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South Valley Journal

No new Riverton City Manager until after elections

Aug 30, 2017 04:52PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Riverton City Council discusses when to fill the vacant city manager position, currently held by Ryan Carter (far left). (Mariden Williams/City Journals)

By Mariden Williams | [email protected]

At its July 11 meeting, the Riverton City Council decided to wait on opening applications for a new city manager until December, after city elections have taken place. 

No actual hiring decisions will be made until January 2018, after newly elected council members have been sworn into office. The previous city manager, Lance Blackwood, retired in June. Since then, the position has been filled by City Attorney Ryan Carter, who will continue to serve as both city attorney and interim city manager until a permanent replacement is hired. 

At a previous meeting on June 20, it was agreed that the council would begin the search for a new city manager immediately, but it ultimately reversed that decision. 

“I ended up getting a lot of feedback from a lot of different people, even some potential candidates,” said Councilman Sheldon Stewart. “The three candidates that I talked to…mentioned to me that they would have a hard time even considering the position, because there’s fifty percent of the governing body that is up for election.” 

Councilman Paul Wayman said it’d be easier to choose once a city manager knows from whom they’ll be taking direction.

““I think we have an excellent interim city manager, and the city is operating excellent right now, so I don’t think there’s any rush. I think (waiting) is more fair for the citizens of Riverton and more fair for the people coming in,” Wayman said.

By delaying opening applications until December, the current council is ensuring not only that the future council will have a say in who is appointed city manager, but also that they will be able to make said selection as quickly as possible. 

By the time the newly elected mayor and council members are sworn into office in January 2018, applications will already have been open for a month, so there should be a good pool of applicants waiting for them. From there, the council can immediately begin the process of interviewing and hiring a new city manager.