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Public safety, schools, drawing businesses top priorities

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Both candidates for Riverside’s 3rd Ward talked about public safety priorities and building relationships with the business community.

Incumbent Frank Biondo faces Sal LoPorto on the ticket to represent their section of the city, which has a population of around 3,000.

Biondo said a main focus for him is to work on bringing new businesses to Riverside, especially in the Gateway and Vivion and the Red X areas. He also mentioned a focus on maintaining public safety, pointing out that cutting that budget won’t ever be an option for him.

“Should the city be faced with a budget shortfall, I believe we would have to look at some of the services that we currently provide for citizens, i.e., free trash and recycling pickup and reduced YMCA memberships,” he said. “The areas I would never support cuts in are our police, fire and public service departments.”

LoPorto said his priorities are pushing for schools within the city limits and to increase the level of security. He supports separate police and fire departments with respective chiefs for each department.

“To accomplish these priorities, it is important we continue to work with local businesses to grow our community in addition to working with the school district on our expansion needs,” he said.

Looking at the schooling options was something LoPorto emphasized when talking about his goals. Currently, Riverside is split between several elementary schools, all outside the city limits.

“As Riverside attracts more residents, it is important we continue to push for an elementary school that brings our children together at a younger age,” he said. “The sooner we can bring our children together, the stronger the community we can build for the future.”

The 3rd Ward’s elected representative will hold the office for two years and serve alongside Alderman Art Homer.

Frank Biondo

Age: 63

Address: 3706 N.W. South Drive, Riverside

Occupation: Senior estimator and project manager at North Kansas City Electric

Education: St. John Francis Regis High School, 1972

Public experience: Riverside Board of Aldermen, 2015 to present

Website: N/A

Salvatore (Sal) LoPorto

Age: 33

Address: 4431 N. Sienna Ridge, Riverside

Occupation: Senior director of RevCycle Operations at Cerner Corporation

Education: Bachelor’s of science in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from Truman State University, 2006

Public experience: N/A

Website: N/A