Mayor Chris Cerino Resigns Citing Physical and Mental Toll of Office

Cerino’s resignation letter, click image to read

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.

Mayor Chris Cerino emcees dedication of the Chestertown Marina, Nov. 1, 2019

9 comments

  1. Thank you, Chris, for your leadership and service. You have given so much to your community — not just as a public official, but as an educator, nonprofit leader/entrepreneur, citizen, colleague and friend to so many. You’re the definition of a person who gives much to others while expecting little for himself … who is ready to put in all the hard work without demanding any of the glory. I’ve seen it so many times over the past 20 years … whether you’re teaching a group of WAC freshmen how to kayak, or dealing with the concerns of Chestertown citizens. You’re doing the right thing in focusing on self-care right now. Please know how many people there are who admire you, appreciate you, and love you.

    1. Very well said Adam,
      Chris and his selfless devotion to the community wi8ll not go unrrcognised.
      I also agree with Bill Ingersoll’s assesment that Chris will rank as a top acheiver among mayors of our belove town.

  2. I don’t live in town but thank you for the service. I think all of us need to reflect on the sacrifices those that serve us make . It’s easy to amplify decisions we don’t like, but stepping up and making that decision doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Those that serve have families and lives to manage too, just like us . Thanks Chris . Hope you can party again now .

  3. I’m proud to have served with Chris Cerino and believe that he has been an outstanding Mayor. No one outside his immediate family or Town Hall will ever know how tirelessly he worked for the benefit of our community.

  4. As Chris’s in-laws, we have seen first-hand the mental stress that he has endured over his tenure as Mayor of your beautiful little town, particularly the past several months. His dedication and persistence in following through with the many iniatives and improvements has made us very proud. He personally loves Chestertown and wholeheartedly dedicated himself to every project, sometimes to his own detriment. We know he has made the best decision for himself and his family and earnestly support his decision. We love you. Chris !

  5. You have served Chestertown and its residents with distinction and clear sightedness. The community is far better as a result of your outstanding commitment and relentless work. Thank you.

  6. I haven’t been following these little local online forums, or the KCN. Too much negativity, too many personal attacks, and way too much preaching to the choir by the editors and opinion columnists, which is fine. It’s your paper. But somewhere along the way I missed “the revelation”. One day Chris Cerino is being accused of being a racist, or at least harboring racial tendencies or at a bare minimum being a part of the catch all phrase “systemic racism” and then suddenly becomes a great leader, a tireless public servant and someone who served Chestertown with distinction. Did somebody play the race card and did I miss it? I actually went back and re-read stories and the comments that followed. Sure looks like it. That’s the reason I enjoy reading and listening to people like Leo Terrell, Bob Woodson, and Burgess Owens. Good luck, Chris. You’re free at last !

  7. Please, never, ever be embarrassed to state you have symptoms of mental illness. Would you be embarrassed to say you have heart disease or diabetes? No, you would not. They are all diseases and can be medically treated. I’m proud of what you have done for my former home, and proud that you have admitted that you are not at your best and need to step back and rest. Thank you.

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