Thursday, August 24, 2017

"people like to see blood"

Last night at City Council I saw everything I love and hate about local politics. (In regards to my hopes for the debate on the Hoover Dam Gateway see my article here. I admit I wrote this article before the council meeting, but after the meeting was glad I wrote what I did.)

I saw a large number of concerned citizens show their public officials they cared about and were willing to speak about an issue.

I saw good city politicians, who listened to both the presented information and the people.

While each elected city official spoke differently they all made excellent points.

Councilman McManus spoke about some significant issues regarding finances and the cost of the utilities. What had been presented was rosy and he was playing the skeptic. He did not attack the report or those who put it together but took a skeptic view of what it presented and where we were going. Professional skepticism is healthy and I thought he brought up some excellent points. I didn't agree in his final statement but thought overall he brought a lot of value to the meeting.

Councilman Harhay spoke of the fact that no mater how good or bad an idea this may be, now is not the time. The city is too understaffed to tackle such a huge project and we should wait for a different time. He is right on. Even under the most favorable circumstances this city is simply not ready to be moving forward with this project. High turn over is something the city will have to tackle and they will be hard pressed to get all the day to day done, let alone large, new, ambitious projects. He also pointed out he was glad the study had been done and that it brought a lot of value.

Councilwomen Leavitt agreed that now was not the time but added her gratitude for the information brought out in the study and reiterated that the goals were to not cannibalize existing business but to draw in new business. She pointed out that such a study would be important for long term planning and that such planning is valuable and necessary. She was spot on.

Councilman Shuman noted the scope was huge and likely beyond what we needed at this time but called for not giving up on perhaps finding something that does make sense at that intersection. Particularly he noted signage and visitors center. He also said that proper zoning should be considered for the future. All his points were excellent.

Mayor Woodbury was the quietest about the project itself. He was happy for the most part to listen to the presentation and others opinions. Mostly I was exceptionally impressed with his ability to keep calm and listen to others views even when the attacks became personal against him.

And that leads me to the one thing about Tuesday's council meeting that disappointed me. The unprofessional and personal attacks leveraged by some. True, these people made up a very small minority. Most of those who spoke did so with professionalism and spoke their views. Others however, made the attack personal against those who drafted the report and those who voted for it to be created in the first place. Such attacks are never appropriate but are unfortunately, to be expected from a few. But the most disappointing part to me was not even that such attacks occurred but how much they seemed to be encouraged by the general assembly. Good people who I respect seem to cheer at the attacks.

In regards to an upcoming fight Floyd Mayweather has decided to go with 8 ounce gloves. When asked why, he said, "because the people like to see blood."

I hope our political choices, even the words we choose, encourage by our comments, or cheers are never because we "like to see blood."


  1. Nice piece Mr. Gee. Thanks for the synopsis

  2. We have never met, but a good commentary on the City Council Meeting. I believe there was a lot of frustration being vented about the lack of transparency regarding the Hoover Dam Gateway Project. Personally, I don't believe we got our $170,000 worth for the the G.C. Garcia Report. I did not see anything about an environmental study cost, traffic study cost, infrastructure study cost, potential cost to Boulder City for building and maintaining the infrastracture and buildings, recreation area, etc. Also, I didn't see any estimate of potential revenue to possibly be expected from leasing all of the buildings, recreation area, etc. to contribute revenue to the Boulder City Coffers!

  3. I saw a presentation with 4 different infrastructure costs of $69,

    $147 and $175 million.It was stated that the project could be done in 10 years--but to cover themselves, RCG said it could be 10 20 or 30 years--not 10 years. The aggressive 10 year term was used to make the project look better. Even using 10 years and not 20 or 30, the project WAS STILL STATED IN THE REPORT TO HAVE $95 MILLION IN NEGATIVE CASH FLOW--WITH BEST CASE SUCCESS. IT WOULD BANKRUPT THE CITY. AT 10 years, which is very unlikely. It would require that almost 5 MILLION SQUARE FEET OF BUILDING MUST BE LEASED. Per Garcia, the author, there is no way to get financing because of land leases, our vote on new debt, NRS 271 and our vote on land sales. Bruce Woodbury wrote 9 months earlier,in two articles, saying these public votes were unnecessary and to trust his son--paraphraising. No developer will pay the infrastructure cost. The City couldnt handle the Story Book sale. The Planning Commission never saw the main 3 reports.Rod said that he "didnt delve into the study" when he lost. Rich Shuman said that he didnt see the financial report. How could Rich say that? Wouldnt he guess there was a financial report? I had told Rich prior to the meeting about finance problems. Both have potential conflicts of interest. Peggy Leavitt wasnt prepared. The 3 did everything possible to get this City Killer going. It was as ugly as self interests get. Luckily,there was an informed public who stopped $95 MILLION IN STATED NEGATIVE CASH FLOW.The city Council meeting is a must see at 7 pm.daily. Watch Rod and Rich.