Focus Daily News: What elected official seat do you sit in?
Richard Reno: I serve as Mayor.
FDN: How long have you been in that seat?
RR: I was elected in 2019.
FDN: What is your main goal as mayor during this term?
RR: My primary goal is to lead the city in the direction that citizens want. I spend a lot of time talking to people to find out their hopes and dreams as well as their concerns. Most people want the same thing – a friendly, safe town to live in. They also want quality services and amenities within a budget that does not increase taxes.
FDN: What made you decide to get into politics?
RR: My wife and I have lived in Midlothian for 20 years and raised our three children here. Our international airline software business is headquartered in Midlothian. I believed this is a critical time in Midlothian’s history due to the growth trajectory the city has been on for two decades. I felt I had a lot to offer in the way of experience and leadership that I wanted to contribute.
FDN: What have been some of the surprises?
RR: Government leadership requires collaboration at all levels in order to arrive at a proposal that represents citizen input and can be agreed upon by the City Council. This method of decision-making differs from how I am used to taking action in a corporate environment where I am often the sole decision-maker.
FDN: What have been your challenges?
RR: Although I am only one vote on the City Council, as Mayor it is my responsibility to conduct the Council meetings in a way that keeps us on track. One of my greatest challenges is making sure all voices are heard, which includes citizens and council members. I encourage citizens to attend City Council meetings regularly or watch them online, so they can be involved in what is happening in their community.
FDN: Where do you see the city going in the next few years and how will you contribute to that?
RR: The city has a very exciting future. With the passage of the 2021 bond projects, the City Council will need to make sure the projects meet citizens’ expectations for design and that spending is controlled. I feel my greatest contributions will be to ensure that input from citizens is incorporated into the planning process and that we maintain fiscal responsibility in implementing the projects.