August 2019 Official Word


Official Word

August 2019

Volume 20, Issue 8


  1. President's Message
  2. Professional Development Update
  3. Events Calendar
  4. Newly Designated
  5. Region 6 Director's Message
  6. Region 7 Director's Message
  7. Member Spotlight - Region 16
  8. Sponsors
























































































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California

CCAC President's Message
Stephanie Smith, MMC

Summer is upon us, and I think many Clerks are in full vacation mode. From what I’m seeing on Social Media, we’ve got Clerks in Europe, in the Southwest, on the East Coast, up in the Pacific Northwest, and Mexico. Myself I just got back from a week on Kauai, the Garden Isle, and I have to say I’ve never felt more relaxed. It’s where they filmed Jurassic Park, and despite the ever-present feeling that a T-Rex or velociraptor was going to come charging through the forest, there is something peaceful about a place doesn’t allow any buildings taller than the palm trees.  If you haven’t joined our CCAC Facebook Page, take a moment to do that and share your travel pictures. We’d love to see them.

On the CCAC home front, election season is here. Ballots will be sent out later this month on August 16th, with a return date of September 6th. The ballots are electronic, via Survey Monkey, so you will need to respond to that email if you want your ballot counted.  There are a few vacancies as well, so if you missed the nomination period, and you’re interested in serving as Recording Secretary or Region 14 Director, please let incoming President Patrice Olds know. She will be making appointments.

There is much on the education front, with Region meetings, Athenians, Southern Nuts and Bolts, TTC, and the MMCA coming up soon. Clerkdom, there is no shortage of educational opportunities out there, so please, keep learning. Certification is becoming the absolute minimum qualification for many higher Clerk positions, so it’s in your absolute best interest to keep working toward obtaining your CMC and MMC.  In addition to points, it’s at these institutes, academies, and classes that you gain the skills, knowledge, and abilities to effectively do your job. I’ve said this many times, and I’ll continue to say it as long as I have a soapbox, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE POINTS. It’s about the wisdom that comes from attending courses, from meeting more experienced clerks, from networking with your peers, and from admitting that you don’t know everything. I don’t know everything and it’s only by attending, and facilitating, at these learning opportunities that I continue to grow in my career and as a person.  I’ll be training at the MMCA in September – I hope to see many of you there.

You should also have received the invitation to the League of California Cities conference, to be held October 16-18 in Long Beach. Our City Clerk workshop is on Wednesday the 16th, and it will begin with the changing of the guard. Your new CCAC Board will take office, and be sworn in as the Department leadership for the League of California Cities. If you can only make the Wednesday session, please make it a priority to be there. While there are plenty of good sessions throughout the week for Clerks, Wednesday is all about us, and the League is working hard to make it a good workshop.

Finally, your Legislative Committee and the Executive Team are working hard with the League to finalize the program for the New Law and Election Seminar for December, in Garden Grove. We’ve got some good sessions planned, along with the ever-present Neal Kelley for the legislative update so this is one conference you won’t want to miss. 
In keeping with the summer recess so many of our city councils are enjoying I promised to keep this month’s message short. Take care, Clerkdom, and continue to Create Your Own Magic. Aloha. 

Professional Development Update 
Shawna Freels, MMC


Over 200 CCAC Members attended the free Netfile 2019 Giveback to the City Clerk Community workshops held in Ontario July 16th and Mountain View July 17th. The educational workshops conducted by internationally recognized professional speaker Albert Mensah were comprised of two sessions - a morning session on Work-Life Balance and an afternoon session on Public Speaking. These sessions were amazing as Albert took the groups to a new level in learning strategies for sustainable equilibrium in our lives, and being courageous in delivering a message that holds the audience. Attendees received 2 IIMC points for each session, for a total of 4 IIMC points for the full day, along with breakfast and lunch. The generosity of Netfile to the members of CCAC is incredible. We are so thankful for this donation to our professional development.

And more is on the way! Netfile will be hosting another workshop in the series later this year, so keep on the lookout for more free exceptional education.


CCAC has set the dates for the remaining Region educational workshops for the calendar year. Region Directors will be sending out the details of registering for these workshops including locations and course content. See the CCAC events calendar for a full listing of all of our educational offerings.

