October 2019 Official Word


Official Word

October 2019

Volume 20, Issue 10


  1. President's Message
  2. Professional Development Update
  3. Events Calendar
  4. Newly Designated
  5. Region 3 Director's Message
  6. Region 13 Director's Message
  7. Athenian Dialogue Coordinator's Update
  8. Pat Hammers Spirit Award Nomination
  9. Sponsors





























































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California www.californiacityclerks.org

CCAC President's Message
Patrice Olds, MMC

Welcome to Fall CCAC.

I want to start my first missive to you by expressing my deep appreciation to CCAC’s outgoing board members for their service: Recording Secretary Britt Avrit, who did a fabulous job keeping us informed, on-track and on-time with agendas and minutes – thank you Britt. Communications Director Mitzi Ortiz who generously stepped into fill a hole and then kept on making sure the Official Word and our website were all that they could be; even transitioning to a new website – thank you Mitzi. Region Directors Donna Settles, Vicki Kasad, and Jennifer Woodworth – these wonderful region directors saw us through the transition to the new governance model, provided specific feedback to make our regional educational meetings and networking opportunities the best they could be, and made a difference by providing friendly face-to-face access to the Board across all of California by being accessible and knowledgeable in each of their regions. Thank you Donna, Vicki and Jennifer – you are true difference makers. Also Immediate Past President, Wendy Klock-Johnson who has been a great sounding board, operating as a true consigliere with sage advice coupled with a keen ability to speak the truth and make sure we heard it – time and time again – thank you Wendy you have been a wonderful advisor and a great friend to everyone in this association.

And of course now is the time to effusively thank President Stephanie Smith for her leadership - who led us all in creating our own magic (as the head sorceress) with a theme she wove into all aspects of her year at the helm serving to inspire us to step out of our comfort zone and commit to creating our own magic – thank you Stephanie for your leadership, your insight, your deep concern for CCAC, and your clear voice. Magic has indeed been created under your leadership.

The theme for this year is Powerful Partnerships. Why are partnerships important, and why do we seek them to be powerful? You can have friendships, and great friendships may develop into relationships – a stronger more trusting form of friendship. Or it can go the other way, sometimes you start with a relationship that you have to have, and a true friendship develops. On the other end of the spectrum, all of us probably have developed partnerships in our service delivery model – perhaps you have a partnership with your IT Department when rolling out new software; but you notice things don’t always happen as smoothly as you feel they should. Oftentimes we have not dedicated the time to building the relationships we need to have with our partners, and the first indicator is communication becomes difficult. Ask, what kind of care and feeding am I giving to this partnership? If you truly value this partnership, work on building relationships with your partner, and you will be on the road to a creating a powerful partnership in which communication is seamless and in which great things can be accomplished.

This year in CCAC, we are going to be focusing on all of our partnerships – working on improving communication and relationship building so each partnership can be powerful. This is going to require a lot of self-examination, and honest feedback on what kind of partner we are. What are we bringing to the table? We will also seek a deeper understanding of what our partners bring to the table and what issues they may have. This outreach includes with our association management firm, institute directors, other contracted services; with other associations - IIMC and the League. What if we had a partnership with ICMA and ARMA? What about with the CACEO or the CCBSA? And of course this includes our primary partnership, that between the CCAC Board and the membership. We will focus on making our core partnerships powerful, through honest fact-based analysis, relationship building, really listening, fearlessly examining issues, and not being afraid to ask the tough questions or have uncomfortable discussions when warranted.

I invite you to let me know if you have any concerns, issues, or great ideas you want to pass along – please reach out to me or any member of the Board – we want to hear from you.

My next article will include a report out on the Board’s 3-year strategic we are undertaking at Goal Setting this week.

Here’s to a fabulous October!

Professional Development Update 
Shawna Freels, MMC

California Institutes Grow Our Members Tremendously

During the month of September I spent back-to-back weeks at our California Institutes – Technical Training for Clerks and the Master Municipal Clerk Academy, and came away with an incredible amount of pride at the quality of the education we have here in California.

