38°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Transparency seems AWOL

Updated July 11, 2019 - 10:53 am

Tuesday night’s selection of a new council member to fill the seat vacated by Kiernan McManus when he was elected mayor certainly raises some eyebrows.

After a tie vote with two apiece for Judy Dechaine and Tracy Folda, Folda’s name was drawn by lot.

It’s not the first time Lady Luck has played a role in determining who would become an official within the state. A coin flip, dice roll and cut in deck of cards have all been used to select the winner.

But more importantly, the lack of reasons behind the nominations of either candidate causes one to pause. No qualifications were given. No indication of interest in the spot was expressed. Only vague references of conversations with community residents were mentioned. Where is the transparency in government the newly elected council members called for during their campaigns?

It appears they are doing the same things that the previous council was accused of doing: making backroom deals and cronyism. Accusations of this are already appearing on social media.

Ideally, a good approach might have been to appoint the candidate that came in third place in the election. Peggy Leavitt only lost by 39 votes, and she would have brought eight years of experience with her.

However, we understand the anti-incumbent sentiment in town and why that was never really a possibility.

Councilman Warren Harhay, who voted against appointing a person to fill the vacancy at the June 25 City Council meeting, said he thought a special election should be held in order for the process to be transparent. He said every current member of the council had been endorsed by a local Facebook group, the Boulder City Community Alliance, and it could be perceived the council needs to pay the group back. He also said he believed the founders of the group had already expressed a desire to fill the seat.

At the same meeting, Mayor Kiernan McManus said he doesn’t believe a group’s endorsement has any significance or anything to do with the selection process.

And yet, June posts on the alliance’s Facebook page, indicate that McManus encouraged Folda and another co-founder of the group to “file” for the position because they believed Dechaine was “wrong” for the community.

The question is whether the community watchdogs who were so carefully monitoring the activities of the previous council members will continue their vigilance or will they just sit back and smile. Is participating in illegal and unethical behavior OK when those doing it espouse your views?

We hold no ill will against the new council members and mayor. In fact, we wish them nothing but success in their endeavors to keep Boulder City the great place it is. But, just as we have done with previous city leadership, we will be watching.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Hope returns to our nation

Last Wednesday morning I watched the inauguration of our nation’s 46th president, Joseph R. Biden, with tears in my eyes.

Censorship of legitimate opinions not acceptable

I have enjoyed the time spent writing a monthly commentary column for our local newspaper, the Boulder City Review. The commentary I put to pen is, of course, my opinion — an opinion that I have found to be held by numerous readers, not all, but many. Of course, there are those who do not share my position on the subject matter that I present and that is certainly well understood and acceptable.

Job guarantee would help millions

Do you get tired of all the suffering and dying we cause each other? I sure do. What do we do about it? Here’s what I do: read and learn. I read and learn how we can solve problems, not just talk, rant and rave on social media and share unfounded opinions with others.

Pets have special place in our hearts, lives

Over $95.7 billion — no, it’s not how much we spent on recent elections — it’s how much we Americans spend each year on our pets, our “fur babies,” our “four-footed friends,” “our cuddly companions,” our… well, you get the picture.

Trump doesn’t require reality to act

Is America finally able to understand the consciousness of Donald Trump based on his behavior? To assist, I am able to ascertain the consciousness of human beings according to Theosophical tradition.

Varying opinions vital to democracy

Periodically, I have to remind readers that the “articles” featured on this page are not news stories. They are opinion pieces.

Time to focus on truth

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.

Here’s to a better 2021

Today is the last day of 2020. I know I am not the only one who is eager to see this year end.

’Twas the baking before Christmas

A few years ago, many readers commented how much they enjoyed my column about holiday baking and requested that I make this an annual tradition. As you read this, I will be at home, enjoying the fruits of my labor after spending a week’s vacation knee-deep in flour, sugar and spices, in the true spirit of this message.