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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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Local

City of Oceanside
Measure K - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Failing

11,384 votes yes (24.8%)

34,472 votes no (75.2%)

Shall the offices of city clerk and city treasurer be appointed by the City Manager?

What is this proposal?

Pros & Cons — Unbiased explanation with arguments for and against

Information provided by Source: League of Women Voters of North County San Diego

The Question

Shall the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer be appointed by the City Manager?

The Situation

The City Clerk and the City Treasurer are currently elected positions, with duties defined by the California Code. The City Clerk maintains records of the City Council proceedings and acts as the City’s Records Administrator, Elections Official and Filing Official. The City Treasurer receives all revenue for the City and manages City cash and investments.

The City Council approved an amendment to Section 2.10 of the City Code that, if Measure K is approved, will expand City Manager appointment authority to appointment of the City Clerk and the City Treasurer.  The City Manager is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the City Council.

The Proposal

If a majority of voters approve Measure K, the City Manager will appoint the City Clerk and City Treasurer, at the expiration of the terms of the current incumbents, and at any time there is a vacancy in either office. If the measure is not approved, the City Clerk and the City Treasurer will continue to be elected for four-year terms.

Fiscal effect

Not quantified by proponent. Some reduction of cost could occur with transfer and possible reorganization of work performed.

Supporters say

  • Growing complexities of municipal governance and finance necessitate that highly qualified professionals serve as City Clerk and City Treasurer.
  • Converting the two elected positions to City Manager-appointed positions will ensure personnel performing related duties are selected based on job-related qualifications, not popularity.
  • The City Clerk serves as the compliance officer for federal, state and local statutes, and oversees our increasingly complex election process.
  • The City Treasurer is responsible for investing the City's funds for safety, liquidity and returns, but there are no professional qualifications to hold this office, just the ability to win an election.
  • Most neighboring cities fill the roles of City Clerk and City Treasurer through appointment.

Supporters include:

(Signers of official arguments in bold)

Peter Weiss, Mayor, City of Oceanside

Robert (Camo) Gleisberg, retired Marine comptroller, taxpayer advocate

Scott Ashton, CEO, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce

Marva Bledsoe, 42-year Oceanside resident and retired non-profit executive

Zack Beck, former elected Oceanside City Clerk

Opponents say

  • Both the City Clerk and City Treasurer should be elected, independent “watchdogs,” not subordinates of the City Council-appointed City Manager.
  • The City Clerk and the City Treasurer are currently answerable to the public, free from City Manager and City Council interference, and can be recalled; not the case if the positions are appointed.
  • Amendment to the City Code that expands City Manager appointment authority occurred without public input.
  • This measure has been on the Oceanside ballot before and failed by 85%.
  • Under this measure, one person will hire and appoint both the City Clerk and City Treasurer and they won’t have to live in Oceanside.
  • Too much power concentrated in one person.

Opponents include:

(Signers of official arguments in bold)

Victor Roy, Oceanside City Treasurer

Linda Slater, President, Democratic Club of Oceanside

William Fischer, Retired University Educator

Arlene Hammerschmidt, Retired OUSD teacher and coach

Esther Sanchez, City Council Member

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

YES vote means

A Yes vote is in favor of the City Manager having the authority to appoint the City Clerk and City Treasurer once the terms of the current City Clerk and City Treasurer expire in December 2020.

NO vote means

A No vote is in favor of the current system of having City voters elect the City Clerk and City Treasurer to four-year terms.

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Source: Office of the Oceanside City Clerk

CITY ATTORNEY'S IMPARTIAL ANALYSIS

The Oceanside City Council has placed this Measure on the ballot asking voters to decide whether the City Clerk and City Treasurer should be appointed to office by the City Manager. Under current law, the City Clerk and City Treasurer are elected by City voters to four-year terms. The terms of the current City Clerk and City Treasurer end in December 2020. Pursuant to state law, there are three qualifications for the positions of elcted City Clerk and elected City Treasurer: 1) the individual must be a resident of the City, 2) the individual must be registered to voter in the City, and 3) the individual must be at least 18 years old. Candidates running for the positions of City Clerk and City Treasurer are not required under state law to meet any other minimum educational requirements or professional qualifications.

The City Council has adopted an amendment to the Oceanside City Code to grant the City Manager the authority to appoint the City Clerk and City Treasurer if this Measure is approved by City voters. Therefore, if a majority of voters approve this Measure, the City Manager will appoint the City Clerk and City Treasurer at the expiration of the terms of the current incumbents and at any time there is a vacancy in either office. As appointive officers, the City Clerk and City Treasurer will report to, and serve at the pleasure of, the City Manager. If this Measure is approved by the voters, the appointed City Clerk and City Treasuerer would not be required to be City residents, but may be required to satisfy minimum educational or professional qualifications.

