April 17, 2021 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Richards hopes to make difference as Homer mayor

Jeremy Richards has plans for Homer. 

That is why he is running for mayor in the April 6 election. 

“I have heart for serving and helping others,” he said. 

When he and his wife moved to Homer in 2002 and he joined the fire department in 2007 as a way to help serve the community he had grown to love. 

“Being on the fire department has made me a better person, it has taught me how to deal with very stressful situations and how to problem solve under that stress,” he said. “It’s taught me life skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my days, and it’s allowed me to make life long friends that I would otherwise have never had.”

Richards, who was encouraged to run for mayor of Homer by several members of the community, said his main goal for Homer is growth. 

 “I would like to see the community grow in size,” he said.  “We are an aging community, we need to attract younger families and establish this village as place people can set up house and sink roots. “

From a business perspective Richards said he would like to see a variety of businesses open up including more restaurants, a car wash, laundromat or another gas.  Richards also feels it is important for the village to have an actual grocery store. 

“All things a growing community needs to attract those young families I spoke about,” he said. 

Richards said he feels the village needs to invest money in an advertising campaign to attract younger families and businesses. 

“I would like to attract some businesses that could help provide jobs and an influx of tax dollars to help with village maintenance and development,” he said. 

Short-term Richards said maintenance issues and sidewalks need to be addressed. 

Richards said he considers Homer his home. 

“I’ve lived in Homer longer than any other place in my life,” he said. “I love the small town feeling,  the fact that I know who my neighbors are. I like that I feel safe and that others are safe in the village. I will work, as hard as I can, to better the community I love.”

Richards said the great schools, sports recreation program and low cost of livings are all things that make Homer a great place to call home for families. 

“With St. Joe and other communities taxes on the rise, I feel like we can attract families looking to move out of CU and into a smaller, safer community with less burdens from taxes,” he said. 

Richards, who teachers at Prairieview-Ogden, believes his job will help him as mayor. 

“Being a teacher has taught me to be very patient, and how to deal with individuals, how to listen and motive those who I interact with on a daily basis,” he said. “I coached and taught for many years, being mayor and teaching wouldn’t be any different or challenging than teaching and coaching and being a father and husband. I’m a very active person who enjoys working and helping others, so managing teaching and mayor responsibilities wouldn’t be an issue for me.”

Richards said teaching has always been a passion of his. 

“Growing up I was very active in my church and helped with children’s programs as I got older,” he said. “Teaching runs in my family, I have several family members who are or were teachers.”

Richards said he believes the mayor is the face of their community.

“We set a tone for what to expect, and what our community is about. They also function sort of like a coach for the village,” he said. “Working with the village trustees to formulate a game plan that will best work for the good of the community.”

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