Our system of government is based on checks and balances. The position of City Clerk is designed to be an important separate body of the legislation, not an extension of the City Manager.
City Clerk duties are created by state law and local ordinances. Beaumont Municipal Code lists the city ordinances governing the city clerk in section 2.08.010 – 2.08.040 and names the body of government as: ''..a city council, city clerk, a city treasurer, chief of police, recorder, city attorney, …'' The city ordinances have not been updated since 1913 when Beaumont only had a few hundred people.
When the Brown Act refers to the duties of the 'legislative body' they are referring to those officers assigned to specific duties listed under California State Law. The duties of one legislative body can not be transferred or assigned to the personal secretary of a separate legislative body.
California State Law lists the duties of the City Clerk under Government Code 40801 - 40814:
40801: The city clerk shall keep an accurate record of the proceeding of the legislative body and the board of equalization in books bearing appropriate titles and devoted exclusively to such purposes, respectively. The books shall have a comprehensive general index.
40802: The city clerk is the accounting officer of the city and shall maintain records readily reflecting the financial conditions of the city.
40804: The city clerk shall cause a summary of the city's financial report required by Section 53891, in a form prescribed by the State Controller, to be published once in a newspaper of general circulation, pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6000), chapter 1, Division 7, Title 1 of the Government Code. If there is no such newspaper he shall cause copies of the statement to be posted in three public places in the city designated by ordinance as the places for posting of public notices.
40806: The city clerk shall keep a book marked ''ordinances'' and record in it all city ordinances with his certificate annexed to each, stating:
( a ) It is a true and correct copy of a city ordinance.
( b ) The ordinance number.
( c ) It has been published or posted pursuant to law.
40810: The city clerk is the ex officio assessor unless the legislative body provides for the assessment and collection of city taxes by county officers or otherwise.
40811: The city clerk is the custodian of the city seal.
In the City of Beaumont the office of the City Clerk is ceremonial only. Page 33 of the Budget lists the Staffing for the City Clerk Department as one (1) part time City Clerk with total wages of $2,000. The current City Clerk is paid $34.50 every two (2) weeks.
The City of Beaumont has claimed that Shelby Hanvey is the 'Deputy City Clerk', but Hanvey is listed on the Employee Rooster as 'Assistant to the City Manager' and all of Hanvey's salary and benefits are derived from the City Manager Department. It is Hanvey that signs all documentation that should only be verified by the city clerk.
I called the City of Beaumont and asked for the 'City Clerk'. Hanvey came to the phone and said: “This is Shelby.” I stated my name, date, time, and said: “This conversation is being recorded. State your Name and Job Title”.
Hanvey immediately put me on hold again without disclosing her name and job title.
I am then transferred to the City Attorney and I say to him: “This conversation is being recorded. State your name and Job Title”. The City Attorney then twice states: “You can't record me, it's a federal crime”. Then he hung up.
A government employee on a government telephone line on the government payroll has no expectations of privacy. It is unclear if the City Attorney was trying to intimidate me or if he simply has no concept of the law.