Unexpected resignation at Reedley's City Council meeting


Reedley council member Steve Rapada resigned from his seat Tuesday after it was discovered he moved out of the district he represents.

The issue was brought to light after a complaint was filed with the Fresno County clerk. The two men that filed the complaint happen to be city workers and part of a union that is in the middle of a labor dispute with the city of Reedley. But they flat out told Action News it wasn't a political stunt, but rather a move made out of civic pride.

Reedley city council member Steve Rapada gave Mayor Mary Fast his letter of resignation at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

The California Attorney General determined Monday that Rapada violated the rules by living a house located outside of the district he represents.

"And it became not just myself and wife. But then our daughter and our son in law and our daughter and two bedroom, three quarter bath house wasn't going to cut it." said Rapada.

Rapada explained to a jam packed crowd his family broke the rules because they simply could not find a suitable home in their district.

Steve Henrichs and Jason Garcia filed the complaint in July to the Fresno County clerk. Garcia says the circumstances are unfortunate but someone had to step up and point out Rapada's violation.

"We filed a complaint and it was found obviously from the state that he was not in compliance. And I'm glad he resigned." said Garcia.

Garcia and Heinrichs work for the city of Reedley's Public Works Department, which happens to be locked in an intense labor battle with the city. Rapada says the union they represent possibly had something to do with the complaint.

"And we all know as you go through budget times and you deal with the labor there are always going to be times with that bit of turmoil." said Rapada.

But Henrichs says that's just not true. He says the decision to file the complaint had nothing to do with the labor dispute.

"It was not anything from an employee standpoint. I know how it looks, but as a resident you know I felt like it was wrong what he was doing. I think most citizens would feel that way if they had information that something like that was going in." said Henrichs.

The council will have 30 days to appoint Rapada's replacement. The former council member told me he plans on devoting all his time to coach eighth grade football. That's something he's done every season for the past 33 years.

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