The District 2 Ceres City Council race may be getting a bit more crowded now that a third prospective candidate has picked up nomination papers to run.
Avery Jackson, a vocal supporter of the Ceres Police Department, picked up papers on Aug. 1 to run for the seat occupied by incumbent Councilwoman Linda Ryno.
Jackson is a Bay Area transplant who coaches the Ceres Cowboys football organization. He has been leading an effort to clean up the Darrah Street neighborhood where he lives. Jackson has also given barbecues for police officers in appreciation for their efforts to reduce crime.
Jackson could not be reached for comment.
Melvin “Gene” Yeakley picked up papers for a run on July 25. Ryno picked hers up on July 19. However, none of the three have returned papers with the necessary signatures of registered voters, the final act to become a candidate.
Meanwhile Channce Condit will be handed the District 1 council seat if nobody challenges him. As of Tuesday, Condit was the lone candidate for the council seat occupied by Ken Lane, who is not seeking re-election. Condit is a staff member for state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) who is married to Condit’s aunt Cadee Condit Gray. Channce is the grandson of former Congressman Gary A. Condit.
If any incumbent fails to file by August 10, the filing period will be extended until August 15 – which is sure to be the case in District #1 since Ken Lane has said he won’t seek re-election.
The municipal political season started July 16 with prospective candidates for Ceres City Council district seats #1 and #2 able to pick up nomination papers to begin a political run. Until Aug. 10, prospective candidates may take out, circulate and file nomination papers.
Prospective candidates should schedule time with City Clerk Diane Nayares-Perez to obtain nomination papers and other election-related information.
Candidates must be a registered voter residing within either of the two recently-formed council districts. Prospective candidates should consult a council district map to determine what council district they reside in before pondering a jump into city politics.
Voters may only vote for council candidates who are running within the district they reside.
Nomination papers must be signed by no less than 20 and no more than 30 signatures of registered voters living within the city limits. Candidates are advised to get more than 20 signatures in case the county learns that “nominators” are not registered to vote. The city clerk handles the process nomination papers but the Stanislaus County Elections Division conducts the election.
This is the first year in the history of Ceres that voters will be electing councilmembers on the basis of districts rather than the city limits. That means only persons living in Council Districts 1 and 2 may run for City Council on Nov. 6 this year; the remainder must wait for their district seat to come open for a run.
Only the office of mayor will continue to be elected on an at-large basis. That seat is up for grabs in 2020. The office of vice-mayor is typically appointed among the councilmembers on a one- to two-year rotation.
City Clerk Diane Nayares-Perez has set up a link to a candidate sign-up chart on the city’s website, which may be viewed at http://www.ci.ceres.ca.us/DocumentCenter/View/2298/CERES-CITY-COUNCIL-SIGNUP-CHART
In 2015 the Ceres City Council allowed Ceres voters to decide on district elections in fear of an expensive legal challenge to at-large elections which have typically been filed by minority advocate groups. City leaders were not especially receptive to the concept of council districts but agreed to the measure. Voters approved the measure by a margin of 1,079 votes (66.28 percent) to 549 votes (33.72 percent).
District #1 consists mostly of the northwest section of Ceres west of Moffet Road. The district includes everything north of Evans Road, everything north of Caswell Avenue and a finger that reaches down to Whitmore Avenue to take in Mary Avenue.
District #2 mostly occupies newer areas west of Highway 99 with a small portion of the established area east of the freeway near Ceres High School, sandwiched between Evans Road to the north, Whitmore Avenue to the south with zip-zigs along Central Avenue and Sequoia Street to Fifth Street. The area was carved to include the residence of Ryno when the first-ever map was carved out in 2015.
District 3 and 4 seats will be open in 2020.
District 3, now occupied by Bret Durossette, covers northeast Ceres, including areas east of Moffet Road as well as Eastgate.
District 4, now occupied by Vice Mayor Mike Kline, covers a block around Smyrna Park southward to Highway 99 and leaping across the freeway to take some areas of southwest Ceres, including Marazzi Lane, Sungate Drive and Daisy Tree.
In Hughson, voters will be deciding on three members of the City Council, including the mayor. The terms of Mayor Jeramy Young and Councilmembers George Carr and Harold Hill expire this November. The council terms of Mark D. Fontana and Ramon Bawanan expire in November 2020.
Voters in the Hughson Unified School District will be electing three trustees to their School Board. The terms of Area 2 Trustee John Luis, Area 4 Trustee Randall Heckman and Area 5 Trustee Cindy Cunningham-Gipp expire this year.
ELECTION DATE: Nov. 6.
SEATS OPEN: Ceres City Council seats in District #1 & #2.
WHO MAY RUN: Any registered voter living in either district.
NECESSARY STEPS: Obtain nomination papers from City Clerk to be signed by 20-30 registered voters.
FILING DEADLINE: 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10.
TO GET STARTED: Call City Clerk Diane Nayares-Perez at 538-5731.