The informal grassroots group Crossroads South Pasadena is scheduled to host a Measure C forum at Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, 1007 Fair Oaks Ave., at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22.
According to organizers, the goal is to offer a neutral forum for a debate between advocates and opponents of the measure, which will ask voters if the Office of the City Clerk should be appointive. The measure will run on the Nov. 5 ballot in South Pasadena.
There are currently two clerk positions: one is held by a full-time, appointed employee with credentials who manages the Office of the City Clerk as chief city clerk and is hired and subject to evaluations like other managers.
The other position of city clerk is part-time, ceremonial and elected. The city clerk is not subject to performance evaluations, and the only requirement for election is the person must be a registered voter in the city.
Sally Kilby – a former elected city clerk who is now a contributor to the Review – noted that “because the hired chief city clerk can carry out all of the duties of the office, including such ceremonial ones as administering oaths of office, the position of elected city clerk is not needed.”
If a majority of voters say yes on Measure C, the chief city clerk will become the official city clerk. The position of an elected city clerk is currently required by the city’s municipal code and can only be changed by voters. The measure is asking voters if they wish to change the law and eliminate the position.
If a majority of voters say no, the position of elected city clerk will remain with ceremonial duties. This will entail a cost of $3,600 per year for the clerk’s stipend in addition to the costs of the city adding an election measure to the ballot every four years.
Kilby noted that as the measure stands currently, the City Council will appoint the city clerk. Resident Jonathan Eisenberg shared in an exchange on the social-media platform NextDoor that he felt Measure C is “flawed because it would have the city clerk be appointed by the City Council, yet the city clerk oversees City Council elections. A conflict-of-interest there is inherent.”
The Crossroads South Pasadena group focuses on issues of the openness of city leaders to feedback, city financial planning and spending choices, and the retention of city staff.