Howard Price is running for Mayor of Richmond, Indiana as an independent candidate in the 2023 general election.
2023 Election Guide
Reasons: When I look around the city, it is obvious Richmond’s environment needs help. On the main streets, some of the residential streets, parks, and business locations, litter and trash are invasive. Numerous buildings are unkempt, dilapidated, and plain unsafe. We must do better. The other reason, our city government is a maze for ordinary citizens. When I have tried to get answers from officials, at times, it’s just not easy. The city website for interaction between citizens and government needs a thorough update. The site must provide past, present, and future information covering all departments and allow for constructive feedback.
Priorities: First, return Richmond’s environment to a pristine condition through a city-citizen collaboration and ordinance changes putting teeth into littering and code violations. Some think I should live in OZ’s Emerald City because I complain about the littered streets, businesses, and parks as well as unsightly structures. If you didn’t live here and drove through town for the first time and saw all the street trash, what would your impression be? Second, provide better communication between city government and citizens. Hold public forums to discuss issues brought up at commission and board meetings or those expressed through the city website. Have face-to-face one-on-one meetings to understand the problems and concerns facing a resident or a business. Third, pursuing high tech industry to provide excellent job opportunities for current and future citizens. Determine what the industry needs and then implement actions to attract that industry.
Skills: Twenty years as an Air Force officer flying the B-52 bomber and T-37 trainer, becoming an instructor pilot, earning master’s degrees in Business and Aeronautical Engineering, and supervising federal employees at Wright-Patterson’s Foreign Technology Division demanded an attention to detail skill. Applying that skill ensures projects and duties are completed in a thorough and timely manner. A second skill, I’ve always had, is an exceptional mathematical aptitude. My two master’s degrees will serve me well in understanding the city’s dollars and cents budget, department allocations, grant proposals, and the city’s day to day financial activity.
Working well: Richmond’s Fire Department is a stellar organization providing valuable services and protection for the city. Go to the city website, richmondindiana.gov, and find the area covering the Fire Department. What you see is a comprehensive description of how the department benefits the city. The department handles both firefighting and emergency medical services that are second to none. Additionally, the training available at the Edelman facility is state of the art. Richmond can rest assured that its firefighters and emergency technicians are well trained and fully qualified. I’m proud of the men and women who serve in the fire department.
Needs changing: The city can do better in utilizing information technology to connect citizens with their government. Social media is fine but there should be city communication available to those who don’t follow social media. People who want to know the board or commission agenda, what the past actions were, and who serves on a particular entity need current information provided by the city website. I will have each department, commission, and board update their sections of the city website monthly. Pictures of the city officials, commission members, and board members will be displayed on the website to make a personal connection.
Accepting results: Absolutely. I will continue to volunteer with the Community Food Pantry. I will remain a volunteer with the Park Department. I will enjoy participating with the local railroad clubs. I will attend city board and commission meetings and actively seek additional opportunities to serve the Richmond community.
Involving residents: I will open the mayor’s office one day of the week for citizens to personally voice their thoughts and concerns about how the city operates or explore topics that can benefit Richmond. Personal meetings can resolve issues and provide valuable input that might otherwise be missed. I will also hold monthly public meetings to cover current issues concerning city departments, commissions, and boards. For those unable to meet or attend, a viable city web page will be established for citizens to provide input. I plan on making regular visits to businesses in the city to seek information.
$5 million: Money usually comes with conditions more restrictive than improving community. The question posed only improvement. I want sustainable improvement. I can think of several, but I’ll stick to the main reason I decided to run for mayor. Clean Up Richmond’s Environment (CURE). To make CURE sustainable, establish a trust with future returns used for CURE. The remaining grant goes to two areas. First, cleaning up the streets and residential areas by implementing the following: Provide more maintenance equipment, better and more trash receptacles in public areas with dedicated pickup, litter signs to show resolve, strong enforcement of new city ordinances, join organizations like Keep America Beautiful, and providing volunteers with supplies, tools, and retrieval. Those community improvements will initiate positive image change. Second, provide resources to neighborhoods to establish crime watches, to accomplish local projects, to promote quality of life, and for interaction with city departments especially first responders.
Other: As mayor I will not have a gate keeper. My office and administration will be open and responsive to all. I have no obligations to any person, group, or organization other than myself to do the best job to improve Richmond for its current and future residents. I welcome all good ideas that are feasible and sustainable. I’m not looking for a photo opportunity or to take credit for others’ work. I am a facilitator, a coordinator, and a leader to get things done. Working at the food pantry across from Starr school, I watched children going home at the end of the day. I thought, which ones will lead a useful life or which ones will get involved with drugs or worse. My prayer is for each one to lead a useful life. It’s up to all of us to provide support and opportunity for them to be useful.
A version of this article appeared in the October 4 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.