About the Office of the City Clerk
Mission of the City Clerk
To provide accurate information and maximize access to municipal government.
Vision of the City Clerk
To connect all San Diegans and their City Government through greater transparency and equitable access.
Responsibilities of the City Clerk
Diana J.S. Fuentes, City Clerk
The City Clerk has a multifaceted role within the scope of City Government. The functions are mandated by the City Charter, Municipal Code, Council Policy, and federal and state statutes.
The City Charter of 1931 established the Council-Manager form of government in San Diego. On Jan. 1, 2006, the City of San Diego's system of government changed from a City-Manager form to a Strong-Mayor form. This was for a five-year trial basis, which was approved by city voters in November 2004. In June 2010, the voters elected to make the change permanent.
Under "Strong-Mayor," the Mayor is the City's Chief Executive Officer, similar to the governor or the president. The Council is the legislative body, providing checks and balances to the Mayor's authority. The City Clerk is appointed by a vote of a majority of the Council.
The Clerk provides technical and procedural support to the Council. She ensures the timely posting and distribution of the Council docket and the record-keeping and preservation of the legislative proceedings. The office also coordinates public hearings, assisting the public and City staff.
As custodian of the records, the Clerk maintains, preserves, and restores official City documents dating all the way back to the 1817 "Libro de Ordenanzas" (Book of Ordinances) from when the City was first incorporated. Additionally, she serves as the Elections Official. This means she administers municipal elections, provides candidate support, and acts as the Filing Official for all disclosure information.
The Office of the City Clerk's overall goal is to preserve the integrity of the legislative process, protect city records, correctly administer municipal elections, and ensure citizens are provided with accurate information and the maximum access to municipal government.
The Legislative Services Division produces the Council docket and records and maintains the official minutes of the City Council meetings. It also processes notices of land use changes such as rezoning, annexations, and street work. The docket is posted outside the City Administration Building and on the City's website at www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk. It is complete with backup exhibit materials to ensure public access. Each year, Legislative Services staff process the Council's decisions, including new laws, deeds, contracts, leases, and permits.
Jennifer L. Berry, Deputy Director, 619-533-4081
Elections and Information Services
The Elections and Filing Section supports the City Clerk in coordinating and carrying out the City's municipal elections with integrity. Responsibilities include assisting officeholders, candidates, and committees in understanding procedures and requirements related to running for office and submitting initiative or referendum petitions and any potential recall efforts. It also helps file campaign statements and assist designated filers with State of Economic Interests and lobbyist registration and disclosure. The City Clerk is dedicated to easy access and transparency. All disclosure statements are available online at eFile-SD.
The Information Section acts as the initial contact for most callers and visitors to the Office of the City Clerk. They respond to thousands of requests each year and disseminate information regarding legislative actions and policy decisions to other agencies, City departments, and the public. If you have a request or question, you can call us at 619-533-4000 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Cristina Hernandez, Deputy Director, 619-533-4024
The Records Management Program, which has been a model nationwide, monitors the disposition of all City records from their origin and use through storage, destruction, or archival retention.
Elements of records management include assisting departments with the preparation of their Department Retention File Plan per the Master Record Schedule, imaging, the protection of vital City records (which are sent for off-site storage in case of a local emergency or natural disaster), the storage of inactive records, cataloging official artifacts, and training and advising City departments about records management issues.
The Research Section responds to thousands of requests each year and disseminates information regarding legislative actions and policy decisions to other agencies, City departments, and the public. If you have a request or question, you can call us at 619-533-4000 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc Webb, Deputy Director, 619-235-5247
The City Clerk Archives was created in 1988 to protect and preserve the City's statehood records. The City Clerk Archives section serves as a steward in preserving all legal and historical records produced by the City. Some of these records include documents, images, glass plate negatives, film, rolls, maps, registers, books, audio, microfilm, and other records.
The City Clerk Archives is responsible for preserving and protecting our legal and historical records of primary and enduring value. We strive to continually improve public access to these records, creating new methods in how we share these records with the citizens, ensuring that we shine a light on the stories of all members of our diverse community.
Sam Ely, Program Manager, 619-236-6924
Passport Acceptance Facility
In 2013, the Office of the City Clerk became a Passport Acceptance Facility. Members of the public can visit the Passport Services website to schedule an appointment between Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please check the website for our facility's walk-in hours and location.
Cristina Hernandez, Deputy Director, 619-533-4024
A quick way to access these items or websites:
- Brown Act (PDF) The language of the Ralph M. Brown Act regarding open meetings for local legislative bodies.
- California Law Access California's 29 Codes, the State Constitution, and Statutes.
- Secretary of State
- Fair Political Practices Commission
- California Bill Information Access the full text of bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments and their status, history, votes, analyses, and veto messages.