For those of you who think electing your city clerk is no big deal, think again. The advantage of having an elected city clerk over an appointed one is the elected one cannot be fired by the city council or anybody else but the voters.
An appointed clerk must do the bidding for the City Council and the city manager, even when they are wrong, or else fear retaliation and/or dismissal if he or she speaks out. This is why the voters in the past have twice rejected ballot measures to eliminate the elected position. They want their city clerk to be independent.
Well, Joe Labrie is independent. He spoke out against the charter amendment because he felt he and the voters were misled and deceived. He chided the council for approving the over $500,000 in consultant fees without ever questioning or discussing them at the Council meetings. He spoke out about their lack of transparency regarding wasteful spending and some of their other actions.
His reward? The Council cut his pay by three-fourths.
I also find it very interesting that Joe’s opponent is the wife of the former council member who first introduced the idea to the Council of eliminating his elected position.
We need Joe Labrie. He is probably the only city clerk in California who does speak out. Help him keep the Council honest.
Keep up the good work, Joe. We need more people like you in government.
Editor’s note: The $500,000 figure represents “consultant fees and other charges” the city approved on its consent calendars between 2010 and 2012.
Vivian Hadley, Auburn