Office of the City Clerk
To provide accurate information and maximize access to municipal government.
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, as well as the record keeping and preservation of the legislative proceedings. The office also coordinates public hearing, 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 the preservation of the integrity of the legislative process, the protections of City records, the correct administration of municipal elections and making sure citizens are not only provided with accurate information, but have 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, as well as 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 decisions of the Council including new laws, deeds, contracts, leases and permits.
Diana Fuentes, Deputy Director, 619-533-4024
The Research Section responds 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, as well as any potential recall efforts. It also helps with filing campaign statements and assisting 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 Records Management Program, which has been a model nationwide, monitors the disposition of all City records from origin and use through storage, destruction or archival retention. A City Archives was created in 1988 to protect and preserve archival City documents and aid in the retrieval of information.
Elements of the 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, cataloguing official artifacts, and training and advising City departments about records management issues.
Sheila Beale, Deputy Director, 619-235-5247
In 2013, the Office of the City Clerk became a Passport Acceptance Facility. Members of the public can call or visit the Passport Services website to schedule an appointment between Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please check the website for our facility's walk-in hours and location.
Mailei Oliva, Program Manager, 619-533-4060
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