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Kline ready to join council if offered
• City council to decide on Monday
Kline speaks
Former Ceres City Councilman Mike Kline may be tapped to fill the vacant District 4 Council seat now that the Nov. 9 appointment of John Osgood has been rescinded by the council. On Monday, Mayor Javier Lopez suggested that Kline would be his choice to fill the seat until the next election. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier file photo

The Ceres City Council will be meeting on Monday afternoon for a special session to decide how to fill the empty District 4 council seat with the intent of appointing Mike Kline. His pick, however, is not a certainty.

Kline has told Interim City Manager Alex Terrazas that he is willing to serve in the seat until the November 2022 election decides on a permanent member.

Kline, 62, was serving on the City Council until he was defeated for re-election by Couper Condit in November 2020. Condit assumed the seat and resigned suddenly in October without explanation.  The council has until Dec. 10 to decide how to fill the seat, with the last option being a special election.

The council voted 3-1 on Nov. 9 to appoint John R. Osgood III to the seat, bypassing applicants Daniel Martinez and Mohinder Kanda. Supporting the Osgood appointment were Councilman James Casey, Councilwoman Linda Ryno and Mayor Javier Lopez with Vice Mayor Bret Silveira in opposition. However, after the Ceres Courier and Modesto Bee published controversial statements of Osgood uttered on his podcast and at council meetings, the council reneged on the appointment last week. Members of the NAACP turned out to express dismay at Osgood’s use of the “n-word” during one podcast which was discovered by the Bee.

After voting unanimously to rescind the appointment, Mayor Lopez mentioned his desire to appoint Kline, who had not been among the applicants to be considered for the appointment. Ryno said she could agree to Kline, feeling a call for more applicants would prove fruitless. City Attorney Tom Hallinan attempted the council from actually deciding on Kline because of the Brown Act but said it’s okay to discuss his appointment as well as other names. No other names were mentioned but Hallinan said others may wish to be considered for appointment by contacting City Clerk Diane Nayares-Perez. 

“Other people, as they step forward, we can bring them forward at that time as well,” Hallinan said of the Monday meeting.

Kline would add experience to the council, which has been branded as inexperienced.

Kline was appointed to the Ceres Planning Commission in 2008, serving four years where he learned about zoning and land use. He was elected to the Ceres City Council in 2011 and re-elected in 2016. During his tenure on the council Kline helped craft budgets and was involved in updating the Ceres General Plan. His 2020 council committee assignments were serving on the City / Schools Committee 2+2 Committee; Stanislaus Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance; StanCOG Policy Board; Volunteer Firefighter Length of Service Qualification Review Committee; West Turlock Sub-basin Groundwater Sustainability Agency; and the Stanislaus Homeless Alliance.