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Council Closes Out Year, Issues Kudos
riv city council
Riverbank Mayor Richard D. O’Brien, left, presents retiring Public Works Director Mike Riddell with a plaque commemorating his 11 years of service to the city. The mayor joked that Riddell would have more time now to spend RVing around the countryside. - photo by Ric McGinnis

During the last meeting for 2022, the Riverbank City Council saw two of its seats renewed, so to speak, as one member retained his seat, and another returned to the council last week.

Mayor Richard D. O’Brien also took the opportunity to recognize retiring council member and Vice Mayor Cal Campbell, thanking him for his nine years of service to the community, presenting him with a plaque from the city.

Campbell’s seat was filled following the November General Election by Leanne Jones Cruz, who ran unopposed for the District 3 seat. She has served on the council in the past.

After a bit of celebration in honor of Campbell, the meeting resumed while O’Brien issued the oaths of office to Cruz and Council Member Luis Uribe. He continues to represent the residents of District 1 after running unopposed in November.

The Mayor also swore in Planning Commissioners John Dinan and Taide Zamora and Alternates Steve Link and Michael Halterman.

In addition, the Mayor and the council congratulated retiring Public Works Director Mike Riddell for his 40-year career, the last 11 here in Riverbank. Local resident Cody Bridgewater was hired by the council last month to take over for Riddell. He has been employed in a similar position in Oakdale.

Also on the docket was a public hearing about a proposed sewer rate increase the city has planned as it prepares to revamp the wastewater treatment plant in coming years.

The Prop 218-required hearing was to hear protests by residents voicing their opposition to the move. The law indicates that a 50-percent plus 1 protest could stop the program as proposed. Even though a number of people appeared to voice their displeasure, including by Zoom conference calls and others mailed in, it was not enough to derail the project.

The second scheduled council meeting of December has been canceled, because it would be during Christmas Week, and city offices will be closed for the holiday during that time.