March 2019 Official Word


Official Word

March 2019

Volume 20, Issue 3


  1. President's Message
  2. Conference Fundraiser
  3. Membership Update
  4. Professional Development Update
  5. Events Calendar
  6. Newly Designated
  7. Annual Conference
  8. Fundraising Opportunities
  9. Region 6 Message
  10. Region 16 Message
  11. Member Spotlight
  12. IIMC Region IX Event
  13. IIMC Foundation
  14. Sponsors


















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California

CCAC President's Message
Stephanie Smith, MMC

I’m writing this on one of the few, truly sunny days we’ve had this month. According to meteorologists, 2019 has been one of the coldest February’s on record, and we can all attest to this being one of the rainiest winters we’ve had in a long time. On one hand, we absolutely need this rain. On the other, it would be great if it didn’t come down all at once – as evidenced by the mudslides and debris flows experienced in Lake Elsinore and Malibu last week. What does this kind of weather tell us about being Municipal Clerks? I can tell you what I learned – we are categorically not prepared for real disaster in this state.

At the League’s New Law and Election Law Seminar in December, I joined Kathy Flamson, retired Calistoga City Clerk, and Sarah Gorman, Santa Barbara City Clerk Services Director, on a panel talking about what it was like to activate our EOCs and/or live in an evacuation zone. Our stories were real, and while I lived comfortably during my evacuation of the #HolyFire in the comfort of my daughter’s guest bedroom, others literally fled for their lives, worked in the middle of flames, stared at television images of blocked interstates between them and their families, worried about being separated from their small children and wondered how they were surviving on convenience store food while the roads to “civilization” were cut off. We all listened with rapt attention and wonder at how some of these clerks not only survived, but agreed to come back to work. I overhead more than a few promises to do better, to get our “Clerk in the Box” filled, to “be prepared”.

Flash forward two months to February. The rains came. The rains continue to come. We’ve had sinkholes. We’ve had debris flows. We’ve had power outages. We’ve had record snow falls. And still, we are not prepared. My city had a disastrous sinkhole and activated our EOC. Except, the Fire Department didn’t notify the people assigned to work in the EOC. The Fire Department didn’t ask permission of, or notify the Director of Emergency Operations (i.e., The City Manager)! Now before we start bagging on the Fire Department, it wasn’t 100% their fault. The blackboard system for making pages/mass notifications wasn’t working. The City Manager was out of the office (albeit available by phone). And no one expected the rains to be as devastating as they ended up being.

But friends, that’s my point exactly. We never know when a REAL disaster is going to strike. We never know when our computer systems are going to fail. We never know when we might just get that call that we’ve got to stay and work the phones in the EOC. So here’s my plea one more time – Plan. Prepare. Practice.

And I’ve got an incentive to get you moving. I’ve got prizes for the first five Clerks to send me photographic evidence of your Clerk in a Box, your equipment, your emergency supply backpack in your car or under your desk…anything that is real, and tangible, and not just a list in your computer. So get going Clerks. Make some Emergency Management Magic – be the one that saves the day! 

Shifting gears, we’re on our final countdown to Making Our Own Magic at the Annual Conference. If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for? The week is jammed-packed with learning opportunities we may never see again (I know because I interviewed a lot of the speakers and I kinda sorta blew our budget )

So sign up today to reserve your spot with these amazing speakers and leave Anaheim having Created Your Own Magic!

Until next time, remember, you don’ have to be the City Manager or your agency’s Chief Executive Officer to make a difference. Every one of you are special, are unique, are gifted, and are called for a great purpose, even if that purpose seems small or unknown to you right this minute. I believe in you! It’s time you start believing in yourself.


Don't Forget Our Conference Fundraiser

A Clerks Giving Back initiative to coincide with National Volunteer Week. Established in 1974, held annually in April, and sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, National Volunteer Week celebrates Service, and the impact of volunteers in our communities. So many of our Clerks volunteer throughout the year for a myriad of organizations that help improve the lives of countless members of our communities, many of them the most vulnerable. So I know Clerks are generous, kind-hearted individuals. This year, National Volunteer Week will be April 7 – 13th, right after our Conference. To join in the spirit, I am launching a Giving Campaign during the Conference, where I’m asking Clerks to contribute items to a specific non-profit, who will be recognized at our Thursday luncheon.

