City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar

December 7-9, 2022

Hyatt Regency Monterey

1 Old Golf Course Rd., Monterey, CA

Designed for city clerks and staff members of all tenures from throughout the state, the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar expands an individual’s knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the city clerk’s role within their city and fosters relationships and communication with peers. The opportunity for city clerks to learn from and network with each other provides invaluable support. We hope you can join us December 7-9 in Monterey for our 2022 City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar!

For questions about the upcoming conference, please contact Education and Events Manager, Christina George.

Please see our event and meeting policies.

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2021 Conference Information


2021 City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar (PDF)

Wednesday, December 8

Registration Open

8:00 a.m–6:00 p.m.

Sponsor Tables Open

8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Opening General Session

10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Welcoming Remarks

Melissa Thurman, City Clerk, San Bruno, President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Do You Speak My Language? Language Inclusivity and  Belonging in my Community

Nearly 45% of Californians speak a language other than English at home. In order to effectively and authentically engage with your diverse communities on  pressing issues like housing, water, air quality, and public health, local governments need to understand who is in their community, how to reach them  and in what language, and the legal requirements to do so. One key piece of this puzzle is understanding how to utilize tools and resources to provide language  access for inclusive and equitable community engagement. In this session, hear from experts who will share legal parameters and public participation best  practices on language access so you can better include all segments of your community.

Hanna Stelmakhovych, Program Manager, Institute for Local Government
Albert Maldonado, Associate at Best Best & Krieger LLP

General Luncheon: Celebrations and Sponsor Recognition

12:00–1:30 p.m.

The Engineering of Public Records Processing

1:30–3:00 p.m.

When an agency receives a public records request, a statutory set of wheels are put in motion. During this session, participants will learn best practices for each step of this process, starting with how to encourage requesters to narrow the subject of their request. Additionally, attendees will get familiar with Electronically Stored Information (ESI) and will learn how to search for, review, and produce ESI – including e-mails, text messages, video and audio files – in response to PRA requests 

Christine Wood, Director of PRA Services and e-Discovery Counsel, Best Best & Krieger LLP

Exclusive Premium Sponsor Break 

3:00–3:30 p.m.

Take this opportunity to visit with and thank the Premium Sponsors of the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar. Ask questions, discuss products, and possibly even win a prize! Learn about these companies and how their services are helping cities in California achieve their goals.

Calling all Residents, Please Apply! 

3:30–5:00 p.m.

From recruitment to onboarding, the boards and commissions technical process can be a tedious one. Changing an existing appointment process, outreaching for diverse candidates, establishing or disbanding a group, or even assigning resources to boards and commissions, can be a challenging situation fraught with personality and political conflicts. Come learn from three very different cities about their boards and commissions processes and how they are managing organizational change to the function while encouraging their elected officials and residents to engage.

Joelle Fockler, City Clerk, Concord, Second Vice President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

David Carnahan, City Clerk, Sunnyvale
Michael MacDonald, Assistant City Clerk, Berkeley Nikima Newsome, Assistant City Clerk, Santa Monica

Joint Networking Reception with the Fire Chiefs Leadership Attendees and All Premium Sponsors

5:00–6:00 p.m.


Thursday, December 9 

Registration Open

8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00–9:00 a.m.

New Law and Election Update and More! 

9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

It’s that time of year again. In this session, we will recap the general happenings of the previous legislative session, review new bills related to elections, records, Brown Act, etc., and review new FPPC rules, regulations, filing requirements, etc. In addition, we will take time together to identify which department programs and practices currently work, which do not, and what legislative solutions may be the answer to future expected challenges to the profession, especially as it relates to meetings, records, elections and voting.

Moderator and Speaker:
Randi Johl, Legislative Director / City Clerk, Temecula, Department Director, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities
Introductory Speaker:

Melanie Perron, Deputy Executive Director, Advocacy and Public Affairs, League of California Cities

Dane Hutchings, Managing Director, Renne Public Law Group
Michael Cohen, Elections Policy Attorney, Renne Public Law Group
Alexandra Castillo, Political Reform Consultant, Fair Political Practices Commission
Chloe Hackert, Education Program Manager - Legal Division, Fair Political Practices Commission

Networking Luncheon

12:00–1:30 p.m.

Sudden Council Member Vacancy! What Do I Do Now?

1:30–3:00 p.m.

