November 2020 Official Word


Official Word

November 2020

Volume 21, Issue 11



  1. President's Message
  2. Events Calendar
  3. Newly Designated Clerks
  4. CCAC Elections Spotlight
  5. Professional Development Corner
  6. Athenian Dialogue Update
  7. Benefits of Having a Mentor
  8. Member Services Update
  9. Region 9 Director's Message
  10. Reminder from the Treasurer
  11. New Member Spotlight
  12. Sponsors

































































































































































































































































































































































































City Clerks Association of California

CCAC President's Message
Anthony Mejia, MMC


Good morning and welcome back to beautiful Palm Springs. I am Anthony Mejia, CCAC President. I am excited to report on the actions of the Board of Directors’ first meeting. The Board approved the Priority Action Plans and Task Force assignments related to Governance, Education, and Communications, which are available on the CCAC website under “About Us.”

The Board also took action to endorse the nomination of Ruth Post, former President of the Oregon Association of Municipal Recorders, to serve as the IIMC Region IX Director. Ruth will be a phenomenal representative to the IIMC Board, so please join me in thanking her for her continuing service to the municipal clerk profession.

On the recommendation of the Membership and Inclusivity Committee, the Board agreed to suspend in-person educational sessions through June 2021. This action will provide the Professional Development Director with clarity on how to plan the educational sessions for the first six months of the new year and ensures that our members do not need to choose between their health and professional development. Thank you to all of our hard-working Committee Members, and please keep bringing forward your good ideas.

The Board also approved the revised budget for the 2021 CCAC Virtual Conference. We are working hard to finalize the conference schedule and speaker line up. This conference will offer a record number of certification points at the lowest registration costs ever offered by CCAC. We will also have one of the world’s leading authorities on socially conscious leadership as our keynote speaker. I will share more about the conference next month.

On another note, I know that membership renewal has been different this year as we adjusted from a calendar year to a fiscal year renewal process. Our records are showing that we still have many members in lapsed status due to unpaid membership dues. Please take the time to check your membership status, and if you have any questions, please email us at [email protected].

Lastly, I want to commend everyone for their hard work in serving our voters this past election. I saw many of us posting photos of our curbside ballot drop-off events and other efforts to ensure that voters had safe options to cast their ballots. In part, our efforts resulted in over 16 million ballots being cast in California

If you are not already following us, please follow the CCAC Facebook page, where we share funny stores, post pictures, and support each other’s achievements. Thank you for stopping by, and see you next month.

Events Calendar

BB&K City Clerk Celebration 
December 16, 2020 - Virtual
Click here for more information.

League of California Cities New Law & Elections Seminar  
December 17/18, 2020 - Virtual
Click here for more information.

TTC 102/103/106
January 2021 - Virtual
Click here for more information.

Northern Nuts & Bolts
February 2021 - Virtual
Click here for more information.


Athenian Dialogues 

Your CCAC Athenian Leadership Dialogue Committee has been hard at work scheduling and coordinating upcoming virtual ALDs to ensure that this educational opportunity continues to be offered for those pursuing their CMC/MMC and/or fellowship through IIMC!

Upcoming virtual dialogues are as follows:

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
Facilitated by Laura Nieto, MMC / Ashton Gout, CMC
December 5, 2020
Click here for more information. Registration closed.

The Submission: A Novel by Amy Waldman
Facilitated by Peggy Hawker, MMC
January 8/9, 2021
Click here for more information.

Walking With the Wind by John Lewis
Facilitated by Stephanie Smith, MMC
February 6, 2021
Click here for more information.

If you are interested in facilitating an upcoming virtual ALD, please contact Ashton Gout at [email protected].

Visit CCAC Events Calendar for all upcoming education opportunities.

