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Candidate Forum on Tuesday

The four men running for Ceres City Council are invited to a Candidate Forum that is set to take place Tuesday evening.

The public is invited to come and participate in the event, which is being sponsored by the Ceres Chamber of Commerce.

The 90-minute Candidate's Forum is set to start at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street.

The Chamber is accepting questions from the public to be asked of the candidates. Ideas for questions may be emailed to or phoned into 537-2601.

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

The council race involves incumbent members of the Ceres City Councilmembers Bret Durossette and Mike Kline who are running for re-election. Political newcomers Don Cool and Gene Yeakley are also candidates.

Mayor Chris Vierra is unopposed is a four-year term.

Information will be available on two measures facing Ceres voters - Measures D and E.

Measure D proposes to set up council district elections. Passage would do away with the current at-large method of electing members of the Ceres City Council, replacing it with four council districts that have been carved to balance population. Starting in 2016, council candidates could only run within the district they reside. The office of mayor would continue to be elected on at at-large basis since there is only one mayor.

The measure was ordered out of concern of being the target of a legal challenge by minority advocacy groups. Experts say the California Voters Rights Act may be flawed but has opened the door for minorities to successfully sue cities, school districts and special districts to abandon at-large districts, claiming that minorities have a tougher time getting elected in them.

Only one of the four new proposed council districts contains a majority of minority voters. That district is currently occupied by Councilmember Linda Ryno.

Voters in Ceres will also be deciding on Measure E, which would increase the Transient Occupancy Tax paid at both of Ceres' motels. The Ceres Chamber of Commerce is also helping to promote its passage.

In Measure E, the city wants to increase the five percent TOT from five to 10 percent. The tax is collected by the Howard Johnson Inn and Microtel Inn every time someone rents a room and passed onto the city. Residents would not pay the tax unless they stay at the motels.