Kevin Day has stepped down after 8 1/2 years as tribal chairman of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians.
He remains on the tribe's Tuolumne Economic Development Authority Board of Directors, however.
Day, 41, cited health issues and a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons for resigning as tribal chairman.
He will continue to represent the tribe and TEDA at community functions, according to a press release issued by the tribe yesterday.
Tribal council Vice-Chairman James Fryer will serve as acting tribal chairman until the regular November elections. Tribe representatives said they would soon release more information about Fryer.
"I do not expect any changes in the direction of the tribe or the planned projects," Fryer said in the press release. "We will continue to uphold the standard Kevin set for progress and strong community relationships."
Day has been at the helm of the tribe during the most progressive period in its history.
During his tenure as chairman, the tribe built a 28,000-square-foot casino that opened May 15, 2001, at 19400 N. Tuolumne Road, and groundbreaking is expected this month on a three-story, 160,000-square-foot casino expansion.
The tribe also bought the 300-plus acre former West Side Lumber Company property in Tuolumne for $1.85 million at a foreclosure sale in March 2002, and plans are in the works to develop that property.
Last week, TEDA President Lester Lingo scheduled an open house for 3-8 p.m. today at The Wild Rose Inn, 18382 Bay Ave., Tuolumne, to update the community on plans for the casino and the West Side property.
There also has been an increase under Day's leadership in projects on the Tuolumne Rancheria, such as home improvements and social programs.
The press release stated Day "has been a tireless participant in community events and youth activities and has represented the tribe throughout the state."