Newly Designated Clerks

Erika Ramirez, MMC - Management Aide I, City of Temecula

Susan Fredriksen, MMC - Clerk of the Board, Solano County Transit

Yolanda Chavez, CMC - Deputy City Clerk, City of Downey


CCAC Elections - Board Member Interview Series

CCAC Elections Matter: The Recording Secretary

In this series, we will get to know the different positions on the CCAC Board of Directors. We hope that anyone interested in running for the CCAC Board will feel more confident after learning more about these positions. This episode features Laura Nieto, MMC, Recording Secretary, and Chief Deputy City Clerk, City of Irwindale.


Professional Development Corner
April Sousa, CMC

For those of you who don't know me, I am now the Professional Development Director for CCAC. I consider myself a lifelong learner and I have a passion for education. 

As we draw 2020 to a close, we still have many opportunities for professional development, all on a virtual platform. Here's a snapshot at what is coming up that you may want to look into - please look at the CCAC Calendar of Events page to find out how to register and more information for these events:

Save the Dates/Looking Ahead:

Athenian Dialogue - Leaders Eat Last - December 5 

New Law and Election Seminar - December 17/18

As we move forward to 2021, I am looking for what you most want to learn about - we have tons of great topics already (see below), but what else do you want to learn about:

ADA - Accessibility in the Digital Age

Social Media and the Law - Brown Act, Public Records Act, and the 1st Amendment (tentatively scheduled for January 2021!)

LAFCo and Local government: What all agencies (Cities, Counties, Special Districts) need to know about LAFCo

Special Districts 101 - What's so special about Special Districts? how Special Districts work, and how Cities and Special Districts work together in powerful partnerships

Records Management - back to the basics and an advanced session

Communication and Bias - a Cognitive Way to look at better communications and understanding bias in the workplace

Best practices and lessons learned about digital transparency during a time of COVID-19.

Please contact me at: [email protected] to suggest other topics for possible workshops. You're input is vital!

I look forward to being your Professional Development Director this coming year. Happy Learning!

Athenian Dialogue Update

April Sousa, CMC and Ashton Gout, CMC - Athenian Dialogue Coordinators

The end of 2020 has been an amazing year for Athenian Dialogues. While we all were a little reluctant at first, the virtual Athenian has become something very special. I can only speak for myself, but I admit that while I miss being able to see you all in person during ALL educational offerings, I am thankful that we have been able to continue with Virtual Athenians, and I have met some incredible people from all over the United States during these virtual Dialogues. 

I want to announce that I will be moving out of the role as Athenian Dialogue Coordinator as 2020 draws to a close, and Ashton Rene Gout, Clerk extraordinaire, will be taking on this role. For information on upcoming ALDs, please contact Ashton at: [email protected].

We currently have the following dialogues scheduled for 2020 and January 2021 (all virtual):

December 5 - Leaders Eat Last - Facilitated by Laura Nieto, assisted by Ashton Rene Gout

January 8/9 - The Submission - Facilitated by Peggy Hawker

February 6 - Walking with the Wind: A Memoir and the Movement - Facilitated by Stephanie Smith

To sign up for these, or any other virtual and educational opportunities, please visit our CCAC educational calendar here:

COVID-19 Policy Update: On November 14, 2020, the IIMC Board of Directors voted to extend the allowance of Athenian Dialogues to be conducted virtually using video conferencing software through June 30, 2021.  All attendees must participate via Zoom, with audio and video on for the duration of the dialogue.

Benefits of Having a Mentor

Siana Emmons, City of Fortuna

I have been working on obtaining my CMC for the last four years. Yes, four years. I know that sounds like a long time and maybe it is.  I am sure many of you out there can relate to my experience of not having enough time (maybe having a child somewhere in the middle, dunno), or your agency not having enough funding to allow you to participate in all of the required training. Either way, it can be a long confusing road to obtaining certification, and while I am almost there, one of the main things that has kept reminding me and refocusing me, has been my mentor, April Sousa. If I had not become a member of CACC, I would not have known about the mentoring program and April would not be a part of my journey.

