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Smart Voter
Sonoma County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Measure R
Office of City Clerk Be Appointive
City of Cloverdale

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 1,412 / 51.8% Yes votes ...... 1,314 / 48.2% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jan 6 3:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (3/3)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the office of Cloverdale City Clerk be appointive?

Impartial Analysis from City Attorney
The office of city clerk is one of the offices required for California general law cities. City clerks perform numerous administrative functions including keeping records of all city council meetings, ordinances and resolutions; publishing and updating the municipal code; overseeing city elections; and administering compliance with numerous state laws and city requirements, including conflict of interest and records retention requirements.

City clerks may be either appointed or elected. By state law, elected city clerks must reside and be registered to vote in the city where they hold office. Appointed city clerks are not subject to state law residency requirements. No minimum training or experience qualifications apply to elected city clerks. California Elections Code section 36508 permits a city council to submit to the electors the question of whether an elective office, other than that of city council member, shall be made appointive. The office of City Clerk for the City of Cloverdale is currently an elected office.

The elected City Clerk resigned effective July 7, 2009, and the Cloverdale City Council appointed the City Manager to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term, which expires in November 2012, or until the outcome of an election on a measure concerning whether the office of City Clerk shall be appointive, if the measure passes. By Resolution no. 040-2010 adopted July 14, 2010, the Cloverdale City Council directed that a measure be submitted to Cloverdale voters pursuant to Elections Code section 36508 concerning whether the office of Cloverdale City Clerk shall be made appointive.

A "yes" vote on Measure R would approve of making the office of Cloverdale City Clerk appointive. If a majority of Cloverdale voters approve Measure R, the office of Cloverdale City Clerk will thereafter be an appointive position, holding office at the pleasure of the City Council and be subject to City terms of employment and personnel policies and procedures.

A "no" vote on Measure R would disapprove of making the office of Cloverdale City Clerk appointive. If a majority of Cloverdale voters reject the measure, the office of Cloverdale City Clerk will remain an elective office subject to state law terms of office and other requirements.

s/ Eric W. Danly Cloverdale City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure R
Demands on the City Clerk have evolved over the past few decades. The complexities and technologies have evolved as well, so should the position. Responsibilities have increased and the technical skills required are significant. Cloverdale has grown, government has become more complex, and so have the duties of the City Clerk. Currently the City Clerk functions have been absorbed by staff within the City.

The Clerk's responsibilities include: elections oversight, and compliance with conflictof- interest regulations and federal/state laws. The modern City Clerk must also have the ability to serve as Secretary to the City Council and Redevelopment Agency while remaining apolitical and neutral.

With the oversight of City Council Sub-Committees, through resolutions and auditing functions, logic demands that the City Manager select the City Clerk following a screening designed to recruit and hire the person with the strongest technical, administrative and professional skills. Once hired, an appointed Clerk can be held accountable to perform to the same standards established for other administrative staff. By State law, the only qualifications to serve as an elected City Clerk are: Must be at least 18 years of age and, must be a registered voter within the City.

It is time to update the selection process for this important position. The public expects and deserves that the duties of the City Clerk will be performed with professionalism and efficiency. This can best be accomplished by selecting a person to serve based on technical skill, education and relevant experience.

Statewide the trend has moved towards appointed rather than elected City Clerks. Sixty-eight percent of California cities already appoint their City Clerks. The Cloverdale City Council unanimously joins many groups and individuals committed to quality local government in encouraging you to support this logical and necessary change.

s/ Jessalee Raymond, Vice Mayor
s/ Carol L. Russell, Mayor

(No arguments against Measure R were submitted)

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Created: January 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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