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Tuesday March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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City of Torrance
Measure Q - 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


13,662 votes yes (37.14%)

23,122 votes no (62.86%)

Shall the City Charter be amended to make the office of City Clerk appointive?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Patrick Q. Sullivan. City Attorney

Measure Q was placed on the ballot by the City Council. This Measure, if approved by the Torrance voters, would amend the City Charter to transition from an elected City Clerk to an appointed City Clerk.

California law allows the City Clerk to be elected or appointed. A number of cities in California, however, have voted to transform the post into an appointive position to ensure that the persons discharging the duties of the office have the professional skills and experience necessary to competently and responsibly discharge the duties of the position. There were 382 appointed City Clerks and 101 elected City Clerks as of March 2019 according to the City Clerks Association of California. Torrance has historically had an elected City Clerk who serves a four-year term. The current City Clerk was elected in June 2018 and the term will in end in March 2022 or as soon thereafter as the election can be certified. The current City Charter requires that the City Clerk must be: (1) a resident of the City, (2) registered to vote in the City, and (3) at least 18 years old. There are no minimum educational requirements, professional qualifications, or minimum City Clerk experience.

The City Clerk manages the City's official records, prepares City Council agendas, prepares meeting minutes, publishes and posts official notices, accepts service of claims, lawsuits, subpoenas, and official documents on behalf of the City, processes initiatives and referenda, attends City Council meetings, responds to Public Records Act requests, manages compliance with the State conflict of interest filings, and manages City elections.

If this Measure is approved, the City Clerk will become an appointive position at the end of the current term. The Measure provides that the City Clerk will be appointed by the City Manager. The City Council may establish minimum educational requirements, professional qualifications, or minimum City Clerk experience for the City Clerk. An appointed City Clerk need not be a City resident.

A YES vote on Measure Q is to make the City Clerk an appointive office upon expiration of the term of the current elected City Clerk. A NO vote on Measure Q is to retain an elected City Clerk. A majority vote is required for the Measure to pass.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR



Arguments AGAINST


Voting for Measure Q takes away your choice and gives it to one person—an unelected City Manager. Even the City Council will have no say in who is the City Clerk. You will have given tremendous power to a city bureaucrat that you cannot remove from office.


In 1992, this same issue was on that ballot. Then, it was an issue with a City Clerk not doing the job but still getting paid rather than the City Treasurer.

Torrance voters rejected that measure by more than 2 to 1. Torrance is a large city. We can find a capable City Clerk from among 150,000+ residents. A full-time City Clerk should be a Torrance resident! If qualified candidates are willing to move to Torrance, they are eligible too.

We are not opposed to at some future point, a Charter amendment requiring reasonable education, qualifications and skills for anyone running for City Clerk.


Passing Measure Q will not fix the City Treasurer problem. Our City Treasurer hasn't been to work in over a year. She's still getting paid $65,000 a year—plus a car allowance of $450 per month and other benefits paid with your taxes.

This can go on until July 2022— the remainder of her term. There's nothing the City Council can do about it because she's an elected official. Measure Q will not replace her. Even if Measure Q passes, it will not take effect until her term ends.


Please Vote No on Measure Q. Help us keep our elected City Clerk. Don't make the Clerk pay for the sins of the City Treasurer. Help us recall our City Treasurer and elect someone who will do the job.


Please vote NO on Measure Q.

Small Businessman

Systems Engineer

Economic Development Professional

Chief Financial Officer, California Taxpayers Action Network

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