Diane Nayares-Perez is the new Ceres city clerk.
She replaces Lori Frontella who was an interim city clerk who made the daily commute from Chowchilla since June. Cindy Heidorn, the last permanent city clerk, served for 12 years until she retired last year.
"I'm very happy to be here and I'm looking forward to serving the community as best as I can," said Diane, who started Jan. 7. "I want them to know the city clerk's office will have an open door policy so if any constituents have questions as far as Public Records Act requests or things of that nature, they're more than welcome to contact the city clerk's office."
Nayares-Perez was the assistant city clerk with the city of Modesto since 2008. Previously she was a deputy clerk of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors from 2005 to 2008.
She decided to apply for the Ceres city clerk position because of her prior experiences.
"I really enjoyed the work that the clerk does as far as the services you provide to Council, the support you give to city staff and I think the city clerk is more of the first person that constituents contact," said Nayares-Perez. "I kind of liked working with the community and helping them resolve any issues that they had. I really enjoyed that because before I was in state government."
Diane worked for the state Attorney General's Office in Sacramento, starting out as a legal secretary and then promoted to staff services analyst where she provided training to staff in legal applications.
The Modesto position was similar but also different than Ceres because Modesto is a charter city and Ceres is a general law city.
So far Diane feels very welcomed by the staff and enjoys "the close-knit group" at City Hall. She said she plans to be in her position a long time.
"Coming from a larger scale organization, I like it here. I can easily contact someone. I can even walk over to them and get a response right away. That team work is very apparent here."
The city clerk assists in assembling City Council agendas, processes proclamations, routing calls to city administration and assisting candidates get all their paperwork in order during election season. She reports to City Manager Toby Wells but also acts as support staff to him and the City Council.
"Each jurisdiction is pretty similar except maybe the admin policies and procedures might be a bit different. So I'm kind of just getting used to those different policies and procedures. Otherwise I feel it's going to be a smooth transition."
She is well versed in the Brown Act, which governs how elected bodies may conduct business, the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Public Records Act and processing documents.
Nayares-Perez would like to start the practice of posting candidate nominations on line as they are filed with the city during election cycles.
She may be reached via email at Diane.Nayares-Perez@ci.ceres.ca.us or at 538-5731.