Riverton City Newsletter | May 2023

Page 1


Official Newsletter of the Riverton, Utah City Government

Our Right to Freedom of Speech

On April 12, we had the opportunity to welcome former Utah Jazz star Enes Kanter Freedom to Riverton and present him with the inaugural Mayor’s Freedom Award for his courageous commitment to human rights and free speech.

Over the last five years, Freedom has become a prominent advocate for freedom of speech and human rights. He has used his platform as a professional athlete to defend and advance the cause of freedom against the challenges of today, both here at home and across the globe. Enes relentlessly addresses the lack of civic freedoms experienced in Turkey and Venezuela and condemns China’s atrocities against the people of the Uyghur, Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

His bravery and unwavering commitment to speak up on behalf of others who cannot speak for themselves has not come without a cost. Enes’s native country of

Turkey has issued nearly a dozen warrants for his arrest, placed a $500,000 bounty on his head, revoked his Turkish citizenship and has resulted in numerous threats on his life. Government leaders even forced his parents to publicly disown him. Despite all of this, Enes has refused to be silent and continues to fight for what he believes.

Many in this world don’t have the same basic rights Americans have inherited. Enes knows how important this is, because he grew up in a country that doesn’t protect free speech. Everyone should have the freedom to express their opinions without the fear of retribution.

As mayor, I feel it is my responsibility to promote an environment where each Riverton resident feels empowered to share their own thoughts and beliefs. I am committed to helping residents better understand this fundamental right that comes from our Creator.

Our Founding Fathers recognized the importance of free speech when they drafted the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment protects our right to express

ourselves freely, without fear of censorship or reprisal. It has become a cornerstone of our representative democracy and a vital component of our free nation, though it is under attack today. Increasingly in the U.S., the false religion of wokeness wants to label “freedom of speech” as blasphemy. You can be granted your freedom for the “right agenda,” but not on protected topics or against moneyed interests. Americans should be the biggest ambassadors on calling out injustice, hypocrisy and propaganda. People need to think for themselves. Money shouldn’t buy silence. People should be able to say obvious truths.

It is critical for each of us who are blessed to live in this country that protects our God-given freedom to

speak for those who can’t speak for themselves—no matter the sacrifice. Allowing citizens to speak their minds and share their opinions is crucial for promoting innovation, creativity and progress. Without the freedom to express ourselves, we cannot engage in meaningful debate, make informed decisions or hold those in power accountable. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.”

As many groups look to censor opinions and quiet those whose beliefs differ, I hope we can look to the example of Enes Kanter Freedom and defend and uphold our right to free speech. It is our duty as citizens to remember and preserve this freedom.

MAY 2023
“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.”
Benjamin Franklin
U.S. Congressman Burgess Owens with Enes Freedom and Mayor Trent Staggs at the presentation of the Mayor’s Freedom Award at the Old Dome Meeting Hall.

The Inspiring Story of the Isaacs COUNCIL MESSAGE


Trent Staggs - Mayor

Andy Pierucci - District 1

Troy McDougal - District 2

Tawnee McCay - District 3

Tish Buroker - District 4

Claude Wells - District 5


MAY 2 & 16, 7 p.m.

MAY 11 & 25, 6:30 p.m.

In today’s world, we see constant negativity with a focus on problems in our society. I prefer to see the good and wanted to share a great example of the good things good people are doing right here in Riverton.

On January 9 of this year, Riverton residents Mr. And Mrs. Isaac came to Riverton City Hall to pay a utility bill. When Mr. Isaac returned to his car, he found his wife unconscious in the passenger seat. He rushed back into the building calling for help. Two of our wonderful staff

members, Deb Rekoutis and Jen Cannon, responded. Deb called 911 while Jen went to the parking lot to help Mrs. Isaac. The 911 dispatchers instructed them to take Mrs. Isaac out of the car and begin CPR.

Sergeant Anthony Brereton of the Riverton Police Department quickly responded and administered CPR that he had recently learned from City Risk Manager Aubrey Polino. Sergeant Brereton continued to perform CPR until Unified Fire Authority personnel arrived on scene. At that point, Captain Dave Lee, Heber Anderson, Tyler Cox, Dave Picke, Dawson Givens and Kevin Burningham tended to her until they arrived at Riverton Hospital where she would go on to receive the proper care that she needed.

