San Fernando Mayor Resigns, Citing Need to Care for Wife

Times Staff Writer

San Fernando Mayor Roy Richardson, the city’s most popular politician for 11 years, resigned Monday night, saying he needs to devote more time to his ailing wife.

Mayor Pro Tem Daniel Acuna was appointed by the San Fernando City Council as his replacement.

Richardson, 64, a retired merchant, has been the council’s top vote-getter in the three elections held since 1978.


He was in his third term as mayor, a position that rotates among City Council members. Richardson is best known for his soft-spoken manner in leading council discussions on controversial issues.

“It is with a heavy heart that effective April 30, I will resign my post,” Richardson told the City Council at its regular meeting Monday night, his voice breaking with emotion. “I have called this city home for more than 60 years. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to leave.”

Richardson said he and his wife, Frankie, who is recovering from a series of operations brought on by cancer treatments, have moved to a home they bought in Los Osos, south of Morro Bay. Richardson said they were planning to retire there after his four-year term ended in 1990, but he is acting now so he can look for work to pay his wife’s medical bills.

Under state law, the City Council has until May 30 to fill his council seat by appointment or call for a special election, said City Administrator Donald E. Penman. In the past five years, the council has twice opted to fill vacant seats by appointment rather than conduct an election, which would cost the small town between $10,000 and $15,000.