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Garbage cans in public view okayed
• Vierra, Durossette & Kline vote to change municipal code restrictions
Ceres garbage cans in view
Under a new law approved Monday, garbage cans may be stored in public view if next to the house and set back from the front. The blue can here would be okay but not the green can.

Suggesting that the city doesn’t have the resources or political will to crack down on half of residents who violate the law against garbage can storage, the Ceres City Council cast the final 3-2 vote to change the law. The action means the existing law that forbids residents from storing their waste wheelers in public view on non-collection days has been struck.

The action does not give permission for residents to place their cans just anywhere; they must be next to the house beyond the public easement. The new modifications to the Ceres Municipal Code states that cans may not be stored in front of a garage or a house.

Vice Mayor Linda Ryno fought valiantly since October to fight against the change in the law, saying garbage cans mar the aesthetics of neighborhoods. She had support from Councilman Channce Condit. But in the end they were overruled by Mayor Chris Vierra, and Council members Bret Durossette and Mike Kline.

“I still don’t agree that waste-wheelers should be in the front,” insisted Ryno.

Vierra said either the city finds the resources to “write all these people up” which would “incite all these people who’ve been doing it because they’re not supposed to.” He said he didn’t understand why the city should suddenly start getting aggressive in citing a law that’s been on the books for decades. The mayor said he’d prefer to get code enforcement officers to go after unsightly homeless encampments than after residents’ cans which he said “aesthetically I can live with it.”

In October Ryno said she faulted the city in its lack of enforcement as the reason many flunted the garbage can storage restrictions. She insisted that with more code enforcement personnel that the city could have done a “quadrant by quadrant (sweep)” to … get it all manageable again.” Ryno also suggested that there will be more opportunities for people to rummage through garbage cans since they won’t necessarily be behind the fence.

Residents John Warren and Lee Brandt urged the council not to change the law.

“I still encourage you to put the waste-wheelers behind the fence,” said Warren, a newly-appointed member of the city’s Beautification Committee. 

Durossette argued for choice.

“If you have a waste-wheeler and don’t want it to have the house look bad you put it in the back,” he said.

The change in the law takes effect on March 1.