FAQs About The City Clerk Profession
How do I become a member of CCAC?
Membership forms are available on the CCAC website. Fill out the form and send it with the appropriate dues payment to the Second Vice President of CCAC.
How do I make changes to my membership?
A membership change form is available online on our website. When you make a change, it is submitted to the Second Vice President and Martin & Chapman. The online directory is updated accordingly the following month.
Who are the voting members?
All Primary Members and Associate Members have the voting rights.
Who are associate members?
Any Assistant or Deputy City Clerk whose City Clerk is a Primary Member, institutions and/or organizations whose operations are closely allied with the functions of the City Clerk’s office, and professional persons in fields directly related to municipal government are eligible for Associate Membership.
What does membership do for me?
CCAC sponsors educational programs and fosters a spirit of mutual assistance among clerks throughout the state. Members have access to a variety of opportunities including:
On-line certificate program
Annual Conference specific to New Law & Elections
What division am I in and how is that decided?
Divisions are spelled out in the Constitution and Bylaws Section 8.4 – Geographical Eligibility. The Divisions are as follows:
a. Southern Division shall consist of the following counties: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo. (Amended 10/99)
b. Northern Division shall consist of the following counties: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humbolt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Modoc, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba. (Amended 10/99)
c. Central Division shall consist of the following counties: Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne.
Where are meetings held and when?
Division meetings are held within the respective divisions and notices are sent out with details. The annual CCAC conference, which is in April, is typically located in the division that the President is from. The annual New Law and Election Seminar is typically rotated from the northern and southern part of the state each December.
What is IIMC?
International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Founded in 1947, the International Institute of Municipal Clerks is the leading professional association serving the needs of Municipal Clerks, Secretaries, Treasurers and Recorders and other allied associations from cities and towns worldwide.
IIMC’s primary goal is to actively promote the continuing education and professional development of Municipal Clerks through extensive education programs, certification, publications, networking, annual conferences and research. As an educational catalyst, IIMC inspires Clerks to expand and advance beyond their present levels of development.
IIMC also engages in municipal research administration, enhances critical professional skill development and fosters a spirit of mutual assistance and good fellowship among Municipal Clerks around the globe.
IIMC administers the Certified Municipal Clerk and Master Municipal Clerk Programs.
What is SCCCA?
Southern California City Clerks Association, which is the Southern Division of CCAC.
What is NCCCA?
Northern California City Clerks Association, which is the Northern Division of CCAC.
What is CCCCA?
Central California City Clerk Association, which is the Central Division of CCAC.
What is League of California Cities?
The League of California Cities is an association of California city officials who work together to enhance their knowledge and skills, exchange information, and combine resources so that they may influence policy decisions that affect cities.
Founded in 1898 on the principles of local control and interagency cooperation, the League has grown from a handful of public officials to include the voluntary membership of 478 California cities. Today, the League and its member cities are working hard to strengthen the effectiveness of their advocacy efforts. The League's mission statement reflects this commitment to "restore and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians". If your city belongs to the League, you belong.
How can I get more involved?
Volunteer! Fill out and return a Committee Interest Card. Watch for requests for volunteers through the Listserve. Run for a position on the state or division board.
What does a City Clerk do?
The City Clerk is the local official for elections, local legislation, the Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act, and the Brown Act (open meeting laws). Before and after the city council takes action, the city clerk ensures that actions are in compliance with all federal, state and local statutes and regulations and that all actions are properly executed, recorded, and archived. The statutes of the State of California prescribe the basic functions and duties of the city clerk, and the Government Code and Election Code provide precise and specific responsibilities and procedures to follow. The office of the City Clerk is a service department within the municipal government upon which the city council, all City departments, and the general public rely for information regarding the operations and legislative history of the City. The City Clerk serves as the liaison between the public and city council and provides related municipal services.
What percentage of City Clerks are elected?
Pursuant to the League of California Cities website and the information provided to them by individual cities, as of November 2006, there are 154 elected city clerks. Currently, there are 478 incorporated cities in the State of California.
Where can I find more information about the Public Records Act?
The Public Records Act is codified in Government Code Section 6250 et seq. The entire Government Code is available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Where can I find more information about the Brown Act?
The Ralph M. Brown Act is codified in Government Code Section 54950 et seq. The entire Government Code is available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Where can I find more information about the Political Reform Act?
The Political Reform Act is codified in Government Code Section 81000 et seq. The entire Government Code is available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov. Additional information about the Political Reform Act can be found on the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) website at www.fppc.ca.gov.
Where can I find more information about elections?
The Elections Code is the primary source of information for elections held within the State of California. The entire Elections Code is available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov. Additional information about elections can be found on the Secretary of State website at www.sos.ca.gov or by contacting your local Registrar of Voter’s Office.