The depth of the topics, the skills of the trainers, and the visible engagement and evolution of the learning community at both Institutes was astounding.  California is a front runner in offering opportunity for members of our profession to advance themselves by presenting emerging topics, leadership development and relevant skills at our Institutes.  The Institutes provide unique education at sequential levels and they dove-tail so beautifully from the CMC candidate to the MMC aspirant.  I am in awe of our visionary Institute Directors, their remarkable trainers who dedicate themselves to the advancement of Clerk’s, and our Association leadership for building this unique platform of professional development in California.

TTC Graduating Class September 2019


MMCA September 2019

Remember to get your CCAC educational scholarship application submitted for the following 2020 educational offerings:

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. 

Events Calendar

CCAC Education Workshops

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  

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.


Undaunted by Jackie Speier
Facilitated by Patrice Olds, MMC
October 19, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of San Carlos
Click here for more information.


Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Facilitated by Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh
November 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Burbank
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.

Southern Nuts & Bolts October 24-25, 2019 at Brea Community CenterClick here for more information.

New Law and Elections Seminar December 11-13, 2019 at Hyatt Regency Orange County, Garden Grove. Click here for more information.

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Tiffany Carranza, CMC - City Clerk, City of Napa

Rachel Zermeno, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Shafter

Kendall Granucci, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Pleasanton

Susana Barrios, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Fullerton

Region 3 Director's Message 
Jennifer Ferraiolo, MMC

On Friday, August 9, 2019, the City of Merced hosted a Region 3 Educational Workshop regarding the Brown Act. Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District Clerk Jen Woodworth’s session entitled, “The Ralph M. Brown Act: Everything You Need to Know but Didn’t Think to Ask,” touched on everyone’s favorite subject, the Brown Act, and delved deeper into the clerk’s roles and responsibilities in implementing and upholding the principles of the Brown Act. A number of people attending the session were new to the Brown Act and wanted to learn everything they could about the basics of the different types of meetings, noticing requirements, and how technology can support the application of the Brown Act. Others were interested in discussing how to handle less common issues that arise, such as posting for unusual types of meetings, handling disorderly conduct, technology failures, and avoiding potential pitfalls through the use of best practices.

Participants, though group exercises, had an opportunity to prepare different types of agendas addressing various scenarios, such as posting outside of a jurisdiction, posting (or not to post) for a Mayor’s State of the City Address, and posting for meetings with legislators in Sacramento or Washington DC, to mention a few. We also had an opportunity to share some of our most unbelievable Brown Act stories and discuss how those could have been avoided or, in some cases, corrected.

Jen made the subject of the Brown Act fun and interesting, and I believe all of us walked away with a greater understanding of our role and responsibility in implementing and upholding the principles of the Brown Act, as well as greater confidence to deal with those odd situations that arise…typically at the worst time! I was equally impressed with the tool Jen presented each of us – a crib sheet for closed session titles on agendas and a cheat sheet on important notations to include in the minutes for both open and closed session items. I hope other regions have the chance to learn from Jen because she made the experience both educational and enjoyable.

Lastly, it takes a lot of work for a City to host training, and I’d like to recognize and thank Merced Assistant City Clerk John Tresidder and Deputy City Clerk Jennifer Levesque for putting together a great event, feeding us all well, and making sure we were comfortable during our workshop. We received a warm greeting by Merced City Manager Steve Carrigan, who made us feel welcome and got us laughing and geared up for Jen’s presentation. All in all, it was a wonderful day to learn and connect with other clerks in and around the region.

SAVE THE DATE: Region 3 will be holding another training on Friday, November 1 in Ceres to discuss leadership/advancing the clerk profession. Stay tuned!

Region 13 Director's Message
Patricia Barajas, MMC

by Undine Lauer, Admin. Assistant II, Monterey City Clerk’s Office

The Lake View Room of the El Estero Park Center, located on the beautiful Monterey Bay peninsula, was the setting for the September 20th Region 13 Education Workshop titled “The Ralph M. Brown Act: Everything You Need to Know but Didn’t Think to Ask.”  Clerk Staff traveled from as far south as Santa Barbara and Eastvale, while northern California was represented by the City Clerk of Blue Lake.  Host and Acting City Clerk of Monterey Clementine Bonner Klein was especially pleased by the attendance of so many local board clerks, noting that learning to “do things right benefits everyone.”  Of special note: 14 of the 32 attendees were non-members of CCAC, providing an opportunity to expand the membership of the CCAC family!

