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MEET RICHARD

A Servant-Leader, the Time is NOW!
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I'm a Husband, Father, Barber, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, & Educator. I've always been different. Growing up the youngest only male child in the home, the path to self-discovery was quite interesting. I hated being told what to do or bossed around by my older sisters and made up in my mind that I would one day be in charge of my life and existence. I remember approaching graduation, everyone asking about my plans. My sisters had all gone into the medical field; apparently, people expected me to do the same.  That wasn't what I wanted for my life. Even when I graduated high school, I did not know what I wanted to do career-wise, but I knew I did not want to go to college. 

 

I began cutting hair at the age of 12 but somehow never really considered that I could turn it into a career, certainly not one that would make provision for a family of six. It was all I had. I did go to college briefly but hated every moment, so I quit. I can remember coming home and telling my Mom I wasn't going back; she asked me what I was going to do, and I told her I wanted to cut hair; I was good at it and wanted to see where I could go with it.  I quit college, got my Barber's license, & never looked back! I opened my first barbershop at 25,  the first Barber School in Aiken County at 30! Today I have three barbershops and a barber school. I am in pursuit of becoming North Augusta's next Mayor.

 

I've built a life for myself and my family through vision and leadership. It is my goal to do that for this city and its residents. I have to be impactful - it's what I was placed on this earth do too. Position and title have never been enough for me; I strive to catalyze to evoke change and enhance the lives and circumstances of those around me, in my home, the classroom, businesses, and now the great and beautiful city of North Augusta. The Time is NOW!

VISION AS MAYOR

The Three C's


City, Community, and Culture! As Mayor, I will be visible and tangible. Inclusiveness is the key! Our city leaders should reflect the demographic of our city. I want to bridge the gap between our city and community through open communication. Weekly messages from the Mayor, monthly meet and greets, quarterly town halls, and city current events. We need a youth council, with their very own informal, yet special campaign and election held totally digital; they matter, and we want to keep them in the city as our future leaders! I want to take our city green; get rid of the usage of paper when and where we can. Our city needs an App in addition to our website for quick, and mobile access and attractive to the youthful resident and prospects. I want to see our city have it's very own museum in addition to the Arts and Heritage Center, showcasing our city's past, present, and future. I'd like to have a festival to embrace and celebrate each culture represented in our city, I believe the racial and ethnicity divide needs not be blurred, but blended. We are indeed, better together.




Business Infrastructure and Economic Development


I want to invest in business currently in the city, like Northside Lanes, Gary's, Breckenridge Plaza, to name a few. The old Monterrey's space and Ryans building should've been occupied long ago. I will be intentional in getting these spaces filled with new businesses and opportunity. While the historic area of our city needs to be preserved, some of our development codes and ordinances should be revisited to ensure growth and opportunity for present and future businesses, and ultimately our city. Food trucks doesn't really have a home anywhere in the CSRA, why not North Augusta! Our city and residents have been in desperate need for (sit down) restaurants. I will personally facilitate this process to ensure that it is a success. The plan is to attract more than chain restaurants, places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, Charleston, Savannah, are all just over two hours away and have restaurants that neither Aiken or Augusta have; certainly we can bring them to our city! In addition to restaurants I want to bring businesses and corporations to our city so that our residents can build their lives and careers here. We need to talk about downtown...stay tuned for an open forum!




Sports, Entertainment, and Recreation


I'd like the see the Green Jackets officially renamed the North Augusta Green Jackets and would initiate that conversation. We need to maximize the use of SRP Park. I envision a Summer Concert series kicked off by local artists each year and attracting big names across the globe; Gospel, R&B, Country, and Hispanic music festivals, come to mind. I want to bring more family fun and friendly attractions to the Project Jackson area like the ferris wheel downtown Atlanta. I want to have more city interaction with and for events like the Peach Jam and even the Masters. We need to have a sports hall of fame, the Lady Jackets of North Augusta High School won the State 4A Championship four years consecutively and the city did nothing for them. That accomplishment needs to be celebrated and etched in our history as well as former professional athletes who were born, raised, and or educated in our city!




Crime Prevention


Our city is a fairly safe place to live, however we're extremely accessible, as we are a connector city and I-20 is one of the busiest interstates in the nation. I want to build a rapport and work the Mayors and police chief of surrounding cities and towns in the event one of their citizens is a suspect or victim of a crime in our city. I'm going to ensure that our police department and officers are well equipped to do their jobs. That includes and new state of the art training facility and headquarters. I want a climate where our officers are conscious to different races and ethnic backgrounds and strive diligently to keep all residents of our city safe. Gang violence is on the rise across the nation, people are in fear, the youth are looking for a place to belong. We have to combat that head on and with serious aggression. I want to be proactive in the pursuit and protection of our city's peace. Lastly I want to work with our police department on a police retention plan. NADPS shouldn't be a stepping stone, we want our officers to be a part of our community, gain and maintain the respect and rapport with our citizens. Our officers are short staffed and should have every and resource needed to protect and serve, our city and return home safely to their families. I want to address the 'hot spots' in our city The North Augusta Gardens, Ridgeview Manor etc... I want to create a homeownership initiative. Homeownership is the first step building wealth and sustenance, where there is poverty and lack; there will be crime.




Family Life


A city-wide health initiative for a healthier North Augusta. Scavenger hunt across the city. Annual 5k run Family night out at SRP Park Summer Camp Mentor Programs Family Counsel and Resources





 
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