May 2019 Official Word


Official Word

May 2019

Volume 20, Issue 5


  1. President's Message
  2. City Clerk of the Year 
  3. Membership Update
  4. Professional Development Update
  5. Events Calendar
  6. Newly Designated
  7. Treasurer's Update
  8. CCAC Election
  9. Member Spotlight
  10. IIMC Region IX Event
  11. IIMC Vice President's Message
  12. Sponsors










































































































































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California

CCAC President's Message
Stephanie Smith, MMC

As I write this message, I can’t believe Conference was almost four weeks ago.  So many members worked diligently for over a year planning our Conference, and there isn’t enough digital ink in the world to thank all of them properly for their hard work and dedicated efforts.  Without them, we’d have hot dogs for lunch in the back of a community center, with no room for vendor sponsors or an elegant recognition banquet.  CCAC is truly a member-driven and member-valued organization. Together we make a difference.

For those unable to attend this year, you missed some high-caliber speakers. Albert Mensah, our Academy speaker and opening day keynote address was so high energy and inspiring, people are still talking about it. Followed up by a few City Managers, City Attorneys, and retired City Clerks, the remainder of the Conference provided attendees with a chance to learn from dynamic leaders and focus on either technical skills or professional development/leadership skills. Closing out the entire session was Haydee Antezana, who showed us all how to be Packaged for Success. Thanks to the many people who contributed to both the live and silent auctions, as well as the Region Directors who put together some beautiful fundraising baskets, once again we finished in the black and are able to allocate significant dollars toward ongoing education scholarships.  My heart is full.

Coming up, many California and IIMC Region 9 Clerks are traveling to Birmingham later in May for the 50th Annual IIMC Annual Conference.  I look forward to five days of more intense learning about Clerking, as well as the opportunity to represent California among the rest of the States and other nations from around the world. I’ll be sure to send plenty of great pictures along in the June Official Word and posted on our Facebook page.

With Conference behind us, it can seem like the CCAC year might be over. But actually, your CCAC Board is working hard on several initiatives, including the upcoming election for Board Members (More on that next month), and the ongoing revision of our many policies and procedures to help energize the organization.  We’re diving into our proposed budget for next year, and holding a few teleconference board meetings to discuss how to best allocate our revenues to work hardest for you. As a reminder, all our board meetings are open to the membership, and we send out agendas in advance.  So if anyone is interested in attending the budget workshop, please watch your listserv emails for the date and time.

Speaking of budget, I’m sure all of us are busy with our agencies’ budget preparations and now is a great time to think about the future. What initiatives are you proposing for your department next fiscal year? What great programs did you complete this year? Do you have something to brag about? I know that many Clerks struggle coming up with innovative ideas that they can implement, and sometimes just having a little nudge of an idea from someone who has been there is all it takes. So if you have a great program or budget idea, we’d love to hear from you.  Just send a brief write-up of what you did to our Communications Director, Mitzi Ortiz, and we can include it in the next edition.   

And if you’re not thinking about something new for next year, why not? In order to have more than we have right now, we have to do more than we’re doing right now. It’s widely credited to Albert Einstein (although apparently there is some doubt) that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I always look at a new fiscal year budget as a new year, an opportunity for a professional do-over, a chance to make my mark in the organization. But it starts with us. We have to propose the programs. We have to be creative problem-solvers. We have to want to do something we’ve never done before. That’s how we Create Our Own Magic! Until next time, have a great month, and leave a little sparkle wherever you go.  

Awards of Distinction and Clerk of the Year

Each Year the President is given the honor of bestowing Awards of Distinction and the City Clerk of the Year.  This year I was so happy with the number of nominations I received, showing that so many of us are out there doing great things every day.  I wish I could have recognized each and every one of the nominees. I did, however, recognize six members for their outstanding work in specific areas, presenting them with Awards of Distinction. They are:

Marc Donohue, City of South Pasadena – Exceptional Service in Mentoring

Leilani Brown, City of Newport Beach – Exceptional Service in Organization, Administration, and Communications

Kathy Flamson, City of Calistoga, Retired – Exceptional Service in Humanitarianism

Yvonne Spence, City of Fresno – Exceptional Service in Records Management

Cyndi Rodriguez, City of Thousand Oaks – Exceptional Service in the Utilization of Technology

Britt Avrit, City of Lancaster – Exceptional Service as a Member of the Board of Directors

In addition to the Awards of Distinction, I also awarded a special award to an up and coming member of our profession.  In her nomination form, from a resident no less, she was called “a Rising Star”.  So this year I recognized Jennifer Connally, City of Lake Forest, as a CCAC Rising Star.

