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Letters to the Editor published April 14, 2010
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School Board unanimous for cuts versus layoffs

Editor, Ceres Courier,

We believe it is important for the community to know the basis for the decision the Ceres Unified School District Board of Trustees has made regarding its employees and programs. The district has lost over $10 million of its income over the last two years. In response, the district has made $5 million in cuts to ongoing budgets. In an effort to address the additional $5 million in lost revenue, the School Board had a choice to either, cut jobs and programs or have its employees take an 8.5 percent across-the-board salary reduction. The board chose to protect jobs and programs. The seven-member Board of Trustees (four of which are former union members) is unanimous in this position. I know the Board appreciates the support received from the community during these difficult financial times.

Walt L. Hanline,


Ceres Unified School District

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Hughson councilmembers should avoid costs of recall and resign now

Editor, Ceres Courier,

The story "Hughson city employees cry 'hostile work environment,'" which ran in the April 7 issue, articulates well the employees' complaints which were investigated and found to be without merit and unfounded. The rest of the article voiced Hughson City Council members Thom Crowder and Ben Manley's views, which is fine if you like to hear half a story. The citizens of Hughson want any employee, manager or councilmember removed if they violate the law.

The Stanislaus County Civil Grand Jury conducted an investigation clearing the employees' accusations, but in conducting the interviews, investigators found written documents such as e-mails in which Councilmen Crowder offered political favors and other documents which found Councilmen Humphreys and Manley in violation of the Brown Act.

Since the Grand Jury Report, public record of Hughson City Council transcripts show Crowder and Humphreys discussing getting rid of employees, targeting employees and badmouthing the Sheriff's Department contracted to police services in Hughson. Humphreys later in a open council meeting admitted to being police-escorted out of a Hughson High football game by a sheriff's deputy at the high school staff's request after being removed from the chain crew of the sophomore game. Besides unprofessional behavior in violation of their oaths of office, it further violates the oath of behavior taken by Humphreys, a fireman, and Crowder, a paramedic.

Once confronted for their own founded violations, Crowder, Humphreys and Manley hid behind violating the law due to others possibly breaking the law. We teach our kids two wrongs don't make a right! Crowder shows his ethics by bad-mouthing anyone questioning him as a city leader. So, the citizens had no other recourse but to seek a recall election.

Council supporters tried to follow Hughson citizens walking over two and a half days to obtain Hughson registered voters' signatures. They were trying to get voters' signatures to avoid a recall election. They failed. What are our elected officials afraid of?

Now it's in Crowder's, Humphreys' and Manley's control to avoid the costs of a special election to the citizens of Hughson by following the Civil Grand Jury's findings and recommendations: Resign immediately!

Dennis Wallace,


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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, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307, or emailed to