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Letters to the Editor published April 4, 2012
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The City Council did not violate the Brown Act

Editor, Ceres Courier,

In last week's Letters To The Editor, Mrs. Linda Ryno noted that the city staff reports for the City Council meeting of March 26, referred to Mr. Art de Werk as the as the City Manager. She questions how this change in title (i.e. from Acting City Manager to City Manager) occurred without the matter having been placed on a formal Council meeting agenda. She further suggests that there may have been a Brown Act violation in this regard at the special meeting of the Council on March 9.

The special meeting of March 9 was a duly noticed public meeting held at the Ceres Community Center to discuss productive working techniques applicable to the Council and city staff and to discuss program priorities and goals. The meeting involved discussions between the council and city staff and was open to the public. No formal action was taken at the meeting concerning Mr. deWerk's title as acting city manager, nor were any discussions had or action taken regarding his contract or his compensation.

As part of the discussion regarding productive working techniques it was suggested that removal of the word "acting" from his title would be appropriate given his length of service in the position. It was further suggested that such action would also facilitate a clear organizational understanding that his position as city manager is not temporary and will not be changing in the near term.

The city certainly intends to formalize the change in title at a regularly scheduled Council Meeting in the near future. In the meantime it was felt that the organization would benefit from an immediate administrative deletion of the word " Acting" pending formal action by the City Council. There was no violation of the Brown Act.

Michael L. Lyions,

City Attorney

City of Ceres

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Will you volunteer to help?

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Spring is just around the corner in Stanislaus County. What will you be doing? Many will be sitting around their pools, sipping cold drinks, playing outdoor sports with their kids, or going for long walks. Maybe you'll be sitting under the shade tree and reading the latest newspaper or daydreaming.

Volunteers who engage in T-N-R (trap-neuter-return) of feral cats and kittens won't have time for any of that. Their common everyday looks quite differently. Up before dawn, volunteers start by preparing their traps. In the early evening, after they have worked an eight-hour day at their vocation, they prepare their traps and meals for the feral cats, drive a distance, set up their traps, then sit for long hours into the night hoping to catch just one wary feral cat. If they capture kittens and no mom, then what? They prepare special kitten formulas. Newborns kittens eat every two to three hours every single day and night.

What will you do? Will you volunteer your time with no recognition, sit back and do nothing, or will you donate your time or money so others can do the much-needed work so many of us don't want to do?.

Barb MacNeil,

San Jose

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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