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Ceres could use a more diverse City Council
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Editor, Ceres Courier,

First of all, congratulations to you for your well-written editorial on the request for district elections. I have noticed that your editorials are getting better and better, and the divisive "Sound Off" column has been put to rest.

Going back to the prior 2011 election, the close and actual vote count by which I lost was 29 votes less than Mike Kline's. As a successful Hispanic businessman, I stand proud having run my campaign on fiscal conservative principal. Unfortunately, candidate Daniel Padilla made the nonpartisan city election straight up partisan, taking leveraging political rancor in order to make my party an issue among many Latinos. Even so, it remains important to note that Daniel and I parted on good terms when he moved back to Bakersfield.

Reflecting back on when I served on the council, each of my fellow members may not have always agreed, but we did our level best to represent the entire community with fairness and understanding. As a self-made entrepreneur (one of Hispanic heritage), I have a natural understanding of issues associated with various social, economic and ethnic issues. Let's for a moment consider the Crows Landing Flea Market. To an average Ceres resident this may appear to be an eyesore. Many Latinos however consider it a place to go relax, meet friends, and do some authentic ethnic shopping. I could dwell into several different special projects that I was involved in, only there's no sense in bringing them up at this point.

From an economic standpoint, I am of the opinion that district elections will help to create a council that is more representative of the community, as opposed to a recycling of community insiders. Candidates would spend much less money on their respective campaigns to reach voters, plus allow for more quality time in walking precincts. I can now envision one day a council made up of a Sikh member, or a Laotian member side by side with a Latino or an Anglo member.

Socially, economically and ethnically, we need a council that is better rounded without everyone coming from the same self-perpetuating inner circle. We should celebrate our ethnic differences while at the same time living and working together as one community of the same kindred spirit.

Guillermo Ochoa

LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed with the author's name, address and telephone number. Letters should contain 250 words or less and be void of libelous statements. Letters may be sent to The Ceres Courier, 138 S. Center Street, Turlock CA 95380 or emailed to