PLEASANT HILL -- After 16 years on the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District board, Cecile Shepard has resigned, ostensibly to devote more time to her podiatry practice.

Shepard announced she was stepping down during the Nov. 28 board meeting and then walked out, according to Bob Berggren, recreation district general manager. She submitted her one-sentence resignation in an e-mail two days later, Berggren said.

The board could call for a special election or appoint someone to finish the two years left on Shepard's term, which expires at the end of 2014.

"I've been general manager many years and 100 percent of the time they've just appointed someone unless someone resigned just before the election," Berggren said.

Shepard was appointed to the board in 1996 and won re-election in 2010, the first time the recreation district had held an election since 2000.

Shepard clashed frequently with Berggren, district staff and the rest of the board. In the summer, Shepard abruptly left a closed session board meeting concerning the bids for the planned new community center and didn't attend the next two meetings when the board discussed the project.

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Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.