If you are a charter city, your charter may have regulations that supercede the Elections Code.
Where can I find more information about the referendum/initiative process?
The Elections Code is the primary source of information for petitions, including referendums and initiatives. The pertinent information can be found in Elections Code Section 9200 et seq. The entire Elections Code is available online at www.leginfo.ca.gov. Additional information about petitions may be obtained by contacting your local Registrar of Voter’s Office.
What is the difference between a general law city and a charter city?
General law cities are formed, organized and operate pursuant to the powers provided by the Legislature as set forth in the statutes of the State of California, specifically the Government Code. Charter cities are created and operate pursuant to a charter or other similar document voted on by the citizenry. The primary difference between the two is that general law cities are subject to all constraints imposed by the Legislature with respect to local control, while charter cities maintain an additional level of autonomy over local affairs.
What action requires more than a majority vote?
A majority of the Council generally constitutes a quorum for the purposes of taking action. Most actions generally need a majority vote of the Council Members present for passage. However, some actions, such as urgency ordinances and resolutions of necessity, need a super-majority vote for passage. Notwithstanding the same, some cities may require a three-vote minimum procedurally. When in doubt, it is essential to check with the City Attorney’s office.
What is the difference between a resolution and ordinance?
Legislative action may be taken by either resolution or ordinance. The primary difference is that an ordinance effectuates a local law. A municipal code is comprised of ordinances and serves as a city’s constitution of sorts. A resolution is much less formal and generally addresses administrative and other similar types of matters.
What is Listserv, and how do I subscribe?
The purpose of the League of California Cities’ city clerks’ listserv is to provide a means for city clerks to communicate and share information. It should not be the resource of first resort. You may subscribe/unsubscribe to the listserve at following web address http://lists.cacities.org/mailman/listinfo/city_clerks
What are the guidelines for posting on Listserv?
City clerks should avoid posting inquiries on the city clerks’ private listserv on behalf of other city officials and departments. Here is the link to sign up for the “public” listservs: http://lists.cacities.org/mailman/listinfo/ - for PUBLIC listservs. Posting of job announcements are not allowed on the listserv. However, if you advertise in Western City magazine or on the City Clerks Association of California (CCAC) website, you may request a notice be placed on the listserv announcing the job posting. Non-city officials, other than consultants or vendors, who wish to communicate electronically with city clerks, may submit the message to Lorraine Okabe who moderates the listserv. The listserv is not available to consultants or vendors. However, the consultant or vendor may ask their member city client to post the message. Contact Lorraine Okabe (League staff) to see if the question has already been asked. She might have summaries or other information she can share. The League does not sell or make available its lists of e-mail addresses. The League’s listservs are not to be used for commercial purposes.
Subscribers are responsible for providing a summary of the responses they received to their listserv question. It is important for members to share information; this is the fundamental purpose of the listserv. When sending a summary, please identify the message as a “Summary” in the subject area. Also include the date, the source and the name of the person who conducted the survey. Please include the “original” question.
Can anyone send an e-mail to the listserv or do need to be a member?
You have to be a subscriber to send a message on the city clerk's listserv. Your city has to be a member of the League of CA Cities or the individual has to be a member of the City Clerks Association of California (CCAC) to subscribe.
How do I publish advertisement in The Official Word?
To publish an advertisement in the Official Word contact the CCAC Communications Director.
Who do I contact about placing a job announcement on the CCAC website?
To place a job announcement on the CCAC website contact the CCAC Communications Director.
Does CCAC have an online store, or where can I purchase paraphernalia?
Yes! CCAC recently started an online store with various customizable products available. Occasionally items with the CCAC logo are sold at the annual conference or through the Official Word as well.
What if I relocate to another city; does my CCAC membership stay with me?
The Membership stays with the City.
How do I apply for lifetime membership upon my retirement?
A CCAC member may become a lifetime member upon retirement if they have been a voting and/or associate member for a total of at least 10 years (at least 2 years of the 10 must have been as a voting member).
EDUCATION / CERTIFICATION
What are the available training opportunities?
In California, Clerks can take advantage of a multitude of training opportunities including programs at Division meetings, Continuing Education for Public Officials (CEPO/LTC), Technical Track for Clerks (TTC), San Joaquin Delta Community College Municipal Clerk Certificate Program, Nuts & Bolts, CCAC Annual Conference and New Law & Elections Seminar. IIMC also offers training opportunities in conjunction with its Annual Conference and through its distance education program.
What is Nuts & Bolts?
CCAC offers a two-day workshop called “Nuts & Bolts” to provide basic training and information on the basic responsibilities of the City Clerk’s office. Nuts & Bolts offers “hands-on,” informal training and provides firsthand and special attention to specific needs of individuals. This is an excellent training for those new to the Clerk’s profession or for those wanting a basic refresher.
