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Ryno, Condit to council
• Swearing-in ceremony set for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6
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Linda Ryno (left) and Channce Condit were elected last week to the Ceres City Council.

Incumbent Ceres City Councilwoman Linda Ryno easily cruised to re-election Tuesday evening, Nov. 6 for District 2 while an unopposed Channce Condit was elected to the District 1 seat.

Ceres residents living in Council District 2 voted to send Ryno back to the Ceres City Council. Incomplete results show Ryno collected 1,514 votes, or 78.98 percent. She was challenged by Melvin “Gene” Yeakley who amassed 384 votes, or 20.03 percent.

Voters in Council District #1 had only one choice for City Council in Channce Condit, 29, who replaces retiring Councilman Ken Lane. Condit collected 2,243 votes with 446 voters opting to not vote for lack of a choice. A total of 104 write-in names were recorded.

A special swearing-in ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street.

It was the first time in Ceres history that council members were decided by districts instead of at-large.

Condit, who is employed as a field representative for state Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced), said he and his recent bride Lauren plan to stay in Ceres to raise a family. He said he ran for council to bolster police services and code enforcement. Condit, son of politically-connected Chad and Helen Condit and grandson of former Congressman Gary Condit, said he doesn’t necessarily want to change council priorities but does want to strive for more patrol officers. He said becoming known as the safest city locally would help attract new business to compete with Modesto and Turlock.

Ryno said she ran for re-election because she believes she has done a “good job of representing the citizens of Ceres.” She has pushed for fiscal accountability, and beefing up city services like police, code enforcement and parks maintenance which suffered under a prolonged financial struggle.

Ceres city voters approved one ballot measure and defeated the other. 

Measure W passed by a margin of 6567 (67.04 percent) to 3,229 (32.96 percent). It was placed on the ballot by the city to ask voters for approval to impose a business license tax of up to 15 percent of gross receipts on cannabis businesses and dispensaries should any court action strike down three developer agreements the city has in place with three cannabis businesses in Ceres.

However, Ceres voters rejected Measure X which sought approval to make the city treasurer an appointed position versus keeping it an elected position. With all of votes counted, Measure X lost 6,205 votes (65.19 percent) to 3,313 votes (34.81 percent).

City officials suggested appointments since the job of city treasurer is insignificant given that finances are managed by the Finance Director. They also noted that 

Since City Treasurer Harry Herbert hasn’t been challenged in decades and won’tbe running again, it’s possible nobody will want the job when it comes up for election next year.

The next City Council election comes in November 2020 when the seats of Mayor Chris Vierra, District #4 Councilman Mike Kline and District #3 Councilman Bret Durossette are up for grabs.

The boundaries of the council districts will likely change after the U.S. Census in 2020.