By Andrew Swift
First, let me say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” I hope you were able to enjoy time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. We have so much to be thankful for.
One thing I am thankful for is the generosity of our residents and local business owners. The Kiwanis and Goodfellows of Riverview through these residents and business owners provide Thanksgiving dinners, winter clothing, Christmas gifts and much more to those amongst us who need a little help during the holidays.
With the cooperation of the Riverview elementary and middle school, schools that collected thousands of canned goods, the Goodfellows were able to donate those canned goods to a local food bank.
In case you were one of the few who couldn’t make our annual Tree Lighting Ceremony you missed a good one. Mother Nature cooperated with cold, dry weather with a mild breeze.
With a crowd of around 650 to 700 parents and children in attendance, all had a great time going on hay rides, petting reindeer, riding a train around the reflection pond, watching an outdoor movie, working on crafts, playing games, and of course visiting with the ole man himself, Santa Claus.
Along with myself, we had some special guests in Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, State Rep Cara Clemente and the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber President Mr. Ron Hinrichs and his wife Leah welcome all those who came to start celebrating the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in beautiful Young Patriots Park.
The first thing noticed by the crowd was the outstanding work done by our DPW decorating Young Patriots Park and the Christmas tree located under the Caesars’ Gazebo. This year my grandson Colin Swift and Natalie Hinrichs flipped the switch that lit the tree and brought the park to life.
As always an event this large requires a tremendous amount of work by several departments and people. Join me in thanking our recreation, fire, police, library, and DPW departments, along with our recreation and beautification commissions, Cub Scout Pack 1659, and Mr. Russel Brown as Santa Claus.
The remodeling of the Riverview Business Center located at Fort Street and Pennsylvania is now complete. With the reconstruction out of the way, we’re looking for some new businesses to move in and take advantage of the newly remodeled mall.
We’ve been told that Tirami Su Ristorante will be opening early next year on Jan. 9, 2019. We welcome them to Riverview and look forward to their many fine Italian dishes.
Our planning commission continues to work with the owners of the Riverview Commons and its planned remodel early next year. This past year has been a good one for Riverview with several new businesses moving in, expanding, and celebrating long term success.
One business new to Riverview will be Serendipity Cakes opening soon in the mini-mall just south of Dearborn Federal Credit Union. With your help by shopping local, we can keep the successful streak going.
On behalf of the Riverview City Council and The City of Riverview I would like to congratulate and thank Michigan State Police Trooper Jesse Graffagnino for his life-saving action on election day at Forest Elementary School.
He was able to dislodge a piece of candy from a toddler’s throat which was preventing her from breathing. Trooper Graffagnino is a Riverview graduate and was recognized for his effort at a recent city council meeting. Jesse is also a graduate of the Kiwanis of Michigan’s Michigan State Police Academy.
Once again on behalf of the City of Riverview I would like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And when preparing your plans for next year consider volunteering some of your precious time on a commission, neighborhood watch, parent club, or civic club. All these organizations would love to have you and I guarantee you love the way feel helping a fellow neighbor.
I would like to end my last column of 2018 with telling you what a privilege it is to serve as your mayor.