Monday, March 28, 2011 | 1:51 a.m.
2011 MUNICIPAL PRIMARY
Boulder City's municipal primary election is April 5. The Sun interviewed all eight candidates seeking office -- two are running for mayor against incumbent Roger Tobler, who is seeking reelection, and five are running to fill two city council seats -- and asked them what they would bring to City Hall. You can find their answers, condensed and edited for clarity, in the links below.
Boulder City, like most cities, has some financial issues to address: $96 million in debt and decimated traditional revenues among them. What are some of your own solutions to the city’s financial problems? Can you name some specific areas where the city should save money?
We have to save money, and we have to bring in new revenue. We have to look at our taxes and other payments. We need more green energy, which has helped to bring in new revenue for the city. And dealing with the city’s business department is very difficult. New businesses mean new revenue, so we need to make that process easier.
How would you encourage economic growth and stability in Boulder City?
We have to stop being scared of growth. Never in the last five years have we grown even half of what our slow-growth policy allows. We have to learn to get over our retirement community image. We have to grow with the times. We have to bring in businesses or the city will die. Stop being selfish, think of our children or grandchildren.
We have pencil-pushers behind a desk making these kinds of decisions that will affect our future. I’ve been at the bottom of the totem poll. I’ve had to fix things from that situation and move myself up.
According to city records, the city has spent more than $130,000 in pursuing lawsuits against the petitioners of three ballot questions from November’s election, two of which were passed by the voters, as a means of challenging their legality. That course of action has upset a portion of the city’s populace, as demonstrated by the protest last week. What is your opinion on the decision to sue those petitioners?
That situation should have been solved before it went to court. We have to sit down and talk rationally. We should have sat down and gotten all the facts. If we take the time, it will pay off in the end. It’s just bad education and people not communicating properly to each other. We have to be equals. That should never have gone that way.
Heated debate is part of politics, but it might be argued that Boulder City’s discussions are more hostile than most. The attempted recalls of council members Linda Strickland and Travis Chandler or the controversy over City Manger Vicki Mayes’ car registration could be used as examples. How would you encourage civil discourse in City Hall?
I think it would be easy for me. I’m friends with everybody. I know I could be the mediator. Everybody is already using me as a soundboard. What we need to do is what we used to do: Sit down a week before council meetings and talk about what’s coming up. Make it a public meeting, a roundtable discussion. Then there will be no surprises at the meeting and we can eliminate some of the arguments.
And people need to stop acting as if they’re better than everyone. I’m not better than anyone. We’re all equals.
Do you believe more could be done to fix Boulder City’s traffic problem since the opening of the Hoover Dam bypass bridge in October? What solutions would you propose that haven’t already been pursued?
Widening U.S. 93 will help, but that’s still only throwing a Band-Aid on the problem. We need to think about extending Marina Drive and connecting it so you can get to Veterans Memorial Drive and that side of town. People in that part of town need a way to get out of there.
I am not in favor of the bypass right now. I think it would hurt our businesses. The younger generation will not stop in Boulder City. As a part of that generation, there would be nothing attractive to me about Boulder City if I didn’t know the town so well.
Finally, why are you the right candidate for mayor?
Because I get along with everyone. I try to treat everyone like they are family. And I’ve been working for the bottom for 19 years while living in Boulder City. I think unless you have been on the bottom, it’s hard to know what that’s like. I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to solve problems.
You have to pay your dues. You have to be invested in the town. I’ve been here for 15 years, people know who I am and I think I’ve proven that I care. That’s what everyone says is my best quality; that I care.