Council Message: Importance of Citizen Engagement

By Councilmember Claude Wells

Council Message: Importance of Citizen EngagementHave you ever been to a Riverton City Council meeting? Chances are if you have, you likely only understand a little bit about the process of how the meeting is conducted. Riverton City operates using a “six-member council” form of government consisting of the Mayor as the chair and five council members for five distinct districts throughout our 12 square mile city boundary.

Our job is to be a good steward of the residents/taxpayer’s money used to keep our city running and maintain our city infrastructure in a safe manner. The City Council approves ordinances, reviews zoning change requests, reviews and set budgets that are fiscally responsible, adopts resolutions, establishes city fees, sets strategic priorities for each budget year and establishes long-range plans for city services, utilities, and set regulatory standards for the provision of city services.

Each hearing, ordinance, budget item, and other important motions made by the City Council take a majority vote of the council to pass into law. The City Council has five votes. A voting majority is three votes since the Mayor only votes to break a tie. It is in the best interest of council members to establish productive relationships with city staff and other council members to get support on important city initiatives. No single council member can decide any one issue on their own.

It is important for cities to have engaged citizens in the important matters that shape our city’s goals. On March 1, 2022, the City Council had two important issues to resolve in two different areas of our city. We had a full capacity council chamber present for both hearings. Having actively engaged citizens show up in full force made all the difference in the decisions made that night.

We were able to make decisions that required some concessions to be negotiated. Most of the citizens left satisfied with the decisions that were made. As a council, we rarely agree on everything, however, we strive to work together to make cohesive, positive changes that make Riverton a wonderful place to raise a family, work, shop, and enjoy activities sponsored by the city.

In addition to council responsibilities, all the council members serve on important committees and boards within our city, the county, and at the state level. Some of those boards include United Fire Authority (UFA), Riverton Law Enforcement Service Area (RLESA), Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT), Riverton Redevelopment Agency (RDA), South Valley Sewer District (SVS), Trans-Jordan Landfill, South Valley Chamber, Jordan River Commission, Association of Municipal Councils (AMC), and more.

The best way to find city services and city events is to download the Riverton Connect mobile app or visit the city website. Here you can find everything you need to navigate through city services and events. Go to and check it out.

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