don’t direct that gift outward? You lose and would-be beneficiaries lose.
How do we utilize Boulder City talent? Countless residents volunteer regularly, but we see many of the same people repeatedly involved in more than one volunteer effort. Where is everyone else?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2016 Boulder City’s population was 15,266. The census figures also show 57.3 percent of the population is between ages 10 and 59, a group I’ll say has the most energy. That gives us 8,747 folks, excluding any who may be physically unable, who could volunteer for a boatload of activities. I bet you could ask anybody in town who recruits volunteers, and they would be ecstatic if they could round up 100 volunteers at one time.
What do we do instead of doing something? We moan. We groan. We complain. We rant on social media. We run our mouths. We whip ourselves into a frenzy. We have all kinds of ideas pouring out at a moment’s notice, but ask the moaner-groaners to spend some time working to bring that idea to life, and you get zip, zilch, nada.
Come on. Let’s get moving. Constructive engagement is a good thing. So much gets done. You educate and support so many. While there are some who disagree, I saw a positive step in constructive engagement at the Aug. 22 City Council meeting. I didn’t count every attendee, but it was the greatest number I’ve seen since the days of the coming of the Cascata Golf Course.
Those who spoke took time from their evening to express their displeasure with a development plan that had been paid for with their tax money from the Redevelopment Agency. They had every right to state their opinion. There was nothing shameful about their speaking.
Let’s be honest. When someone speaks, not everyone is going to agree with that speaker’s content and style, but speaking is not shameful. Boulder City’s mayor devoted a recent commentary to “a few citizens” who engaged “in a despicable tactic” he called the “shame game.”
It was particularly sad when Boulder City’s mayor described this council meeting as “a three-ring circus” in the same commentary. If this mayor does not want to hear “the crowd that raucously cheers” when a citizen speaks, perhaps he thinks it best to bar an audience completely.
It is shameful when you say one thing in one public place, such as in a TV interview that can reach thousands of viewers and say virtually nothing, nor support that same position, in another public arena, such as at a City Council meeting. You can’t have it both ways, and that goes for politicians and citizens alike. You either support a project or you don’t. Not stating your opinion in front of taxpaying residents is disingenuous. If one has an opinion, state it. Don’t hide it.
Boulder City’s mayor stated in his commentary: “Will seeing us at our worst make them (developers and the rest of the world) want to tell their friends anything good about our town?”
The speakers at the Aug. 22 council meeting did not show Boulder City at its “worst.” They were showing what democracy looks like.
Boulder City’s mayor didn’t give his opinion on the plan, as did the rest of the council. According to the minutes from the meeting, Boulder City’s mayor said: “It would be a mistake to shut down the dialogue regarding the proposed plan. … If the city ignored the problems and opportunities, nothing good would occur as a result.”
Perhaps Boulder City’s mayor needs to tell the public about Boulder City’s “problems” and what “opportunities” are awaiting us. Perhaps Boulder City’s mayor needs to have a dialogue with the people.
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.