Your average person does not necessarily know what a City Clerk does, much less certifications that are available for municipal clerks; however, as this subject comes up, I want to ensure voters understand what is involved.
The City Clerks Association of California has a two-year certification program for municipal clerks. This program is designed for those currently working in those applicable roles; in fact, though anyone can pay the $1,600 to take the courses (when in-person education is permitted), you cannot be certified unless you have been an active member of the CCAC for at least two years, and you can only be a member if you are a municipal clerk.
This certification program is essentially the continuing education program for municipal clerks. It ensures those serving in these important positions know and understand the fundamentals and laws that are related. However, like all certification programs, these courses are certainly not the ONLY way of having the knowledge and qualifications to be an effective City Clerk. In fact, Verna Rollinger, Laguna Beach’s longest-serving City Clerk, did not obtain her certification until years after she became City Clerk. Yet, she was able to greatly improve the City Clerk’s office. Similarly, Martha Anderson, our City Clerk from 2004-2012, did not obtain her certification until after she was elected, and yet it did not hinder her from using her own knowledge and strengths to add her own improvements on the office. As certified municipal clerks, Verna and Martha are fully aware of the certification process, and have no reservations about my abilities to excel as City Clerk with my current unparalleled qualifications.
So, what does the certification program entail?
The Technical Training for Clerks (TTC) consists of a four-Series, 120-hour curriculum. The TTC Series 100 provides an overview of local government, the municipal clerk profession, management skills, influencing others, communication skills, ethics and personal values, and the clerk’s role in emergency crisis management.
The TTC Series 200 covers the origins and formation of social and political systems, election law and procedures, local government finance, technology in the clerk’s office, team/group decision-making, communication skills, organizational values and ethics, and the clerk as a professional.
The TTC Series 300 covers the municipal clerk as a manager, meeting administration, records management, messaging for public and media, supervising employees, general law, negotiation skills, communication writing skills, ethics of profession, and diversity of organization.
The TTC Series 400 covers professional ethics, the Political Reform Act, initiative, referendum and recall, mechanics of conducting elections, election technology and systems, public speaking and making presentations, and the clerk as a professional model.
My 10 years of experience working in the Laguna Beach Community Development Department (which included providing all administrative support for the Planning Commission, completing budget planning and execution for the department, handling finance and personnel documentation, acting as the systems administrator for the department’s information technology systems, responding to public records requests, informing the public about various codes, regulations, and processes, and routinely interfacing with the various other City departments), in addition to my 6 years serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force (which included working as a contracts officer, a program manager, an Executive Officer, along with other roles that provided me with important translatable skills), my current position as Office Manager of one of the largest and most well-respected family law firms in Orange County, along with a lifetime of serving others, have certainly covered the subjects taught in the municipal clerk certification program.
I haven’t taken on a job yet that I haven’t excelled at and improved. I know my capabilities, and tackle every job with the goal to exceed all expectations. I am running for Laguna Beach City Clerk because I know I am the best candidate to serve in this critical role. My proven record of acting independently, my extensive knowledge and skills related to City operations and technology, and my devotion to service will enable me to perform the duties as your City Clerk with the utmost professionalism and excellence.
I am committed to completing the requirements to obtain municipal clerk certification in two years of my first term as your City Clerk, to ensure I am as educated as possible on the role of municipal clerk and to learn from clerks in other municipalities; however, rest assured that the lack of this certification will in no way hinder me for executing the duties of the office.