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Couper Condit named to Planning Commission
Couper Condit was named to the Ceres Planning Commission last week. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

Couper Condit, 19, became the youngest member of the Ceres Planning Commission last week.

Four persons applied for the opening created by the resignation of Dave Chapman. Condit will serve out Chapman's unexpired term until December.

Also applying for the seat were Don Cool, Ezra Ivey and Cheryl Carpenter.

Mayor Chris Vierra said that all of the candidates were "very strong," but that he was drawn to Condit's activity in community affairs. He offered up his name to a supportive council.

"He is definitely ready for this challenge, I believe," said Vice Mayor Bret Durossette. "With him being so young and it seems like he's very enthusiastic - I've seen him at a lot of community events - I think it's worth a shot."

Vierra added that Condit would give the city a "young person's perspective ... in how our city gets shaped."

As a commissioner, Condit will be helping to update the general plan which was last tweaked in 1997. The panel also decides on a myriad of land use issues and project approvals.

Couper comes from a very political family. He is the son of Chad and Helen Condit of Ceres and grandson of former Congressman Gary Condit. Chad Condit ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2012. His mother is the district director for State Senator Anthony Cannella.

Condit said he was interested in the position after reading about it in the Courier. He said he put his name in the mix intending to "help my community and give back a little bit to the city of Ceres." He said the council showed "courage for appointing someone as young as me."

The appointment was heralded by citizen Leonard Shepherd, a fixture at the council meetings.

"I have one thing to say, hallelujah! A youngster!" said Shepherd. "Probably barely into of the shaving era and he's ready to tackle something like the Planning Commission. Go for it, Couper! And I think you'll probably do real good because you're a lifer in Ceres I'll betcha. You have family roots here."

Condit recently graduated from Modesto High School where he was involved as a thespian. He said he has abandoned his dreams of becoming an actor and now aspires to attend law school. Condit is currently attending Modesto Junior College and works part-time at River Oaks Golf Course in Ceres.

The Ceres teenager said he has never attended a Planning Commission but has been to council meetings. He also has attended a StanCOG meeting and has been on the floor of the state Senate and Assembly. From January to April he was making two trips per week to serve as an intern in the office of Senate Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon, D-Los Angeles.

His grandfather was elected to the Ceres City Council in 1972 at age 24.

His great-grandfather is Rev. Adrian Condit of Village Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Ceres.