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Ex-councilman criticizes both editor & Ceres city manager
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Editor, Ceres Courier,

Glad you finally printed my letter. It is all there, not edited like you did to someone else’s letter. 

You are entrusted with the most important part of the Constitution, “the freedom of the press.” Since I have taken the oath to uphold the Constitution, I don’t take any part of the Constitution lightly, even many years after I left office. When I see an abuse of that power I am compelled to stand up and fight for the rights of all citizens. When there is an abuse of power at the staff level, I will also stand up

and fight. On the other hand, you squandered the trust of the citizens by interjecting partisan biases at the local level. You would think that after 30 plus years you would have figured out – that our town is not a place for partisan politics.

Your rebuttal, I thought at first, was a joke. The City Council election is a non-partisan election

and for you to bring party references into the conversation clearly tells me, you either lack the basic knowledge of the non-partisan office, or you know very well it is non-partisan and you choose to ignore laws and precedence. That explains why you are such a strong supporter of a “city mis-manager” who is thumbing his nose at the laws requested by the local residents and implemented by the City Council.

Yes, I am a registered Democrat and yes I stand up against abuse of power by anyone. If you think you can start an article by discrediting the critic because of party affiliation or because of who he is friends with, you made a huge error. First of all, I know Councilman Condit on a personal level and don’t know and don’t care what party his is registered with. I don’t know what party Toby is registered with nor do I care. Most people don’t care either when it comes to local elections. In fact, I think your other letter writer is a staunch Republican. So, why is she a critic of Toby? I know many current and former city employees and former council members who are all Republicans that are critics of Toby. So, Jeff you would be better off, and maybe regain some credibility, if you leave the partisan slant out of our local politics. 

The next point of humor in your rebuttal is the claim that “there is no college for city managers.” The police chief (Art deWerk) was hired as a part time/interim position and it was never supposed to go on that long. When I was on the council there was a detailed procedure in finding a qualified city manager. Here is the shocker: They all had to have at least a college education and more specifically we required a minimum of a master’s in Public Administration. Seriously, you must have be laughing when you wrote that.

Now, I can go on about the numerous inaccuracies and false “opinions” you laid out, but I just wanted to clarify one of the statements which you misunderstood. 

When I was talking about the groundswell of support for new Council, I wasn’t talking about the previous election. I was referring to all the people lining up to run an effective and groundbreaking election to take back our city. By the way, your numbers are off regarding Councilman Condit’s results. Just another bit of fake news to downplay someone’s success. You can discredit me and other who you don’t agree with, but you are not winning over any locals with that. 

Your rebuttal has totally ignored the most important issue – employee morale. It apparently isn’t Toby’s concern nor yours. The current and former employees will disagree with your assessment of Toby’s performance. The citizens are also questioning his performance. So, you can praise him all you want. We know better.

Regarding the “negotiation skills” you refer to about the “city mis-manager,” it all entails throwing the residents under the bus when he skirts “their” ordinances.

Many times when there is favoritism in government is it a red flag for investigation. Is there a quid-pro-quo involved? If we can’t trust him to uphold the laws, how can we trust him with the city finances?

Andy Constantinou 

LETTERS POLICY: Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed and include an address and phone number. Letters should be 250 words or less and be void of libel. Send to The Ceres Courier, 138 S. Center Street, Turlock CA 95380 or emailed to