Former Ceres City Councilwoman Linda Ryno did not appear at the May 9 council meeting when Mayor Javier Lopez recognized her for her service.
Lopez read aloud a plaque made for Ryno, who resigned suddenly in her last year of service on April 11. She read an eight-minute statement citing what she believes to be the city’s failure to remedy blight conditions and leveling a gamut of criticisms at both Mayor Javier Lopez and Vice Mayor Bret Silveira.
The issues have caused her too much stress and affected her health, she said, causing her to explain: “I have made the decision that my health is more important than my seat on the council, therefore I resign.”
The stunning surprise left a vacancy in the Council District 2 seat which is up for election in November. The council has chosen not to fill her seat by appointment.
Ryno was first elected to the Ceres City Council in 2013. She was re-elected in 2018 to a four-year seat after being given another year as the city transitioned from at-large to district elections. Her recent term was scheduled to expire this December.
Ryno also mentioned the tension between her and Vice Mayor Bret Silveira, saying she was embarrassed at him for “yelling at a community member who was attempting to get his unanswered questions answered.” It was a reference to a dialogue between Silveira and Gene Yeakley at a meeting earlier this year.
She also expressed embarrassment over Mayor Lopez’s Jan. 21 email to citizen John Warren regarding his complaint about an illegal “pop-up event” at Blaker and Whitmore. In that email, Lopez chastised Warren, saying, “In no shape or form will I continue to allow you gentlemen to disrespect my city staff, with your comments.”
“Yet, the mayor allowed Mr. (John) Osgood to disrespect staff on more than one occasion and said nothing,” said Ryno.
The plaque read: “In recognition of your eight years of outstanding service as councilmember, we’ll be forever grateful for your experience, knowledge and support, embodying our values of integrity, commitment and service while displaying steadfast dedication and loyalty, with much respect and gratitude.”
Mayor Lopez gave time for other councilmembers to comment about Ryno’s service and none spoke.