Opinion: Riverton Mayoral Race and Time

Fremont County is large, diverse, and filled with opinions, or “talk in the 10.” “Talk in the 10” is an opportunity for you, our readers, to articulate and share your thoughts about what is happening in the community with the community. Letters may have been edited for clarity and length, but generally have been published exactly as received. The views expressed in the following are solely those of the author. Send your letters to our editors by emailing opi[email protected]

This letter is in response to a letter written by Hal Herron on October 13 th and several social media posts by the Gard for mayor campaign and other community members.
Mr. Herron’s letter contains the following:

“It is not uncommon for Mayor Gard to work 20 hours or more a week on City
projects.”

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And

“However, there are concerns that his challenger, Tim Hancock, will NOT be able to devote the necessary time to run the City of Riverton as he already has a full-time job as the Chief Deputy Fremont County as well as Prosecuting Attorney. I assume that as Prosecuting Attorney he is already quite busy in this important role. So how can one expect that Mr. Hancock will be able to allocate the time necessary to run a business called the City of Riverton? A business with a $30 million annual budget.”

Mr. Herron makes the proposition that a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney is too busy to serve as Mayor. Mr. Herron ignores that Mayor Gard is a busy owner of a contracting and development business. Mr. Herron’s argument that a busy contractor somehow has more time to serve as mayor than a prosecuting attorney is illogical.

However, if we ignore his illogical conclusions I do appreciate these comments by Mr. Herron, and the Gard campaign itself, as they are a great argument AGAINST Mayor Gard’s effort to pass a “strong mayor” ordinance.

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As I discussed in a previous letter and as highlighted on www.timhancock4riverton.com a
“strong Mayor” ordinance would give the Mayor of the City vast powers over hiring and firing of city officers and department heads. Therefore, the executive skills and professional preparation in matters of human resources, grant administration and accounting (just to name a few) become of paramount importance in potential Mayor Candidates. Also considering the mayoral salary of only 18,000 dollars a year and the time demands of being a “strong mayor” of a City government with a “$30 million annual budget;” there are only a couple of individuals in the community at any one time who are really prepared and able to serve as a “strong mayor.”

To put it more bluntly, under a “strong mayor” form of administration, the best mayoral candidates are independently wealthy retired executives who happen to want a full time retirement job earning 18,000 dollars a year.

Are there many people like that around?

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Under our current strong Council administration supported by a City Administrators and
other professional staff, a dedicated public servant like Timothy Hancock DOES have
time to be Mayor, and so too do many other members of our community.

Strong City Council supported by professional staff provides the opportunity for many members of our community to potentially serve as mayor that otherwise would be forced out of consideration due to the financial and time demands of a “strong mayor” form of administration.

Mr. Hancock has served admirably on the city council before and he will make a great mayor for the city of Riverton.

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I encourage you to Vote for Tim Hancock for Mayor on November 8th.

JaDell Hovander
Riverton

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