By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Richmond Hill’s water tower serves as a symbol of the city’s community spirit and graceful hospitality
RH water tower
The Richmond Hill water tower, in red, lit in honor of Valentine’s Day. Photos by Georgene Brazer.

Those of you who follow my column know that I write about individuals and wonderful things they do or their ‘specialness’ that makes them stand out. Today is different. I wanted to write about Valentine’s Day in a new way, to define the way we look at this day a bit differently. And–although you receive the paper a day later–the gift of you, the city and unique people who strive for excellence goes way beyond a day. In my story today, I wanted to expand its meaning to include non-romantic compassion, help, participation and kindness.

My world is filled with many “valentines” and the joy of knowing and working with them. Today’s article is, for me, filled with positivity and appreciation. I’ve chosen to introduce you to the individuals who are the ones who are deeply dedicated to the city and keep wonderful and important things happening for us as we grow and expand our jewel, Richmond Hill.

City life is often thought of as fast paced, but not the city of Richmond Hill. We are a small city. I think of us as a town, a town filled with joy, a town that one doesn’t want to leave for any other place, its home. Not a fancy place but a special one.

Mayor Russ Carpenter said to the crowd, ”What makes our town special? My first answer is always because of its dynamic people. We have residents that come from many different states and countries, but quickly become a part of a close-knit community. We are drawn together through sports, churches, school or through our neighborhoods becoming a part of a larger family”. With a gesture and a smile he said, “And where else can you find a water tower that’s lit for Valentines Day?”

The water tower is a reminder–a welcoming reminder–that we have arrived home. One of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) projects was to paint the tower a gleaming white identifying the city with our Richmond Hill logo on it. We decided to have it lit white each night and different colors for special holidays or events, a welcome reminder that we’re home.

As chairman of the Downtown Development Authority, I have been honored to work with incredible staff to help guide and grow success for all. The DDA is made up of a group of individuals with varied business backgrounds. who look for opportunities to enhance the city physically and financially. Today, let me introduce you to those who help make the DDA successful, those who run our town and care for us all. Our light, our glow from our tower is the theme that creates my thoughts, story and introductions today.

Stanley Hurd, Chief Executive Officer of the EOM (the city public works provider) said, “On behalf of the EOM, we are honored to have provided the lighting installation for the Richmond Hill water tower. It is our way of giving back and continuing to make a positive impact by shining a light on our community!”

We are in the midst of exciting growth downtown that will positively impact the expansion of Richmond Hill. Transformative change is shaping the growth of great stores, businesses and restaurants.

I work closely with Nathan Clark, our Assistant City Manager. He said to me, “One of the best parts of my job is working alongside people who love their work.. Through their decision making and actions they are striving to make Richmond Hill the best version of itself for the next generation to enjoy”.

Christy Sherman, the Executive Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said to me that the water tower in Valentine’s lights is a symbolic centerpiece of our city. It’s not only pretty but captures the essence of our community spirit. It’s a “beacon of welcome”, drawing visitors to experience the hospitality and charm of Richmond Hill. Beyond its economic impact, tourism deepens connections between locals and visitors. It’s a bridge that brings people together, inviting them to discover the culture and magic of our city while leaving them with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Chris Lowell, our City Manager, says quite simply that his main jobs are security, protection, water, sewer, the ability to see our city look better, feel better…provide something for everyone as a result of his work to help with aesthetics, brightness, and newness. He is a strong motivator who supervises all departments, is involved in all facets of city government.

Our City Clerk Dawnne Greene points to progress. She has satisfaction with her role in meeting people who relocate here. Dawnne handles special events for the city enabling her to help us all connect and get to know each other better. She has a passion for the area and for working and living in “such a wonderful place to raise my family”. Dawnne feels those she works with are symbolic of how much those in leadership roles in the city truly care and value our constituents.

“We love our city,” Greene said. And so, I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day. This is my way of welcoming you home to a place, a town that cares….

A Valentine’s Day decorative set in front of City Hall.
A Valentine’s Day decorative set in front of City Hall.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters