Measure C Forum | Crossroads South Pasadena Hosts Discussion at Mamma’s

A forum hosted by an informal organization on Tuesday, October 22, at Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, will seek out the pros and cons regarding the measure on the November ballot in South Pasadena

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | Mamma's Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta in South Pasadena

An informal organization, Crossroads South Pasadena, is hosting a Measure C forum on Tuesday, October 22, at Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, 1007 Fair Oaks Avenue, starting at 7 p.m. regarding Measure C on the November 5 ballot in the city.

The event is designed, in a neutral setting, to clear up any confusion about the measure through a debate between advocates and opponents.

Measure C boils down to asking residents the office of the city clerk should be appointive.

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State law requires general law cities like South Pasadena to have city clerks. The position may be elected or appointed.

Over 70% of all California cities have transitioned from elected to appointed city clerks. Appointed city clerks are professional employees who perform duties including, but not limited to keeping a list

of all legislation adopted by the city council, certifying official documents, responding to Public Records Act requests, publishing legal notices, maintaining City Council minutes and other official records of the city, administering oaths of office, attending council meetings, and acting as the election official for the city.

The City of South Pasadena began the process of transitioning to an appointed city clerk office in 2013 when the City Council established a full‐time salaried chief city clerk and a part‐time, stipend‐compensated elected city clerk, per Resolution No. 7289.

Currently, South Pasadena has both an elected city clerk and an appointed chief city clerk, resulting in a duplication of efforts between the two officials. The elected city clerk performs only ceremonial duties of administering oaths of office and signing official city documents, while the appointed full‐time chief city clerk performs these same ceremonial duties as well as all other daily functions of the city clerk’s office, including, but not limited to supervision of other city staff, response to public records act requests, handling of claims and subpoenas, and serving as the signing officer for compliance with the Fair Political Practices Commission for all city officials.

The appointed chief city clerk is a professional and experienced city employee who has been certified by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks as a master municipal clerk.

By contrast, the elected city clerk is not required to have any professional training or knowledge regarding the position, but need only be a registered voter in the city of South Pasadena. The elected city clerk is elected to a four‐year term, with the current term expiring in fall 2020.

The South Pasadena City Council placed Measure C on the ballot to allow voters, by simple majority, to decide whether to make the city clerk office an appointed position, rather than an elected position, so that all duties would be continued to be performed by a full‐time professional employee experienced in performing all city clerk duties and eliminating the duplication of some of the ceremonial duties currently performed by an elected city clerk.



  1. Measure C would change the position of City Clerk from being elected — as has been the case in South Pasadena continuously since the 1880s — to being appointed. Measure C would instead give the City Council control over picking the City Clerk.

    I have pointed out to all five City Council members that, because the City Clerk plays a significant role in administering City Council elections, to avoid conflicts of interest, the City Council should not have direct hire-and-fire power over the City Clerk. So now three City Council members (Mayor Khubesrian, Michael Cacciotti, and Diana Mahmud) have promised — if Measure C passes — to take the necessary actions to transfer supervision and oversight of the City Clerk away from the City Council and to the City Manager (or possibly to some other authority besides the City Council). As of this writing, Richard Schneider has stated general support for Measure C but has not said anything about how the appointed City Clerk would get appointed. Bob Joe has been silent on Measure C, as far as I know; he did not respond to my e-mail messages to him about this matter.

    Also, Measure C does not establish any job requirements for City Clerk. Therefore, contrary to what the above news article implies, and also contrary to the City Attorney’s sample-ballot analysis of Measure C, there is no guarantee that, after Measure C passes, the appointed City Clerk would be “a professional and experienced city employee who has been certified by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks as a master municipal clerk.”