A unanimous council vote granted City Manager Leon Churchill the power to hire the city clerk, rather than having voters elect one every four years. According to the San Joaquin County registrar of voters website, 52.93 percent of Tracy voters approved the change, known as Measure D, in the 2010 election.
An assistant city clerk position will be eliminated, and a hired city clerk position created, according to Administrative Services Director Jenny Haruyama.
The city clerk is tasked to oversee the city’s record-keeping system; administer city elections; handle City Council agendas and information packets; monitor compliance with campaign finance and conflict of interest laws; and contribute to other reports and tasks as requested.
Haruyama told the council during the meeting the change from an elected to appointed official should save the city about $8,000 for the 2012-13 fiscal year, as the city won’t have to pay the elected clerk’s $7,200 annual stipend or $7,500 to put the clerk’s selection on the Nov. 6 ballot.
That should result in an ongoing non-election-year savings of about $1,100, Haruyama said later in the week, even though the new clerk’s position will cost the city up to $150,640 annually, including benefits. That equates to about 5 percent, or $6,000 more, than the to-be-eliminated assistant position, Haruyama said.
She added that the increase in pay was in line with having a professional clerk.
“Voters approved to have a professional appointed clerk that requires very specific certification that is industry standard statewide, and that is why there is a differential,” she said.
Haruyama also said Tracy’s clerk will be a mid-management position. Appointed clerks at many other cities are considered executives, an arrangement Haruyama said wouldn’t work for Tracy.
“We were extremely conservative with how we came up with our proposed salary for this position,” she said.
According to Deputy City Clerk Adrianne Richardson, she will remain in her position, and Assistant City Clerk Carole Fleischmann will retire as her position is contracted. Richardson said a clerk will then be hired.
City Clerk Sandra Edwards, who was most recently elected in 2008 with 98.81 percent of the votes, has her term expire this year.
Haruyama said the city has not yet determined a specific hiring process, but that Edwards could be considered for the position.
“I think we should have somebody hired, on board, probably by January,” Haruyama said.
At a glance
• WHAT: City Council regular meeting
• WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2
• WHERE: City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza
• DETAILS: Mayor Brent Ives, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Maciel, councilmen Steve Abercrombie, Bob Elliott and Robert Rickman present.