Greene was elected Mayor in April 1987 after more than a
decade of service as chairman of the city’s Planning and
Zoning Commission and as Mayor Pro-Tem.
During his five mayoral terms, the City of Arlington launched
its first full-scale economic development initiative in a
partnership with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce under the
direction of a council-citizen oversight committee. The
program gained statewide recognition and resulted in a
period of significant economic growth and new employment
opportunities for Arlington residents.
Addressing concerns about the city’s traffic congestion and
mobility problems, Greene led aggressive road construction
programs as mayor. The programs were endorsed by Arlington
voters in several bond elections that effectively resulted
in better roadways and a ten-fold increase in street
construction in the city.
Believing that public safety was the highest priority, Greene
led annual budget discussions so that the portion of the
city’s resources devoted to the police and fire departments
grew from about one-third of general fund expenditures to
nearly one-half. Increases in the police department and the
addition of new fire stations in growing areas of the city
gave residents higher levels of safety and security.
When competing cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area attempted
to convince the Texas Rangers Baseball Club to leave
Arlington, Greene developed a winning plan to build a new
ballpark for the team as part of a proposed public-private
partnership. Arlington voters overwhelmingly approved the
plan in the largest-ever voter turnout in a local election.
Texas Rangers, in its new home, won its first-ever division
championship, hosted the 1995 All-Star Game, and brought new
economic benefits to the city along with more national
recognition during Greene’s tenure as Mayor.
During the recession of the early 1990s, General Motors put
the 40-year-old Arlington plant on the list for possible
closure. Greene mobilized the local community, the Texas
governor, and the area’s congressional delegation to assist
in a campaign to convince GM decision makers that the
Arlington plant should be re-tooled. Today, the GM Arlington
plant continues to be a vital part of the local economy.
Richard Greene’s passion for the environment led to other
noted accomplishments. He authored the city’s first
ordinance to limit smoking in public places and supported
creation of the Living Science Center at River Legacy Parks.
Richard Greene at General Motors
in 1943 at the U.S. Navy hospital in Idaho, Greene grew up
in Louisiana. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business
administration from Northeast Louisiana University. He is
also a graduate of the School of Mortgage Banking at
Northwestern University in Chicago.
Richard Greene’s tenure as Arlington mayor ended in May 1997.
In honor of his many years of dedicated public service, a
six-acre linear park at 1601 E. Randol Mill Road bears his
name. In 1997, a section of turf located behind Center Field
at the Ballpark in Arlington was named Greene’s Hill for his
contributions to the Texas Rangers baseball club. A
scholarship program for high school seniors was also
established by the Texas Rangers and is named in honor of
Greene’s dedication to youth and education.
After his 10-year stint as mayor ended, Greene was appointed
EPA Regional Administrator by President Bush in 2003. He led
the oversight of federal environmental programs for
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
His business career has also included work in higher education
as well as senior management roles in the automobile and
banking industries. He has served as the associate publisher
of the Star-Telegram and CEO of the Dallas 2012 Olympic Bid
Today, Richard Greene resides in Arlington with his wife,
Sylvia. They are the parents of three adult children and
have two grandchildren.
He currently serves as an adjunct professor in the
UT-Arlington School of Urban and Public Affairs and as a
director of the River Legacy Foundation, the board of the
Arlington Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the Salvation
Army Youth Education Town Center.
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