December 2019 Official Word


Official Word

December 2019

Volume 20, Issue 12



  1. President's Message
  2. Renewal Update
  3. Professional Development Update
  4. Save the Date!
  5. Events Calendar
  6. Newly Designated Clerks
  7. Undaunted (Recap)
  8. Sponsors





























































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California

CCAC President's Message
Patrice Olds, MMC

I so enjoy this time of year, not only because I like the weather and the friend/family centric events in the holiday season, but also because most of our Council’s go dark for at least part of December – and that much needed break offers some breathing room in our work program and the opportunity to get to work that is often on the back burner – like thinking about goals and planning for the following year. In the San Mateo City Clerk’s office, the walls are peppered with calendars, each individual’s work program, and the results of our annual retreat as we consider and collaborate on our focus and achievable goals for the coming year. These are wonderful discussions to have together.

I reported last month on CCAC’s strategic planning efforts and its discussions around long term goals and I’m pleased to announce that the Board unanimously formally adopted the three-year strategic plan at its board meeting on November 21st.

This adoption included a refinement of our mission statement to move from referencing City Clerk to Municipal Clerk, one step in working towards our goal of being more inclusive with our colleagues serving board and districts. I am pleased to share the refined Mission, Objectives, and Vision for the City Clerks Association of California below:


To promote the Municipal Clerk profession through education support and communication.


In addition to providing leadership and management training opportunities, enhancing levels of service responsive to the growing demands within our organizations, fostering proactive programs to promote effective legislation, and promoting networking among members, the objectives of CCAC are to promote:

  • the interests of Municipal Clerks;
  • professional administration and education of Municipal Clerks’ offices;
  • uniform standards for administering Municipal Clerk duties;
  • improved standards of efficiency for Municipal Clerks;
  • better municipal government through increased cooperation with other municipal officials;
  • legislation which supports the goals and objectives of the organization.


Empowering each municipal clerk with resources for success.


  • Integrity and honesty
  • Transparency and Clear, Open Communication
  • Inclusivity and Diversity
  • Innovative and Progressive
  • Lifelong Learning

To develop a work program to meet these goals, our three-year strategic plan evolves around three main areas, with Board members self-selecting into committees to make progress on the goals.

Governance – Develop a strong, sustainable governance and organizational structure. The three key focus areas are:

  1. Collect data to serve as benchmarks and to establish key objectives for effective Board governance.
  2. Evaluate Board structure based on data collected and determined objectives.
  3. Examine financial framework for appropriate investments in governance and organizational structures.

Committee of seven Board members on Governance are:  Patrice Olds, Anthony Mejia, Randi Johl, Laura Nieto, Yvonne Spence, JoAnne Buergler, and Adrian Garcia.

Note there is an additional subcommittee that functions as the Finance Committee and is comprised of President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President and Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer (non-board member). This subcommittee will be looking closely at our investment and reserves policy.

Branding and Communications – Create a professional brand that engages stakeholders through valuable, timely and effective communications. The three key focus areas are:

  1. Contract with an expert to conduct a member engagement survey.
  2. Develop and distribute a Request for Proposal for a marketing/communications plan, including but not limited to style guide, design guide, primary key messages, social media strategies, etc.
  3. Implement marketing strategies, including leveraging relationships with external stakeholders, that promote the profession at large.

Committee of seven Board members on Branding and Communications are: Jessica Blair, Molly Perry, Julie Drimakis, Patty Barajas, April Sousa, Michelle Bigelow and Patrice Olds.

Education – Ensure CCAC’s educational model promotes the holistic municipal clerk.

  1. Conduct a professional, comprehensive survey of membership to benchmark their educational goals, needs, preferred delivery methods, etc.
  2. Based on the data, modify the curriculum at all educational offerings to include key and soft skills in support of the holistic clerk.
  3. Partner with key organizations (e.g., League of California Cities, International City and County Manager’s Association (ICMA, MMANC and MMASC) including presenting CCAC coursework at their respective conferences

Committee of seven Board members on Education are: Shawna Freels, Marc Donohue, Melissa Thurman, Joelle Fockler, Linda Troyan, Sarah Manwaring and Patrice Olds.

I volunteered to be on each committee as President this year to provide a communication link (in-between board meetings) between the committees, as you see there is some overlap in the data collection piece.

Note the Board also is asking each of the three committees to submit two committee member names to form a subcommittee that will work on the RFP for a consultant for the membership survey.

The entire Strategic Plan 2020-2022 is appended to this newsletter and will be prominently posted on the CCAC website.

We, the Board and I, are keenly interested in your thoughts and invite you to reach out with concerns, comments, and questions to any one of us. I am very excited to be kicking off this charge for the betterment of CCAC service delivery, and this year, as you can see, will be pretty-focused on data gathering.

To that end, the Board at its annual conference in Burlingame in April 2020, will be receiving a deep dive presentation on its finances from our Treasurer and the comptroller of our Association Management firm. And I’m also pleased to report that our two Institute Directors will also be presenting on the history of each of their institutes for the edification of the Board.

I wish each and every one of you blessings and peace in this holiday season.


Marc Donohue, MMC / Yvonne Spence, MMC

Currently, membership dues are split between two fiscal years for reporting purposes. CCAC operates under a typical fiscal year of July 1 through June 30. However, membership dues are collected on a calendar year of January 1 through December 31. In order to align membership dues with the fiscal year to aid in the accurate reporting of our taxes and financial reports, CCAC needs to cover an 18-month renewal in order to put us back on track.

