Riverton Mayor: 2023 wins and losses, goals for 2024

    (Riverton, WY) – County 10 sat down with all the mayors across Fremont County to discuss their wins and losses of 2023 and their goals for 2024.

    Below is a transcript of an interview with Riverton Mayor Tim Hancock that has been edited and condensed.

    County 10: What are your wins from 2023?
    Tim Hancock: I think we’ve had a lot of good things that have happened in Riverton. One of the biggest things that I wanted to have is goals, and by that, I mean we haven’t had city council goals for the last two years or so. And so when I came in, talked to the council and I said, “Hey, I’d like to sit down, have a work session, have some city council goals that we’ll set.” Everybody was receptive. We got them done. And I think that was a really good thing to be working towards. I know it sounds small. But that’s a big thing that I think we were trying to get a little bit more focus from everybody in the city on what we want to be doing.


    I think we’ve had some really good things that have been funded by EDGE. That’s the half-cent tax. And I think that’s that’s been good to see some of these different organizations come in and, and getting funding and working towards things. I think we’ve done pretty well at showing the community that we’re willing to fund a lot of different areas of the economy, whether that be something that’s more into manufacturing or whether that’s health services or whether that’s something more to do with recreation and bringing in conferences, that kind of thing. Tournaments. We’ve been trying to get a wide variety of different things that we’re funding, and I think those have been really good things that we’ve dealt with.

    We’ve tried to do what we can to assist with keeping our police force up. And I think we’ve had a lot of really good efforts that were made by the community. Efforts we’ve made to try to get more police officers here, working, and available. We did have, for example, one of our officers left and then he came back. That was great. Very glad to have Officer Milovich back. We’ve had some other new officers that have come in. So, we’re really trying to do what we can to get the city fully staffed, and we’re working on it. Some of these internal things people might not see, but they’re there.

    We did a little bit of restructuring with the way that the finance department works in the city. We actually made it so that we have city clerk and treasurer positions combined. Kristen Watson, who was an excellent city clerk and a great employee of the city, headed out to a different position. So, trying to figure out how to readjust after she left, we adjusted so that we have an Administrative Services Director. Mia Harris stepped in and took the role of city clerk and city treasurer. We’ve restructured the way her department works. And I think some good changes, they’re not as obvious to people, right? But do make it so that going forward, we have things like a succession plan. And she’s got a deputy clerk and a deputy treasurer that assist and so I think that some good changes there.

    We had a big Rendezvous Balloon Rally. Lots of attendance there. Lots of fun. Absolutely loved that. Had a lot of people that were involved. I think adding the food trucks and everything like that to the glow really has made a big difference. Had people from all over coming to that. So we’ve had some good events in Riverton. I think we’ve had some good things this year.


    I mean, we’ve had to respond to difficulties, right? We had the most snow we’ve ever had. That was a lot of snow. And it stuck around forever. So needing to relook at the way we do plowing and snow removal. I think we’re doing our best with the new plan. And we’re trying to be receptive and responsive to that but that was an interesting winter to have as your first year as mayor. Not at all what I expected, but we’re trying to do our best to bounce back and and make things make sense.

    C10: What about losses in 2023?
    TH: One of the biggest things that I’ve been wanting to do and I think would make our community safer is enhanced police department patrolling. Our officers, I think, have been doing excellent. They’re getting out there, and they’re patrolling as much as they can. But with the fewer numbers, it’s made it difficult. We haven’t, I think, ever gotten up to force enough to be able to see a lot of difference and how more patrolling and more officer involvement in, you know, law enforcement. We’ve not seen that as much as I think we would like to. However, I will say that the multi-jurisdictional team that we’ve got between Lander and Shoshoni in the county when we’ve had those enhanced days. We’ve seen the effect. We’ve seen that that can make a big impact. So that’s something that we haven’t quite gotten to where I’d like to yet.

    We did want to have a community-wide activity. We actually had that as one of our goals. We wanted to have two community events in a year. And, of course, we had the Rendezvous Balloon Rally, and we wanted to have one more, but it just didn’t end up happening. And so we do look forward to having something that would be more involved from the city. And assistance from the city to have another community-wide event. We were still planning on that, but that hasn’t happened yet. So we want to have two community-wide events a year.


    I think another thing that I’ve really wanted to do is try to get more work towards having more conferences, regional tournaments, regional conferences here, whatever it might be. There’s been a lot of effort from our community members for that. But I still want to keep going on that. I think one of the biggest things that we can do is become we need to rise to the occasion as the Rendezvous City. You need to have that be something we do. We have events here. We have conferences, tournaments, whatever it is. And so I think the more that we can encourage that and get that rolling, the better.

    The shelter we’ve been working towards trying to figure out something that we can do from the beginning of last year, and it kind of started with some conversations in January. It still takes time, but we’re getting there. It just takes time.

    C10: What are your goals for 2024?
    TH: We’re definitely wanting to figure out some different ways that we can use the parks and I think that’s something that we’re going to really be looking at in 2024 even more. I’ve had people talk about improved lighting at City Park. We’ve talked about different ways we can use the tennis courts in City Park. And so we’re actually considering putting in a grant application to the outdoor rec grant, possibly for a pickleball court that we could use at City Park or one of the other parks. I think that being able to improve different ways that we can use the parks I think would be a big deal. I would like personally to be able to get a camera that we can have pointed over towards the the skate park there. I think it would definitely enhance safety and enhance accountability and that kind of thing when we’ve got people using the skatepark. We’ve had kind of different incidents that it would be nice to have had video of. We have some video at City Park, but I think if we have others, it would make it more so that we can have a safe park in a place where you can spend time with your families. And so that’s, that’s what I’d like to see. I’d also like to see having a drinking fountain over near there.


    Get our police department up to force. Get us to a point where we can really see the impact that increased patrolling and enforcement can have on the community. I mean, we’ve already seen that with these multi-jurisdictional team operations where when they do an operation, we’re not getting as many calls into the police department because the police are out there. They’re able to be proactively enforcing and watching things.

    We’ve actually had a group that we’re trying to get some work done with in terms of economic development. One of the biggest focuses that we’ve got is talking about ways that we can look back at our city’s strategic plan that was from 2019, and we can use that for some guidance for different efforts we can make as a community. And so that’s definitely something I’m looking forward to in 2024, seeing some more work there. But there’s just a lot going on. That’s just the reality of it. I do think we’ve had some good efforts made towards our goals.

    I would like to see some more use of our park spaces, like the riverwalk and all of that, and be able to enhance safety and accessibility and enjoyment of that.

    We’ve already invested in it, but we need to go through and get community buy-in on it. Improved communication with the public. We’ve actually had a city app that we introduced back in 2018 or 2019. Somewhere there and it just really didn’t get the use. And what we want to get involved in is text my gov. It’s actually a great way that we can have people get a hold of us and get information, and then if you sign up for it, we can reach out to you. Even for “Hey, we’re going to be in your neighborhood plowing. Move your cars to the side of the road.” I mean, there are just so many different things that you can kind of use it for in terms of notifications, and I’d like to improve on that. That’s one of our goals.

    To view all the mayors published so far, click here.


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