Rohnert Park Vice Mayor Resigns

Walter Willy” Linares

Vice Mayor Walter “Willy” Linares submitted a letter of resignation from the Rohnert Park City Council on April 18, 2022. In his letter, Linares said “With the arrival of our twins, I will no longer be able to keep up with the demands of being an elected official and working a full-time job.” The resignation shall be effective no later than May 25, 2022. It is effective sooner if the city council appoints a successor prior to that date.

According to City Manager Darrin Jenkins, how to proceed to fill the looming vacant seat is up to the city council. Generally, they can appoint a successor to the seat or schedule an election for the residents of District One to vote on a successor. That successor would fill the remaining portion of his term. Linares was elected in 2020 and his term does not expire until 2024. The issue will be part of the city council’s agenda for their April 26 regular meeting according to Jenkins.

Linares acknowledged in his letter that his supporters will be disappointed in his decision. He hopes that they understand that as a husband and a father “I am making the choice to prioritize my family”. He went on to say, “As someone that grew up without a father, I want to provide the opposite experience for my children.” He also said, “Serving this community has been one of the greatest honors of my life.” He is looking forward to continuing giving back to his community in new ways.

April 18, 2022

 

 

Honorable Mayor Elward and Members of the City Council

City of Rohnert Park

130 Avram Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA  94928

 

Dear Mayor Elward,

 

I regret to inform you that I am respectfully offering my resignation from the Rohnert Park City Council.  This resignation shall be effective upon appointment of my successor, but shall go into effect no later than May 25, 2022.

 

With the arrival of our twins, I will no longer be able to keep up with the demands of being an elected official and working a full-time job. This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, as I have learned so much and enjoyed being able to make transformational changes in our city. 

 

I’m sure this decision will disappoint those that have supported me and for that, I am truly sorry. I hope you understand that as a father and husband, I am making the choice to prioritize my family. As someone that grew up without a father, I want to provide the opposite experience for my children and be as present as I possibly can. 

 

Serving this community has been one of the greatest honors of my life. Although saddened by this difficult decision, I look forward to continuing to give back to my community in new ways. 

 

They say the only constant is change and while this decision brings significant change for me, I am also proud looking back at the change we were able to accomplish here in Rohnert Park during my time on council including: 

 

  • Adding a Climate Change and a Racial, Social, Environmental Justice element to our General Plan
  • Increased diversity on our boards and commissions 
  • Improved police accountability and community relations
  • Reimaging Southwest Boulevard
  • Upgrading the city to 100% renewable, locally produced energy
  • Successfully applying for Project Homekey funding for transitional housing
  • Commitment to Highway 101 overcrossing for pedestrians
  • Launching the SAFE crisis response team
  • The investment and improvement of communication between the city and residents

 

Sincerely yours,

 

/s/

 

Walter “Willy” Linares

Vice Mayor

 

 

cc:        Darrin Jenkins

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