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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election

City of South Gate
Measure CC - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


2,458 votes yes (42.4%)

3,333 votes no (57.6%)

Shall the office of City Clerk be appointive?

What is this proposal?

Details — Official information

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Raul F. Salinas, City Attorney

Measure CC was placed on the ballot by the City Council to ask the voters whether to make the City Clerk an appointive position.

State law requires general law cities like South Gate to have a City Clerk, either elective or appointive. South Gate historically has had an elected City Clerk who serves a four-year term. The current term ends in November 2022. Under
State law an elected City Clerk must be (1) a resident of the City, (2) registered to vote in the City, and (3) at least 18 years old. State law does not require, or allow the City to require, any minimum educational requirements, professional qualifications, or minimum city clerk experience.

The City Clerk performs the following tasks: serves as the custodian of the City's official records; prepares City Council agendas; assists the Mayor during City Council meetings in calling out agenda items; records City Council meetings and any action taken by the City Council during such meetings; prepares meeting minutes; publishes and posts official notices; opens bids for public works projects; receives service of claims, lawsuits and official documents on behalf of the City; manages compliance with the State conflict of interest filings and manages City elections. An elected City Clerk is independent of, and not subject to, oversight by the City Council or by the City Manager.

If this measure is approved, the City Council may appoint a City Clerk, or may by ordinance delegate that function to the City Manager. The City Council may establish minimum educational requirements and professional qualifications for the City Clerk. An appointive City Clerk need not be a City resident. An appointive City Clerk would not be independent of, and would be subject to, oversight by the City Council or by the City Manager.

If Measure CC is approved, the position of City Clerk will become appointive, effective upon the end of the current term of the City Clerk. If Measure CC is not approved, the City Clerk will continue to be an elective position and the candidate receiving a majority of votes of those voting in the November 8, 2022 election will be elected to a four-year term.

A "YES" vote on Measure CC is to make the City Clerk an appointive office. A "NO" vote is to keep the City Clerk an elective position. A majority vote of those voting in the June 7, 2022 election is required for Measure CC to pass.

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against

Arguments FOR

South Gate's City Clerk is currently an elected position with a salary and benefit package near $140,000/year. The responsibilities include maintaining City records and maintaining all legislative actions insuring transparency to the public. The role requires technical expertise and knowledge of California Fair Political Practice Commission laws. Failure to follow these requirements can result in serious legal consequences.

Currently, the City has no authority to select a qualified City Clerk because it's an elected position. The requirement to run for the position is simply that the candidate is a registered voter living in South Gate. The election process doesn't require professional experience or specific qualifications. One merely must have more votes than other candidates. Once elected, there is no oversight of the City Clerk's day-to-day activities. This elected official can come and go as they
please. Currently, neither the City Manager or City Council have authority to take corrective action for any shortcomings of an elected City Clerk.

In California, most cities have appointed/hired City Clerks. In fact, more cities are moving in this direction to ensure that qualified candidates are hired through a proper hiring process. Unlike elected City Clerks, appointed Clerks can be
terminated for any deficiencies.

This ballot measure ensures the city has a qualified and experienced individual in this critical position. With this change, an extensive oversight process will be in place. In accordance with state laws, the appointment will be determined by the City Council. However, the Council may transfer appointment responsibilities to the City Manager. By passing this measure, residents can be confident the City of South Gate has safeguards in place that ensure City Hall is functional
and accessible. South Gate deserves accountability. Vote YES!

Councilmember City of South Gate

Arguments AGAINST

Vote No on Measure CC.

As a longtime resident of South Gate, I believe this issue of doing away with the elected City Clerk position is an insult to the residents of South Gate. It is insulting that the City Council believed that with almost 100,000 residents, that no
one is qualified to be City Clerk. We need a local person to be our City Clerk elected by the people and responsible to the people through the election process.

Doing away with elected officials is wrong. Government officials need to be accountable and without an elected City Clerk we will have no independent person overseeing our city elections. South Gate voters are giving away their right to
vote for their City Clerk.

South Gate voters and residents do not give up your rights... Vote NO!

W H (Bill) De Witt
South Gate, 562-861-7339

Former Mayor & Council Member

Replies to Arguments FOR

Vote NO on Measure CC !

Replacing an elected City Clerk to an appointed city clerk takes away the rights of the City's voters into who fills that seat.

It is an unprecedented election change in how the city has operated since its incorporation in 1923. Once changed that change cannot be reversed unless the City Council voted again to place it on the ballot.

The City Council has authorized $240,000 dollars for this special election in June with only one item on it. It could have been combined with the General Election in November which wouldn't have incurred this additional expense. The money could have been spent on more productive things in our community.

An elected City Clerk maintains an independent voice on behalf of the community and is not subject to undue influence by the City Council or City Manager. That would change if the City Clerk becomes an appointed position. Protect your
voice and that for generations to come.

An elected City Clerk has kept our city from going to shambles. Ethical elections, commitment to community, and accountability to the voters is what we get with an elected City Clerk.

Do not believe the misinformation that has been stated. In coordination with the County the City Clerk administers the city's election process. It is because of her ethical values that our city has not experienced corruption in the electoral
process as some of our local cities.

Vote NO on Measure CC and keep the City Clerk position an elected one.

If questions, please call Bill De Witt 562-861-7339

W H (Bill) De Witt

Formal Mayor & Council Member

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Respectfully, disagree when the author states that the council is "insulting" residents by believing that there are no qualified residents to perform the duties of the City Clerk.

INACCURATE! Numerous concerned residents requested that they be given the opportunity to say whether this critical position should be appointed rather than elected. We are respecting the right of voters to decide this and thus they will be the final voice on this. Nothing more democratic than voters saying yes or no.

Taking this action doesn't mean residents cannot be the next City Clerk, rather residents want to be sure the person is qualified to fill this position and not just the highest vote getter.

The author states that our elected City Clerk oversees our elections.

INACCURATE! State law changed who conducts elections, it is now the County of Los Angeles and not Clerk. The City Clerk merely has limited duties with elections.

We have an opportunity to be sure the next City Clerk is fully qualified and does not need years to become qualified. Residents have asked and the City Council has listened and agreed that voters should have say in whether the City
appoints a qualified City Clerk.

Our current City Clerk accepted an appointed position in Northern California. She was not a resident of that city, but the best qualified from over 90 applicants. Why shouldn't South Gate have the opportunity to hire the best candidate

Our residents requested change. Vote YES on Measure CC!!!

Councilmember Gil Hurtado

Councilmember City of South Gate

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