We are into the first week of a new year that brings new promises and continuing challenges. Of great promise are vaccines against the COVID-19 virus. The city has already received and administered hundreds of doses to health care workers and first responders. The progress that will be made depends on how many doses of the vaccine are available. The city paramedics and the hospital staff will work to provide the vaccine based on the priorities established at the state level. More information is available at www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.
One of the ongoing challenges for the coming year is to address the false information that permeates the pages of this newspaper. Municipal elections are scheduled for this spring and summer. I am sure that will raise the level of fake news that will be printed even further.
I would much prefer to invest time in this column each month discussing informative and positive news about this great town of ours but the success of others to put forth false information that is regularly printed requires responses.
A recent column by Harold Begley is just one example of these failed efforts. I appreciate the work Begley and his late wife Goldie put into the community over the years. It was sad to see his column detract so much from those efforts with the false information he presented.
A primary reason I ran for mayor was the concentrated effort I witnessed by past elected officials like former Mayors (Roger) Tobler and (Rod) Woodbury to threaten, intimidate and impose financial hardship on residents for exercising their rights as citizens of this community. Begley asserts that I am promoting the imposition of a fee in the utility fund to transfer to other uses.
That is exactly opposite of what I stated. This fee is the same type of unnecessary tax on residents that the recently terminated city manager had proposed in his previous position and was being pushed by city staff as being “fair and legal.” There is nothing “unfair or illegal” about not having this unnecessary tax imposed in contradiction to the proposals being made by city staff.
I requested the ballot question to return the ability of our citizens to determine what they desire with the fervent expectation that the citizens would respond with a resounding “no!” vote. This would deliver a message to city staff that the citizens of this community have a loud voice in how our town is run.
Begley goes on to falsely state information about a committee I requested to find a solution to our failing municipal pool. There is no need to waste much time on the falsehoods Begley strings together. However, some response is needed. The previous council put together a ballot question for some undefined, extravagant project that would result in tax increases. The voters rightly rejected, and I opposed, the project.
The appointment of me and Mayor Pro Tem James Adams to the committee was as ex-officio members as required by the city charter. Committees are required to adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order which allow ex-officio members to vote. Begley quotes the rules and lies about the results. Similarly, Begley questions changing the results of a ballot question and ignores the fact that a new ballot question asks the voters if they wish to make those changes. That is simply more deception from Begley about what is being asked openly of our community.
Lastly on this subject, Begley touts the fact that he previously chaired the Parks and Recreation Committee and claims that committee should be doing this work. The fact is this is a public works project. The question might be for Begley to explain why under his leadership the pool was set on a path to the poor condition present now. Begley would better serve this community by reading the facts reported in this paper the prior week before he conjures up a column of fake news.
The efforts to pull the wool over the eyes of this community with fake news will only increase in the next few months. Let’s work on finding the truth in the new year.
Please be safe and continue to protect yourself and others.
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.