Calexico Looking at City Clerk and Treasure Appointments

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council looked once again looked on how they will be appointing the new City Clerk and City Treasure at their Tuesday meeting.

The Council continued the discussion on how to appoint the new City Clerk and City Treasure now that residents voted in June to convert those positions from elected to appointed. The City Council adopted two resolutions last year ordering the submission of ballot measures to the qualified electors on June 5, 2012 to determine if the officers of City Clerk and City Clerk should become appointed rather than elective. Those ballot measures appeared in the June elections as Measure P and Measure Q.

A majority of the voters approved both ballot measure, with the “yes” votes for Measure P constituting 52.42% of the vote, and the “yes” votes for Measure Q constituting 50.96% of the vote. Councilman Bill Hodge was the only member of the Council who opposed submitting the ballot measure since he wanted the positions to remain as is.

Currently, the Calexico City Clerk is Lourdes Cordova and has been in that position for the last 16 years and was never challenged for her position. Cordova decided to retire as City employee two years ago after 35 years of working for the City but remained as City Clerk. The City Treasure is Rudy Moreno but he has not been present at the Council meetings for at least 10 years. Moreno has been challenged in the past but he still got re-elected.

On Tuesday’s meeting, the Council heard a presentation by City Attorney Jenifer Lyon on the process the in which they will be appointed. Lyon recommended the approval of the City code ordinance change in which states that the City Manager will now add the City Clerk to the list of position that are within his appointment authority. The Council inquired on how the appointment process will will happen. City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said that they could look for someone working for the City to take the responsibilities of the City Clerk or look for someone outside the City but said that having someone from the outside will cost the City more. The Council had a long discussion about the appointment process for the City Clerk and ended up agreeing to have a committee made up of two council members, the City Manager, and some department heads to appoint the new City Clerk.

The Council also discussed the future of the City Treasure position and the recommendation was to have it as a standalone position or combined with another City office. Mayor Daniel Romero suggested last meeting to see if they could give the City Treasure position to the City Manager. Lyon said that the Attorney General’s office said that combining those two positions could create an incompatible office problem. The City Treasure position could then be given to the Calexico Finance Director since the duties of the City Treasure and the Finance Director are very similar.

Direction was given by the Council to draft an ordinance that will give the City Treasure position to Calexico Finance Director, John T. Quinn.  The Council has until November to fill these positions before the re-organization of the new City Council.