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Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Measure Y
Appointment of City Clerk and Treasurer
City of Placentia

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

2,680 / 30.4% Yes votes ...... 6,135 / 69.6% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Nov 12 4:00pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (36/36)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall Article VII of the Charter of the City of Placentia be repealed and Sections 800 and 1211 of the Charter be amended to change the elected offices of the City Clerk and City Treasurer to offices appointed by the City Administrator?

Impartial Analysis
The current provisions of the City Charter provide that the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer are elected officials of the City. The City Charter provides a general description of the powers and duties of the City Clerk and City Treasurer and also contains other various provisions applicable to the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer due to the nature of the offices as elected offices. This measure would repeal these provisions.

The Charter also provides that the City Administrator generally appoints non-elected City officers. This measure would provide that the city clerk and finance officer/city treasurer would be officers of the City appointed by the City Administrator.

This measure would not become effective immediately; it will be phased in at the earlier of the time a vacancy occurs or the expiration of a term. If the measure passes, no future elections for the offices would be conducted. Thus, the changes provided in this measure will not affect the term of the person who presently holds the office of City Treasurer or the term of the person who may be elected to the office of City Clerk at the November, 2002 elections.

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Arguments For Measure Y Arguments Against Measure Y
records have greatly expanded since we adopted our first Charter in 1965. As a result, the City has hired full time and highly experienced professionals to perform the vast majority of the duties that could once be performed or managed by a part time City Clerk and a part time City Treasurer.

We need to face the reality that we have outgrown the need for a part time City Clerk and City Treasurer.

We have City staff members who are experienced professional clerks and financial managers. These dedicated City employees can and do perform the full range of duties of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer. A part time City Clerk and a part time City Treasurer no longer have meaningful roles to play in a lean, experienced, service oriented City government that serves a large urban community. These offices are luxuries we can no longer afford.

This measure asks our residents to change the way our City Clerk and City Treasurer are chosen and to ensure that the City Administrator develops comprehensive sets of qualifications for the jobs. The criteria for choosing who will manage City funds and public records should be straightforward qualifications and competence. These jobs require experts -- not an election -- and should be positions for which one has to qualify -- not run.

We urge you to vote YES for Measure Y and help ensure accountability in the protection of our City's funds and records.

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Placentias' motto is "The People Are the City." The wisdom of our forefathers never ceases to amaze us:

  • An elected City Council to set policy
  • An elected City Clerk to keep track of City meetings, documents, resolutions and laws.
  • An elected Treasurer to be informed of what's actually being spent by the City.

No doubt, all our professional City employees are indeed highly competent and capable. What concerns us, with an appointed position is that diversity of thought and public input might be edited out on important matters involving new developments, edicts, laws, and finances.

We believe in an informed Citizenry. An Elected Treasurer and Clerk are a valuable asset in keeping the public informed with accurate, timely facts as to what's brewing at City Hall; two sets of additional citizen eyes and ears. This is an issue about information and accountability. Vote No on Measure Y, the measure to eliminate our elected positions.

Traditionally, the City Treasurer and Clerk were elected to insure adequate and independent public oversight and checks on the professional staff/bureaucrats. The art of public administration is integrally connected with public trust, confidence, and satisfaction. The tendency is; the more power that is centralized in a single person, the less checks and balances there are. The current electoral process insures and maintains an appropriate level of accountability/checks and balances with our public servants. Therefore, it is our opinion that the City Treasurer and Clerk should be elected/accountable to the people. We urge your No vote on this proposition.

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
Accountability is more than just an election every four years. An elected City Clerk and City Treasurer are really only subject to review by the electorate once every four years. That's just not good enough.

Accountability means that our administrative officials MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY!

Under this measure the voters gain the assurance that the City Clerk and City Treasurer will be highly competent and capable professionals who will be required to have comprehensive qualifications and to perform their jobs to our high standards EVERY SINGLE DAY. If they don't, they can and will be let go. In a way, they will be subject to an election every day they are in office.

We want the best and the brightest to be entrusted to our service. We want our government officials to be accountable for their work and performance EVERY SINGLE DAY they are in office.

Vote "Yes" and make sure Placentia receives the professional and accountable public servants we deserve.

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Created: December 6, 2002 03:14 PST
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