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Gard announces mayoral candidacy

May 14, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

He's the second candidate for the office.

Riverton city councilman Richard Gard announced his intention Wednesday to run for mayor.

Current Mayor Ron Warpness has confirmed that he will not seek a second term, though he said he enjoyed serving the city during his four-year tenure.

Warpness served as a Ward 3 council member 2000-2004 before running for mayor in 2010.

Gard has also served one four-year term as council member representing Ward 3. His seat is up for re-election this year.

In his time as council member, Gard said he has seen the "value of good decisions" that have strengthened and promoted the quality of the city's economy, parks and other facilities in order to better serve local residents.

Gard said he believes there are many more opportunities to improve the quality of services for residents. He intends to gain voter support for his effort to make Riverton the ideal location to raise children, invest and retire.

"I have worked hard to advance the opportunity of employment and make an atmosphere that is conducive to private enterprise," Gard said.

He is part owner of Gardcrafted and Professional Home Design, a construction business he has helped operate for 40 years, he said.

"Our business is Fremont County based," Gard said. "We have had the opportunity (to employ) the residents of the city of Riverton and (people) throughout the county and state of Wyoming."

To serve the community well in a leadership position, Gard said it is important to know the role of city government, bringing equal attention to all aspect of local governance. Gard also said he would prefer a "more conservative" spending model for the city.

"City government needs to apply common sense to every request and decision brought to the council by asking: Is it our job? Is it affordable? Is it sustainable?" Gard said.

He envisioned Riverton as a service organization where community members help each other and work together on tasks like snow and tree branch removal.

In dealing with issues concerning the city, Gard said it is important to "get along with everybody" and focus on improving the city. If he is elected, Gard hopes he can improve communication between the mayor and residents.

Gard has been a resident of Riverton for 55 years. He has volunteered with several youth organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and local baseball, basketball and soccer associations. He has held leadership positions and has become part of the city's board of appeals and the Riverton Regional Airport Board and Task Force.

Gard is the second person to announce his candidacy for mayor. Former councilman Lars Baker made his announcement last week.

Filing begins Thursday for this year's election. The primary election is Aug. 19, and the general election is Nov. 4. The top two finishers in the primary move to the general election. The election for mayor is non-partisan, but it is on the primary election ballot.

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