Let me share a little bit about S.A.F.E. – Safe Alternatives For Everyone. S.A.F.E. has a simple mission. They are committed to providing services for children, youth, and families who have experienced or are at risk of abuse and violence. Their vision is clear:

“Safe and healthy families where children can thrive is a universal vision. In some homes, however, there are problems of abuse and violence, and in some cases the problems are severe. Because abuse and violence are not limited to any particular family or community, services to address the complex nature of children, youth and families struggling with abuse or violence are imperative. S.A.F.E. provides those services. Our vision is of parents, schools, businesses and agencies working together to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and their families.”

How do they do this? The services they offer include Basic Needs Assistance, such as food, clothing, hygiene products; Case Management; Domestic Violence Services; Emergency Assistance, such as shelter housing, escape support; Police Activities League; Trainings and Workshops; and Resources and Referrals. Headquartered in Temecula, S.A.F.E. services a large area in Southwestern Riverside County, providing vital, emergency assistance to families and children in crisis.  You can learn more information about them by visiting

To assist S.A.F.E., I am asking that all conference attendees contribute an item that will help them with their mission. Donations can be anything from board games for the kids, to gas or food gift cards for families, to feminine hygiene items for women that have to flee abusive situations quickly. A complete list of suggested donations can be found here. We’ll have a special table set up at conference where we’ll display all the donations and have information about the important that S.A.F.E. is doing to help some of our most vulnerable members of the community. We are expecting about 250 people attending our conference. There is something for everyone on the list, even those flying to the conference with no room left in their suitcase (think gift cards). Won’t you join me in Creating a Little Magic for this worthwhile organization? 


“SAFE was there when I was in the darkest time of my life. I didn’t think there were any options to my life with abuse but because of them there was. They saved my life, literally saved my life. Plain and simple, it is what they do.” ~S.A.F.E. Client

“During our time at the safehouse, I watched my sons go from being on edge all the time, to just playing a board game and laughing together. I can’t remember the last time I saw them do that.” ~S.A.F.E. Client

“Thank you so much for helping me get the restraining order. It’s given me peace and I didn’t think that was possible.” ~S.A.F.E. Client

“I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found the SAFE office. I probably would have gone back to my husband and he probably would have killed us by now.” ~S.A.F.E. Client

Membership Update 
Anthony Mejia, MMC

If you are unsure whether your CCAC membership has renewed for 2019, please contact CCAC for verification. All unpaid memberships went into lapsed status as of February 28, 2019. Lapsed members will not be eligible to CCAC Educational Scholarships, member-rates at trainings and conferences, or eligible to vote during the CCAC elections.

New Job? New Employee? Make sure you notify CCAC if you have moved jobs or if you have hired a new employee and would like to continue or start membership with CCAC. Your membership helps ensure that CCAC can carry out its mission of promoting the profession through education, support and communication. In addition, thank you to the Membership and Inclusivity Committee for developing a new Welcome Letter which will be issued to new members. View the Welcome Letter here.

Professional Development Update
Shawna Freels, MMC


CCAC has committed $18,000 in scholarship money to support CCAC members to attend educational trainings being held between July and December, 2019.  The sole purpose of our scholarship programs is to further your professional development including achievement of Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) and Master Municipal Clerk (MMC).

Eligible Institutes and Education Courses being held July through December, 2019:


  • Technical Training for Clerks Series 200 - September 10-13, 2019
  • Master Municipal Clerks Academy MMCA Academy - September 18-20, 2019

Education Courses

  • Nuts & Bolts Seminar - October 2019
  • New Law & Elections Seminar - December 11-13, 2019
  • Any CCAC Athenian Dialogue - July through December, 2019
  • IIMC Online Learning Institute Courses  

The application period is open now!

Visit the CCAC website to submit your application. 

Events Calendar

CCAC Education Workshops

City Clerk Dashboard - The Meaning, Intent, and Purpose Behind the Laws Administered by City Clerks
March 22, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. - Turlock City Hall
Click here for more info and to register online.

Athenian Dialogues

The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III
Facilitated by Stephanie Smith, MMC
March 16, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Torrance
Click here for more information.


