September 2019 Official Word


Official Word

September 2019

Volume 20, Issue 9


  1. President's Message
  2. Professional Development Update
  3. Events Calendar
  4. Newly Designated
  5. Region 4 Director's Message
  6. Region 11 Director's Message
  7. Region 15 Director's Message
  8. Member Spotlight - Region 15
  9. IIMC Region IX Director's Update
  10. Sponsors

























































































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California

CCAC President's Message
Stephanie Smith, MMC

It’s been hard for me as I write this as I realized this is my last President’s message. The year has gone by so fast. But looking back, it’s been a great year for CCAC.  We’ve accomplished so much that I wanted to reflect on a few of those great things. First, your CCAC board indulged me a bit at our annual Goal Setting workshop in Carlsbad by treating it more as an on-boarding than a goal setting. We had so many new board members this year I wanted to make sure that everyone understood what their roles were. Because we can’t move forward and accomplish anything, if we’re not sure what it is we’re supposed to be doing to begin with. Each officer, such as the Communications Director, Treasurer, and Professional Development Director presented sessions on their area of subject matter expertise, and invited the new members to join committees supporting those “divisions”. 

After that, I brought up the dreaded, “we have to update our policies” discussion.  This is something that we as a board have been trying to tackle for several years now, and things kept getting in our way.  So we examined all of the CCAC policies and processes, and I think we’ve made some great headway in amending those that needed to be amended.  We started with our Financial Policy, and put some checks and balances in place, including appointing a Deputy Treasurer, to help keep an eye on our expenses, build our budget, and make sure that payments and reimbursements were sent out on time. 

Speaking of the budget, and I know I’ve said this before, but it’s so big I want to say it again – we have a balanced budget that was adopted on time, before our June 30 deadline. The budget has some serious changes to line items and organization, to better reflect the real costs of things such as our annual conference and our money available for scholarships. The good news is that we have increased our scholarship allocations and have ended the year with a positive fund balance for the third year in a row. 

I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to Oregon, Washington, and Alabama on behalf of CCAC, and in November, I’ll represent President Patrice Olds (she went last year for me)  at the Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks conference. I’m always facilitating an Athenian Dialogue in Alaska, The Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes. It’s only Alaska’s second Athenian, so I’m very excited to be able to help bring this alternative education format to them.

Clerkdom, it’s been a great year. I thank each and every one of you for your patience, support, and willingness to try new things as we Created Our Own Magic. Now, we move on to the leadership of First Vice President Patrice Olds, who will officially be sworn in during the League of California Cities Conference on October 16th, but will functionally assume the role of President at the first of October.  The Board is meeting again in Sacramento October 4-5 for Patrice’s Goal Setting, and from thereon out, it’s her show.  But don’t you worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m still working, still training, and still facilitating Athenian Dialogues. I’ll be around if anyone needs me. I’ll be here if you just want to bounce ideas off someone. 

I’m still here to advise Clerks on Initiatives, Referendums, and Recalls. And lastly, I’m still here as your friend. Although the year of my Presidency is coming to a close, I hope you will always remember to Create Your Own Magic.

Professional Development Update 
Shawna Freels, MMC

Scholarships for January 1-June 30, 2020 Education

The scholarship application period opens September 1, 2019 for educational offerings being held during the first half of 2020. CCAC awards scholarships twice a year, with a limit of one Institute Scholarship and one Education Course Scholarship available to applicants each fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), unless additional scholarship funds are available in the CCAC budget.  You must be a CCAC member in good standing and must complete the course to receive the scholarship award. Institute Scholarships are used only towards the payment of the Institute registration costs. Education Course Scholarships will be awarded for up to $300 and may be used for registration costs, lodging and bona fide travel costs in accordance with the CCAC Scholarship Policy. 

The deadline for submitting Round II scholarship applications for Institute and Education Course offerings held January through June is November 1st of each year.  Applications are submitted electronically and are now available online on the Scholarship page of the CCAC website.

Eligible Institutes

  • Technical Training for Clerks - University of California Riverside Extension (Series 100, 300 or 400)
  • Master Municipal Clerks Academy - Dolce Hayes Mansion, San Jose

Eligible Education Course Options

  • CCAC Annual Conference
  • CCAC Nuts & Bolts Workshop
  • Master Municipal Clerk 1-Day Academy Session
  • CCAC Offered Athenian Leadership Dialogues
  • IIMC Online Learning Institute Courses

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, November 1, 2019. Apply today!

