RIVERDALE -- Most of the six candidates involved in the Riverdale City Council primary election Aug. 13 are concerned with upcoming transitions in the city's leadership.
Residents will have their first new mayor in 12 years. After serving more than three decades, both the community development director and public works director retired recently. The city administrator is planning to retire as well.
Riverdale residents can vote by mail this year. Ballots have already been sent in the mail and must be returned postmarked by Aug. 12 to count. Ballots can also be hand delivered to the city offices at 4600 S. Weber River Drive by the close of business Aug. 13.
Political newcomer Chris Boots, 30, grew up in Riverdale.
"I feel the Riverdale city government needs new life and a new voice," said Boots, the father of three. "I feel that I would be a good candidate for city council because I will voice my opinion on topics that really matter. I will listen to the citizens of Riverdale."
Brent Ellis, 67, counts past political experience and a lifetime of living in Riverdale.
"Riverdale will face many changes in the near future with changes in city government and staff, road construction and traffic while working to maintain a vibrant destination retail center," said Ellis, a member of the city planning commission for more than five years. "Our struggle will be to maintain proper growth and assure quality of life for the citizens of Riverdale."
Gary E. Griffiths, a 19-year Riverdale resident, has served on the city council
before, four years ago. He said the biggest issues facing the city are infrastructure and public works issues such as snow removal.
"The way we plow our sidewalks and driveways in after they have been shoveled makes it hard on our citizenry to get out of their homes," said Griffiths, a former Salt Lake City compliance manager. "With the property training and equipment, we can avoid that."
Cody Hansen, 34, is a 30-year resident.
"I will strive to build a consensus of support amongst the council about these transition issues and I will work to assure citizens of Riverdale that we intend to continue the successful city operations we benefit from both financially and socially during these organizational leadership changes," said Hansen, a member of the city's inaugural Youth City Council.
"I want to ensure that there is a continuity in the future with our current benchmark and performance measures and the high level of service enjoyed by residents and visitors alike."
Steve Hilton, 56, has lived in Riverdale for five years but worked in the city for 34 years.
He said city leaders who have recently left or are set to leave employment with the city "have all been long-term leaders who have done an outstanding job serving the city."
"I will work to make sure we find strong, competent leaders for our future who will continue to manage the city well and keep Riverdale financially sound and vibrant," said Hilton, currently serving on the city planning commission.
Shonna Smiley, 48, has lived in Riverdale for 20 years.
"Over the next few years, many changes will be happening. It will be important to maintain a balanced budget, plan for possible economic downturns in the future, maintain infrastructure and civic services that meet Riverdale's needs and, most importantly, to maintain Riverdale city as an excellent place to live and raise a family," said Smiley, a volunteer for three years with the Bonneville Communities That Care Coalition.
"I would listen to our citizens regarding issues and the impacts upon them and their families. I will promote accountable, responsible and balanced government."