Voter’s Edge California
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Presentado por
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
November 6, 2018 — Elección General de California

City of Belmont
Measure CC - Majority Approval Required

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Resultados electorales


5,985 votos si (55%)

4,897 votos no (45%)

Shall the office of City Clerk be appointive?

¿Qué es esta propuesta?

Información básica sobre la iniciativa de ley — Información oficial sobre esta iniciativa

Análisis del analista legislativo / Proposal

Scott Rennie, Belmont City Attorney

Measure CC asks Belmont voters the question whether the office of city clerk should be made appointive rather than elective. A "yes" vote would make the city clerk appointive.  A "no" vote would keep the position of city clerk elective.  The City Council placed the measure on the ballot by unanimously adopting Resolution 2017-090.  If approved by a majority vote, this measure would make the office of clerk clerk appointive after the November 5, 2019, election, or upon a vacancy in the office occuring before the election.

Office of City Clerk

Under state law, the office of city clerk in a general law cities, like Belmont, may be elective or appointive. Just under 25% of California cities have an elected city clerk. Historically the office of city clerk was charged with accounting and tax administration responsibilities. With the transfer of acocunting duties to a city finance director and tax administration to the county, the general statutory duties of the city clerk include: keeping arecord of city council meetings and ordinances; attesting documents; being the custodian of the city seal; receiving financial disclosure forms; receiving process; and administering oaths of office. A city clerk may perform other statutory duties as assigned by the city council including acting as the city elections officer. An elected city clerk performs the duties of the office independent of oversight by the city manager.

In Belmont, the city clerk is currently elected to a four-year term, is considered a full-time position, and has a slary of approximately $100,000 with benefits including health and pension comparable to non-elected city employees. The city clerk's regular duties include: the general statutory duties listed above (excluding accounting and tax administration); serving as secretary to the city council; drafting minutes of city council meetings; printing and distributing city council agenda packets; publishing and posting notices of city council meetings; receiving and opening contract bids; maintaining city contracts; keeping a roster of city commissions; responding to records requests; and maintaining the city code.

Qualifications of the City Clerk

California law has two eligibility requirements for an elected city clerk: (1) the individual must be at least eighteen years of age and (2) a registered city voter.

If appointive, the city council can establish education and experience qualifications for an appointed city clerk whose duties may be performed by existing city staff. The city manager would be responsible to appoint and supervise staff to carry out office of city clerk duties.

Financial Impact of Measure if Approved

If the measure is approved, the city would save the cost of holding an election every four years for the position. The city may save additional costs if the duties of the office are consolidated with other administrative functions, however potential savings, if any, cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Argumento A FAVOR

Vote "YES" on Measure CC to ensure Belmont's City Clerk is a position appointed based on qualifications and experience, not by a political campaign.

Measure CC will bring the City of Belmont in line with modern practices throughout California, making the City Clerk an appointive position.

Measure CC will save taxpayer money on elections that are held every four years for a position that should be based on experitse and experience. The City Clerk must have expertise in a number of areas, including elections, political practices law, open meeting laws, records retention, conflict-of-interest regulations, and contract practices.

Belmont is fortunate that its current City Clerk has excellent experience and modernized this important role but we need to ensure we have such expertise in the future.

Since the City Clerk became an elected position, the needs of our community have grown and the City Clerk's role has become more complex, yet our qualifications remain the same. Any person who is 18 years of age or older and a registered voter can be elected.

Measure CC will require that the City Clerk is subject to the same evaluation and hiring practices as other City employees that ensures we will have a qualified professional with the right skills and expertise.

Vote "YES" on Measure CC to have Belmont join the vast majority of California cities that all recognize the need for experienced professionals who are hired based on experience and qualifications necessary for the job.

The Belmont City Council voted unanimously to place Measure CC on the ballot.

Vote "YES" on Measure CC.

/s/ Alan Sarver, Trustee, Sequoia Union High School District

/s/ Karl Mittelstadt, Parks and Recreation Commissioner

/s/ Douglas Kim, Mayor

/s/ Kathryn E. Meola, Planning Commissioner

/s/ Warren Lieberman, Councilmember

Argumento EN CONTRA

Do not give up your vote! Currently you have the right to elect the Belmont City Clerk.  Keep it!

The City Clerk administers Belmont elections (like this one) and handles the campaign finance and conflict of interest forms of Belmont officials.

Do you want the politicians being watched to pick the watcher?

No, you want to hold elected officials responsible for what they do - and do wrong. For example, this measure incorrectly refers to itself as a "general tax measure" in Section 5. Mistakes in elections can have consequences. If election mistakes cause legal problems for Belmont, would you want to hold politicians responsible? Or would you want them to be able to blame the problems on the hired help?

We know everybody in Belmont is honest. But do you get to make your own change at the grocery store? Are banks left unlocked at night in Belmont?

If you do not feel qualified to choose a good City Clerk, you can just ask the City Council members to recommend someone.  If you feel it is just your neighbor who is not qualified to choose a good City Clerk, remember that your neighbor gets to vote on this and on a whole lot more, too.

Of course, an extra line on the ballot once in a while does cost a littlem oney. But democracy is not cheap; it is just better.

Keep your right to vote for Belmont City clerk.

Vote No on Measure CC.


/s/ Harland Harrison, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County

/s/ Chris Yonts, Belmont voter

Refutación al argumento A FAVOR

So we voters are not qualified to elect the Belmont City clerk?  Why not?  We choose the City Council, don't we?  Maybe Belmont should just have an emperor to appoint everybody and avoid all those bothersome elections.

The voters have re-elected the same Clerk and Treasurer for nearly 15 years. Are they not qualified? The current system is working. Why change it?

Minor officials are part of the checks and balances of democracy. Somebody has to watch the people with the most power and be sure they answer to the voters.

Don't vote to give up your right to vote for City Clerk.

Vote No on Measure CC


/s/ Andrea Compton, Belmont Voter

/s/ Jon Freeman, Belmont Voter

/s/ Chris Yonts, Belmont Voter

/s/ Harland Harrison, chair, Libertarian Party of San Mateo County 

Refutación al argumento EN CONTRA

Vote "Yes on Measure CC to make Belmont's City Clerk position an appointed position based on merit, not on politics.

Vote "YES" to ensure the City Clerk position is appointed by the City Manager based on qualifications and experience. According to Belmont City Code Section 2-28, only the City Manager could make such an appointment in the future.

We all agree the City Clerk position requires increasingly sophisticated skills and background to help keep the City running. Current law only requires this person be at least 18 years old age and a registered voter in the city.

That's not enough to protect Belmont's need for a qualified professional to serve as City Clerk.

Vote "YES" to join the 75 percent of cities in California that appoint their City Clerks.

Join your City Council and neighbors in support of Measure CC.

/s/ Douglas Kim, Mayor

/s/ Kathryn E. Meola, Planning Commissioner

/s/ Karl Mittelstadt, Park and Recreation Commissioner

/s/ Alan Sarver, Trustee, Sequoia Union High School District

/s/ Warren Lieberman, Councilmember 

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