As we close in on early voting for the April 6 election for two members of City Council, some thoughts have come to me. I interviewed 11 of the 13 candidates for the positions for my website, BoulderCityPodcast.com, and in cooperation with Boulder City Social. Only Ray Turner declined the invitation and the mysterious Brent Foutz didn’t respond at all.
During the process, I found each candidate to be passionate about Boulder City, answering a series of questions asked of every candidate. All of them answered honestly and sincerely, in my opinion, and I was impressed with their forthright answers. Some of them admitted they had more research to do because they weren’t completely familiar with the issues, which is very understandable for such a large field.
I believe every candidate I interviewed is capable of doing a great job for Boulder City. They all said the right things. Every one of them supported our slow-growth ordinance. They all wanted to maintain the integrity of our historic buildings. Each one recognized something had to be done about the pool. And every one of them decried the divisive politics we’ve encountered in our town over the past five years. But none of them took personal shots at any other candidate — except perhaps for the mayor, who isn’t running in this election.
But then as the campaign unfolded, it got more personal. Factions have emerged. The race has divided into a bitter feud between the former administration, with several candidates tied to then-Mayor Rod Woodbury, and the Boulder City Community Alliance, which counts as participants (but not members since it’s not a membership or political organization), all five members of the current City Council.
So let’s name names. Cokie Booth and Sherri Jorgensen have been members of advisory committees that included two former mayors, Woodbury and Roger Tobler. Those committees supposedly were interested in “adjusting” the growth ordinance to permit for more homes to be built, a possible Hoover Dam Gateway project, and a more leapfrog approach to development.
Meanwhile, Judith Hoskins and Ray Turner are asking you to double down on the current council’s reorganization of the city staff, which resulted in the firing of the city manager, legal counsel and city clerk. While many agree that they had to go, many others questioned the manner of their dismissal. And others accuse Mayor Kiernan McManus of being a bully and forcing other council members to stay in line — or else.
I’ll leave it to others to debate the merits or faults of these positions. But the fact remains that these are two diametrically opposed positions that generate rigidity and inflexibility in our city. It reflects the power struggle in our nation and it’s time for it to stop. And the election of members of either faction will only exacerbate the tensions already building between the factions. Let’s end it now.
So my suggestion is to examine the views and positions taken by the remaining eight candidates in this April 6 election. I’m not going to endorse any one of them because I know as much about them as you do after conducting the podcasts, watching the excellent program presented by the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce and reading the profiles and viewing the videos published by the Boulder City Review.
So let’s focus on the independent candidates, not the ones attached to the two factions, and think for ourselves. This election is too important to give the power to one side or the other. By having two independent voices on City Council we can tamp down the vitriol and bad blood in the city. These are all good people who only have the best intentions for the citizens of our town. So let’s think independently and be represented by the best and the brightest.
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.
Roger Gros is publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, the principal trade publication for the casino industry, and is a 10-plus year resident of Boulder City.