Opinion: Upcoming mayoral election

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]

Dear Editor:

I have been reading with interest the “letters” in County 10 and the Ranger regarding our upcoming mayoral election for Riverton.

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The letters are from well known citizens that I respect in our community and while I respect their opinions I do not agree with many conclusions that Mayor Gard should be reelected.

I do agree with them that Mayor Gard has many very positive qualities. I am not writing to take issue with his character as I have always found him to be above reproach in those areas such as hard work, honesty and dedication to Riverton. These are fundamental qualities necessary for running for this office.

What I am concerned about is the “vision” he has for our community. He just sees things from a different perspective than I do. While not all of these comments are issues that happened under Mayor Gard’s watch, these are issues that I have seen him involved in. He may say they were voted on and approved by the council, which is true. The issue is that the council is not running for election, he is. The other point is that the council does not usually bring issues forward. They approve or reject issues brought before them. The mayor with support of staff is the usual process to place items on the agenda and that is why a philosophy or vision is so important in the mayor as he/she sets the tone and direction of the city.

Having known Mayor Gard for a number of years and watching him very closely as to his priorities and goals, I have come to the conclusion that economic development and private property rights are his two guiding stars. We all agree these are fundamental and essential concepts but when taken to extreme they give us steel shipping containers in residential areas in opposition to the desire of citizens in those areas. It also stops the development of needed public restrooms on Main Street and if it had been left up to Mayor Gard we would not have the beautiful decorative luminaires on north and south Federal. Thank God Mayor Baker was able to keep these on track. I will not go into Mayor Gard’s ideas for a “strong” mayor form of government that was rejected by the council or the fact that we have “fireworks” in the entire city over many local citizens objections, including veterans, animal lovers and seniors.

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All in all, I am not concerned about the question of Mr. Hancock having the time to get the job done. I want a mayor that will listen to the citizens and their wants. The City of Riverton has a very qualified senior staff and if it is anything like it was when I was in office, they will get more done if the Mayor does not have his hands too deeply into the process. Mr. Hancock is well educated, has experience as a councilman, knows what he is getting into and I am willing to give him a chance.

I also find it interesting as to the number of past employees of the city that are supporting Mr. Hancock (Hum?).

Ron Warpness
Past Mayor

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