The dictionary defines “mentor” as “an experienced and trusted adviser”, and I would agree but I would also add the word “constant”.  I am grateful that April has been there in the background to help me focus on what I have to do to reach my goal. She is not emailing me or calling me every day helping me make decisions, but even if time elapses between our communications, she always comes back with a gentle nudge and offers non-stop support, knowledge and information. Whenever I get an email from April, it always reminds me that I need to get into trainings…and then amazingly, she will include information about upcoming trainings! April introduced me to Athenian Dialogues, and now an additional goal I have is to complete 10. She has provided encouragement and she is always willing to answer questions I have.

At the end of the day, I probably could figure out the membership pieces and the applications and point requirements, but it is great knowing that if I run into a snag and need help, she is there with her experience in place to help navigate me in the right direction! She never makes me feel like I am not doing enough, but always offers to help if I need it. I will feel like I have accomplished one of my career goals when I am able to tell her that I have acquired my CMC and completed 10 Athenian Dialogues!


Ashton Gout, CMC (Member Services Director)

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as your incoming Member Services Director for CCAC. I am currently the Deputy City Clerk for the City of Palm Springs and was formerly the Assistant to the City Clerk for the City of Monrovia. I have actively been involved in CCAC and currently chair the Membership and Inclusivity Committee, as well as serve as your Athenian Leadership Dialogue Coordinator. As your new Director, I hope to expand and engage our membership so that every member feels welcome, as well as grow our membership roster and raise awareness of our new Affiliate Member category to recruit students and other prospects into the Clerk profession. Please look out for updates regarding our membership growth in upcoming Official Words.

By now, everyone should have received a membership renewal email from CCAC for the new annual 12-month membership renewal. Membership renewals were due on September 30, 2020. If you have not renewed your membership, it is now considered lapsed and you are not eligible for scholarships or member-rates for upcoming educational sessions. To ensure that all our members have access to such benefits, the Membership and Inclusivity Committee will be reaching out to all lapsed members in the month of November to collect payment.

As always, if you have any questions related to membership, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at [email protected].

Take care and stay safe.


Tridae Hughes-Gonzales, CMC

Greetings from Region 9, in San Diego County.  My name is Tridae Hughes-Gonzales.  I am a Management Analyst in the Office of the City Clerk for the City of San Diego and I look forward to serving as Region 9 Director.

I’d like to thank the City Clerk’s Association of California for the opportunity to serve and for the many prospects offered by its mission of promoting the profession of City Clerks, Deputies and support staff through education, support and communication.  In keeping with this pledge, it’s my goal to inspire, organize and provide emphasis on inclusive professional development and expansion of tools for doing our jobs better. 

I’m looking for ideas to consider for specific training and issues to facilitate informative workshops that will promote a holistic understanding of our professional functions as well as assist toward reaching your career goals.  So please feel free to let me know what trainings you are interested in receiving. 

With that being said, as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, consideration will be made to perform trainings safely and through the use of virtual workshops.  I’m excited about the opportunities ahead and appreciate the privilege to serve you!

Reminder from CCAC Treasurer

Yvonne Spence, MMC

CCAC Board Policy #107 – Annual Conferences and Educational Offerings Policy

4.8       Attendee Cancellation Policy

An attendee may cancel, for any reason:

a)    If more than 30 days – for a full refund less an administrative fee of 25%

b)    Up to 15 days before the event and receive a 50% refund

c)    Less than 15 days before the event, no refund is given

No refunds are processed until after the event.

Exceptions:  There are some exceptions to this policy if there is a medical emergency or death in the attendee’s immediately family.  Exceptions to the cancellation policy are only given in consultation with both the CCAC Treasurer and CCAC President.

The above policy pertains to Educational Workshops, Athenian Dialogues, Nuts and Bolts and the Annual Conference.




Christopher Sapp, Administrative Clerk

City of Norco

[email protected]

Necy Lopez, Deputy City Clerk

City of Tracy

[email protected]


Sponsors (click image)