Last, but certainly not least, our 2019 City Clerk of the Year is Mary Gourley, Assistant City Manager/City Clerk, City of Sebastopol. Mary received a total of nine nominations, from Council Members, fellow employees, her City Manager, and even neighboring City Clerks. It was my extreme honor to recognize her for the outstanding work she does as a California City Clerk.

Membership Update 
Anthony Mejia, MMC


Your membership ensure that the City Clerks Association of California (CCAC) can carry out its mission of promoting the profession of City Clerks through education, support, and communication. Your membership entitles you to reduced registration rates for the City Clerks Annual Conference, League of California Cities’ New Law and Election Seminar, and various other training opportunities. In addition, members are eligible for numerous scholarship opportunities, may serve of on the Board of Directors, and vote in Board elections.

CCAC consists of 16 geographical regions. Each region is represented by a Region Director and members are automatically assigned to the appropriate geographic region upon payment of dues.

If you are interested in becoming a member of CCAC, please forward your basic contact information to [email protected]. Your profile will be created and a Welcome Letter will be forwarded to your attention. 

Professional Development Update
Shawna Freels, MMC

In March, the Technical Training for Clerks (TTC) professional development program graduated 22 students who have completed each of the four unique TTC series sessions, providing them with the required 120 hours (60 points) that adhere to the International Institute of Municipal Clerks core curriculum for accreditation as Certified Municipal Clerk.  This very generous graduating class also paid it forward by donating $600 to the CCAC scholarship fund for future TTC attendees. 106 individuals completed the March Series 100 session. Registration for Series 400 being held June 18-21 is Now Open!    

Don't forget!  Scholarship applications are due June 1st.


TTC graduates: Ana Marie Alarcon, Elaine Baltao, Zack Beck, Susan Lynn Blankenship, Tiffany Carranza, Ricardo Chavez, Lucie Colombo, Yessika Dominquez, Sandra Duchi, Jacqueline Renee Edwards, Sylvia Edwards, Regina Flores, Julia Fritz, Wendi Gallatin-Gensel, Dia Gix, Cindy Granzella, Maricela, Hernandez, Blair Hongo, Patricia Krause, Tamara McMinn, Teresa Purrington and Jennifer Rodriguez                  

Events Calendar

CCAC Education Workshops

Bring Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, (but Nothing Blue) to your PRA Requests
May 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - San Luis Obispo Library
Click here for more info and to register online.

Understanding the Psychological Impact of Disasters and Providing Psychological First Aid
May 10, 2019 at 10:15 a.m. - Fort Bragg City Hall
Click here for more info and to register online.

Athenian Dialogues  

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Facilitated by Susan Domen, MMC
May 4, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Chino Hills
Click here for more information.


Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Facilitated by Kathy Flamson, MMC
May 11, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Fort Bragg
Click here for more information.


Nuts & Bolts Workshop June 6-7, 2019 at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Modesto. Click here for more information. 

TTC Series 400 June 18-21, 2019 at UC Riverside Extension, Riverside. Click here for more information. 

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Dana Swanson, CMC - City Clerk, City of Morro Bay

Jillian Nunez, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Temple City

Angela Walton, CMC - City Clerk, City of San Jacinto

Wendi Gensel, CMC - Deputy City Clerk I, City of Chino Hills

Tamara McMinn, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Carlsbad

Roxanne Yoder, CMC - Chief Deputy City Clerk, City of Tulare

Patricia Krause, CMC - Assistant to City Manager/City Clerk, City of Waterford

Lucy Blanco, CMC - City Clerk, City of Santa Paula

Elaine Baltao, CMC - Board Secretary, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Arianne Harbaugh-Shirazi, CMC - Deputy City Clerk II, City of Torrance

Kirsten Squarcia, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Cupertino

John Paul Maier, MMC - Chief Deputy City Clerk, City of San Bernardino

Treasurer's Update 
Susan Domen, MMC and Yvonne Spence, MMC

CCAC is doing well financially!  The conference was a huge success in raising approximately $10,000 in scholarship funds.  As we are completing the accounting of the entire event, this number is sure to go up!  Thank you to the members of the Fundraising Committee, you out did yourselves! And, to all those that participated in the events! Stay tuned they have lots of ideas they would like to try out during the year.  

This will be my final report to you as your Treasurer, I am retiring as a Clerk and following new adventures and moving to the next chapter in my book!  I wanted to thank you all for your dedication and service to your communities and this profession.  It will always have a special place in my heart as will you.  While I am retiring from being a Clerk, I am not leaving you completely, I will still be doing Athenians, teaching and working on special projects, so hopefully I will see you around. If you ever need anything please reach out to me.    

Yvonne Spence from Fresno will be taking over as the Treasurer appointed on June 6th.  In the meantime, please email us both for any registration, refund or reimbursement needs, so that we can transition her into the role smoothly.

