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Meet the new mayor of Richland Center
4-26 Corcoran 9WEB
Paul Corcoran was elected to his first term as Richland Center Mayor earlier this month.


Paul Corcoran came to Richland Center to interview for a job in 1984, accepted the position and has opted to remain here ever since.

He was hired as the pharmacist at Richland Family Prescription Center, originally at the former Richland Medical Center location on Cairns Avenue and now at its present location on East Second Avenue.

Raised in Somerset, Mass., Corcoran earned a degree in biology and chemistry at Ripon College before transferring to the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, where he earned a bachelor’s degree; the highest level degree available in that field at the time.

He continues to find fulfillment in his pharmacy career at Richland Family Prescription Center. “I could never have been luckier,” he says. “I love my patients. I truly feel that the store is what a small town is supposed to be: everyone looking out for each other and helping each other.”

A year before moving to Richland Center, Corcoran got married and he and his wife Chris have two daughters, Kelley, who is finishing her second year in the Doctor of Audiology program at the University of Washington, and Kasey, who is a senior majoring in marketing at UW-La Crosse.

Corcoran frequently visits his mother Mary Ellen Corcoran, who resides at Pine Valley Healthcare.

Fifteen years ago, Corcoran was elected to the Richland School District Board of Education and has served for the past 13 years as the board president. On April 23, he was re-elected to another term as president.

Over the years he has observed the burgeoning of technology, not only in the school district, but in American society. He recalls exchanging cassette tapes through the mail with a pen pal during his youth, often waiting weeks to receive the next one. “Now, with computers, you can be friends with people all over the world,” he says.

In Corcoran’s new role as Richland Center mayor, after his successful bid on April 3 of this year, he’s interested in learning more about another technological innovation  –  renewable energy. Before his election as mayor he attended some City Council meetings, which included some discussion on renewable energy. When Mayor Larry Fowler decided not to run for office this year, a few people suggested that Corcoran should run. “It’s important for me to do everything possible to create opportunities for the area,” Corcoran says.

The new mayor is excited about his role in city government. “I want to focus on getting people involved with the city and working together,” he says. “There are opportunities for people to have success. I want people to know how many outstanding groups we have and how many people are working on city improvements. People outside the city have a vested interest in the success of the city. There are a lot of possibilities. My job is a facilitator to bring people together. It’s a team effort.”

He wants people to know that he’s easily accessible. He welcomes calls to his cell phone at 608-604-0615 or e-mail messages at

Corcoran is pleased to have been elected to lead Richland Center. “It’s a privilege to be mayor,” he said. “I’m very humbled.”