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Hopefuls for council make pitch today
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Mayor Anthony Cannella and Vice Mayor Chris Vierra will spend this afternoon interviewing applicants who want a seat on the Ceres City Council.

Depending on how the interviews go, applicants may be asked to attend a special City Council meeting set for 5:30 p.m. tomorrow night in the Ceres City Council Chambers. The mayor's recommendation and subsequent vote of the council will occur at Thursday's meeting.

Seven persons have submitted applications to be considered for appointment to the full council term created by the Dec. 2 death of Rob Phipps. Phipps had been re-elected to a third term on Nov. 6 but died before he could take the oath of office.

The seven applicants are:

• Mike Kline, who was narrowly edged out of a council seat on Nov. 6 by Phipps;

• Richard Felix, a former 13-year member of the Ceres Planning Commission;

• Retired police sergeant Hollie Hall;

• Bret Durossette, a Ceres High School teacher and former coach;

• Donnie Donaldson Jr.; a Hanshaw Middle School teacher;

• Brandy D. Meyer, a member of the Ceres Planning Commission;

• Laurie A. Smith, also a member of the Planning Commission.

At the Dec. 10 council meeting, the Ceres City Council decided to seek applications of interested citizens rather than appoint either Mike Kline and Steve Breckenridge who were candidates who lost the election.

Kline may have missed a seat when he attained 1,197 votes just behind Phipps' 1,348 votes, but Mayor Cannella said he was not going to automatically pick Kline merely because he was the third highest vote-getter. He said whoever the council picks will be the applicant with whom the council feels most comfortable. He called all seven "very qualified people."

All the applicants were given a copy of the City Council's vision and goals. Cannella will specifically want to find out today if the applicants support those goals.

Cannella said he doesn't want a "yes" man or woman but noted that if any of the applicants want to "take the city in a complete different direction, that's going to help influence my decision."