Till I see you again…  Susan M. Domen, MMC

Hello everyone, this Yvonne Spence with the City of Fresno.  It is a pleasure to be serving the Board of Directors as the CCAC Treasurer.  I am working closely with Susan before her departure to learn the ins and outs of being a Treasurer for this association.  Please bear with me as I try to get my footing in this new endeavor.  I served as the Treasurer for the Central Region (in the old structure) for 4 years.  Holding this office at the State level is a whole new ball game.  Please be patient with me during this transition, and help me wish Susan well in her new endeavors.  Thank you.

CCAC Annual Election 
Leilani Brown, MMC, CCAC Nominating Committee Chair

CCAC is conducting its annual election. Click here for the Notice of Nominations, Acceptance of Nomination and Candidate Statement Form. The Region Director job description, along with a list and map of the regions, is also attached.

Pursuant to CCAC bylaws and policies, the Acceptance of Nomination and Candidate Statement Form must be received no later than July 17, 2019.

The electronic ballot will be emailed to all eligible voting members no later than August 6, 2019, and the deadline to complete and submit the ballot is September 6, 2019

Member Spotlight - Region 3
by Region Director Jennifer Ferraiolo

I am excited to introduce you all to a Region 3 City Clerk I met a few years ago and have had the privilege to get to know and work with: Teresa Vargas, City Clerk of Lathrop. Teresa was born in the City of Chihuahua, Mexico, and moved to the United States in December 1982 at age five with her grandmother. As an adult, Teresa realized that her grandmother bringing her to the USA was the best thing that could have ever happened to her. Teresa and her grandmother made their journey to Lockeford where other relatives previously settled, and her mother and grandfather followed three years later after being granted permanent residency.

As a young adult, Teresa was responsible for helping her family and contributing to the household income. Unfortunately, during college years, work became a priority over higher education. At 19, Teresa registered with a temporary staffing agency and, within a couple weeks, was offered a job as a bilingual phone operator for a popular cable telecommunications company. After seven years working for the company, and being promoted twice, she accepting a public sector position with the City of Lathrop in 2005.

Over the past 14 years, Teresa has dedicated her life to raising her son, 14, while focusing on her career. She worked her way into many promotional opportunities, all of which have blessed her with great careers and the ability to support her son. In 2015, Teresa was accepted to the University/College of the Pacific, and around the same time, was promoted to Lathrop City Clerk. Teresa describes her current job as one of the most rewarding professional experiences; although, she will admit that the last nine months prior to graduation were the most challenging of her life on a personal, financial, professional, and emotional level. Having to learn a new job, one governed by local, state, and federal laws, along with keeping up with a heavy curriculum at school has been more than challenging, it tested her faith in herself and confidence in her abilities.

Teresa earned her Bachelors of Science in Organizational Behavior in May 2017, with Cum Laude honors. One of the most rewarding benefits Teresa obtained from her studies at UOP was the ability to share and apply her knowledge at work. During her 14-year tenure with Lathrop, Teresa worked in a lead administrative and supervisory role in the Public Works Department for 7 years and has been assigned as a trainer for administrative and entry-level technical staff, primarily in the Public Works Department, and she spent 7 years in the City Manager’s Office, a role she continues to maintain, before being appointed City Clerk in December 2014. Teresa has helped and coached staff with conflict resolution and project development and made many contributions to solve organizational and staffing issues, including providing ideas for the development and growth of staff. Most recently, Teresa was assigned a special project that she is co-managing with the IT Department to implement a new City website, which will include Lathrop’s first-ever public document portal.

"When my grandmother passed away in 2004, I was devastated that she would never see me become a college graduate. It has always been a dream of mine to obtain my bachelor's degree and honor my family for all the sacrifices they made to provide me with a better life." ~ Teresa Vargas

Teresa knows that her past experiences have molded the person she is today. She admits she is like her grandmother; shy and quiet; however, nothing helped her break out of her shell more than the interaction and sharing of ideas with fellow Clerks professionals at her very first TTC program. 

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 Vice President's Message
Sheri Pierce, MMC

Dear Region IX Friends,

I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation for your support and faith in my ability to represent you as IIMC Vice President.

My favorite quote by author Brene Brown, PhD, is “Leadership is not about titles, it’s about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there and lean into courage.”

Our profession encourages us to be brave, to excel as leaders, mentors, facilitators, innovators and diplomats. We are an organization of people who seek to share and receive knowledge by serving on committees, learning together at conferences and institutes and networking with our peers. We encourage excellence in our field.

For these reasons I am grateful for the honor to serve you. I promise to give you my best, to sincerely represent your interests, and above all uphold the mission of our organization.

Sponsors (click image)