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Council expected to fill vacancies Tuesday

Feb 4, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

Seats in Ward 1 and Ward 3 are open following the resignation of two councilmen in December.

Riverton Mayor Ron Warpness and the city council have questions prepared to ask the six residents who submitted their letters of interest to fill two council vacancies. Tuesday night's regular council meeting includes an interview session that will allow each candidate 10 minutes to answer questions. The other candidates will be in a separate room until it is their turn to be interviewed.

After all interviews are complete, the council and mayor will be handed ballots to make their selections. City administrator Steven Weaver and police chief Mike Broadhead will tally the results. The person selected for each vacancy is expected to be announced and take the oath of office immediately. The new council members then will be seated with the rest of the council, and the meeting will continue.

The decision could be postponed if the council needs more time.

Ward 3

Ward 1 and Ward 3 each has a vacant seat after resignations from Eric Heiser and Lars Baker were received in December. Baker re-submitted his interest, as he said he planned to do so, after a required 30-day separation from the council was completed for a technical reason tied into his retirement from the Fremont County Weed and Pest District.

In his letter of interest, Baker mentioned his experience with "major local government, fiscal policy, and the public budgeting process" after serving seven years on the council prior to his resignation. Baker said he wants to help maintain the attributes and amenities of the city and continue his involvement.

After the council officially announced the vacancies at the first regular meeting of the year, Baker entered his letter to serve Ward 3.

The other letter filed for Ward 3 was from Martin Cannan. who moved to Riverton in 2003 after retiring as a lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force. He served for 27 years. He now works a part-time security job and expressed optimism in the growth of Riverton.

Ward 1

Phil Lavoie has been a Riverton resident for 45 years and a business man for 47 years. He started six businesses in Riverton with his wife, Marilyn. He has served on several clubs, including as vice president and president of the Sertoma organization, the Riverton Rotary Club and on the board of the Riverton Chamber of Commerce.

He also served in the Little League and Babe Ruth organizations. Lavoie is a Korean War Veteran who is now retired from business and drives buses for Fremont County School District 25. He said he's considered running before but finally decided on "testing the waters."

"I would like to serve my community," he said, adding that he commends the city on its fiscal position. He said he enjoys getting involved with youth activities and the elderly.

Betty Malicki was elected to the Riverton City Council in 1994 and served one term. She called her previous service a "learning experience." At that time, she also served on a police committee as a liaison to the chief of police.

She could no longer pursue the seat after her term was over, she said, because she began to travel on a regular basis. Malicki said she enjoys making decisions and being involved in her community. She is a member of the Fix Our Roads Citizen Committee that was started by the council and mayor for recommendations on using optional 1 percent sales tax funding.

Waylon Oldman has had a short residency in Riverton but already is a member of the Fremont County Recreation Board and several other tribal cultural and community groups. He is employed by the Northern Arapaho Tribal Industries as an lead installer, IT and phone specialist with Wind River Internet.

He helps provide high-speed wireless internet and business and residential phone service to residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation and others in rural Fremont County. Oldman said he is most interested in involvement with the city's youth and hearing the concerns of residents.

Kyle Larson moved into Riverton in 1985 and to Ward 1 in 2001, where he developed the area known as the Woodridge Estates. He was in charge of the shipment, manufacturing and production of sulfuric acid while being employed by Kennecott Copper in Utah. Afterward, he accepted a plant manager position with Koch Industries in Riverton in 1985. He is now a mortgage broker in downtown Riverton.

In his letter of interest, Larson said he would like to "help with the direction" Riverton is going and "be a part of the citizens who have input into that direction."

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