The seminar focuses on subjects such as agendas, minutes, record keeping, contracts, research methods, ordinances, resolutions and a myriad of other subjects. Participants receive information and training on proper procedures for conducting public meetings in compliance with the Brown Act and other legal requirements.
The workshop occurs every summer with a session in both Northern and Southern California, currently in Manteca and Brea, CA.
What is CEPO (LTC)?
Also referred to as the Leadership Track for Clerks (LTC), Continuing Education for Public Officials, Inc. (CEPO) is a non profit organization dedicated to leadership training and skills education of public service professionals. Founded in 1973, CEPO has provided a lively educational forum for thousands of city, county and special district officials. CEPO’s mission is to create leaders for local government that have the "Courage to Lead!” Key to CEPO's success is the inter-discipline community created by a wide variety of local government professionals joined by their common commitment to public service.
CEPO's Leadership session is a three-year program consisting of one-week in-residence sessions for three years. During each week's session, participants select their own personal curriculum for the week. Each selects six courses from more than 38
offerings. The learning environment created is conducive to adult learning. Course designs focus on experiential learning through small sessions with the average course size of 8 to 12 participants. Trainer to participant ratio is high, allowing for a deep and insightful learning experience.
LTC is an IIMC Institute for CMC as well as an Academy or MMC or recertification hours.
What is TTC?
The TTC, or Technical Track for City Clerks, program consists of a series of three week-long sessions (with an optional fourth session), held at the University of California Riverside Extension. The program provides in-depth consideration of issues and skill enhancement with respect to the city clerk profession and adheres to IIMC core curriculum requirements to maintain a balance of 50% technical, 30% interpersonal and 20% elective courses. TTC sessions are held in March, June and September on a continuing basis and is the IIMC CMC Institute.
TTC is an IIMC Institute for CMC, but will not count towards your MMC or recertification hours.
What is the annual conference and when is it held?
CCAC hosts an annual conference in April. The conference offers educational, professional and networking opportunities for Clerks throughout the state. The location rotates between the Northern, Southern and Central Divisions.
What is the New Law and Election Seminar and when is it held?
The League of California Cities hosts an annual New Law and Election Seminar each December. This seminar focuses on newly enacted legislation pertaining to elections as well as sessions on other issues of interest to clerks. The conference location rotates between Northern and Southern California.
What is a Certified Municipal Clerk?
The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) offers a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation program to enhance the job performance of Clerks in municipalities of all sizes. A Clerk must attend extensive education programs, have relevant local government work experience and make professional contributions to earn the CMC designation. These requirements ensure that participants have developed the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the challenges of the complex role of the municipal clerk by providing them with quality education in partnership with 47 institutions of higher learning. IIMC has offered the CMC designation since 1970 and has helped thousands of clerks in various organizations.
What is a Master Municipal Clerk?
The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) also offers a Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) program. Once a clerk has earned the CMC designation, s/he can then apply for entrance into the Master Municipal Clerk Academy (MMCA), which prepares candidates for reaching MMC status. The MMCA designation offers advanced continuing education programs to prepare participants to perform more complex municipal duties. The program has an extensive and rigorous educational component, a professional and social contribution component and a commitment to lifelong learning. Academy members must demonstrate that they have actively pursued educational and professional activities and have remained informed of current socio-political, cultural and economic issues that affect local governments and municipalities.
How can I sign up for online education classes?
San Joaquin Delta Community College offers an online municipal clerk certificate program. You can register at http://www.deltacollege.edu/. IIMC also offers distance education opportunities. You can find details on this program at http://www.iimc.com.
How do I obtain a scholarship for training?
You can find scholarships forms for TTC and LTC on the CCAC website. Both the State and Division levels consider applications for scholarship funding. There is one application that suffices for both application levels. Application deadlines are June 1 and November 1 of each year. The State application is forwarded to the Divisions for consideration for a supplemental scholarship award. Contact your Division scholarship committees for more information on their scholarship criteria.
Am I eligible for a scholarship?
Scholarship recipients must meet the following minimum criteria:
Current CCAC membership for at least one year at the time of attendance at the training session
Attained a minimum of 30 points
One scholarship per person per year.
More scholarship information is available on the CCAC website.
How can I sign up to receive a mentor?
TTC attendees must have a mentor, but anyone can have a mentor. You can also contact San Jose City Clerk Lee Price to receive a mentor at flprice(at)gmail.com or (805) 801-0414.
How can I become a mentor?
Contact San Jose City Clerk Lee Price at flprice(at)gmail.com or (805) 801-0414 for information on upcoming mentor training sessions.