Region 2 (Sacramento Valley) - Director Donna Settles, Galt

10/3/2019 & 9/13/2019 (special 2nd workshop)

Region 3 (Central Valley) - Director Jennifer Ferraiolo, Lodi

11/1/2019 (special 2nd workshop)

Region 4 (South San Joaquin Valley) - Director Yvonne Spence, Fresno


Region 7 (Riverside County) - Director Sarah Manwaring, Menifee


Region 8 (Imperial County) - Director Debra Jackson, Imperial


Region 9 (San Diego County) - Director Zack Beck, Escondido


Region 11 (Los Angeles County) - Director Adrian Garcia, Azusa


Region 13 (Monterey Bay) - Director Patricia Barajas


Region 15 (East Bay) - Director Joelle Fockler


Events Calendar

CCAC Education Workshops

The Ralph M. Brown Act: Everything You Need to Know but Didn't Think to Ask
August 9, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - Merced City Hall
Click here for more information.

Building a 3-5 Year Roadmap for Implementing / Update Technology
August 9, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - Shafter Police Department
Click here for more information.

City Clerk Dashboard - The Meaning, Intent, and Purpose Behind the Laws Administered by City Clerk
August 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - Baldwin Park Arts & Recreation Center
Click here for more information.

Building a Three to Five Year Roadmap for Implementing or Updating Technology
September 13, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. - Truckee Town Hall
Click here for more information.

Athenian Dialogues  

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
Facilitated by Patrice Olds, MMC
August 23, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Santa Clarita
Click here for more information. 


Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
Facilitated by Randi Johl, MMC
September 7, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Pleasanton
Click here for more information. 


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Facilitated by Ed Tywoniak, Ph.D
September 21, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Monterey
Click here for more information.


This is Me by Chrissy Metz
Facilitated by Susan Domen, MMC
September 27, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Taft
Click here for more information.


TTC Series 200 September 10-13, 2019 at UC Riverside Extension, Riverside. Click here for more information.

Master Municipal Clerk Academy September 18-20, 2019 at Kellogg West Conference Center, Pomona. Click here for more information.

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Hope Ithurburn, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Rocklin

Julia Fritz, CMC - Acting City Clerk, City of Simi Valley

Melissa Dekermenji, CMC - Municipal Records Clerk, City of Burbank

Beth Cleary, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Santa Maria

Yolie Trippy, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Laguna Woods

Michelle Radcliffe, MMC - Deputy Clerk, Town of Los Gatos  

Region 6 Director's Message 
Vicki Kasad, MMC

Through the generosity of one Tom Diebert, Vice President and COO of NetFile, the City Clerk’s received a wonderful gift this week! On Tuesday, July 16th, 130 of us were gifted with free educational workshops in the City of Ontario,  (Wednesday, July 17th in Mountain View for those of you in Northern California) for the mere time involved in attending, with the added benefit of four potential CMC/MMC credits. Along the way we even had a really good time and great food!   

Tom brought us the keynote speaker from this year’s Annual Conference, with two completely new topics. Albert Mensah, Certified Speaking Professional, spoke on Work-Life Balance and on Public Speaking. With regard to Work-Life Balance, many of us found out that we are not accomplishing balance very well, but we identified ways to improve our balance by restructuring our time and priorities and using them more effectively. On the topic of Public Speaking, we learned the basics of Confident Storytelling and how to best target our stories to the audience. Speaking for Southern California, it was a great day of training and I’m sure Northern California had a similar experience. Thank you Tom Diebert and NetFile for your constant commitment to our profession! 

Region 7 Director's Message
Sarah Manwaring, MMC

Hello from Region 7, Riverside County! My name is Sarah Manwaring, the City Clerk for the City of Menifee. I was recently appointed by President Stephanie Smith as the Region Director and I am honored to serve. Riverside County is California’s fourth largest county and home to 28 cities. Riverside County spans 7,303 square miles and has a population of 2.4 million residents.

 My number one goal as Region 7 Director is to bring relevant training opportunities to the entire region. Riverside County is a large county and I want to make training available to all cities from east to west. The next workshop is currently scheduled for November this year. More information to follow. If there is specific training that you would like to see, or if you would like to be a host city, please contact me.

I am proud to be a City Clerk and I continue to promote myself and the profession. As such, our role as a leader is very important to me. What is your leadership vision? Do you want to have a seat at the Executive table? Do you want to help guide the future of upcoming Clerks? Do you want to be more involved in the community? Do you need buy-in for a new product or procedure?

As we all know, the City Clerk is an integral part of the City, but have we made it a priority to make sure everyone else knows? As leaders in the community it is our job to convey the importance of the City Clerk to the City Council, City Manager, and community members. We need to take every opportunity to share our role as the legislative administrator that ensures compliance with federal, state and local regulations. Remind them the City Clerk has a duty to make sure the public has a forum to express their views and to guarantee public transparency. Highlight the City Clerk’s pivotal part in the democratic process as the Elections Officials, Political Reform Filing Official, and Records Manager.

