By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – After numerous heated discussions at City Council meetings, Mayor Tim Durand and challenger Bill Towle will face off again Nov. 8 – this time at the polls.
Durand, a 50-year resident of the city, has served as mayor since 1995 and before that as a city councilor since 1987. He also serves as a procurement counselor for the Downriver Community Conference.
He said as mayor, he has worked to combat reduced revenues by reducing staff by 25 percent since 2007 and sharing services such as Department of Public Works purchasing, recreation programs, and fire equipment with other cities.
Durand initially chose not to run for office and Councilman James Trombley filed to run against Towle, but Trombley withdrew from the race and Durand filed shortly before the deadline.
“I decided to run because of my desire to see Riverview continue to be a great city to live in and have children educated in,” Durand said. “I am not running with an ax to grind, but to make Riverview a better place.”
Towle, a frequent critic of Durand and the council, said he chose to run to combat the “deep trouble” – financial and otherwise – he sees the city heading toward under the current administration.
If elected, he pledges to be a “constant and vocal catalyst for change.”
“We need action now, not later,” Towle said.
Towle, who is employed with DCX labor, has lived in the city for more than 30 years. He graduated from Lincoln Park High School in 1964.
In addition to addressing the city’s budget and health care costs, Towle said he would abolish the “bully environment,” he sees among the current administration.
“Citizens are to be served with respect, courtesy and transparency,” he said.