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Path to move forward clear

I want to wish all the residents of Boulder City a new year that brings better times and allows us to move beyond the challenges and struggles we have had in the past year and more. We are tired and frustrated from the pandemic that has caused hardship and, for many, personal loss.

While we are in a better position to confront the pandemic and its effects, the COVID-19 virus is not a thing of the past as it continues to morph into new variants. What is different this year is that we do have tools to take the battle to the virus rather than just trying to avoid its effects.

We have vaccines that President (Donald) Trump poured billions of taxpayer dollars into to bring these vaccines into reality. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective for hundreds of millions of Americans and the world population. In spite of the efforts Trump supported we have lost more Americans to COVID than the combat casualties of all the wars America has fought during our history.

Finding fault with actions in the past is not the best way forward. We have learned from past mistakes and we have improved our ability to lessen the damaging impact of COVID. The responsibility for the outcomes of the pandemic has now shifted to each of us and the decisions we make regarding the health care we each choose.

The vaccines do work to prevent severe illness and death. The vaccines are overwhelmingly safe as shown in studies before and after approval of the vaccines. The recommendations from health care professionals are to get the first two doses and follow up with a booster at the appropriate time. Our community needs more people ages 5-30 and 40-60 to get the jabs. People in all age groups that have not yet received the vaccines should speak with health care professionals for accurate information as they remain at risk.

We have seen an economic recovery locally and nationally last year that by some measures exceeded levels from before we ever heard of COVID. Unfortunately, the recovery hasn’t benefited everyone evenly. We are now seeing the new omicron variant cause a loss of business and increases in infections. We should not be taking steps backwards when we have a clear path forward.

The State of the City event is scheduled for Jan. 20 at Boulder Creek (Golf Club). I very much hope we will be able to have this event with people attending and not another virtual event. Our city is resilient and we all want to be able to gather as a community. We have lost too many to COVID and there are too many hardships residents continue to endure. The time when masks and social distancing become a distant memory is anxiously awaited.

As a city, we are so fortunate to benefit from the land lease revenues we receive. That has allowed us to avoid cutbacks in personnel and services. But the revenues the city has are not endless and must be budgeted wisely. Taxpayer dollars are real dollars. The funds the city will receive from the rescue plan and infrastructure bills President (Joe) Biden has achieved will benefit all of us and make more good paying jobs available. I will be providing more detail on the positive things that we have seen accomplished during the State of the City address.

We ask a great deal from our city employees. And if you look around, you will see that what Boulder City looks like is not an accident. It is because of the efforts of our city employees. Employees and management are often innovative in finding solutions. Over the past year, the cooperation with the various volunteer committees and nonprofit organizations has increased and has delivered additional benefits to our residents.

We aren’t perfect in Boulder City. But the reason most of us live here and love our city is because we have a special place to live. My goal in the new year is to pursue issues that have been set aside during the pandemic. We are “Dam Good.” Let’s all work together on making 2022 our best year.

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.

Kiernan McManus is mayor of Boulder City. He is a native of Boulder City first elected to City Council in 2017.

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