Hear stories from city clerks on how to deal with the sudden vacancy of a council member. What happens if a council member dies, gets arrested, suddenly resigns, is involved in a scandal, violated the Brown Act, etc.? What do you do next? Vacancies often happen at a moment’s notice without any warning. Examples from three different cities on how to navigate the appointment process or call for a special election, and the politics behind all the decision making, will be shared in this session.

Melissa Thurman, City Clerk, San Bruno, President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities


Marc Donohue, City Clerk/Communications Director, Eastvale, First Vice President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Randi Johl, Legislative Director/City Clerk, Temecula, Department Director, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Pat Jacquez-Nares, City Clerk, City of Moreno Valley

Cookies and Conversations Break on Behalf of Melissa Thurman, President of the City Clerks Department 

3:00–3:30 p.m.

Join the President and officers of the City Clerks Department of the League of California Cities for a cookie and conversation break.

Media Engagement In Tumultuous Times: Building Trust Through Transparency and Powerful Storytelling 

3:30 –5:00 p.m.

Cities have been faced with extraordinary challenges over the past couple of years including the pandemic, civil unrest, and wildfires. These challenges have resulted in a surge in media requests for information and increased pressures on city departments. In this session, hear from a city communications director and city clerk about lessons learned from communicating during an emergency, a journalist about what reporters need and what cities can do better to provide information under deadline pressures, and from a crisis communications expert on essential tools and best practices to build trust with the media and ensure your city story is told in a way that resonates authentically with both reporters and the public.


Jill Oviatt, Director of Communications and Marketing, League of California Cities


Daisy Gomez, Clerk of the Council for the City of Santa Ana

Alicia Robinson, Reporter, The Orange County Register


Friday, December 10

Registration Open

7:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00–9:00 a.m.

Enjoy a breakfast buffet with your colleagues. Tables will be designated for those interested in learning more about CMC/MMC, IIMC Accreditation.

Finding Your Purpose When the World Is On Fire

9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker and Workshop

Some days it feels like we are doomed. Maybe we are. Either way, we should make the most of our lives while we’re here. The key is to NOT make it about winning or losing, but deftly playing an infinite game. That’s only possible when you are able to lead with the reason why you do what you do. In this talk, Aniyia will share ways to search within to discover your WHY, distinguish what is necessary and real for YOU, and how to use this as a compass to navigate the world…. as long as it keeps turning.

Welcome and Introductions:
Marc Donohue, City Clerk/Communications Director, Eastvale, First Vice President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Aniyia Williams, Creator, Inventor, Tech Changemaker, Founder of Black & Brown Founders, Zebras Unite

Conference Adjourns

12:00 p.m.


Session Materials
Explore Previous Seminars

2020 Seminar Session Descriptions

Thursday, December 17

The Diverse and Inclusive City

9-10:30 a.m.

Join us as we explore the working culture of a City and Council through the lens of Diversity and Inclusion. We will examine those areas outside of the scope of just ethnicity and gender, to include age, thinking style, and communication style. We will review and discuss the importance of diversity in the workplace, identify inclusive practices, and call out challenges that may be in place.

Welcome and Introductions: Anthony Mejia, City Clerk, Palm Springs, President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Moderator: Anthony Suber, Deputy City Manager, Town of Atherton

Speakers: | Shelline Bennett, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore


Remote Records Management in Pandemic Times

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Our work environment has changed drastically since March of 2020. Agencies have scrambled to continue serving the public while maintaining efficient, secure access to critical information. Concerns about remote meetings, VPN portals, personal devices, trusted documents, confidentiality and the threat of black hat actors have changed how Records Managers and Information Technology groups provide trustworthy document management. How can we assure management and the public accurate, unobscured access to our information? Are remote meetings considered “records”? In this segment, we will discuss your remote access challenges and how we can best manage the records we need during the seemingly unending shelter in place.

Moderator: Laura Nieto, Chief Deputy City Clerk, Irwindale, Recording Secretary, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Speakers: Bruce Meier, President Records Control Services, Inc.


Lunchtime Trivia: TV, Gameshows, and Fast Food!

12:40-1:20 p.m.

Test your knowledge in this interactive themed trivia game, where you will be working together in small teams to see who will come out on top. Prizes and bragging rights are on the line… No googling allowed!


Police Records and the Public Records Act

1:30-3 p.m.

This year, the California Legislature has introduced several pieces of legislation that would continue to expand an agency’s obligations under the Public Records Act. Without question, agencies are facing increasingly new and difficult burdens, especially law enforcement agencies. In this training, Director of PRA Services and E-Discovery Counsel Christine Wood will review the PRA, highlight new and unique disclosure requirements, and discuss best practices for the identification, collection, review and production of public records in the possession of public agencies.

