Mayor Chris Cerino resigned from office Tuesday, April 6, 2021, citing the strain of the job has taken a mental and physical toll on him during the last seven-plus years in office.
Cerino was not present at the meeting and his resignation letter was read by Chestertown Town Manager Bill Ingersoll.
“This is not a decision to be taken lightly, and comes after hours of soul searching, conversations with my wife and children, and ultimately at the direction of our family physician,” Cerino wrote in the letter Ingersoll read to the town council. “Over the past several days, my emotional state has become increasingly unstable. While this is embarrassing to reveal in a public forum, I must now be honest with myself – and with you – in acknowledging that the stress levels I have endured for the past seven years are significantly impacting my mental health and physical well being.”
He said his situation would likely improve over the long term but that it was “urgent” that he take steps now to improve his current state.
Cerino praised all the committees, volunteers and town staff for the town’s accomplishments during his seven-plus years that included social justice initiatives and the completion of capital projects.
After reading the letter, Ingersoll lauded the tenure of Cerino.
“This is very sad news,” Ingersoll said. “I’ve been here through at least four mayors, some of who had long terms, and this gentleman has done right, up there with all of them…the best. He had a big heart, he was not swayed politically at any time by the issues and I’m proud to have worked with him.”
Cerino was elected in 2013, and won re-election in 2017, in part on the promise of saving the town’s dilapidated marina. In November of 2019 the marina project was completed and the marina center building now bears his name.