Events Calendar

CCAC Education Workshops

Maximizing Your Leadership Impact Through Project Management
September 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - Pleasanton Town Hall
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.

The Ralph M. Brown Act: Everything You Need to Know but Didn't Think to Ask
September 20, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. - El Estero Park Center, Monterey
Click here for more information.

The Confident Clerk - Looking and Feeling Like the Professional Leader You Are and Want Others to See
September 27, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. - San Diego Registrar of Voters Office
Click here for more information.

1) Public Speaking: Fundamentals that Lead to More Effective Presentation Skills
2) How to Prepare a Request for Proposals for a Successful Electronic Content Management Solution

October 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. - Rancho Cordova City Hall
Click here for more information.

Athenian Dialogues  

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.


Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Facilitated by Stephanie Smith, MMC
October 11, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Buena Park
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.

City Clerk Workshop: Through the Lens of a Voter - A Closer Look at Elections October 16, 2019 at Hyatt Regency Long BeachClick here for more information.

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Ruth Krantz, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of San Jose

Ricardo Chavez, CMC - City Clerk, City of Delano

Stephanie Roseen, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Menifee

Jamie Costanza, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Claremont

Thomas Schmiderer, CMC - Records Manager, City of Oceanside

Sylvia Edwards, CMC - City Clerk, City of Corona

Linda Gehlken, CMC - Assistant Authority Clerk I, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Denise Garzaro, CMC - Clerk of the Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District

Jonathan Nagayama, CMC - City Clerk Specialist, City of Long Beach

Barbara Mauro, CMC - Board Clerk, San Benito County Water District

Cynthia Villescas, CMC - City Clerk, City of Twentynine Palms

Adrianne Richardson, CMC - City Clerk, City of Tracy

Dana Engstrom, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Seal Beach

Lynnae Sisemore, MMC - Assistant City Clerk, City of Chino Hills 

Region 4 Director's Message 
Yvonne Spence, CRM, MMC

Hello everyone, my name is Yvonne Spence and I am the Director for Region 4.  I have been the Director for Region 4 for two years now.  I have truly enjoyed being the Director for Region 4, but my term is up soon and I’ll be passing the baton to the next Region Director.

Region 4 held a workshop in the City of Shafter on Friday, August 9, 2019.  City Clerk, Yazmina Pallares hosted the event and did a fantastic job.  We had a great turnout.  Our topic was “Building a Three to Five Year Roadmap for Implementing or Updating Technology”.  Our presenter was Helen Streck, Kaizen Infosource.  Helen brought a wealth of knowledge to this workshop.  Based on the reviews I received, every participant got a lot of information from this workshop to take back to their work environment and implement.

Some of the takeaways that I saw from the attendees’ program assessment forms include the following:

  • Understanding what a “goal” is
  • Using the RACI system
  • Communicating clear expectations to vendors
  • Learning the difference between a trusted system and a trustworthy system
  • Building a Roadmap has 3 phases

There were several interactive activities which kept the Workshop exciting and fun.

Region 4 is also hosting an Athenian Dialogue on Saturday, September 27, 2019 in the City of Taft.  If you are a fan of the TV Show “This is Us”, you won’t want to miss the chance to read Chrissy Metz’ (or Kate Pearson on the show) book.  Her book is titled “Loving the Person You Are Today – This Is Me” which will be facilitated by Susan Domen, MMC. Don’t forget that you can receive 3 CMC or MMC points upon completion of the learning assessment.  Hope to see you there.

Region 11 Director's Message
Adrian Garcia, MMC

On Wednesday, August 14, 2019, the City of Baldwin Park Co-Hosted Regions 11 and 6 Educational Workshop regarding the meaning, intent, and purpose behind the laws administered by City Clerks. Retired City Clerk Shalice Tilton’s session entitled, “The City Clerk Dashboard,” hit the core of what City Clerks do because virtually every function of our operation originates in statutes and regulations. The City Clerk Dashboard is a reference tool for California laws and regulations, which clerks learned to master in order to change the perspective of the City Clerk’s role in public policy.

This course addressed: 1) Adaptive learning by both assimilation and accommodation applied to city clerk responsibilities; 2) Dillon’s rule, home rule, early state history, and the structure of cities; 3) Evolution of the state constitution relevant to local government; 4) Construction of state statues, interpreting intentions, and resources for research (including hands-on exercises), and 5) Introduction and skills to master the City Clerk Dashboard (a reference tool regarding California laws and regulations).

