The political signs are up and candidates are walking door to door. One thing is for certain about the outcome of the Ceres City Council election next month: There will be two winners and one loser.
Ceres voters, of course, will determine who sits on their City Council.
Will it be Ken Lane, who has served on the City Council since 2005 and has since become vice mayor?
Or will it be Linda Ryno, a former city hall employee who is in her second quest to become a councilmember?
Or will voters chose Hugo Molina, a member of the Ceres Planning Commission who also is on his second bid for elected office in Ceres?
On Nov. 5 voters in Ceres will be deciding who will occupy Lane's council term, which expires at year's end, as well as the seat occupied by Eric Ingwerson, who didn't want to seek re-election.
Here are your candidates and where they stand.
Ken Lane, 53, and a resident of Ceres since birth, feels he has a good record which is deserving of another four-year City Council term.
"It is my desire to continue to help lead this city through its challenges and to do all that I can to make it a better community - one that is the most livable, prosperous and safe," said Lane. "Ceres is my home. It is home to my family and I have never contemplated leaving this wonderful community. I want it to be the best it can possibly be and I know that I have and will continue to make a difference."
Lane sat on the council, he said, "seeing this city through one of its most difficult financial times." He said he is proud of being on the council during the construction of the Ceres Community Center, the Whitmore /Highway 99 interchange, Ceres Fire Station #4, the building of three community parks and the renovation of Costa Fields renovation, and additions to the Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
Lane, a 1978 Ceres High School graduate who took some college courses and trade programs, has been employed at Mocal Office Solutions in Modesto for about 12 years. During his nearly eight years of serving on the City Council, Lane has served various leadership roles in the League of California Cities. Before he was elected to the council, Lane served eight years as a planning commission member.
Aside from the accomplishments that he cited, Lane said Ceres "needs strong and focused economic development to help create a prosperous future for all. A strong local economy will ensure the provision of the best possible city services, city facilities and overall better conditions for the people who live, work and visit here. I and the other elected officials must demonstrate strong leadership in terms of policies and programs that will achieve a significantly improved local economy. This will also require a large investment of my time to closely monitor progress and to assist in any way possible and necessary to achieve the goals."
He also said that his chief concerns as a councilman for a new term would be to ensure the long-term availability of a safe and adequate supply of water by "securing the resources, having the infrastructure and working collaboratively with neighboring entities and water suppliers." He also wants to see the image of Ceres "continue to improve," and emphasize policies and programs that help keep the community safe, "ones that enhance our image and ones that eliminate blight and other visuals that detract from our image." Economic development "in a determined and high profile manner" is another primary focus of Lane's as well
"I will maintain my expectations of staff providing quality customer service, and to have a city government that operates in an efficient and effective manner."
Lane is a member of the Ceres Lions Club, past president of Arrowhead Club, a member of the Ceres Chamber of Commerce, and is in his second year of serving as a board of director for the League of California Cities. His family consists of wife Yvette Lane, and children Krystal, 27, Kyle, 26, and Cory, 24.
Hugo D. Molina, 35, said he's running for council because he wants to "ensure that the decisions that are made in Ceres remain true to what they, the citizens elect me to do. I clearly understand that being a councilman is not for me to parade on but rather for me to listen and act on behalf of those who trusted in me to vote soundly and educated on their behalf."
A resident of Ceres since 2006, the owner of Palmwest Insurance Services in Los Banos, wants to see Ceres attract more business and jobs, pursue downtown revitalization, and keep public safety strong.
"I am an ardent supporter of the current study the city is undergoing to determine different means of growth," said Molina. "I am also very proud of the work Chief deWerk is doing bringing in other professionals who can bring fresh ideas to the current council. More business translates into much needed Jobs. I will continue to support and bring about new thoughts for implementation."
One of his goals is to lead Ceres to become a business friendly venue. Molina feels growing business will generate more tax revenue to offset the need of the city to impose new or increase taxes.
Molina said he wants to avail himself to the partnership between the city and Chamber of Commerce "which will be a key element towards revitalizing our downtown. I will continue to work and make myself available to work with community leaders, organizations and local businesses in order to create a partnership that results in a more appealing and family oriented atmosphere for commerce and entertainment."
Molina said he would support a gang injunction area plan to help fight gang crime but stated "we have no need for (that) at the moment."
Molina said he's learned much about the city while serving the past four years on the Ceres Planning Commission, including an understanding of the "dynamics of how to run and be a part of a public forum where my decisions will and could permanently affect more than one life.
"I may not see eye to eye with the rest of the council on all decisions that will be made but, the needs and interest of Ceres will surely come first."
The decisions we make the leaders of the city will in turn affect everyone. I believe having a well-rounded idea of what's most important will set me apart when time to vote of issues comes.
Molina earned an associate degree in Human Services from Kaplan University and began attending CSU Stanislaus/ KU in hopes of obtaining a bachelor's in Business Administration. He has volunteered to teach English for the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children. He belongs to the Latino Community Roundtable and the Golden Key International Honor Society.
With the help of wife Gabriela, he is raising two children Victoria, 7, and Ethan, 4.
"I'm raising a family in Ceres and have embraced this community as my home; therefore it is to my best interest to keep it safe and prosperous."
Linda Ryno, a resident of Ceres since 1983, is no stranger to the workings of City Hall. She worked as the administrative secretary for the Ceres Planning Department for nearly 30 years and served as Recording Secretary for the Planning Commission/Downtown Revitalization Area Board.
Now retired, the 59-year-old candidate said her goals as a councilmember would be to "work hard for the citizens of Ceres by listening to their concerns, answering their questions and ensuring follow through. Other goals are to always be prepared for every Council meeting and being a positive addition to the Council."
The 1972 Manteca High School graduate said she is running for the Ceres City Council because she has "a vested interest in this community by remaining a citizen of Ceres and living my retirement in Ceres with my friends and family. I enjoy what the community offers and would like to make concerted decisions that benefit our citizens and our city."
Ryno lists two significant issues of concern.
"Economic development is a major issue that could be addressed by aggressively marketing Ceres," she said. "I feel Ceres is a city that people enjoy and it's difficult when blight exists to the degree that it does. I strongly believe that in order to reduce blight, code enforcement needs to be reinstated to full staffing."
Ryno believes she would bring a professional attitude, preparedness, knowledge of government practices, and independent thinking to the council.
"My knowledge of government practices is vast due to the years I served the citizens of Ceres. I feel that the knowledge I bring to the council will be a positive and strong asset."
Ryno is married to former Ceres Police Sgt. Sam Ryno. His police career was cut short by the Jan. 9, 2005 shooting that took the life of Sgt. Howard "Howie" Stevenson. Ryno helped nurse her husband back to health and both enjoy travel together as well as visiting sons Luke, 38, and Zack, 26. When asked what accomplishments she is most proud of, Ryno answered: "Besides raising our two sons to be responsible, productive citizens with strong work ethics, another accomplishment I'm proud of is that I was a partner with the city of Ceres serving the citizens in a positive, knowledgeable manner."