Press Release, June 23, 2010
We are a group of Boulder City residents concerned about the future of our City. We are pleased to announce today the collection, and submission to the City Clerk, of 3 petitions to amend the Boulder City Code to limit City government in certain important matters without voter approval.
The first initiative will limit the Council’s ability to enter into new debt to under a million dollars, unless they get voter approval. The concept is nothing new, voters already have a say concerning the management of city finances under the Charter. For example, any expenditure from the Capital Improvement Fund and many other matters already require voter approval. Under state law, voters must also approve most school and other general obligation bonds.
The last time Boulder City went into debt in a manner that would invoke the provisions of this initiative was in 2001-2002. The Council borrowed just under $10 million in revenue bonds to build Boulder Creek Golf Club, plus another $8.7 million from the Utility Fund also for BCGC, plus a few million more in the form of a lease purchase contract to acquire equipment used by the course.
A second initiative establishes a policy to limit the City to owning just one golf course. Our two golf courses have always been subsidized by the taxpayers and utility customers, by millions of dollars annually. The voters should have the chance to say “Let’s downsize that financial burden to a more manageable level.” The responsibility for enforcing the policy, and ordering any necessary administrative action will rest with the Council.
The third initiative limits to 12 years the service of any person for any particular citizen committee or commission, such as the Planning Commission or the Parks and Recreation Commission. The committee work is important, their recommendations strongly influence the Council, and because of that they are subject to the requirements of Nevada’s Open Meeting and Open Records laws. Nevada voters statewide, including Boulder City voters, have imposed term limits for our elected officials. For the same reasons concerning elected officials, Boulder City voters may also want to limit the length of service of appointed committee members.
Press Release, April 29, 2010
Dan D. Jensen
* Article I, Section 1, subsection 1 of the Boulder City Charter provides:
** The clearest example of the failure of the City Council to represent the desires of the voters may be the 2006 election, where the Council voted unanimously to oppose the PISTOL amendment to the Nevada Constitution, and just days later the voters of Boulder City approved it in a landslide.
P R E S S R E L E A S E
In November and December 2009 the Boulder City Council considered several advisory questions for placement on the November 2, 2010 ballot. A couple were suggested by residents but were quickly dismissed by the council majority.
After the 2009 holidays, a group of Boulder City citizens met to consider what initiatives they would support for the forthcoming election. With the unusual low voter turnout in November 2008, only 642 (15% of 4264) valid signatures would suffice for an initiative to qualify.
The group started with seven potential initiatives but narrowed them down to 3 since the 2010 ballot will have 3 carryover Charter Amendment questions from the prior election, and an additional 4 advisory ones from the current City Council.
On March 22, 2010 we submitted these 3 ballot initiatives to the Boulder City Clerk: a Charter Amendment to elect the city attorney, a City Code Amendment limiting city bond debt to $1 million before requiring voter approval and a City Code Amendment allowing the city to only own one golf course. Another City Code initiative was added on April 14, 2010 limiting volunteer membership on committees, boards and commissions to 12 years maximum. The Charter Amendment initiative is due April 29, 2010. The City Code Amendments are due June 24, 2010.
When these initiatives are voted in, they must be implemented by the City Council. They are not advisory questions, but mandatory policies for the Council to enact. Per our City Charter, they can only be amended by another vote of the people.
Our group collected over 850 signatures per initiative in 38 days. The sources for signature gathering were tables at the Boulder Dam Credit Union, walking the neighborhoods and newspaper articles supporting the initiatives.
Our group consisted of 30 residents of all political persuasions.
Our major determent in collecting the signatures has been the unpredictable weather, windy days.
We still need signatures for the term limit initiative due to our late start collecting signatures. We are confident that we will reach our goal.
Once all initiatives qualify for the November election, additional information will be forthcoming.
Dan D. Jensen