Three months later, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs. Isaac at an April City Council Meeting. We thought it would be appropriate to highlight the ordinary, everyday people who jumped in to help a stranger in need. It was a special moment to see Mrs. Isaac meet and thank the individuals who helped save her life.

Everyone involved used the skills and talents they each possess to work as a united group for a positive outcome. They were not worried about who got the credit, media attention or compensation. They saw a need and acted.

I am proud to say that Riverton is full of people like that. Every day, good people are helping each other. This is just another reason why I love where I live.

Report a problem at rivertonutah.gov/report

US rivertonutah.gov 801-254-0704
@rivertonutahgov FIND US ONLINE!

Riverton Police Department Accreditation Process, and Why it Matters

Transparency, increased community engagement, department uniformity, enhanced professionalism and improved training standards are a few of the many topics I have discussed with community members, city elected officials and city staff members, since joining Riverton City Police Department last month.

Police department accreditation through a certified independent accrediting body is one of many ways your Riverton City Police Department will systematically review, implement and validate that we meet or exceed industry standards and best practices for public safety. Doing so ensures transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility to you, our Riverton City community members. We are proud to announce that Riverton City Police Department has been accepted into the Utah Chiefs of Police Association’s Agency Accreditation Program, and we now moving forward in the process.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) & COPS Office support agency accreditation and recognize the importance of adhering to the highest standards of police policies and operations. Our community benefits when your law enforcement personnel are following standardized policies and procedures that provide efficient, effective and fair policing.

Participation and accreditation through the Utah Chiefs of Police Accreditation Alliance:

• Provides a norm for an agency to judge its performance.

• Provides a basis to correct deficiencies before they become a public problem.

• Requires agencies to commit their policies and procedures to writing.

• Promotes accountability among agency personnel.

• Provides a mean of independent evaluation of agency operations for quality assurance.

• Enhances the reputation of the agency and promotes the public confidence in the agency.

Using the Utah Chiefs of Police Accreditation Alliance to validate over 175 specific department policies, standards and operational procedures, we begin our continued efforts to provide the best public safety possible to our community members. Agency accreditation is only one of many ways we seek to best serve you. Agency accreditation and public safety is a team effort, requiring all of us to work together. If you want to make a recommendation or know of specific ways the police department can better serve our community, please reach out directly to Chief Blair at bbarfuss@rivertonpd.org.

For more information, please visit: Utah Chiefs of Police Association at utahchiefs.org/accreditation.


* *

Visit rivertonutah.gov/beautiful for details on electronics recycling. RECYCLE

• Riverton residents only - must provide proof of residency.

• No business recycling.

• No hazardous materials.

• Residents are responsible for emptying their own vehicles.

Thursday, May 18 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Riverton City Park 1452 W 12600 S

For more information, visit: rivertonutah.gov/beautiful • Cardboard • Glass • Electronics • Tires • Shredding


Become a Member of the Youth Council

Riverton City is accepting applications from youth age 14-18 years old or in grades 9-12 to serve on the Riverton Youth Council and in executive board positions. • To learn more, or apply, visit rivertonutah.gov/youthcouncil.

Register: Fall Baseball & Flag Football

Register: Flexible Tennis League

Register: Pickleball League

Register: Town Days Country Races Town Days Parade Entry Applications

Registration is now open for Riverton City’s youth Fall Baseball league. Flag Football league registration opens on May 15. Ages vary by sport. Register online.

• Fall Baseball Begins August 1, Flag Football Begins September 5

Riverton City’s flexible tennis league is for all abilities, with one match played per week on your own schedule.

• Register at rivertonutah.gov/tennis. Offered monthly, May-August

Join Riverton City’s pickleball league to play in a fun, social and competitive environment. Partners rotate weekly.

• Register at rivertonutah.gov/pickleball. Sessions run from May - Sept.

Come join us for a Town Days family tradition. General registration is now open for the 10K, 5K and 1-Mile Town Days Races. Register at rivertonutah.gov/towndays

• Race Tuesday, July 4, 7 a.m. (10K), 7:15 a.m. (5K), 8:30 a.m. (1-Mile)

Get your business or organization signed up for an entry in the Riverton Town Days Parade. Apply online at rivertonutah.gov/parade

• Application Deadline: Monday, June 12, Parade: Monday, July 3