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.

2022 Seminar Information


Full Registration Includes:

  • admission to all educational sessions 
  • admission to the Wednesday evening reception, Thursday breakfast and lunch, and Friday breakfast
  • access to all program materials

Register online by Tuesday, Nov. 15 (requires credit card) - Register now.

Mail-in Registration (pay by check) - contact Megan Dunn to request a registration form.

Special Needs? Contact Megan Dunn by Tuesday, Nov. 18.

Full Conference Registration Fees

Member-City Officials and Staff                            $500
Non-Member City Officials and Staff $1,500
All Others $660


One-Day Registration Fees

Member-City Officials and Staff                     $300
Non-Member City Officials and Staff                     $1,300
All Others $550
Guest Reception Pass $50


*The guest/spouse fee is restricted to persons who are not city or public officials, are not related to any League Partner or sponsor, and would have no professional reason to attend the conference. It includes admission to Wednesday’s networking reception only. There is no refund for the cancellation of a guest/spouse registration. It is not advisable to use city funds to register a guest/spouse. 

Please view Event and Meeting Policies for more information.

Refund Policy

Advance registrants unable to attend will receive a refund of rate paid, minus a $75 processing charge, only when a written request is submitted to Megan Dunn, and received on or before Nov. 15. Refunds will not be available after this date. If you are unable to attend, you may substitute a colleague for your entire registration.

Hotel and Travel

A limited number of hotel rooms are available at a reduced rate for conference attendees. The discounted hotel rate cut-off is Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. A limited number of market-rate hotel rooms may be available after Nov. 7. Call the Hyatt Regency Monterey at (831) 372-1234 to learn more.

STEP ONE: Register for the Seminar

After your registration for the conference is received and processed, a confirmation email will be sent containing a link to the discounted hotel reservations page.

STEP TWO: Book a hotel room

Hotels are subject to sell out prior to the deadline – reserve early! 

Seminar Location:

Hyatt Regency Monterey
1 Old Golf Course Road
Monterey, CA 93940

Group Hotel Rate (per night): $169 – Single/Double Occupancy (plus tax and fees)

Hotel Changes or Cancellations

Hotel reservation changes, date modifications, early check-out, or cancellations must be made directly through the hotel. Please note that after Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 has passed, you may incur a financial penalty and minimum one-night room charge or attrition fees. 

PLEASE NOTE: The information you provide to Cal Cities when registering for a Cal Cities conference or meeting may be shared with the conference or meeting hotel(s). The hotel(s) will also share with Cal Cities the information you provide to the hotel(s) when you make your hotel reservation for the conference or meeting. The information shared between Cal Cities and the hotel(s) will be limited to your first name, last name, email, and dates/length of stay in the hotel.

CAUTION! You must be registered for the conference prior to booking a hotel room. Do not make a hotel reservation unless you are sure it is needed. Your city/company will be financially responsible for all cancellation/attrition fees. If you are making hotel reservations for others, please confirm with each individual, in advance, that they actually need hotel accommodations and intend to use them on the dates you are reserving.

Parking and Transportation

Hyatt Regency Monterey is centrally located on the Monterey Peninsula, five minutes away from the Monterey Regional Airport. Valet parking is offered (fee applies) as well as abundant complimentary self-parking.

For those arriving from the Monterey Peninsula Airport,  complimentary shuttle service is provided daily. For arrivals, call (831) 372-1234 to request airport shuttle service. For departures, the shuttle departs from the hotel lobby hourly, quarter past the hour, and advanced reservations required.

Nearby Airports

  • Monterey Regional Airport (MRY): 2 miles
  • Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC): 72.1 miles
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO): 101 miles

*Schedule subject to change

View the 2022 City Clerks New Law and Election Seminar program.

