RIGBY – Three candidates are hoping to be elected as mayor of Rigby.
Richard Datwyler is facing off with John Anderson and Brian Juenke for the position.
Jason Richardson, the current mayor, has served two terms as the city’s leader and is not seeking re-election. He is seeking a seat on the city council.
EastIdahoNews.com tried sending the same questionnaire to each candidate. Contact information for John Anderson and Brian Juenke was not available. If either of them gets back to us, their responses will be published in a separate story.
Datwyler’s responses are listed below and were required to be 250 words or less. They were slightly edited for minor punctuation and grammar.
Election day is Nov. 2.
Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.
Datwyler: Our family has lived in Rigby the last 10 years. Our children go to our local schools, and we try to support and help them all we can. I received my education at Utah State University and currently teach physics at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I have volunteered by serving in or providing help to the local school PTO organizations, serving in HOA presidencies, scouting groups, church organizations and events, and community clean-up activities. I’ve served on the city council for the last 5 years, and council president the last two.
What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?
Datwyler: Finishing my doctoral dissertation, teaching hundreds of students and watching them move forward with their dreams and goals, seeing my children succeed in school and their activities.
What are the greatest challenges facing your community?
Datwyler: Balancing growth, community improvements, and finances.
How is your experience better suited to dealing with these unique challenges than your competitors?
Datwyler: I won’t respond to comparisons. Let people decide for themselves about other candidates. Don’t ask for my take on their candidacy.
How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?
Datwyler: I do my best to listen to all views and try to make unbiased decisions that help the city and its people.
What are your views regarding the role of the media in covering your city? How can you best work with local reporters to ensure coverage of the issues?
Datwyler: Correct information is needed to educate and inform the community. Local reporters have a duty to practice the best journalism they can. I recognize that it is a business, and ‘papers must sell’ but sensationalizing news can be damaging. I will do what I can to inform reporters of the workings of the city, but cannot condone the actions of some in trying to make more of the correct information.
What measures, if any, do you believe your city should implement amid continued COVID-19 concerns?
Datwyler: Measures with regard to what? I am currently an elected official and recognize the process of government. There is a sacred responsibility of those who lead and make decisions on policies, procedures and laws to learn and understand from credible sources all factors as best as they can, then do their best to lead their constituents. Once that has been done, we must have faith to follow those councils and decisions from local, state, and national governments and institutions. If individuals disagree, the responsibility lies with them to study and accurately voice their concerns to their elected officials in a way to educate and benefit all. Individually, we need to try to be cognizant of other’s needs and concerns, and show an increase of love and understanding of where each individual is coming from. Patience and love need to replace judgment and accusation.
If you received a multimillion-dollar grant to use for the city in any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
Datwyler: Grants don’t work that way. No amount of dreaming will make that a reality. The city is in need of an improvement to the sewer facilities. We are working on getting grants for that purpose and will receive some. We also have grants and donations used for other projects. Recently, an individual donated land to help with a city park, which will be located near South Fork Elementary. We have received other help with the central park, and are making efforts to improve it for summer activities. The Urban Renewal Agency is using funds to help improve Scott’s South Park. We look for grants and use tax dollars in the best ways we can to help the city’s needs and to improve the services that we offer.