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November 6, 2018 — California General Election
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Local

City of West Covina
Measure V - 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

Failed

8,540 votes yes (32.61%)

17,645 votes no (67.39%)

100% of precincts reporting (55/55).

Shall the office of City Clerk be appointed by the City Manager?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Impartial analysis / Proposal

The California Government Code requires each city to have a City Clerk, who is to be either elected or appointed. The City Clerk keeps records of the City Council meetings, ordinances, resolutions, manages city elections, causes collection, publication and updating of the City’s municipal code, and maintains custody of and preserves city records. In West Covina, the elected City Clerk does not actually perform these services; these duties are currently performed by administrative staff.

Measure V would change the manner in which the City Clerk of the City of West Covina is selected. Currently, the City Clerk is elected directly by the people, and must reside in and be a registered voter of the City. There is no requirement that the elected City Clerk have received any specific education, certification or training. The City Clerk serves an elective term of four years and then must stand for re-election to continue as City Clerk. Any vacancy in the position must be filled by appointment for the duration of the elective term or by special election.

This measure would make the City Clerk’s office an appointive rather than an elective office. If the measure passes, any person elected to the City Clerk position in 2018 and sworn in by December 31, 2018, would serve that elective term until its expiration in 2022, or until there is a vacancy in the position, whichever comes first. Thereafter, the City Clerk would be appointed by the City Manager. The City Council would have to approve a job classification specification identifying job requirements, minimum qualifications for training, education, experience or certification for the City Clerk position, which would likely be similar to those for the current Assistant City Clerk, who actually performs all the functions of the City Clerk in West Covina. The City Manager could recruit and interview for the position of City Clerk from among all qualified candidates, regardless of where they live or are registered to vote. An appointed City Clerk would not have to be a resident or registered voter of West Covina. An appointed City Clerk would serve at the pleasure of the City Manager, as head of the City’s Clerk’s office, under the supervision of the City Manager, who is also appointed by the City Council. Thus, an appointed City Clerk could be replaced if he or she was not performing satisfactorily or became unable or unwilling to perform the job duties of the City Clerk. Temporary appointments could be made to the position during any search for and interviews of qualified applicants, and no appointment within sixty days or special election would have to be held. If the measure does not pass, the City Clerk will continue to be an elective office.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Vote YES on Measure V

When West Covina first incorporated in 1923, elected City Clerks performed important functions. As cities grew, the responsibilities grew and have become more complex. The clerk is responsible for compliance to laws including the Brown Act, various municipal ordinances and campaign finance regulations.

Most California cities have transitioned to a professional staff with unique expertise and qualifications to fulfill the Clerk’s duties. Watch any City Council meeting and you will see the Deputy City Clerk effectively and efficiently perform those functions today.

Measure V recognizes these changes. It eliminates an unnecessary politician. It recognizes that those responsibilities have already been transferred to highly qualified professional staff. Professional staff is held accountable for what they do or don’t do. That is why almost 75% of California cities no longer have an elected City Clerk. They appoint qualified staff through a competitive employment process.

Elected City Clerks only have to be 18 and registered to vote. Professional staff are well educated and experienced.

Vote Yes on Measure V as it will save tens of thousands of dollars currently used to conduct the City Clerk Election. This is money that can be used to provide better services for you.

The current elected City Clerk supports Measure V. He recognizes that the position has changed since the 1920’s.

Vote YES on Measure V. Save taxpayer money and bring West Covina into the modern age. Vote YES on Measure V.

LLOYD JOHNSON
West Covina City Mayor

COREY WARSHAW
West Covina Councilmember

MIKE SPENCE
Councilman/Taxpayer Advocate

NICK LEWIS
Elected City Clerk

Arguments AGAINST

An Elected City Clerk is an important factor in maintaining Checks and Balances in Local Government. Checks and Balances are needed as much now as ever.

Having the City Clerk duties performed by an employee would increase the City’s cost during a time the city is eliminating fire, police and maintenance personnel and positions.

West Covina Residents need a City Clerk who is Elected by the People, and Accountable to them, not an Appointed one under the control of the City Council or City Manager.

An Elected City Clerk safeguards the Public’s right to access City documents, and promotes transparency by ensuring that Public Records Request are answered in a timely, responsive manner. An Appointed City Clerk would be loyal to the City Government, not the People.

It is never a good idea give up your ability to vote for a Representative of the People, because once you do, it reduces your voice in government. Your Constitutional rights depend on keeping that voice. You now only vote for 1 of 5 council members, although all 5 make rules for you to live under.

The truth is simple. Some City leaders are afraid a responsible City Clerk might reveal more information embarrassing to this City Government, and wish to replace that position with an Appointee who will do what they are told.
Given the City’s current chaotic situation, it is even more critical now than ever to have an Independent Elected City Clerk as a necessary layer of protection for the Public Interest.

Vote No on Measure V

STEVEN BENNETT
City Clerk Candidate

JOHN C. SHEWMAKER

COLLEEN ROZATTI
City Treasurer

SHIRLEY BUCHANAN

JERALDINE L. POTRAS

Replies to Arguments FOR

The supporters of the measure say it COSTS TOO MUCH to hold an election. As men and women are defending the right to vote around the world, how can two veterans and the taxpayer advocate on the city council make such a claim.

SHAME ON THOSE THREE. SHAME. It is never TOO EXPENSIVE to hold an election in the United States.

The reason for this change is simple. They are afraid of the City Clerk candidate who will release documents to the public, keeping you informed.

They say let professionals handle the duties. They state look at how others cities have changed. Sure, just look at others cities. Are they well run?

They want the same professionals who lost bond documents resulting in the city, rather than Redevelopment and the State, having to pay millions of dollars in bonds and maintenance costs at BKK handle those duties.

Are they talking about the professionals who our own Mayor, before being elected to the city council, had to file legal claims to get information?

The council majority and city manager want to have the ability to reward friends and others by changing an UNPAID ELECTED position into a $180,000, plus benefits, appointment.

Considering the city is always trying to hide information from the public, we need this elected position more than ever.

Do not lose another vote. NO on V

JOHN C. SHEWMAKER

STEVEN BENNETT
City Clerk Candidate

COLLEEN ROZATTI

SHIRLEY BUCHANAN

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Vote Yes on Measure V.

The opponents of Measure V make a phony argument that taxpayers will lose if they approve this measure.

What the opponents failed to disclose is that the responsibilities prescribed to the city clerk were delegated to professional staff decades ago. Go to the West Covina City Youtube channel and watch a council meeting. Every meeting features the Assistant City Clerk accomplishing the task of the elected City Clerk.

That is why almost 75% percent of California Cities no longer elect their clerks. There is no increase in city costs as pretended by the opponents. The fact is taxpayers save money by no longer having to spend tens of thousands of dollars electing a politician that no longer has responsibilities.

The current elected city clerk supports Measure V.

Electing someone to a position that no longer carries out the responsibilities is a fraud.

Measure V recognizes the current status of the position and saves taxpayers money.

Save money and enter the modern era. Vote Yes on Measure V.

LLOYD A. JOHNSON
Mayor

COREY WARSHAW
Councilman

MIKE SPENCE
Councilman/Taxpayer Advocate

NICK LEWIS
Elected City Clerk

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