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Council rejects call to appoint Redfern to empty council seat
Casey council
Councilman James Casey

Councilman James Casey suggested appointing Paula Redfern to fill the vacant District 2 Ceres City Council seat last week but his idea gained no traction among the three other members.

Casey made his idea known during the Council Comments section at the end of the May 9 council meeting.

Linda Ryno resigned suddenly from the seat at the conclusion of the April 11 meeting, citing the stress being on the council has negatively affected her health. The council decided at the April 25 meeting to let the seat remain open given that District 2 voters will be making a choice in the Nov. 8 election and a member will be seated by early December.

Casey cited how the council filled the District 4 vacancy created by the resignation of Couper Condit with first the appointment of John Osgood – and later rescinded it after a controversy brewed – and then appointed former Councilman Mike Kline.

“It’s kind of an emergency on my part and I would like to suggest that the city manager and the city attorney interview Paula Redfern who lives in the District 2 and also in the District 2 that will be in the November election,” said Casey. He cited how Redfern, a code enforcement officer with the city of Modesto who lives in District 2, had participated in the May 4 workshop regarding code enforcement.

Casey said he fears the council could be deadlocked in 2-2 ties as it did in 2021 with one member short.

“We’re gonna have some important issues and we might end up with some 2-2 ties,” commented Casey.

Mayor Javier Lopez didn’t act on the suggestion, noting that since he’s elected at large anyone in District 2 can come to him for representation.

“You can still call any councilmember if you have any issues in District 2,” Lopez suggested to constituents.

Vice Mayor Bret Silveira agreed with Lopez, saying District 4 residents may call any of the councilmembers if they wish to provide input or have any problems they need resolved.

“I stick with my opinion that we’re okay until the November election,” said Silveira. He also set Casey straight in that Ryno’s successor will be seated in December, not January as Casey had stated.

Kline has stated that he will not run again in District 4. Osgood, Planning Commissioner Daniel Martinez and Rosalinda Vierra have indicated they have an interest in the seat.

The council had appointed Osgood to the District 4 seat vacancy in November but quickly rescinded it before he was scheduled to be seated. 

The Osgood appointment drew fire from both the Ceres Courier and Modesto Bee editorial board, calling attention to controversial remarks made by Osgood on his podcast show.