Michael Wheeler is finishing his first term as mayor of Richfield Village. No other candidates filed petitions for the four-year term of office, starting in January 2024. With term limits, Wheeler may not run again in 2028. Following are his unedited responses to four questions posed to him by the Richfield Times.
• What were you not able to accomplish in your last term that you plan to tackle in the next 4 years?
Wheeler: We need to finish the new Land Use Plan. We need to finish the water tower and get water to needed areas of Richfield. The new tennis and pickleball courts need to be finished. We need to finish Babbs Orchard Park. A few roads are left to be re-paved as well as the parking lot at Richfield Woods. We have a few hiking trails that need to be finished in order to connect neighborhoods. We need to attract a few new businesses to fill the few vacant buildings we have left.
• What is your current plan for addressing the unattractive areas and truck parking on the north end of town?
Wheeler: We are developing a Richfield Northern Corridor land use plan that will address building standards, parking standards and landscaping which will beautify the area.
• As follow up to the Strategic Planning sessions conducted for the entire community, has your focus as mayor changed?
Wheeler: My focus evolves with evidence based changing circumstances and community needs. In order to stay adaptable and responsive I want as many residents, businesses and property owners as possible to give input and have a voice so we have the desired proper direction for the land use plan.
• Because term limits requires that this is your final term, how can the residents be assured that you are giving 100% to this full-time job?
Wheeler: Ensuring that I am giving 100% effort during my final term, despite knowing that term limits are in place, is crucial for maintaining trust and delivering the best possible service to the residents. Here’s how I would assure the residents that I am fully committed: My personal integrity, continued transparent communication, setting clear goals and objectives, showing solid accountability measures, collaborative approach, consistent availability, evidence-based decision making, continually learning and my desire to contribute to the long-term well-being of the community. By combining these strategies, I would aim to assure residents that my focus and dedication to serving them steadfastly remains unwavering, even in my final term.