First In, Last Out by John Salka
Facilitated by Patrice Olds, MMC
April 26, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Palo Alto
Click here for more information.


CCAC Annual Conference
April 2-5, 2019 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Anaheim-Orange County 
Click here for more information.

Mentor Training (in conjunction with Annual Conference)
April 2, 2019 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Anaheim-Orange County.
Click here for more information.

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Ashton Gout, CMC - Assistant to City Clerk, City of Monrovia

Evangelina Hernandez, CMC - Executive Assistant, City of Bell Gardens

Erica Inderlied, CMC - City Clerk, City of Pismo Beach

Jean Bell, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Livermore

Vaida Pavolas, CMC - Assistant City Clerk, City of Oceanside

Alice D. Atkins, MMC - City Clerk, City of Monrovia

Daisy Gomez, MMC - City Clerk, City of Santa Rosa

CCAC Annual Conference

Creating Your Own Magic in Anaheim/Orange!

We hope you’ll come and join the 200 clerk professionals already signed up for the CCAC Annual Conference April 3rd through the 5th in Anaheim/Orange. The theme this year, in addition to being magical, is truly thought provoking. As a member of your organization, your profession, and in your leadership role – do you create magic? What is creating magic? I believe magic happens when teams strive together to achieve a valued mission or vision. It happens when you are inspired by a leader, or the environment or the shared vision. It happens when trust is the core of relationships, failings are just growth opportunities, and being vulnerable is its own reward. It happens when you bring your whole heart to your role and the relationships you share with others in your role. Join us on the journey to discover how to create your own magic. I really hope to see you there.

Sign up for the conference on the CCAC website conference page

Fundraising Opportunities

The fundraising committee is happy to announce the fundraisers for the annual conference! We are once again seeking your assistance in having another successful year of fundraising for the scholarship fund! 

Fundraising Opportunities:

Silent Auction – Please consider donating items to the Silent Auction, items that are small enough to travel easily for those that win are greatly appreciated. Some considerations: gift cards, jewelry, scarves, tickets to events, etc.

Live Auction – Please consider donating towards your Region item.  Regions are being asked to pair up and create a unique, magical item showcasing your areas of the state.  Please remember that items should be able to travel easily.

What's Your Cup of Tea? – This year's spinoff of a wine pull is the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.  Please consider donating a bottle and purchasing a playing card to participate.

50/50 – We will once again be doing the 50/50 opportunity that we had last year!  If you missed it, we had some lucky winners of nice jackpots!  Be prepared to purchase your tickets at the conference! 

New this year! We are asking for donations of nice ladies or men handbags/satchels/bags/carryall/clutch for a live auction.  Thank you Madam President and Madam 1st VP for being our first donors to this event!  If you are willing to donate please email Susan Domen at [email protected] with a description of your item and the value. 

Marilyn our CCAC Store genius will be offering some magical items this year to go with our theme as well. 

Thank you for your consideration and donations.  With your help we will be able to increase our scholarships next year! 

The Fundraising Committee:

Susan Domen, Chair
Ashton Gout 
Sandra Kandell
Mitzi Ortiz
Britt Avrit
Melissa Thurman
Janet Martinez
Yvette Mayfield 
Sylvia Bermudez
Rose Juarez
Wendi Gensel
Laura Nieto
Melissa Crowder
Anne Haraksin
Kendall Granucci

Region 6 Director's Message 
Vicki Kasad, MMC

On February 21, 2019, we had the pleasure of co-hosting an event with Region 11.   Debra Black, Assistant City Clerk for the City of San Dimas, graciously provided the central location and hosted our event.  The 92 participants in attendance drove from as far away as Oxnard, Oceanside, Coachella and Lancaster to hear Christine Wood, Director of PRA Services and E-Discovery Counsel from Best Best and Krieger.   She suggested that we “Bring Something Old, Something New, Something Borrow4ed, (but Nothing Blue) to PRA Requests” and detailed an Electronic Discovery Reference Model for addressing records requests.   She also explained the recent Sukumar vs. San Diego case and how we could avoid the pitfalls of not “fully” responding to a public records request.

