Mark Winchell will have some big shoes to fill.
So said Councilman Mike Restuccia at Tuesday’s Ripon City Council not too long after Winchell was administered the oath of office by City Clerk Lisa Roos.
Winchell, who was picked recently from an “all-star team” – a term that was uttered by one of the seven candidates looking to fill the seat left vacant upon the passing of Vice Mayor Elden “Red” Nutt – will serve out the term that expires in November 2016.
Nutt, by the way, wore size 15 shoes.
Councilman Dean Uecker pointed that out about his late friend and colleague after once getting a wiseacre response from Nutt when asked how he stood on a certain issue.
“Red was a one of a kind. He can’t be replaced,” Uecker said.
Winchell, who served on the Ripon Planning Commission, was looking forward to working with Nutt on the North Pointe project planned for the northeast part of town around the Mistlin Sports Park.
“Red and I were on the same field trip to the Bay Area to look at the different housing densities,” he said. “I got to know him over the years.
“We went to the same gym in the morning where we would talk one-on-one (on things) – he and I were on the same page.”
Winchell is a self-employed businessman who has lived in Ripon for about 30 years. He spent the past eight years on the Planning Commission.
“The Planning Commission is one thing but City Council is a step up,” he said.
Restuccia had served with Nutt on the Council during his first go-around before prior to being re-elected after his six-year hiatus. He congratulated Winchell on his appointed seat.
“I know you will make him proud,” Restuccia said. “I miss Red every day.”