Although it may not get the name recognition of a City Council Member, Mayor, or City Manager, the City Clerk position is of the utmost importance to the function of a municipal organization.
First of all, the City Clerk is one of six positions named in the California Government Code that are required to be filled in order for a City to exist (click here to find out the other five, if you are curious). In fact, other forms of local government providing specific services - known Special Districts - are also required to have a Clerk, but they will usually be called the "Clerk of the Board" or "District Clerk."
The specific duties of a City Clerk will vary slightly from city to city, depending on the size and structure of the agency, but in a nutshell, they generally will handle the following broad responsibilities:
+Preparing Meeting Agendas for the City Council and other legislative or advisory bodies
+Processing the Council's legislative actions (minutes, ordinances, resolutions, contracts)
+Codifying (updating/maintaining) the City's Municipal Code
+Serving as Official Custodian of Records and Records Management
+Fulfilling California Public Records Act requests
+Conducting Elections as the City Election Official
+Serving as Filing Officer for Political Reform Act filings
(You can read more here about the City Clerk's responsibilities or here about the history of the office.)
Some cities are fortunate to have multiple staffpersons in the City Clerk's office to assist in carrying out these duties, but smaller cities often aren't able to afford that luxury. When I was the City Clerk in Port Hueneme, I was an office of ONE, which means it all fell on my shoulders and I didn't have time to go back and correct mistakes - I had to make sure things were done correctly the FIRST time. This requires a sharp eye and solid knowledge of what's required by state or local statutes to get the job done.
In addition to all of the above, I provided administrative assistance to the City Council and City Manager, AND served as the City's Public Information Officer for community and media requests!
The 9 busy years I spent at the City of Port Hueneme, and particularly the 8 that I served as City Clerk, have prepared me well to take on the City of Oxnard's challenges. As a Certified Municipal Clerk, Notary Public, and ten year member of the City Clerks Association of California and the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, I am the only candidate with the proven experience to ensure our city government will be open, transparent, and responsive to the citizens’ needs.
My top four priorities will be:
1) helpful, responsive Customer Service;
2) improving Access to Public Records with technology investments and best practices implementation;
3) ensuring other City staff have an understanding of proper procedures for document preparation, management/retention, and public access; and
4) improving Public Notification of agenda postings and public hearings, in particular, engaging the citizens of South Oxnard.
OXNARD VOTERS: please remember, EXPERIENCE MATTERS. Cast your vote for the most qualified person for the job: "MICHELLE ASCENCION... #3 on the Ballot, NUMBER ONE in Experience!"
Please check out these LINKS: