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Tuesday November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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City of Paso Robles
Measure H-18 Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results


5,483 votes yes (54.06%)

4,659 votes no (45.94%)

100% of precincts reporting (14/14).

11,780 ballots counted.

Shall the Office of City Clerk be Appointive?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

IRIS YANG City Attorney

State law requires all general law cities, like the City of El Paso de Robles, to have a City Clerk. The position may be appointive or elected.  In Paso Robles, voters elect a City Clerk every four years.  The term of the current City Clerk ends in 2020. 

Pursuant to state law, there are three qualifications for the position of elected City Clerk: 1) the individual must be a resident of the City, 2) the individual must be registered to vote in the City, and 3) the individual must be at least 18 years old.  As an elected position, there are no minimum educational requirements or professional qualifications.

The City of El Paso de Robles has placed a Measure on the ballot asking voters to decide whether this position should be appointive.  This Measure asks the following question:





Shall the Office of City Clerk be Appointive?









If a majority of voters vote yes on the above Measure, then the office of City Clerk will become an appointive office.  The individual who holds that office will no longer be elected by the City’s voters.  As an appointive office, the City Council would appoint a person to the position of City Clerk at the expiration of the term of the officer now in office, which will occur in November 2020, or upon a vacancy in that office.  As an appointive office, the City Council may, by ordinance, vest in the City Manager its authority to appoint the City Clerk.  Otherwise, the appointed City Clerk would hold office at the pleasure of the City Council.  As an appointed officer, the City Clerk would not be required to be a City resident or elector but may be required to satisfy minimum educational or professional qualifications. 

If this Measure is approved, the City could save on expenses associated with the office of City Clerk, including, but not limited to, election costs every four years.

If a majority of voters do not approve this Measure, the office of City Clerk will continue to be elected.  The candidate with the most votes will be elected to the position of City Clerk for a four-year term.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

A “YES” vote on Measure H-18 ensures the selection of the City Clerk for the City of Paso Robles be based on qualifications and experience, not the results of a political campaign.  The public deserves the duties of the City Clerk to be performed professionally and efficiently. 

The current qualifications to serve as elected City Clerk require only that a candidate be of-age and a registered voter. There is no guarantee that an elected City Clerk will possess the necessary skills and expertise required; as a result, 85% of California cities now appoint their City Clerks.  This ensure the selection of City Clerk be based on education, experience, and professional abilities.  Further, Measure H-18 will save the City money by eliminating salary and benefits provided to an elected Clerk.

Historically, elected City Clerks perform narrow statutory duties. However, as cities have become more complex, the duties of the Clerk have become more technical. Clerk responsibilities require professional skills and expertise in Elections, the Political Reform Act, The Brown Act, Public Records Act, Records Retention, Conflict-of-Interest Regulations, the City’s Municipal Code, and the ability to serve as the Clerk of the Council, while remaining neutral.

In past years, the San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury released a report addressing the question whether City Clerks should be elected or appointed.  Their report stated that, “health benefits alone may be sufficient to attract unqualified persons to run for city clerk, leaving the work to city staff and costing the cities health benefits for persons performing no useful function.” 

Your “YES” vote will convert the Paso Robles City Clerk position to an appointed position and ensure the City’s operations continue to be run efficiently by a qualified and trained individual.  The City of Paso Robles’ elected officials, City Clerk, and City management support Measure H-18 and urge you to vote “YES.”

s/ Steve Martin, Mayor

s/ Steve Gregory, Mayor Pro-Tem

s/ Fred Strong, City Councilmember

s/ Dennis Fansler, City Clerk






Arguments AGAINST


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