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Monterey Park : Voters to Decide on Clerk

April 30, 1987

The City Council has decided to ask voters whether the position of city clerk should be made appointive rather than elective.

City Manager Lloyd de Llamas recommended submitting the issue to a vote because the duties of the office have changed since the city incorporated in 1916. The office originally functioned as a balance to the City Council to guard against illegal expenditures or the exercise of arbitrary power, de Llamas said. But independent audits, publicly adopted budgets and disclosure requirements have replaced this watchdog function so that now the duties are "fundamentally ministerial and administrative in nature," he said.

City Clerk Pauline Lemire initiated the reappraisal of her office by recommending that her job, which is now part time, be made full time and that an additional clerk-typist be hired.

De Llamas said Lemire's recommendation should be given strong consideration during upcoming budget studies, but added that he fears that the next city clerk might not have Lemire's administrative skills. He recommended making the office appointive to establish basic qualifications.

The council voted to put the issue on the ballot but did not set an election date.

Lemire, who has been city clerk since 1982, said she has no strong feelings on whether the office should be elective or appointive.

But, she said, it should be a full-time position instead of the current arrangement under which the clerk receives $300 a month without any hours of work being specified.

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