Moderator: Patrice M. Olds, City Clerk, San Mateo, Past President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Speakers: Christine Wood, Director of PRA Services and e-Discovery Counsel, Best Best & Krieger 


Creating Personal Balance in an Unbalanced World

3:30-5 p.m.

There are unprecedented demands on us these days as the chaos in our world continues. Expectations to deliver seem endless, and sometimes unattainable, as we pivot, turn and do flips to find new ways of doing things – both professionally and personally. Losing control often feels only a few steps away and caring for ourselves seems to move to the end of the “to-do list” much faster than it ever has before. The reality is that taking care of ourselves and creating a balanced life is not a “to-do”; rather it is a “to-be”. So, how do we create personal balance in this unbalanced world? Join us as we explore what having mind-body-spirit balance means (which is something different for each of us), and how having that balance can enhance our lives. We’ll talk about how our energy field is affected by our level of balance, and how that in turn affects those around us and our ability to support others (like our elected officials and our team), all of which are important aspects of our ability to be an effective leader in our agency. Resources, tools and tips on how to gain and maintain personal balance that works for you will be offered.

Moderator: Ashton Gout, Deputy City Clerk, Palm Springs

Speakers: Pamela Miller, Institute Director, CA MMC Institute | Joann Tilton, Institute Director, Northwest Clerks Institute

Friday, December 18

Elections, New Law and Fair Political Practices Update

9-10:30 a.m.

In this comprehensive session, attendees will receive an overview of the rules and regulations approved during the 2020 legislative session. Practical and real-world applications to city clerk professional responsibilities and tasks will be discussed, as well as FPPC issues and the intricacies of campaign disclosures, gift regulations, conflicts of interest and more.

Speakers: Dr. Alana Jeydel, Education Program Manager, Fair Political Practices Commission | Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County Registrar of Voters


Tools and Technologies for the Modern Clerk: Navigating the “Now” Normal

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

With the professional landscape changing so rapidly in recent months, many Clerks have been forced to implement new tools and technologies in order to continue providing great service to their customers, both internal and external. This shift has provided opportunities for Clerks to explore and implement solutions that will not only help them provide service immediately, but impact the efficiency of the Clerk’s office long into the future. This session will explore available technologies to address the challenges of the “now” normal, including agenda management, digital signatures, workflows, electronic plan submittal, records management portals, online meetings, and remote workspaces, among others.

Moderator & Speaker: Stephanie Smith, City Clerk, Murrieta

Speakers: Michelle Bigelow, City Clerk, Morgan Hill


Lunchtime Trivia: Slogans and Desserts!

12:40-1:20 p.m.

Test your knowledge in this interactive themed trivia game, where you will be working together in small teams to see who will come out on top. Prizes and bragging rights are on the line… No googling allowed!


The Rules for 2021 Redistricting Changed Again!

1:30-3 p.m.

Like every year for the past 5 years, 2020 saw the Legislature adopt AB 1276, again changing timelines, criteria and other rules for redistricting. This panel will discuss:

The key changes from AB 1276, along with the related AB 849 provisions from last year - highlighting how the process and criteria have changed since the 125 cities made the move from at-large to by-district elections

The options for creating commissions to handle redistricting

How maps are implemented at the County after a redistricting map is adopted

Moderator & Speaker: Shalice Tilton, Senior Consultant, National Demographics Corporation

Speakers: Douglas Johnson, President, National Demographics Corporation | Elio Salazar, Geographic Information Systems Manager, Los Angeles County | Chris Skinnell, Partner, Nielsen Merksamer Parrinello Gross & Leoni, LLP


Bouncing Back: Resiliency in Times of Stress and Change

3:30-5 p.m.

Life often throws us situations—personal and professional—where we are caught off guard or knocked off our feet. During these times it’s easy to lose our stride and our confidence, but there are ways to get back on our feet quickly, spending less time on the down and more time in creative action. In this talk, Heidi shares the latest in neuroscience, behavioral psychology, mindfulness, and coaching techniques so that you can rewire your own brain for positivity, self-compassion, and a strong sense of purpose.

Closing Comments: Melissa Thurman, City Clerk, San Bruno, 1st Vice President, City Clerks Department, League of California Cities

Speakers: Heidi Connal, Executive Coach, Adventure Traveler, Gratitude Finder


2020 Seminar Session Materials

Previous Seminar Session Materials

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