Banks was first appointed to the Cleveland City Council At-Large position on Sept. 19, 2003. Since his appointment, he has been re-elected by Cleveland voters for two additional four year terms.
Banks holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, with dual majors in education and history. Prior to his enrollment at the University of Tennessee College of Law, also in Knoxville, Banks taught history and coached basketball for the Gordon County, Ga., school system.
In 1974, after completing his law studies and obtaining his law license, Banks moved to Cleveland to begin his practice.
He and his wife of 35 years, Amy Jones Banks, have two children, Allison Taylor Banks and R. Bradley Banks. His son Bradley is married to Laura Pratt Banks. Allison, Bradley and Laura are all licensed attorneys. Bradley practices within the Banks’ law firm, Richard Banks & Associates PC.
Banks is a member of Broad Street United Methodist Church and has taught Sunday School classes.
In addition, Banks has served as a member, director and as the city’s representative on the Industrial Development Board, Greenway Board, MainStreet Cleveland, Museum Board, Local Government Study Commission, Historic Cleveland Neighborhood Association, and Bradley County Bar Association.
As an avid outdoorsman, Banks enjoys hunting and fishing, as well as wood-working and gardening.
“I grew up on a family farm in Coffee County, where my parents taught me the benefits and importance of a strong work ethic. After finishing law school in Knoxville, I was offered a job with a small firm in my hometown of Manchester. However, around that same time, Carl Colloms, a former mentor, was elected as a Bradley County judge. Carl offered me the opportunity to take over his law practice, which I quickly accepted. At that time, Cleveland was ranked as one of Tennessee’s best places to live. Forty years later, I can proudly say that Cleveland continues to be ranked No. 1 as a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“During my 11 years as a City Councilman, I have had the good fortune to serve with Mayor Tom Rowland and a group of civic-minded and dedicated Council members. Our city government provides Cleveland’s citizens with one of the safest and most enjoyable places to live in the Southeastern United States. Cleveland’s police and fire departments have received national recognition for providing safety to our citizens.
“Nearby communities cannot rival the security we all have in our homes and businesses here in Cleveland. Cleveland’s public works department provides services such as street paving and maintenance, brush and leaf pickup, and resolving flooding issues, which are performed by dedicated employees who are sometimes forced to work in extreme weather conditions.
“Our city’s recreation department provides venues such as the Greenway and city parks which are enjoyed by all. Our city manager, Janice Casteel, and her hard-working administrative staff are diligent in being good shepherds of Cleveland residents’ tax dollars.
“With the conservative fiscal policies established by the City Council, Cleveland has the third-lowest property tax rate of the 13 cities in the state with city school systems. If the voters choose to re-elect me for an additional term, I pledge to them my commitment to continue the policy and business practices which have been firmly established by our City Council.”
“I sincerely appreciate your vote and support. Early voting begins July 17 and ends Aug. 2. Election Day is Aug. 7. Thank for your consideration,” he said.