Yesterday, January 21, 2021 at 4pm Mayor Kiernan McManus gave the annual State of The City Address virtually, which was aired on BCTV channel 2 (Boulder City COX Cable) as well as on the City’s web site and YouTube Channel, HERE.
The address this year was short, only 24 minutes in length, but the Mayor did say a few things that we wanted to recap for you.
In his opening remarks the Mayor graciously recognized his fellow members of the City Council each in turn, thanking them for their service to the City. But then, he revealed something that most of us had never heard before, which was that back in December of 2019 Mayor McManus said he had battled COVID-19, “We have lived a year that no one saw coming when I addressed our community a year ago. I had just recovered from a severe bout of the COVID-19 virus when I delivered the State of the City address last January…What I knew from my experience was that I had never been sicker in my life.” We’re sorry to hear of this, and glad that our Mayor survived this very early bout with the virus that has taken so many. The Mayor then asked for a moment of silence to acknowledge the 27 Boulder City residents we have lost to the pandemic.
Naturally, the impacts of the coronavirus were throughout the speech, and paramount was the Mayor’s gratitude toward City Staff for their exceptional work during the past year. He also of course acknowledged the great hardships that many have felt from the fallout of lost work and wages, the closures of our schools, cancelled events and local traditions and all of the pains that have altered our daily lives. “We are all fatigued by the burdens this virus has placed on us. But I have seen people step up to meet the challenges in so many ways.”, said the Mayor, and he also adds that “We will build back better in the coming year.”
The Mayor also laid out some key plans that he aims to focus on in 2021, namely the case for Historic Preservation, reducing electricity rates and to continue to respond to the challenges of the pandemic.
“The preservation of this history is important to the economic success of this community as well as the soul of this community.”, said the Mayor. He then went on to state that funds are being budgeted from the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) to stabilize the Water Filtration Plant. He also alluded to additional plans that will be forthcoming to improve historic preservation in general for the benefit of all in town and to help preserve the value of our property in Boulder City.
Utility Rates and Infrastructure
The Mayor said, “There was substantial progress on improving and maintaining our Utility systems. A project that had been put off for many years that provides backup and stability for the electric grid is now complete. Upgrades for electric transformers to current standards has been done at a pace not seen in the past.” Also, the automatic increases to utility rates that had previously been passed were repealed, and he pledges that the City is planning to lower our utility bills again in the near future. Also, the ability to refinance City debt has saved millions of dollars.
The Year Ahead
The City still has more funds available to residents and businesses from the CARES Act, the Mayor tells us, now that Congress has approved an extension to the time allowed for those funds to be distributed.
The Mayor also touched on the nationwide search that is still ongoing to replace both the City Manager and City Attorney positions that also includes current City staff as well.
Lastly of course, are the plans for how we come out of the pandemic. We’re fortunate to have had great people able to make plans quickly to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines so rapidly to all resents, free of charge. The Mayor’s final remarks are as follows:
“The State of Our City at this time is that we continue to be under serious threat from a terrible disease. The fatigue and worry has placed real burdens on us. But we are seeing real progress in protecting our families, friends and co-workers.
Our efforts will allow us to move forward with recovery much sooner. Our patience and determination will benefit us in the coming year.
The future of our City will depend on how we deal with these next few months. I assure you our City government will be working hard to bring us out of this crisis.
Please be safe and let’s work together in getting past this to a better future. We are still the best City by a Dam Site and we will overcome this.”