On Feb. 11, Winfield Mayor Ryan Ruckel announced at the city’s board of alderman meeting that he was stepping down from his position, effective immediately.
“Stepping down was a really hard decision to make, because I love this community,” he said.
Ruckel was first elected as the mayor of Winfield in 2015, and has been serving as for six years. He and his family are moving out of the community, which does not allow him to continue to serve.
“It was a really tough decision, but my family is my main priority, and we are excited to be starting this next chapter of our lives,” he said. “These last six years have been really eye-opening, and I have made friendship that will last a lifetime. I have learned to develop thick skin, and to be more attentive to others around me and those who just wanted to be heard.
“I have made some lifelong friends who I want to thank; Julie Rodgers, Mark Cross, John Cottle and many more. Being in this position one of the key priorities is creating relationships and a foundation with the community, I had to learn that fast in order to have their trust.”
As Ruckel leaves office, Board of Alderman member Robin Crysts will take over until April. At the farewell speech, City Clerk Roschell Eaton presented Ruckel with a plaque to remind him of his time as mayor, as well as an hourglass to symbolize how much time he spent serving the community and the endless hours he dedicated to Winfield.
“We want you to know we will miss you, but we are excited for you as you move into the next part of your life,” Eaton said. “You moved mountains while you were here, not just mentally but spiritually; you made so many sacrifices, we never doubted how much you love this community.”
Ruckel’s last words as the Mayor of Winfield were short and succinct.
“Although we are leaving city limits, we look forward to continuing to call Winfield our home forever and will always have such a love for the community and the people within it,” he said.