Quiet, reserved and kind are just some of the words that many who knew him and worked with him at City Hall chose to describe Dr. James Riviere when news regarding his passing circulated through the community last week.
Laura Litzan, Marco’s City Clerk and the longest serving executive staff member in City Hall, recalled Riviere as an extremely kind and compassionate man. “He truly cared about the city and the residents,” said Litzan when she learned of his passing. Former Fire Chief Mike Murphy had a similar recollection of his former boss. “Jim was a quiet and reserved individual who genuinely cared about community and the city’s employees. I’m sad to hear of his passing,” said Murphy over the weekend.
Former Council Chair Ken Honecker also complimented Riviere on his temperament and even disposition. “It is what you need in that job. Someone who can deal with all the differing personalities that come through your door every day,” he said.
Riviere was active within the community, having served on the Planning Board in addition to chairing that committee. He also chaired the Charter Review Committee.
In April of 2010, he was called upon to serve as the Interim City Manager. He eventually held it as a permanent position for almost four year before retiring later in 2013.
“After Steve Thompson left the position of City Manager, Jim really stepped up and served the city and its citizens as a true professional, and did a great job. I really am sorry to hear of his passing,” said Frank Recker, who served as Chairman of the City Council that hired Riviere.
Riviere was born in 1941 in Arkansas. He majored in Economics at the University of Washington, eventually obtaining his MBA from American Graduate University and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Pacific Western University. He had a very diverse professional career, spanning across a number of different industries and companies.
Riviere is survived by his wife Wanda; his four sons, Louis, Robert, Joe, and Jack; brother Milto;, and four grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jeanne Marie, and a son, William.