RIVERDALE -- In 1978, when Randy Daily became a city employee, only a few businesses lined Riverdale Road, where cows still grazed. Riverdale's longtime community development director doesn't even remember a traffic signal being on the road back then.
Now that Riverdale Road has become a regional retail hub with hundreds of businesses, Daily has called an end to his 35-year career.
"The development floodgates started to open up right around 1981 or '82, and in the late 1980s it got real intense," said Daily, 63, who worked in his early years as the city's public works director and building inspector before being appointed as community development director in 1998. "Most commercial businesses viewed Riverdale city as a 'regional retail hub,' with Riverdale road and the freeways being big benefits to the city."
Although the Riverdale location was in demand, some say Daily's guidance helped shape the retail area.
"He was a very likeable guy with a great personality, which served him well with all, including citizens and property owners, petitioners and their professional agents and representatives, mayor, council members, planning commission members and staff," said Larry Hansen, Riverdale city administrator.
"His work and influence is and will be evident for a long time to come and will benefit many other cities who share considerably in the sales tax revenues generated in Riverdale's regional retail destination center."
"I was told many times by developers and business owners of how refreshing it was to work with a city that helped them through the process with respect and in a timely fashion," Daily said.
Daily has seen the city's evolution from a one-man community development department to the need for a department with a director, executive assistant, building official and planner. Now the department is responsible for reviews of plans and inspections of buildings and signs for code compliance; drafting ordinances and amendments to the city's general plan; reviewing zoning requests and code compliance; presentations to the planning commission and city council; site development reviews; and approval of business licenses.
The most challenging part was "staying current with code amendments and state requirements for certification and licensing," Daily said. When a full-time building official was hired, the challenge became less stressful, he said.
In a time when job hopping is the new normal, Daily attributes his 35-year career with one employer to a number of factors.
First is his faith, wife, four children and five grandchildren for giving him "something to look forward to."
Next is the quality of the four mayors he worked under.
"Each one has been supportive and competent," said Daily.
Finally, the city's administrators and employees became like family to him over those three decades.
A good example would be the relationship Daily had with a fellow employee, former Public Works Director Lynn Moulding.
Both grew up in Roy and graduated from Roy High School. Friends since high school, both are Vietnam-era veterans. Moulding began employment with Riverdale just a year after Daily began his and retired in 2011, a few years before Daily.
The two worked together, seeing that all the city's old, undersized water lines from decades past have been replaced. The sewer lift station "that gave us nightmares" was replaced with a new sewer line running under the Weber River and to the north end of the city, Moulding said.
"That allowed for new development on the north end of Riverdale," he said.
Moulding likewise said he owes his long career with one employer to the quality of employees there.
"The best memories would have to be the people that I worked with, from the four mayors that I served, to all the people that make the city run," Moulding said. "There were some days that I just couldn't wait to get to work. I loved my job most of the time. But there are a few I would just as soon forget."
Both Moulding and Daily agree that the canal break that flooded the south side of the city in 1999 was a "memorable disaster."
"It was amazing how the residents, city and outside help pulled together and cleaned the area up much quicker than anyone could have predicted," Daily said.
With Mike Eggett named as Daily's successor and a new mayor set to take the reins in January, Daily has some advice to share.
"The employees have worked hard to make Riverdale city what it is today, and they will continue to serve the residents and businesses with the highest professional level of service," he said. "Don't try to fix what isn't broken."
Moulding's advice echoes Daily's.
"Stay the course," Moulding said. "It took a lot of years to develop a well-run government and city."
Daily has some good memories of his time with Riverdale.
"Riverdale city has provided me with opportunities to meet many interesting and unique individuals and a lifetime of experiences, both good and some not so good, but I would not change a thing."