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Martinez joins Ceres Planning Commission
• Del Nero, Kachel stay
Daniel Martinez with Javier Lopez
Daniel Martinez (right) was named to the Ceres Planning Commission on Monday. Mayor Javier Lopez (left) went along with the appointment after nearly 10 months of waiting. - photo by Jeff Benziger

Daniel Martinez, a candidate for the Ceres City Council in 2020, was named to the Ceres Planning Commission Monday evening. The council also reappointed incumbents Bob Kachel and Gary Del Nero who both sought re-appointment.

Members voted 3-1 to make the appointments against the wishes of new Councilman James Casey to reopen the application process.

The council also voted 3-1 to appoint Joshua Steeley and Rosalinda Vierra to the Measure H Citizens’ Oversight Committee.

The council held off making the appointments earlier this year after deadlocking in 2-2 votes. A decision was made to make the appointments once the District 1was filled, which occurred when Casey came onboard last month.

Casey called for the council to forego appointing from the January applications and re-advertise for applications. He also disagreed with the process that had only a subcommittee of two councilmembers interview the candidates.

He also called for term limits for the commissions and ad hoc committees.

The council then moved forward with the appointments. Mayor Javier Lopez flipped his January “no” votes and supported the appointments on Monday, explaining the vacancies had been open far too long. Casey cast the lone no vote.

Councilwoman Linda Ryno conceded that in the future the entire council should interview all applicants in a public meeting.

In January six persons applied for three open seats on the Planning Commission. Incumbents Bob Kachel and Gary Del Nero sought re-appointment. The election of Bret Silveira to the council created a vacancy on the Ceres Planning Commission. The four other applicants were Julio Madrigal, Daniel Martinez, Angie Duarte-Smith and Rafael Valencia. At the Jan. 11 council meeting, Mayor Lopez recommended the appointments of Kachel, del Nero and Daniel Martinez but pulled back after Vice Mayor Couper Condit suggested the appointments wait until a full council was available.

In December 2020, three applicants for two open seats on the Measure H Oversight Committee, which reviews how Measure H sales tax dollars are spent on public safety, were interviewed by Lopez and Silveira. They were Joshua Steeley, Rosalinda Vierra and Daniel Martinez. The recommendation was to appoint Steeley and Vierra.

Monday’s council agenda called for the appointments to be made after the council voted 3-2 on Sept. 27, to bring the Mayor’s recommended appointments to the next City Council meeting for consideration.