Late on July 28, I learned that I and seven other Boulder City residents are being sued by the city of Boulder City for having circulated three petitions seeking to place initiatives on the November 2010 general election ballot. The action seeks 1) to have all three initiatives declared illegal, 2) to keep them off the November ballot, and 3) “such further and additional relief as the Court may deem appropriate ….” This was quite intimidating, especially the “further and additional relief” part, but fortunately I am not that easily intimidated.
These initiatives address issues which have plagued Boulder City for years. The City Council has repeatedly refused requests to put these issues to a public vote. In an effort to accurately gauge the public’s will regarding these issues, several of your neighbors decided to place the questions on the ballot through the initiative process as permitted by Nevada law and the City Charter. This lawsuit is the city’s attempt to block that effort.
I am confident we shall prevail in court, but if we lose, all we will lose is time and money. The residents of Boulder City will lose much more. They will lose the right to express their opinions on these issues at the ballot box in a way the City Council cannot ignore. That will effectively silence everyone, regardless of how he views these issues.
If you value your right to use the initiative process to try to influence how your city government addresses critical issues, contact your City Council members this week. Ask them to direct the City Attorney to drop this action at the August 10th council meeting. Your rights are at stake here. Act to protect them.
James C. Douglass