First Candidates Take Out Forms to Run for City Council

Ted Hickman Running for Re-Election to Council

Incumbent City Councilman and current Vice-Mayor Ted Hickman was the first to take out the paperwork to run for City Council this past Monday, the first day possible to do so. Hickman is facing a challenger, Jim Ernest, who also took out papers for the same Second District seat.
Hickman issued a statement that he “… looks at  the experience like applying for a paying job; which it is. The voters hired me four years ago to do a job and I’ve done it ranking SAFETY, INFRASTRUCTURE, and COMMUNITY SERVICE as my three main areas of concern.”
Hickman pointed to his record which he said, “… shows the city has made great strides in all three areas in the last four years; safety, stability and a balanced budget while expanding both the police and fire departments.
He is particularly proud of his role in “… adding a school resource officer for the high school and one for the junior high and elementary schools for protection of all of our students and as a friendly law enforcement near to stem the tide of bullying and potential harm.”
He concluded his statement saying, “I’m asking the voters, in November, to rehire me for one more term to allow me to finish the many unfinished project with which the majority of the council and I have been working on to the benefit of all our taxpayers and citizens. My/our record of accomplishments stands for all to see.”
Hickman has set up an email address specifically for his re-election campaign: straightarrowted@gmail.com

Jim Ernest Enters Council Race

Prior to entering the race, Jim Ernest posted a statement effectively saying he is running to carry the LGBT banner.
“I am a white heterosexual as most are who shared their stories,” Ernest wrote, “but my story has a few differences.” He described the bullying he endured when he was moved ahead in grade school studying with older kids. “I endured a year of hell; vicious ridicule and bullying,“ Ernest explained.
That experience caused him to become an athlete including a competitive martial arts fighter, a bouncer, body guard, small business owner, football coach and 20 years as a state corrections employee and supervisor. He and his wife have owned a martial arts school in Dixon for over 30 years and have raised 3 children in Dixon. He currently is on the Dixon Planning Commissioner.
In deciding to run, Ernest contacted for advice one of his former martial arts students. That friend is LGBT and “happily married” (presumably same sex) and moved from Dixon to Washington DC.

Mike Ceremello Challenging Scott Pederson

Also taking out papers was Mike Ceremello, a former councilmember and investigative reporter and columnist for this newspaper. He said his purpose is to restore common sense and knowledge to the council. He contrasted his views with incumbent Scott Pederson, who is seeking re-election.
Ceremello opposed the large sewer rates hike and proposed waste water processing alternatives that would have been less expensive and more environmentally friendly.
Pederson voted for the rate increase, despite four petitions to place the matter on the ballot for a vote of the public. He also voted to pay the City Attorney to sue the taxpayers to prevent the matter being put on the ballot.
Pederson has also been a driving force to spend up to 3 million on the “Pardi Market” site in downtown Dixon. Ceremello opposes that expenditure and wants a less costly, and possibly private, alternative.
Pederson did vote against putting a proposed local sales tax hike of 1/2 percent on the November ballot – which Ceremello also opposed.
Ceremello previously served on the Council, but when up for re-election he chose instead to run against then incumbent Mayor Jack Batchelor. Batchelor won that contest but four years later lost, getting less than 27% of the vote after pushing through the sewer rate hikes.
More to come?
Other candidates may enter either of the two council races, as the deadline for filing is August 10. To qualify for the ballot, each candidate must submit a nomination petition with at valid signatures from at least 20 voters.
The council seats are for four years. The district elections are held every two years, with the seats up for election rotating. The positions of Mayor and Treasurer are elected for four year terms during Presidential election years – the last such election was 2016. The next will be in 2020.

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