In order to demonstrate the critical function of the City Clerk, you must prove it to the stakeholders in your organization and perform. This means you need to earn your CMC/MMC. Get that degree you have been contemplating. Volunteer for special project and take on additional duties. Inspire others by becoming a mentor. And get involved with CCAC - there are several opportunities. Show your organization and the community that you are serious about success. If you want a seat at the table, you need to pull up a chair. 

Member Spotlight - Region 16  
by JoAnne Buergler

Region 16’s spotlight is this year’s 2019 City Clerk of the Year Mary Gourley! We are truly blessed to have her in our Region. Mary and I have been close friends for many years and she is one the hardest working, kindest, and most compassionate people I’ve ever met. 

As I read IIMC President Lana McPherson’s message in the June/July IIMC News Digest I kept thinking of Mary Gourley. About how we Clerks work tirelessly on our goals of self-improvement, transparency, efficiency, fair process, etc. The kindness and compassion we show to others, well that is really a gift that changes lives. All that we can accomplish, change, and help others starts with us. It’s as simple as the power of one. It is my hope that this article will give you a peek into someone who demonstrates what the power of one can do. Mary Gourley is an excellent example of the power of one.

Mary began her career at the age of 17 as an office clerk for the now closed Presidio of San Francisco which was still a military base at that time. When the Presidio closed down, Mary Gourley found a job in Sebastopol, a charming small town in Sonoma County, as clerk to the planning director, engineering director and superintendent of public works. Three years later, she was promoted to planning technician, and since 2006, has been the city clerk for the city of Sebastopol. In 2010 her colleagues and staff voted her Employee of the Year. In 2013 Mary obtained her CMC. In 2016 she obtained her MMC and was promoted to the position of Assistant City Manager/City Clerk.

In most cities, Mary’s job would be done by two people (maybe 3) - a city clerk and an assistant city manager - but she juggles the tasks of two+ fulltime jobs.  Her advice is to learn everything you can about the position, take on additional responsibilities, learn about other departments (do a ride along per se in each department for a day or two); create your position and create the atmosphere you want around yourself; ensure you give your undivided attention to the person you are speaking to and listen with empathy and without judgment; ensure that the public and city employees have pride in their city and feel positively about their local government; never stop training or networking - the knowledge and training do not just come from books but from our fellow city clerks; and (best advice) always reach out - there is no dumb question no matter how new you are as a clerk or how experienced you are as a clerk.

One thing not known about Mary is that she is a very shy person, and likes playing what she calls “a background role.” Despite her shyness, her favorite part of the job is dealing with the public - though she does less of this since City Hall was remodeled several years ago, moving her out of the front office. “I really want to make sure that the public feels that what we are doing is best for the community,” she said, “and I always emphasize that the city hall is the front door of the city. We need to be welcoming.”  Easy access to the Clerk’s Office is part of their small town charm.

Mary was born in Sonoma County, is the youngest of nine kids, and grew up in Cotati, on a small farm raising dairy and beef cows for showing at local fairs. She still owns cowboy boots and rides horses when she finds the time. In her personal life, Mary loves to travel, attend NASCAR events, but most importantly Mary loves to spend time with her family whom she is very close to.  She enjoys spending time with her son, daughter, son in law and grandchildren.

The Sebastopol City Council, community, coworkers, and fellow city clerks appreciate and recognize her accomplishments, hard work, and compassion as she’s been nominated three times for CCAC City Clerk of the Year.  In 2019, Mary was bowled over at being named CCAC City Clerk of the Year at the CCAC President’s Awards Banquet. Sebastopol City Manager Larry McLaughlin talks of Mary and her achievement of Clerk of the Year, “She has received accolades from Mayors, Councilmembers, City Managers of not only our city but of neighboring cities lauding her professionalism, her attention to detail, and her quick responses. She is relied upon by myself, our Council, City staff and all members of the community. They know that all they need to do is call City Hall, ask for Mary, and she will ensure that no matter what the issue, it will be addressed. There is no one in the City that exemplifies what a public servant should be quite like Mary and I cannot think of a better way to honor Mary’s success and commitment than for her to receive this great honor and award.” Mary’s thoughts on the award are "it’s such a beautiful recognition but it has to be shared with the people that I work with and my fellow clerks because I couldn’t do my job without their support and I am grateful to all my fellow clerks who have been mentors, educators, listeners, but most of all role models and friends."

You probably recognize Mary Gourley from trainings across the state as she has devoted hours of her time to continual improvement through training at conferences and through online learning. Now that you know a little bit more about her, next time you see her, take the time to say hello. She will make a positive impact on you also.

Sponsors (click image)