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Ripon lauds retiring SJCOG head for his contributions

Andrew Chesley will forever be linked to Ripon.

“The City of Ripon is where we are because of him,” Councilman Mike Restuccia recently said.

He had the honors of presenting Chesley, who is retiring after serving over 41 years on the San Joaquin Council of Governments including the 15 years as Executive Director, with a proclamation at the Nov. 10 Ripon City Council meeting as thanks for his outstanding work. SJCOG’s Deputy Director for Planning & Programming Diane Nguyen will take over for Chesley effective Jan. 3.

For Chesley, his biggest contribution perhaps to the City of Ripon was the bustling Jack Tone Road interchange.

“I go back a long time with Ripon. I remember the old house downtown where Council used to meet and going to the orchards – we got chased by a dog – and talking about how the Jack Tone interchange would be there,” he said.

Added Restuccia, who has known Chesley for 20 years or since their days working together on SJCOG: “The Jack Tone interchange has allowed for significant economic growth in Ripon (by) contributing millions in tax dollars to help fund police services, park maintenance, and library services to the community.”

Chesley was also instrumental in obtaining San Joaquin County’s Measure K half-cent sales tax covering transportation improvements throughout the county. He provided technical assistance to the City of Ripon in order to complete transportation projects – CNG fueling stations and CNG waste collection vehicles as well as various pedestrian / bike lanes and bike bridge – and helped advance the City’s first bus transit system with the purchase of the Blossom Express.

“Ripon has been placed to work with. I appreciated the people he has worked with in the City of Ripon,” Chesley said.