Jeff Richards was first elected as a St. Joseph city commissioner in April 1984, and currently is the longest serving commissioner with continuous service to the community, two of those as St. Joseph's mayor.

Jeffrey Richards"In my years of work in the city, I've learned not to abuse power, but to use the power of the commission to make the most of what we have. I love this community and I ran initially to keep things pretty much the same. I still feel that way. We have a great community with lots of natural advantages that I want to preserve," said Richards, who moved to the area in 1973. "Let me tell you a little story. About 300 years ago, the explorer and missionary, Father LaSalle, dropped anchor at the site of what is now present day St. Joseph, where the St. Joseph River flows into Lake Michigan - the BIG lake!

"He recognized the area as a special place, a pleasant port. In my years as a commissioner, I have endeavored to make those necessary changes that will continue to make St. Joseph 'A Special Place on the Lake,' a city that works well together, and a great place to live and play."

In addition to experience, Richards brings the vested interest of a business owner in the community to the commission table. A doctor of veterinary medicine with credentials from Michigan State University, Richards owns and operates the St. Joseph Veterinary Hospital at the Edgewater Center, 435 Upton Drive.

"In city business, as in any business, order is very important. Rules of law are created by the people to maintain order, to give the body structure. Weighing those laws and making those decisions in the best interest of the people can be difficult, but I think I am a good and fair-minded decision-maker," he said.

When doing business in South St. Joseph and representing St. Joseph's Southtown business community, Richards has also served on various boards, including the St. Joseph Today board of directors and he has represented the city for many years on Michigan Municipal League's board of trustees. He is married to Nancy Burch.

Regarding city matters, Richards may be contacted by emailing him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., calling him at (269) 983-2097 or by faxing at (269) 983-0061. 

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