By Brooke Curley
TUCSON – As part of this year’s annual League of Arizona Cities and Towns conference, the group celebrated Thatcher Mayor Bob Rivera’s 24 years of service to the town of Thatcher and presented him with an award.
The League of Arizona Cities and Towns (LOACAT) is a municipal league, providing links to the incorporated cities and towns in Arizona. The league is the only organization which connects every municipality within Arizona. Each year the LOACAT gathers at a conference to present workshops and networking opportunities for each municipality. The league is led by a 25-member executive committee, with the current president being the city of Chandler’s mayor, Jay Tibshraeny. Rivera is also a committee member.
When asked how he felt about receiving the plaque, Rivera told Gila Valley Central that he was honored. Also, he said recipients of the awards vary every year because individuals either die or do not keep their current positions on their city or town councils.
“It’s an honor,” Rivera said. “It’s a long time to serve. As the years get longer there are fewer recipients. This year there was three of us that received that honor. For 28 years there wasn’t any. But there’s a lady from Colorado City that has served for 32 years. The reason why it gets thinner is either you die, or you don’t run, or you get beaten by an opponent.”
Rivera told Gila Valley Central that the league is a group that protects the cities and towns within Arizona from legislature overbearing of local core values. Also, Rivera said that the legislature will sometimes want to dip into city and town’s revenue money, and the league helps the towns and cities to fight to keep their money. However, Rivera also said that this has not happened in a while. As a uniting force, Rivera said LOACAT helps the towns and cities bond together and make a stand in order to negotiate with greater government entities.