At its November 21, 2019 meeting, the CCAC Board approved a new membership renewal process. The upcoming membership renewal that begins on January 1, 2020 will be for a six-month duration, ending on June 30, 2020. This will be followed by the normal 12-month renewal period ending June 30, 2021 and every June in the subsequent years.

This change in the membership renewal process will allow dues to be collected on a fiscal year basis going forward resulting in accurate reporting.

If you have any questions about this new membership renewal process, please contact Membership Services at [email protected].

Professional Development Update 
Shawna Freels, MMC

Professional Development Update

Region Workshops Developing for 2020

CCAC’s Region Directors are energetically working to bring the membership great new training opportunities in 2020. Each Region Director selects the month their training will be held, then finds a host agency and trainer to develop the Region’s educational workshop. Several Directors have already chosen a meeting date and are deep in the development of their Region’s training. If you are interested in hosting a workshop for your Region in 2020, contact your Region Director. View the CCAC website Events Calendar for additional details and workshop registration information.

Region 1 (Redwood Empire) – April Sousa, McKinleyville Community Services - May 15, 2020

Region 2 (Sacramento Valley) – Nell Hessel, Sacramento – October

Region 3 (Central Valley) – Jennifer Land, Turlock – March 6, 2020

Region 4 (S. San Joaquin Valley) – Julie Drimakis, Bakersfield – August 7, 2020

Region 5 (Desert Mountain) – Melinda Sayre, Hesperia – June

Region 6 (Inland Empire) – Linda Troyan, Rancho Cucamonga – February 11, 2020

Region 7 (Riverside County) – Sarah Manwaring, Menifee – July

Region 8 (Imperial County) – Debra Jackson, Imperial – October

Region 9 (San Diego County) – Zack Beck, Escondido – September

Region 10 (Orange County) – Molly McLaughlin Perry, Irvine – April 8, 2020

Region 11 (Los Angeles County) – Adrian Garcia, Azusa – August

Region 12 (Channel Counties) – Kevin Christian, San Luis Obispo – May

Region 13 (Monterey Bay) – Patricia Barajas, Salinas – September

Region 14 (Peninsula) – Michelle Bigelow, Morgan Hill – June 26, 2020

Region 15 (East Bay) – Joelle Fockler, Concord – November

Region 16 (North Bay) – JoAnne Buergler, Rohnert Park – January 31, 2020


The CCAC Conference Team is busy getting ready to launch registration in December. Please save the date for the 2020 CCAC Annual Conference in Burlingame. For planning purposes, registration will be $450 for Early Birds and $500 for normal registration. The hotel daily rate will be $179 per night, not including taxes and fees. Please feel free to reach out to Anthony Mejia (CCAC 1st Vice President) if you have any questions.


Events Calendar

New Law and Elections Seminar

December 11-13, 2019 at Hyatt Regency Orange County, Garden Grove. Click here for more information.

Athenian Dialogues 

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
Facilitated by Randi Johl, MMC
January 24, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Hosted by City of Palm Springs
Click here for more information.


Greetings from Region 16,

Save the dates January 31 and February 1, 2020!

Come spend a weekend rich with learning and camaraderie in the beautiful City of Rio Vista located on the Sacramento River.

  • Friday, January 31 - Region 16’s Annual Workshop.
  • Saturday, February 1 -  Athenian Dialogue: Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy facilitated by Susan Domen.

Details coming soon.

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Shelley Neis, MMC - City Clerk, City of Los Gatos

Jessica Cooper, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Eastvale

Darnell Porter, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Taft

Kathy Valdez, CMC - City Clerk, City of Vista

Veronica Cortez, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Ventura

Marisela Herrera, CMC - City Clerk Specialist, City of Yorba Linda

Athenian Dialogue - Undaunted (Recap)
Melissa Thurman, CMC / San Bruno City Clerk / 2nd Vice President

On October 19, 2019 in sunny San Carlos, a group of 22 municipal clerks gathered together to discuss the book Undaunted: Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage and Fighting Back, written by Congresswoman Jackie Speier.  There was an air of excitement in the morning session, as everyone knew there was going to be a special visit by the author later in the day.  We discussed Jackie’s courage, her perseverance, and her dogged determination to fight for what is right, regardless of whom she must battle along the way.  Shortly after lunch, the clerks assembled in the San Carlos Council Chambers and joined over 75 members of the public who had also been invited to Jackie’s special appearance. 

When the Congresswoman arrived, she was quick to greet everyone, and her smile lit up the room.  She soon took to the podium and gave a speech about current events in Washington – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  The silence was palpable as the audience clung to her every word, and soon she did what she had come for; she read portions of her book to the assembled crowd.  She read passages about her traumatic injuries sustained in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978 and she read about having to turn off her husband’s life support machine when she was eight months pregnant with their second child.  Jackie ended her appearance by answering questions from the crowd.  She never held back, and she answered each question gracefully.  She laughed with everyone and gave her honest opinions on what is currently happening in our country. 

This was an amazing Athenian Dialogue, and the best part was that we were able to introduce ourselves and our profession to Congresswoman Speier.  Everyone who attended left with a shared experience I am sure we will never forget.  Do yourself a favor and investigate an Athenian Dialogue in your area.  Dialogues are an amazing educational program that provides you with invaluable networking and leadership opportunities.

Special thanks to Crystal Mui, City Clerk for the City of San Carlos, for hosting this dialogue, and to Patrice Olds, City Clerk for the City of San Mateo and CCAC President for facilitating such a memorable event.

Sponsors (click image)