By Mark Vasto
"My family and I care deeply about this City and I hope that the citizens will allow me the honor of two more years at the helm," Richardson said on Tuesday night. "My current term has offered many challenges, occasional frustration and frequent satisfaction, but most of all the opportunity to learn. I would like the opportunity to use that hard earned knowledge and experience to benefit the citizens of Parkville."
Richardson, a Riss Lake resident and the retired founder and CEO of engineering firm CRB Builders, was first elected in a 2008 landslide over downtown landlord Tom Hutsler, replacing outgoing mayor and current first district County Commissioner Kathy Dusenbery. Richardson was first appointed Ward 4 Alderman in January 1997. He served as an interim mayor in 2004 and was appointed commissioner of the city's Planning and Zoning Board in 2006 before deciding to run for office again.
Richardson's term began with a controversial subject in the smoking ban, which was ultimately negotiated to allow smoking at private clubs like the National and American Legion and had a two year implementation date -- but he has since presided over a relatively calm Board of Aldermen. The hiring of current police chief Kevin Chrisman probably standing as his most important legislative work of his administration.
Richardson's decision will more than likely end speculation that Deborah Butcher of Jim Brooks -- both current Ward 1 aldermen -- will run for the post. Both have been on friendly terms with Richardson throughout his mayorship and both are generally considered to be future candidates for the office given their longstanding community involvement.
To date, nobody else has declared their intentions to run against him in the April election.