Leader Blues

Saturday, October 24, 2009

TOP STORY >> Ward council member quits post

Leader staff writer

Longtime Ward council member Ginger Tarno resigned this week, saying ill health prevents her from doing her job as well as she would like to.

Tarno, who was appointed to the council about 12 years ago and has won every election since, grew up in Ward. She said every decision she has made as a member of the city council has been for the people there.

“I tried to treat the city like I’d like to be treated,” she said.

Tarno said she has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. But her problems also include excessive production of insulin and debilitating leg pain. In two years, she has gone from being very active to requiring a motorized wheelchair for outings.

She has been hospitalized four times in less than a year and she has missed some council meetings.

During the last meeting, her pain was so great she had difficulty concentrating, she said.

Since her problems came on quickly, she said she remains hopeful that the root cause is simple with a simple cure.

But, in the meantime, staying in office wouldn’t be fair to the people she represents, she said.

“I could sit up there and draw a paycheck, but that’s not me,” she said.

Mayor Art Brooke said Tarno had not always agreed with him, but she had always been supportive.

He knew she was considering resigning but he had hoped she would stay. “She’s been good for Ward,” he said. “She’s made good decisions.”

Tarno’s replacement will likely be chosen during the December council meeting.

The new alderman will complete her term and then be eligible to run for the position like she did.

Brooke said several names have been mentioned already, but declined to reveal those names. Tarno said her 25-year-old son, Bobby Tarno Jr., is on that list and he is her first choice, but the decision is the council’s.

A member of the city’s volunteer fire department since he was old enough to join at 13, her son is a family man who is interested in the betterment of the city, she said.

“He’s level-headed,” she said. “He’d be good on the council.”