If a majority of voters do not approve this Measure, the offices of City Clerk and City Treasurer will continue to be elected.

A Yes vote is in favor of the City Manager having the authority to appoint the City Clerk and City Treasurer once the terms of the current City Clerk and City Treasurer expire in December 2020.

A No vote is in favor of the current system of having City voters elect the City Clerk and City Treasurer to four-year terms.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE K

The growing complexities of municipal governance and finance necessitate highly qualified professionals serving as city clerk and treasurer. Converting these roles to be appointed rather than elected positions ensures that they are filled by properly qualified individuals who can accurately perform the required duties of office.

The performance of a staff clerk and treasurer would be carefully scrutinized by our City Manager. The City Manager would hire highly qualified professionals with the necessary skills and expertise to perform the required duties and would regularly evaluate their performance, in accordance with the City's personnel policies. Currently, elected clerks and treasurers need only demonstrate the ability to win an election, which is often nothing more than a popularity contest. Their performance is neither evaluated nor is there supervisory oversight.

The role of overseeing the management, growth and protection of the City's $350-million-plus investment fund is not something that should be entrusted to someone simply based on their ability to win an election. In fact, in 2010 the National Bureau of Economic Research studied the issue and concluded that "an appointed rather than elected city treasurer reduces city borrowing costs by 13% to 23%."

With regard to the clerk position, this role serves as the "compliance officer for federal, state and local statutes" overseeing our increasingly complex election process, a position that should be filled by a neutral and qualified professional.

Most neighboring cities fill the roles of clerk and treasurer through appointment, and it is time that Oceanside modernize its process to keep up with the intricacies of municipal governance.

A YES vote guarantees that minimum qualifications are established, ensuring that qualified professionals with the required expertise are selected as city treasurer and city clerk, with day to day accountability to a City Manager rather than once every four years to voters.

 

PETER WEISS,
Mayor, City of Oceanside

ROBERT (CAMO) GLEISBERG,
retired Marine comptroller, taxpayer advocate

SCOTT ASHTON,
CEO, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce

MARVA BLEDSOE,
42 year Oceanside resident and retired non-profit executive

ZACK BECK,
former elected Oceanside City Clerk

— Oceanside City Clerk, San Diego Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE K

This has been on the Oceanside ballot before, and it FAILED by an overwhelming 85% !!

  • VOTE NO to KEEP our "Public Watchdogs"--the City Clerk & City Treasurer--as elected officials!
  • VOTE NO to PRESERVE our Democracy and Fight Corruption!
  • VOTE NO to HOLD the City ACCOUNTABLE--Residents want TRANSPARENCY! We don't want more appointments!
  • VOTE NO to ENSURE our City Clerk and City Treasurer are from Oceanside!

In 1999, Oceanside's ELECTED City Treasurer Rosemary Jones stood up against the Oceanside Mayor who directed her to place $100M of the City's $135M portfolio into a ponzi-like scheme. She refused.

She saved the taxpayers millions of dollars by refusing to comply!

She was able to exercise INDEPENDENT judgment because she was an ELECTED OFFICIAL!

A Securities & Exchange Commission attorney investigating the scheme said Rosemary avoided a financial "tragedy" for the City.

WE MUST RETAIN THESE OFFICES AS ELECTED so they can exercise their judgment INDEPENDENTLY of City Council and City Manager. Jones strongly advocated continuing the position as an elected one and we agree.

Currently the Oceanside City Clerk & City Treasurer are required to RESIDE in Oceanside. Under this Measure, ONE person will hire and appoint both the City Clerk & City Treasurer and they won't have to live in Oceanside. That is way too much power concentrated in one person!

The elected City Clerk plays a vital role by preserving the City's records and ensuring the City rigorously follows proper procedures and laws, INCLUDING LOCAL ELECTIONS. The Clerk must be INDEPENDENT and free from interference by the City Manager and the City Council.

VOTE NO to ensure Oceanside residents maintain our PUBLICLY ELECTED WATCH DOGS who have the taxpayer's best interests at heart, and will fight potential corruption at the highest levels!

For more info: http://www.sddt.com/News/article.cfm?SourceCode=19990409cj#.Xiy25hNKjBK

VICTOR ROY,
Oceanside City Treasurer/California Treasury Certified by California Municipal Treasurer’s Association

LINDA S. SLATER,
President, Democratic Club of Carlsbad Oceanside

WILLIAM FISCHER,
Retired University Educator

ARLEEN HAMMERSCHMIDT,
Retired OHS Educator & Coach (Ms. Henry)

ESTHER C. SANCHEZ,
Council Member

 

[Original PDF published at https://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/clerk/elections/current_elections.asp ]

— Oceanside City Clerk, San Diego Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF MEASURE K

VOTE NO! Measure K is a bad idea! We don't want to be like other cities. Oceanside has been doing great with ELECTED Treasurers and City Clerks for years. There is no reason to change this!

