Magazine article American Banker

Getting Involved in His City, Lender Becomes Its Mayor

Magazine article American Banker

Getting Involved in His City, Lender Becomes Its Mayor

Article excerpt

Eagle Mountain, Utah, was incorporated 10 years ago and already has had nine mayors. Many resigned because they found the job too complicated, and the most recent mayor quit just before being indicted for allegedly stealing city funds.

Now banker Don Richardson is trying to bring some governmental stability to the city of 15,000 about 25 miles northwest of Provo.

In October the Eagle Mountain City Council chose Mr. Richardson, a commercial loan officer at $540 million-asset Central Bank, to complete the mayoral term of Brian Olsen, a former Utah Highway Patrol trooper. He took the job just before Mr. Olsen was charged with pocketing the city's travel money for conferences or meetings that he either did not attend or were never held.

Mr. Richardson said the decision to throw his hat in the ring was spontaneous.

"I never considered myself a politician, but it felt right to step up and be counted," he said. His term runs through 2007, and he said he is leaning toward running for a full four-year term next November.

More than a few bankers have been mayors of their communities: Charles A. McCall 3rd, president of AmeriState Bank in Atoka, Okla., is that city's mayor; Mike Boehm, a vice president at Commerce Bank in Kansas City, Mo., is mayor of Lenexa, Kan.; and Matthew T. Doyle, vice chairman of Texas Independent Bancshares Inc. in Texas City, is the mayor there.

Eagle Mountain City Councilman Dave Lifferth said that Mr. Richardson was chosen from 15 applicants specifically because of his financial experience. …

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