Richbourg played key role in city over last 30-plus years

City of Cape Girardeau finance director John Richbourg poses for a portrait Tuesday in his office at Cape Girardeau City Hall. Richbourg is retiring as a full-time city employee Friday after 31-and-a-half years of full-time work with Cape Girardeau.
Jacob Wiegand ~ Southeast Missourian

One of the many jobs that our reporters at the Southeast Missourian do and have done over the years is explain how our local governments are spending their money.

In order to inform our readers, we have to have this data available to us, and have to have someone explain from where the money is coming and to where it is going.

For some three decades, the man who helped our reporters explain to our readers what was happening with the city's tax money was John Richbourg.

Richbourg is and was a man of few words, a quiet and soft-spoken person who prefers the quiet corners of government. He's the numbers cruncher, and he's done a good job the last 31 years keeping tabs on the money coming into the city's coffers.

Richbourg recently stepped down as the city's full-time finance director, but will be staying on in a part-time capacity, allowing him to transition into retirement while also ensuring a smooth transition to Victor Brownlees, who has been training for the past year or so to take the reins.

We appreciate Richbourg's work over the years, particularly his accessibility. Never one to spin politics, we could always count on Richbourg for straight-up facts. He promptly returned calls and was always patient with our inquiries, knowing we weren't asking about his money, but the people's money.

As Richbourg begins his new chapter in life with family and grandkids in the Gordonville area, we want to thank him for his 30-plus years of service to the city of Cape Girardeau. His quiet contributions were very important to the functioning and transparency of the city.