  • The Treasurers in Oceanside have been Certified Municipal Treasurers for years-- having the highest qualifications to handle Oceanside's funds. The City Clerks become certified as well and are also highly qualified. The City has run smoothly for years with their professionalism.
  • This proposal was on Oceanside's ballot before, and it FAILED by an overwhelming 85%!
  • There was NO PUBLIC INPUT! There was almost NO PUBLIC SUPPORT!
  • As an American, You should have the Right to Vote for your choice of representation in your government.
  • Don't give up Your Right To Vote for Elected Representatives!
  • Measure K eliminates Your Vote for 2 of 7 ELECTED Oceanside offices. This REDUCES Your Voting Power by almost 30%!

Elected Public Watchdogs eliminate political demands by the Council. ELECTEDS can exercise INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT. An appointee could not. Appointees are NOT answerable to you, can't be recalled and don't have to live in the City of Oceanside. One person would appoint them, leaving the public out of the whole process.

ELECTED City Clerks & City Treasurers provide DIRECT & IMPORTANT OVERSIGHT of the heart of our government: Record Keeping, Elections, Treasury, & Investments.

Protect your precious Right to Vote by VOTING NO!

 

Victor Roy,
Oceanside City Treasurer; California Treasury CERTIFIED by California Municipal Treasurer's Association & Member

Dennis Martinek,
Professor of Business Economics & Urban Planning (Retired), 40 year resident of Oceanside

Nadine Scott,
Successful Independent Investor, Community Advocate, Attorney

Esther Sanchez,
City Councilmember, City of Oceanside

 

[Original PDF published at https://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/clerk/elections/current_elections.asp ]

— Oceanside City Clerk, San Diego Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

REBUTTAL TO ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE K

Making the City Clerk and City Treasurer appointed positions will ensure that minimum qualifications are established, and experienced skilled professionals are performing these important duties with appropriate supervision from the City Manager.

The Mayor does not have the authority to direct investments, but an elected Treasurer does. In 1994 the elected Orange County Treasurer forced the County into bankruptcy due to independent actions to invest public funds in risky investments.

The City Treasurer is responsible for investing the City's funds for safety, liquidity and returns, but there are no professional qualifications to hold this office, just the ability to win an election. These duties are too important to entrust to one person whose only skill is winning an election.

The City Clerk is responsible for administering elections, local legislation, the Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act, and the Brown Act. These are complex responsibilities that require the right skills and training.

Good governance is a hallmark of democracy which is why Oceanside adopted the Council-Manager form of government. This representative system provides for policy-making power concentrated in the Council as a whole who hire a professionally trained City Manager to oversee the delivery of public services. The Mayor and City Council govern collectively, while the elected positions of Treasurer and Clerk concentrate power in individual officers, whose only qualifications are to be 18 years old, a resident and registered voter, and to win election.

Join us in voting YES on Measure K for accountability, responsibility and good governance.

 

JACK FELLER
Deputy Mayor, City of Oceanside

EMERALD LOWE
Director, Oceanside Young Professionals Network

ROBBIE HASS
local real estate agent and community volunteer

MARY STEIGER
70+ year resident, former Chamber president and local business owner

COLLEEN O'HARRA
58-year resident, former two-term council member and community volunteer

 

[Original PDF published at https://www.ci.oceanside.ca.us/gov/clerk/elections/current_elections.asp ]

— Oceanside City Clerk, San Diego Registrar of Voters

Read the proposed legislation

Proposed legislation

The full text of Measure K is the ballot question:

Shall the offices of city clerk and city treasurer be appointed by the City Manager?

 

Full text of Measure K typeset by the Office of the San Diego County Registrar of Voters:
https://www.sdvote.com/en/election/march-2020-primary/Measures/Measure_K.pdf

Who supports or opposes this measure?

Yes on Measure K
Organizations (0)
Elected & Appointed Officials (0)
No on Measure K

Organizations (1)

Elected & Appointed Officials (0)

More information

News (3)

Measure K could switch Oceanside elections to appointments — February 2, 2020 San Diego Union-Tribune
Elected vs. appointed set for March 2020 Oceanside ballot — September 13, 2019 San Diego Union-Tribune
Oceanside voters to decide elected vs. appointed — March 31, 2019 San Diego Union-Tribune
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