By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – With Wayne County’s denial of the city’s landfill expansion and the decision’s future impact on revenue, strategies for the city’s financial future are an important element of the mayoral race.
Incumbent Mayor Andrew Swift and City Councilmember Chuck Norton, who are running for the city’s top slot, share, in their own words, their qualifications for mayor and their thoughts about the city’s financial future.
Why should you be elected mayor?
I firmly advocate a collaborative approach, actively engaging with residents, business owners, and our esteemed city manager to chart the best solutions. My extensive experience in manufacturing and proficiency in the Six Sigma problem-solving system provides me with the analytical understanding and strategic expertise needed to make well-informed decisions for our city’s future.
As mayor, I will ensure every council member’s voice is heard by fostering open communication and instituting weekly meetings to discuss ideas, concerns, and progress. Accessibility will be paramount, and I pledge to be readily available to residents and business owners to facilitate swift problem-solving and address their concerns. I want to be the type of leader that communicates with the team. Finishing the week with whom I meet with on their behalf. We need to have strong communication within our team. That is how we become more transparent to those we represent.
Riverview residents should vote for me as mayor for several reasons. First and most importantly, I bring a wealth of experience and a proven track record of effective leadership in our community. As your mayor for the past eight years and city council member for 10 years before that, I have a deep understanding of Riverview’s unique challenges and opportunities.
Additionally, I am dedicated to promoting economic growth, investing in public safety and volunteerism to improve our quality of life. I have a vision for revitalizing our business district, creating job opportunities and ensuring public safety remains a top priority.
My commitment to transparency is evident in my decision-making and actively involving the community in my monthly published articles. With a strong focus on community welfare, I am well-equipped to steer Riverview toward a prosperous future, making me the ideal choice for mayor.
How will you approach the city’s financial future?
As a united team, we will explore avenues to diversify revenue streams, taking unused city-owned property to develop and generate a new tax base, foster economic growth, and uphold essential services.
We must work overtime to find a way to make up for the lost revenue of the landfill. Unfortunately, it took hiring a new city manager to find out we did not have the proper funds in our capital improvement account. This should have been communicated long before that revenue had to be diverted and redirected to replace the lost funds of the capital improvement escrow account.
Riverview will encounter something we have not witnessed in our 100-year history. We must be resolute in leading with integrity, empathy and unwavering dedication to building a stronger and more prosperous community for generations to come. Let us face these challenges together and embrace a brighter tomorrow for Riverview.
With the denial of our landfill expansion by the county, Riverview’s financial future becomes an important priority for several reasons. First, Riverview’s financial stability underpins its ability to provide essential services and maintain a high quality of life for our residents. Without a sound financial plan, it becomes challenging to invest in public safety and economic development which is essential for the well-being of our small bedroom community.
I was able to convince council to go through a budget analysis before asking our residents to vote on a public safety millage next year.
We’ve taken some major steps in working toward a firmer financial position by partnering with DTE to build a $70 million gas plant on landfill property at no cost to our residents. This partnership will bring in a minimum of $400,000 in royalties each year. We are collaborating with the Downriver Community Conference to provide our local businesses with technical assistance in recovering from the closure of the two coal fire power plants and the impact of the covid epidemic.
We continue to attract new businesses and creating job opportunities. By prioritizing Riverview’s financial well-being, we are safeguarding our ability to prosper and support the needs of our residents.