Councilman Channce Condit last week requested the Ceres City Council to take up, once again, a matter he proposed in early 2019 but was overwhelmingly rejected.
Condit did not explain why he wants his proposal to be reconsidered at this time.
“I would like for the council to reconsider adopting the residency clause to new employee application with the question, ‘If hired, would you consider moving to Ceres?’” Condit told the council at the end of the Aug. 10 meeting.
In January 2019 the four other members of the Ceres City Council rejected Condit’s request to ask all future city job applicants if they would consider moving to Ceres before they are hired. His motion did not receive a second and was not voted on.
Last year City Attorney Tom Hallinan cautioned the council that while such a question may be legally asked, it exposes the city to the risk of a discrimination suit. In a 2019 memo to the council, Hallinan stated: “A job applicant who answers ‘no’ and states they are not willing to move to the city could later make a claim that the city did not hire them based on their answer to this question and that such action was in violation of the state Constitution.”
While the city cannot mandate that an employee move to the city as a condition of employment, it can require that residency be within a “reasonable and specific distance” from the city.
Condit argued semantics over the attorney’s use of the word “willingness” saying it differs from “considering moving to Ceres.” He reiterated his desire to have a written check box on city employment application “if the candidate would consider relocating to Ceres if they do not already live in Ceres.” Despite the legal warnings, Condit said it would be “good policy.” He motioned to adopt the change but it died for a lack of a second.
Condit is running for county supervisor against Hallinan in the Nov. 3 election.