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Durossette, Kline remain on council
Both measures pass on Ceres ballot
Bret Durossette (left) and Mike Kline (right) handily won re-election to the Ceres City Council against challengers Don Cool and Gene Yeakley. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Bret Durossette and Mike Kline handily won their re-election bids to remain on the Ceres City Council in Tuesday's election, ending the hopes of first-time office seekers Don Cool and Gene Yeakley.

Durossette came out on top with 1,080 votes, or 38.48 percent of the vote, while Kline secured another term with 1,039 votes, or 37.01 percent. Cool collected just 442 votes, or 15.75 percent, and Yeakley received 231 votes, or 8.23 percent of the total votes cast.

Fifteen voters wrote in the names of candidates.

Chris Vierra, who was unopposed for mayor, received 1,455 votes. He will serve another four-year term.

Harry Herbert was unopposed for the office of city treasurer and collected 1,304 votes.

Both measures on the Ceres ballot passed.

Measure D, which created districts for the purpose of the Ceres electorate electing City Council members starting in 2016, passed by a margin of 1,079 votes (66.28 percent) to 549 votes (33.72 percent).

Measure E, an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) - often called the motel tax - also passed. The measure raises the tax from five percent to 10 percent on all motel rooms in Ceres and received the support of 927 votes, or 56.63 percent. A large number of voters - 710 - were against the tax. The measure needed a simple majority for passage.

In the Keyes Community Services District race, Davie Landers and Mike Bernal won their races for the board. Landers received 64 votes (36.78 percent) while Bernal picked up 59 votes (33.91 percent). Antonio "Tony"Aguilar lost out in third place with 46 votes (26.44 percent).

In the Riverdale Park Tract Community Services District in south Modesto incumbent board members Kelland Murphy and Diana M. Culwell-Caro were elected along with massage therapist Timi Horn. Rudy Caro lost out. Murphy won 16 votes, Culwell-Caro received 13 and Horn six. Rudy Caro lost with six votes. For the two short-term seats candidates George Bixler, and Duane Shugart won, shutting out Rita Hodges.

Four candidates ran for three seats on the Hughson Fire Protection District. Winning those seats are Jeff Serpa with 434 votes (28.35 percent), Fire Captain Justin Vincent with 424 votes (27.69 percent) and David S. Absher with 388 votes (25.34 percent). Incumbent Miguel Oseguera, was defeated with his fourth-place standing of 282 votes (18.42 percent).

In the race for the board of directors for the Turlock Irrigation District, Hickman area grower Michael Frantz, the incumbent in Division 1 which covers Hughson, was re-elected against challenger and retired educator Tracy Sunde of Turlock. Frantz collected 2548 votes (83.4 percent) while Sunde picked up the support of 494 voters (16.17 percent).