Richard D. O'Brien

City Council
Title: Mayor
Phone: 209-719-9256
Mayor O'Brien 2021

Born in Schenectady, NY, the O’Briens moved to Modesto in 1954. Graduating from Davis High School and Modesto Junior College, O’Brien enlisted in the US Navy in 1972 participating in the evacuations of Cambodia and Viet Nam.  He studied engineering and math at Purdue University.  Graduated from the University of Guam in 1979 and was Commissioned in 1980 serving mainly in Asia for the next twenty years participating in Desert Shield/Storm.  As the Plans Officer for Amphibious Forces, O’Brien planned and directed complex operations that systematically increased military capabilities in all services.  Received a master’s in business administration from the University of Mary Washington.  O’Brien retired as a Commander and moved to Riverbank in 2006.    O’Brien is an HR Manager for O’Brien’s Market (go figure) and enjoys adult training challenges.

Elected to the City Council in 2010 and Mayor of Riverbank in 2012, Mayor O’Brien is a proven leader whose focus is on building coalitions through teamwork and the development of a collective vision.  Concentrating on the City’s Budget, O’Brien is determined to improve the revenue stream while lowering the city expenses.

Mayor O’Brien took office when the budget balances in the past was determined by debt being pushed to future fiscal years.  Showing true leadership in working to bring the City of Riverbank to financial viability and at the same time focusing on long term efforts to increase revenue streams.

The Mayor and City Council work closely with the Executive Management have developed and implemented substantial changes in the way services are provided to the public.  Focusing city government’s efforts on core services while engaging the private and nonprofit sectors and Riverbank’s residents in an unprecedented fashion is key to these changes.

Major Initiatives includes:

Remain vigilant and defend our rights as a community from the State grab of funds, water or any other undue burden that does not provide a clear benefit to this community and build a place we can be extremely proud.  

Develop a new General Plan to protect the boundaries of Riverbank from forces from without that will address the new boundary to the south, defined boundary to the west, develop the east side industrial masterplan and keeping the green belt with Oakdale.

Provide the best in our parks and activities for our youth to enjoy so they will continue to grow in a safe environment.

Identify new sources of revenue to complete the staffing in all departments; to establish and maintain a full 25% general fund reserve’ and provide secure and adequate working spaces for the staff that will last for the next 50 years.

Work with the US Army and the Governor’s Office to transfer the Riverbank Army Ammunition Base to the City and provide the pathways for the development of Green Industries, which will offer high paying employment to our residences.

Develop communications with commercial property owners who have vacant buildings/parcels in our City to facilitate discussions regarding future use or reuse. 

Capture all water/stormwater for reuse/aquifer recharge.

Mayor O’Brien is proud to be a member of the City Council and 


Mayor O’Brien is the Vice Chair for the Stanislaus Council of Government (StanCOG), Commissioner at Stanislaus Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), Member of San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Board, Member on Environmental Justice working committee, League of California Cities Environmental Quality Committee, Chair of Stanislaus County City Selection Committee, and various working groups supporting homeless solutions, environmental issues, land use and air quality solutions.  


While being placed at the end of this Bio, the most important part of the Mayor’s life is being married to his wife’s Christy, their two children, eight grandchildren, and several others.  In his down time, he enjoys travelling with Christy, golfing with a high handicap.


I am very proud of my service in the US Navy, as Mayor, and most proud of being part of my wife’s life. However, I am extremely proud of my participation with the Society of disABILITIS and being its president for the last six years.  


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