Wednesday, December 7

Registration Open

8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Premium Sponsor Tables Open

8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

Opening Keynote: How to Get Things Done When You’re Not the Boss

10:00 a.m.-noon

Sometimes you’re not in charge. You cannot tell people what to do, yet you still need their help to do your job. Yes, it’s possible to get results, influence others, and lead projects without being a boss, but how? By establishing a reputation for integrity and trustworthiness you’ve got a good start—yet you need to master certain skill sets to succeed. This keynote explores strategies for helping city clerks achieve their professional goals regardless of the constellation of circumstances they face.

Opening Remarks: Marc Donohue, President, City Clerks Department and City Clerk/Communications Director, Eastvale
Speaker: Mitchell Friedman, Principal, Mitchell Friedman Communications

Networking Luncheon

noon-1:30 p.m.

Strategies for Creating Dynamic Multi-Generational Teams

1:30-3:00 p.m.

It used to be called the generation gap. With seven living generations, the potential for generational differences in the workplace is high. In this session, hear from a Baby Boomer, a Gen Xer, and a Millennial on what it means to say “back in my day,” and how celebrating each other’s differences and unique perspectives is a better leadership approach than trying to get everyone “on the same page.” Participants will learn strategies for translating generational language differences, why innovation doesn’t have to abandon tradition, and will leave with a new appreciation for their co-workers.

Presentation of Sponsors: Ashton R. Arocho, Second Vice President, City Clerks Department and Deputy City Clerk, Fontana
Moderator and Speaker: Stephanie Smith, Director of Election Services, Best Best & Krieger, LLP
Speakers: Paula de Sousa, Partner, Best Best & Krieger, LLP
Frank Splendorio, Of Counsel, Best Best & Krieger, LLP

Visit with Sponsors

3:00-3:30 p.m.

Wearing Multiple Hats: How to Manage a PIO Role

3:30-5:00 p.m.

The role of a Public Information Officer (PIO) comes with several responsibilities ranging from creating social media posts to devising a public engagement strategy. Many agencies add these responsibilities to differing roles, making balancing them with an everyday workload a daunting task. During this session, presenters will share their insights on managing multiple roles, the communications that come with it, and community engagement best practices. The foundational knowledge shared in this session will help you deliver in your role as a city clerk.

Moderator: Jessica Blair, First Vice President, City Clerks Department and Communications Director/City Clerk, Half Moon Bay
Speakers: Michelle Bigelow, City Clerk/Public Information Officer, Morgan Hill
Jorge Garcia, Assistant City Manager, Pismo Beach
Ryder Smith, President, Tripepi Smith

Joint Networking Reception with Fire Chiefs and Municipal Finance Officers

5:00-6:30 p.m.

Make new friends and catch up with old ones while enjoying delicious appetizers and tasty beverages during the evening networking reception. This joint reception is open to attendees from all three Cal Cities conferences: the Fire Chiefs Leadership Seminar, Municipal Finance Institute, and City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar. It's the perfect opportunity to form support networks inside and outside your profession.

Thursday, December 8

Registration Open

8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00-9:00 a.m.

New Law and Election Update and More!

9:00 a.m.-noon

It’s that time of year again. In this session, we will share highlights from the previous legislative session; discuss new bills related to elections, records, and the Brown Act; and review new Fair Political Practices Commission rules, regulations, and filing requirements. In addition, we will identify which department programs and practices currently work, which do not, and what legislative solutions may be the answer to future challenges of the profession, especially as it relates to meetings, records, elections, and voting.

Moderator: Randi Johl, Department Director, City Clerks Department, City Clerk/Legislative Director, Temecula
Speakers: Michael Cohen, Associate, Renne Public Law Group
Chloe Hackert, Education and External Affairs Unit Manager, Fair Political Practices Commission
Dane Hutchings, Managing Director, Renne Public Policy Group
Lindsey Nakano, FPPC Senior Legislative Counsel, Fair Political Practices Commission
Johnnie Pina, Legislative Representative, League of California Cities

Networking Luncheon

noon-1:30 p.m.

Federal Resources for Elections

1:30-3:00 p.m.

Under the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission serves as a clearinghouse for best practices in election administration. These best practices can be scaled back or downsized as needed to work across jurisdictions. In this session, presenters from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission will introduce the agency’s clearinghouse function and highlight the resources and best practices that election officials can leverage to help with every aspect of election administration; from cyber security to language assistance, chain of custody, post-election audits, and accessibility.

Moderator: Debra Black, Recording Secretary, City Clerks Department and City Clerk, San Dimas
Speakers: Kammi Foote, Senior Election Subject Matter Expert, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Christy McCormick, Commissioner, U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Building a Strong Working Relationship with Your City Manager

3:30-5:00 p.m.

As clerks, we are dedicated to our organizations, managers, and councils, but how do you build a strong relationship with a city manager when those positions are ever changing? In this session, we will discuss how to build a better relationship with your city manager, understanding your role as the clerk, and how to work within your boundaries and stay in your lane. This session will teach you what your city manager expects of you and how to coach your city manager on what is expected of them, as well as how to work through difficulties.

Moderator: Ashton R. Arocho, Second Vice President, City Clerks Department and Deputy City Clerk, Fontana
Speakers: Heather Glaser, City Clerk, Mountain View
John Kunkel, Interim City Manager, Huron
Graham Mitchell, City Manager, El Cajon
Marci Reyes, City Clerk, Kerman

Friday, December 9

Registration Open

8:00-10:30 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:00-8:45 a.m.

When Discourse Fails and Recalls and Initiatives are on the Horizon

8:45-10:15 a.m.

In the era of unprecedented election challenges, municipal clerks are obligated to exhaust all means of communication to maintain public trust. These efforts include encouraging civil discourse and facilitating access to timely and relevant information. In this session, attendees will learn how to productively engage internal and external stakeholders to lower the temperature in the room, as well as the technicalities of how to conduct a recall or initiative in a community when the temperature remains a little too hot to handle.

Moderator: Marc Donohue, President, City Clerks Department and City Clerk/Communications Director, Eastvale
Speakers: Dawn G. Abrahamson, City Clerk, Vallejo
Melissa Kuehne, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Local Government
Lisa Pope, City Clerk, Vernon

Creating Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Through Language Access

10:30 a.m.-noon

Democracy requires participation and as City Clerks we must create a transparent and accessible environment. Online access to meeting information is a powerful tool, but in order to reach as many communities as possible, a language access program is necessary. Hear about programs implemented in other cities along with the lessons learned. Panelists will discuss how they discovered that it is possible to do more to engage the entire community and increase meaningful participation, even with limited resources.

Moderator: Jessica Blair, First Vice President, City Clerks Department and Communications Director/City Clerk, Half Moon Bay
Speakers: Kerry Bigelow, City Clerk, Chula Vista
Diana Fuentes, Assistant City Clerk, San Diego
Sarah Gorman, City clerk Services Manager, Santa Barbara


Session Materials
Explore Previous Seminars

2021 Seminar Session Descriptions

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.



2021 Seminar Session Materials

Previous Seminar Session Materials

2020 Session Materials

Thank You Sponsors

Speaker Center

Speaker Agreement

Below are key presenter deadlines and a link to the Speakers Agreement. Please read and complete the required fields to acknowledge your acceptance of the League of California Cities’ presenter guidelines. Providing your digital signature allows Cal Cities to move forward in planning and promoting your session, as well as publish your name and affiliation on our website and in marketing materials. Your contact information will remain strictly confidential.

Should you have any questions, please contact the education department.

Important deadlines 

Monday, Sept. 12: Complete the Speakers Agreement  and note any specific audiovisual requests. On the day of their presentation, speakers are provided a one-day complimentary registration (not including meals or special events), which needs to be completed via the form. If you would like to register for additional conference days or activities, please contact Megan Dunn.