At lunch we had a fun raffle, including lots of In-n-Out Burger gift cards (Baldwin Park is their birth place) and the 72 people present raised $260 for future CCAC education.

Thank you to Baldwin Park Elected City Clerk Jean M. Ayala and Chief Deputy City Clerk Lulu Morales for hosting this informative workshop.

Region 15 Director's Message
Joelle Fockler, MMC

I cannot believe that summer is almost over! The Concord City Council recessed in July and did not meet from June 26 – August 12. It was a great time to get caught up on projects I’ve been putting on hold and to reset and refresh. Now we are back in session, and I am ready to rock and roll!

One of the goals I set when I became a Region Director was to provide pertinent training that offers not only technical but also leadership training. I believe the two upcoming trainings scheduled in September do just that.

On Friday, September 6, the City of Pleasanton is hosting an Educational Workshop entitled, “Maximizing Your Leadership Impact through Project Management.” Randy Johl-Olson (Temecula), Holly Charléty (El Cerrito), and I hope to make this an impactful training, demonstrating how to maintain a positive outlook while managing a complicated project. We have three case studies to present and discuss, and we are looking forward to presenting best practices as well as lessons learned. This training will focus on both technical and leadership project management skills and highlight opportunities to utilize leadership platforms to share common community values.

On Saturday, September 7, another training opportunity is available. The City of Pleasanton is hosting and Randi Johl-Olson is facilitating an Athenian Leadership Dialogue on Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. Dare to Lead is the ultimate playbook for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures. Daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100% teachable. It is learning and practice that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with our whole hearts.

Pleasanton is a delightful place to visit with great weather, shops, boutiques, cafes, and other charming spots. I hope you will take this opportunity to not only train but also enjoy Pleasanton. Thank you very much to the City of Pleasanton, and specifically Kendall Granucci, for hosting these two educational opportunities. 

Do you have ideas on educational workshops you would like to see presented? Please send me an email with your suggestions.

Member Spotlight - Region 15
by Joelle Fockler, MMC

Suzie Martinez has worked in the City Clerk’s Office of the City of Walnut Creek since 2008 and became the City Clerk in 2012. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. Suzie earned her Master Municipal Clerk designation in 2018, and she is a valued member of the City of Walnut Creek’s Executive Team.

I have a personal connection with Suzie; I worked for her as the Assistant to the City Clerk from 2012 – 2014. Working with Suzie was one of the best experiences in my life.  Suzie is a mentor, coach, teacher, and inspiration. She leads by example, stays calm under pressure (an amazing quality!), and likes to have a little fun. I am proud to now call her not only a fellow City Clerk but also a dear friend. She encouraged me to grow and wished me well when I left Walnut Creek to become the Concord City Clerk. I would not be where I am today without Suzie’s support and guidance. She is a true leader and stellar City Clerk.

Suzie is married and has four daughters who keep her very busy. She loves Disneyland and has a passion for Dole Whips! A fact about Suzie that you may not know – her mom, Delia Guijosa, is a retired City Clerk.

IIMC Region IX Director Update
Dawn G. Abrahamson, MMC

New Online Learning Opportunity for IIMC Members

The IIMC Education and Professional Development Committee has approved a new online learning opportunity for IIMC members – NACo High Performance Leadership Academy. 

NACo High Performance Leadership Academy

The National Association of Counties High Performance Leadership Academy is an online 12-week program that will empower frontline government professionals with the leadership skills to deliver results for their communities.  Without traveling away from the office, participants will use an online, interactive learning platform to engage in live events, video sessions and breakout group discussions.

With a robust curriculum by the Professional Development Academy in a partnership with Fortune 1000 executives, public sector leaders, world-renowned academics and thought leaders, including General Colin Powell and Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, it focuses on five essential skills: Lead| Organize| Collaborate| Communicate| Deliver. This program has been approved for 8 CMC Experience or 8 MMC Advanced Education or 8MMC Professional Contribution points upon completion of the 48-hour program.

NOTE: NACo is offering a $300 scholarship to all IIMC members to assist with registration fees for this program. To take advantage of this scholarship please email Kevin Darrow. View additional program information online by visiting the NACo website.

Sponsors (click image)