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Smart Voter
Contra Costa County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Measure L
Change City Clerk and Treasurer to be Appointed
City of Antioch

Majority Approval Required

Fail: 3679 / 29.15% Yes votes ...... 8943 / 70.85% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Results as of Jun 22 3:50pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (55/55)
Information shown below: Impartial Analysis | Arguments |

Shall the offices of city clerk and city treasurer be appointed?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
The Antioch City Council voted to place Measure L on the ballot. If approved by a majority of the voters, Measure L would make the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer appointed rather than elected positions. The current terms would be completed, but there would be no election in November 2012. Measure L would allow the City Council or City Manager to make the appointment.

Offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer

State law requires a general law city, like Antioch, to have a city clerk and city treasurer. The positions may be elected or appointed. Currently, the positions are part-time and elected to four-year terms expiring in November 2012. Of California's approximately 480 cities, 323 cities had an appointed city clerk and 307 had an appointed city treasurer according to the League of California Cities in 2010.

Duties of City Clerk and City Treasurer

As duties of the offices of city clerk and city treasurer have become more specialized, they are increasingly handled by professional staff and consultants with the required expertise.

Under state law, a city treasurer is generally responsible for receiving, depositing, paying and accounting for City funds. However, essentially all of these functions are handled by the Finance Department. The elected Antioch City Treasurer prepares an update of the City's Investment Policy for Council approval, as recommended by the investment manager; signs the monthly report prepared by City staff; reviews registers and issued checks; and collects assessment district payoffs.

With the transfer of accounting duties to City staff and taxing duties to the County, the statutory duties of a city clerk include keeping a record of Council meetings and ordinances; being custodian of the City's seal; receiving financial disclosure forms; and administering oaths of office. The current duties of the elected City Clerk are to: attend Council meetings and oversee the minutes; prepare announcements of openings on City Commissions; prepare proclamations; and preside over ceremonial functions. Staff handles the other duties of the City Clerk's Office including maintaining City records; assembling Council agendas; administering municipal elections; publishing notices; and maintaining the Municipal Code.

Qualifications of City Clerk and City Treasurer

The only qualifications in state law for an elected city clerk or city treasurer are being over 18 years old; an Antioch resident; a registered voter in Antioch; and not convicted of certain disqualifying crimes (e.g. embezzlement of public money, bribery, etc.).

If Measure L is successful, then the City Council can establish qualifications for education and experience for the positions, which may be held by existing staff.

Financial Impact

If Measure L is successful, then the City would save the salary, car allowance and benefits received by the elected city clerk and city treasurer, which range from $12,000 to $20,000 per year, per position, depending on eligibility for benefits. The City would also save approximately $12,000 every four years in election costs for each position.

Respectfully submitted,

Lynn Tracy Nerland

Antioch City Attorney

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Arguments For Measure L Arguments Against Measure L
Your "YES" vote on Measure L will convert the city clerk and city treasurer positions from elected to appointed, to save taxpayer funds and to ensure that the City's operations run as efficiently as possible.

The current City Treasurer has indicated that she spends less than two days per month handling tasks, as most of the treasurer's duties are now handled by professional staff and investment managers. She recommends that the position be appointed, so that the City can save money by having current staff handle the rest of duties of the city treasurer.

The City Council agrees and believes it is important in these tough economic times to use every penny of the taxpayers' money wisely. Eliminating the positions of elected city clerk and city treasurer would save the City $24,000 to $40,000 each year in salary, car allowance and benefits. The City would also save approximately $24,000 every four years in election costs.

The positions of elected city clerk and city treasurer have become largely ceremonial. By using existing staff to handle the remaining duties of these positions, the City could use the saved funds for the immediate concerns of residents, including public safety.

Further, the City could ensure that the individuals undertaking these duties have the appropriate qualifications of education and experience, as opposed to simply running a successful campaign. That is why most California cities appoint their city clerks and city treasurers and make them accountable through personnel procedures.

The Antioch City Council urges voters to endorse the prudent use of taxpayer funds by allowing the appointment of the city treasurer and city clerk to make them accountable and to save funds for more pressing needs like public safety.

Antioch City Council, James D. Davis, Mayor City of Antioch

Donna Conley, Antioch City Treasurer

Vote NO! Their proposed changes goes against your interests. More power won't fix their self-serving mismanagements.

A majority "NO" vote keeps both positions elected! A "YES" vote majority takes your right to vote away!

They'll fill the positions with their "rubber stamping" Appointees (if they step on the wrong toes they'll end up replaced)! The Treasurer and City Clerk are elected servants currently chosen by voting Antioch residents. We don't need more appointed cronies!

CLERK - Independent custodian and safekeeper of official City records and claims; attests and posts ordinances and resolutions; executes/acknowledges contracts; certifies legal documents; supervises contract bid openings and performance bonds; coordinates municipal elections;

TREASURER - Independently oversees City's Investments, monies; signs warrants; reconciles bank statements; prepares reports on the financial condition of City and expenditures.

Vote NO! Prohibiting the public from voting on these positions further insulates and prevents their Appointees' public accountability, eliminates public removal of them from office if warranted, eliminates City residency and citizenship requirements, eliminates freedom from Manager's, supervisors' and Council Members' influences, and eliminates the public's ability to publicly question their actions!

The arrogance of placing two separate elected positions to only one vote says much! Note the "fox watching over the hen house" further erodes the public's voting rights, information, and education. Deceit and fabrication are dangerous tools they've used.

Others' misuse and abusive decisions stripped available budget monies. Not the Treasurer's fault! Others' incompetence reflects how the City's been run by them. Not the City Clerk's fault!

Vote NO! Look at their questionable pitches, decisions, and activities. They always say it saves money. It won't! Instead the elected positions need to have their duties fully returned, not piece-mealed to others as presently done!

Protect your voting rights! Don't trust their power-grabbing changes.

Vote NO!

Citizens For Democracy

Ralph A. Hernandez, Chairperson and Former Antioch City Council Member

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Created: July 26, 2012 13:00 PDT
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