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How did Ceres ever manage without short-timer Condit?

One wonders how the city got along until Channce Condit came … and went.

He will be off the Ceres City Council soon, thanks to the voters who didn’t pay attention to his short stint on that body and rewarded him a seat on the Board of Supervisors.

I did pay attention and I noticed the posturing, the calculating to bring up issue after issue that would further his political career, the lack of authenticity such as little things like wearing a mask for cameras but removing it to stand up and give an invocation while everyone bowed.

To hear his prepared farewell speech two weeks ago, you’d think he was the greatest leader since Alexander the Great.

Condit repeated his I-didn’t-want-to-do-this-but-had-no-choice to abandon his four-year commitment to Ceres voters to offer the only leadership available for District 5. Never mind the voters would have had an experienced and brilliant leader in Tom Hallinan who may not come as packaged and polished as the lot of professional politicians groomed in the Condit family. Don’t believe for a minute that when Anthony Cannella decided against a run for the board that it didn’t make the Condits giddy with delight that the opportunity to step up another rung was handed to Channce on a silver platter. Anyone who doesn’t believe Channce Condit will be seeking the state Assembly in two years has another thing coming to them. This is what Condits do – make a career of government service.

Condit spent 7-1/2 minutes recapping all of his “successes” and lecturing those who remain.

Many of his topics touched on issues for which I was most critical of him.

The asking of prospective employees would consider moving to Ceres on the job application – an idea which was rejected yet he continues to defend and push.

He was proud as punch to form a beautification committee, an unnecessary liaison between concerned citizens and their code enforcement unit which is already approachable.

He spoke of how his push to get the council to give up health benefits was “misconstrued and distorted.” No? Well it sure made for great publicity as a calculated politician.

After touting the council’s approval of more police officers – only made possible because of the cannabis revenues – he blew his horn about getting the council to agree about not okaying a cost of living increase in the public facility fees. While he may think that’s great, it shortchanges police and fire which saw operational increases. But boy did that make for great electioneering talking points. Only because Mike Kline flipped did he get his motion approved 3-2. Later Kline expressed how he kicked himself, knowing full well he just got played by Condit.

Condit wrapped up by offering his “advice” to the council was to “always approach recommendations without prejudice.” His take on his recommendations being “simply suggestions to be considered or not” rings hollow when time and time the council rejected most of his ideas and yet he continued to push them.

The council likely bristled as he suggested they “always do what you feel is right,” as if they never have. He spoke about “doing the right thing even when it’s not popular.” Like the time when fellow councilmembers voted to support the surface water project which they knew to be right despite the unpopularity of associated rate hikes – while he tried to stymie it for brownie points with voters?

* * * * *

It seems like when you mess up in Democrat government circles you get a promotion. If you have corrupt dealings where your son reaps millions through your influence peddling, you don’t go to jail, you go to the White House.

When you preside over the Secretary of State office in Sacramento and cost the taxpayers millions for an illegal contract, you get picked to fill a U.S. Senate seat.

Padilla’s office approved a controversial $35 million contract to hire a public affairs firm, SKD Knickerbocker, for a voter outreach campaign but apparently he had no authority to do so. State Controller Betty Yee has said the Department of Finance won’t pay the firm, insisting that the money was supposed to go directly to California’s 58 counties, not get funneled to the Democrat-owned PR firm. SKDK billed itself as part of “Team Biden” during the 2020 election, casting a cloud of partisanship over the voter outreach effort.

Republican Senators Sen. Patricia Bates and state Sen. Jim Nielsen feel the taxpayers got fleeced. Yee remains steadfast that her department won’t pay. If Padilla is rewarded with a Senate seat, will Gov. Newsom sneak this one by the taxpayers? Without a doubt because his Democrat cronies need to be paid.

* * * * *

While your governor has been busy letting dangerous criminals out of state prisons – and some killing victims – he also has stopped thousands of foster children from moving forward through the adoption system just because of the virus. Pre-COVID, there were approximately 7,200 foster children awaiting placement and about a third of them just need a judge’s approval to go to their permanent home. COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions have halted this process and Senate Republicans want that to change.

I have to agree with Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) who said that “It appears that there is no end in sight for some of these guidelines and foster children deserve to be given a safe home immediately.”

* * * * *

For all the media’s insistence that it was Trump who acted like a child during his presidency, how funny they didn’t call out Nancy Pelosi for her display as an impetulant child. Remember how she tore up a copy of the president’s “State of the Union” Address before TV cameras?

Remember how in 2018 she called the $1,200 from Trump’s tax cuts were “crumbs”? Funny thing is how she called the $600 stimulus check her Congress recently passed was “significant.” Her conduct has been hilariously partisan. Truth is $600 wouldn’t cover half of one month’s rent in California.

This column is the opinion of Jeff Benziger, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Ceres Courier or 209 Multimedia Corporation. How do you feel about this? Let Jeff know at