Presenter Jen Woodworth, District Clerk for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, provided comprehensive information in an interesting way.  Highlights included detailed explanation about what constitutes a quorum and when Council members can meet in compliance with the Brown Act; clear definitions for regular, special, and emergency meetings; and a fun breakout exercise where the learning was applied to create different types of agendas to match several possible scenarios.  Jen managed to pack a lot of information into the four-hour workshop and we came away with some great tools, including a CRIB Sheet for City Clerks noting Government Code citations on numerous topics.

Region 13 Director Patty Barajas, City Clerk of Salinas, provided excellent support and organized sponsors from NetFile, CPS, and Southtech Systems to give attendees expert information on resources for our industry.  The Friday Workshop was just the beginning.  Twelve attendees returned to El Estero Park Center on Saturday for the September 21st Athenian Dialogue. 

Athenian Facilitator Ed Tywoniak led the discussion of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Ed, who is a Professor Emeritus of St. Mary’s College, used both rhetorical and Socratic methods to elicit attendees’ varied interpretations and personal reflections on such themes as racial inequality, social and legal justice, family, and courage.

Many thanks to the City of Monterey and Monterey Acting City Clerk Clementine Bonner Klein for organizing an energizing and enlightening weekend of camaraderie and leadership training.

Athenian Dialogue Coordinator's Update
April Sousa, CMC

Greetings from the North Coast of California! As Region Director for Region 1 – the north-western most region of the CCAC - many of you may have seen me around. Previously I was the City Clerk for the City of Blue Lake for 5 years, and recently I have become the District Clerk/Board Secretary for the McKinleyville Community Services District, which has opened a whole new world to me. I’m excited to share that I will be taking over the coordination of Athenian Dialogues starting in October. I absolutely love Athenian Dialogues, having attended over 14 now (I have seriously lost count at this point). I’m also excited to work with the themes and ideas from our CCAC Board and President to branch out to working together with other agencies, using the Athenian Dialogue as a key tool to accomplish this. For my Special District friends, I hope we can help more district clerks learn about CCAC through our dialogues. Plus, keep an eye out for a more dialogues that are near the boarders of California where we can work alongside clerks from other states!  It’s going to be an exciting year. If you are interested in learning more about Athenians, or want to host, feel free to contact me any time.

Pat Hammers Spirit Award Nomination
by Stephanie Smith, MMC, Immediate Past President

Do you know an exceptional Clerk making a difference in the lives of Clerks throughout the state? If so, please take a moment to consider nominating them for the Pat Hammers Spirit Award. Pat Hammers was a remarkable, dedicated clerk who always put education and promoting the profession first. Her passing left a tremendous void in CCAC, and as a way to honor her, we created the Pat Hammers Spirit Award.  Some of the things we’re looking for include: Member of CCAC; CCAC Mentor – a clerk who has been willing to spend his or her time and expertise guiding the development of another clerk; Promotion of the professional through specific actions or events; Outstanding humanitarian efforts within CCAC (i.e., devoted to the advancement and professional growth in clerks and the profession); Outstanding inspiration to other Municipal Clerks through specific actions or events; Significant personal sacrifice of time, labor, or financial resources to CCAC – someone involved to make a difference; Courageous – someone with resolution and confidence; Compassionate – treats others as they would wish to be treated; Tenacious – someone who is assertive, decisive, hangs in there when or because things get tough; maintains a positive perspective and stays strong during difficult times and is action-oriented; Committed – someone who is selfless – volunteers at Region or Association level for projects/tasks, large or small – the “I can help with anything” spirit – cheerleader; A champion for continued education and the elevation of our profession; Lifelong learner/commitment to continued learning – someone who has not stopped at the CMC/MMC certification, but believes in continuous training; A builder of partnerships. 

While the nominees don’t need to possess all of these characteristics, a person who demonstrates commitment in multiple areas is a strong candidate. It’s time to toot our own horns. I know we all know someone like this. Take a moment to nominate them.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Sponsors (click image)