For fun, we held a mini-raffle in support of the CCAC Scholarship program and raised $375.00.  Our 4 Vendors (American Legal, CPS. Netfile and Southtech) even got in on the fun with drawings, raffle prizes and give-aways.   The big winner of the day was our hostess Debra Black who won two nights at the Hilton Palm Springs.   Thank you to everyone who donated raffle prizes and bought tickets.   And thank you to my co-hosts Adrian Garcia, Chief Deputy City Clerk, Azusa and Debra Black, Assistant City Clerk, San Dimas.

Region 16 Director's Message
 JoAnne M. Buergler, MMC

Greetings from Region 16. Our February Wine Country Weekend in Napa workshop, Athenian Leadership Dialogue was a huge success! The feedback provided by attendees were all exceptional and above average.

Below you will find a few highlights of weekend lineup.

Workshop-Communication, Influence, and Conflict Resolution for the Conscious Leader

Professional Coach Sandy Hogan guided us through self-exploration exercises and group discussions. Looking inward to identify how we are hard-wired - how we instinctively communicate and handle conflict, and where we naturally go when we are in our ideal environment and when we are under stress. Obtaining this insight allows us to transform into a conscious leader. What is your hard wired type?

ALD-King Peggy by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman

Facilitator Stephanie Smith led us through the adventures of King Peggy! What a delightful book. This incredible woman changed the welfare, outlook, and culture of her entire African village of Otuam. She was afraid at times, alone at times, surrounded by corrupt advisors, and financial challenges. Peggy held fast to her values bringing to her village water, less corruption, less wife beating, education, and hope!

Throughout our careers we may find ourselves in situations where we can truly relate to Peggy’s challenges. ALD attendees participated in an art project using Adinkra cultural symbols of the Asante people. This project provided us with a memento to remind us of our beliefs, values, philosophy, and attitude…allowing us to hold fast.

Networking Event

Those of us that were not scared off by the weather had a delightful time eating, drinking, chatting, and problem solving in stunning surroundings.

Member Spotlight - Region 5 
by Will Jeong, Administrative Aide, City of Hesperia

On Thursday, February 28, 2019,  the City of Hesperia held the 13th annual Youth in Government Day Program hosted by the City Clerk’s Office.  Youth in Government Day is an academic program designed to give local high school seniors a unique opportunity to witness the inner workings of a local government agency by spending the day at City Hall. In preparation for the daylong event, Youth in Government Day participants attended a City Council Meeting and participated in online learning assignments via the City’s website and social media platforms . The day-long event includes an orientation and welcome briefing, a guided tour of City Hall and the Police Station, presentations led by staff, a luncheon program featuring a “Meet the Mayor” question and answer session, and participation in a Mock City Council Meeting. By observing the day-to-day operation of municipal government, students walk away with knowledge about the role of local government and its impact on their daily life which staff hopes sparks a desire to learn about careers in public service and engage more frequently with local government Agencies. The feedback each year has been overwhelmingly positive with some students returning after graduation to volunteer at City Hall before college.  

Also in Region 5...

Congratulations to Barstow City Clerk JoAnne Cousino!  JoAnne was selected as the 2018 Larry Chimbole Public Service Award recipient for the League of California Cities Mountain / Desert Division for outstanding service to municipal government, leadership and activism with the League of California Cities.

IIMC Region IX Event 

Are You Headed to Birmingham?

If you’ve never been to an IIMC Conference, this year’s event in Birmingham, Alabama is shaping up to be one of the most exciting learning environments we’ve ever seen.  At the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham is a city steeped in history and hospitality. Set for May 18th - 22nd, the week starts with some amazing Academies and Athenians, followed by three days of comprehensive workshops that cover everything from  how to be an effective mentor to best practices in the modern world of clerkdom.  For more information and to register, visit the IIMC website.  

One of the highlights of the conference is the Region IX Event, held on Tuesday evening. Join your fellow clerks from Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California as we “Party on the Roof” of the Southern Kitchen and Bar with a traditional Cajun food celebration. Registration for this event is separate from your conference registration, and can be made through the Washington Municipal Clerks Association website.  

IIMC Foundation


The IIMC Foundation and American Legal are sponsoring an education fundraiser that can land you in beautiful Hawaii  Support a good cause and buy your tickets today! 

Sponsors (click image)