Monday, Nov. 7. Discount hotel rate cut-off. Once you register for the conference, you will be prompted to book a hotel room.

Tuesday, Nov. 15: Deadline for advance conference registration.

Sept.-Dec.: To ensure each speaker is comfortable with their responsibilities during the presentation, please hold at least one conference call with all panelists in your session. The session planning chair, typically the person who submitted the proposal for the conference, is responsible for connecting with the other speakers to hold a session planning call.

Monday, Nov. 28: Submit your final presentation to Cal Cities via the presentation submission page.

Presentation Guidelines and Submission

Our goal is to provide exceptional educational experiences, networking opportunities, and innovative tools that will make attendees and their cities more successful. Studies show that adults learn best when they are actively involved in the process rather than passively listening or watching. Most attendees are knowledgeable about the subject, and therefore are interested in hearing what others know and what their experiences have been. Accordingly, we urge you to plan your presentation with these suggestions in mind.

The most common complaints on session evaluations from prior seminars are:
  • "The presentation was a 'sales' pitch for a particular product or service."
  • "I couldn't read the slides."
  • "One speaker took so much time that the others were not able to give their full presentations."
  • "I'd like more practical knowledge."
Please consider the following as you prepare for your presentation:
  • Relevant content for experienced audiences that stretches thinking and provides new approaches.
  • Content that is delivered in an engaging way and draws on the experience of the attendees.
  • Examples and case studies of real success (and successful failures).
  • Try to add stories, anecdotes, testimonials, or demonstrations that emphasize your point. We all remember a good story, and thus more easily the lesson with it.
  • Provide tools and information that the audience can implement.
  • If there are other speakers in your session, coordinate with them in advance to decide your speaking order and ensure that all presentations fit into the assigned time allotment. If you do not have the contact information for your co-presenters, please contact us at
  • Selling from the podium creates conflict of interest problems. Cal Cities educational sessions should never be an advertisement. Therefore, presentations may not include any commercialism for specific products or consulting services.

Submitting Your Session Materials

Presentation materials are an important element of Cal Cities educational programs. Please submit your presentation  in either a Microsoft-friendly format or as a .pdf file no later than Monday, Nov. 28. Submitting your materials by this date guarantees your they will be posted in time for the seminar. Session materials are offered electronically only. 

  • When naming your session materials, please use your session title. For example: "YourSessionTitle"
  • If your session group has created multiple presentations, please combine all presentations into one document before submitting to us, in the order the presenters are speaking.

Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns, or assistance needs you may have.

Submit your presentation here.

Session Layout and Structure

The League of California Cities encourages our presenters to use the most engaging educational platform possible when speaking at the City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar. We recognize that each session has a unique format and presentation style based on the preferences of the speaker(s) and content being presented, but the following three examples are provided as a general guideline in planning your session.

Panel Discussions: 75 minutes, with up to 3 speakers
Presider (5 minutes)     
  • Welcome
  • Frame session
  • Introduce speakers
Speaker(s) #1, #2 and #3 (20 minutes)   
  • Summary of relevant experience
  • Learning objectives
  • Core session content
  • Summary of key points
Presider (10 minutes)   
  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments
Concurrent Session: 75 minutes, 1 speaker
Presider (5 minutes)     
  • Welcome
  • Frame session
  • Introduce speaker
Speaker #1 (60 minutes)            
  • Summary of relevant experience
  • Learning objectives
  • Core session content
  • Summary of key points
Presider (10 minutes)   
  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments

Speed Sessions: 20 minutes
Speaker #1 (15 minutes)

  • Self-Introduction
  • Frame session
  • Fun and engaging presentation

Final Thoughts (5 minutes)

  • Facilitate Q&A
  • Final comments
As a reminder, sessions may not include any product/service demonstrations or commercial presentations for specific products or consulting services. Please contact the education department with any questions, concerns or assistance needs you may have.