Letter to the Editor:
I like to think of an election season as a three-month-long job interview. Sure, many campaigns kick off well before then. In Burbank, however, August is usually when the series of endorsement interviews, candidate forums, and news profiles begin. It’s an opportunity for the voters to get acquainted with the candidates and size up their choices.
One of the jobs we voters are being asked to fill this year is for the position of City Clerk. I can see how some voters might discount the importance of this office in our city government. After all, it’s our City Council members who deliberate and pass our laws. They’re the people who are in the spotlight and make the headlines in our city. The importance of the clerk’s role should not be dismissed, however. It’s the City Clerk who keeps our City Council on track, preparing the agendas for each council meeting, dutifully maintaining our public records, ensuring compliance with the federal, state, and local laws that stipulate the proper procedures and transparency that reinforce democracy, and overseeing our elections and enforcing our municipal codes that regulate them. In Burbank, the City Clerk’s Office also manages a local passport office on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. But most importantly, the clerk’s role is to be the liaison between us, the citizens of Burbank, and our elected leaders, making sure our interests are accountably represented.
Of the three candidates in the running for this job, in my estimation only one is truly qualified to competently take on the job: Kimberley Clark. For the past 12 years, she has served in this same capacity for the Burbank Unified School District as Executive Assistant to the Superintendent and Board of Education and as Public Information Officer for the District, managing our school board elections and submitting the District’s required disclosures and filings, as well as producing agendas and minutes for Board of Education meetings. In this position, she has also reliably and competently served a diverse and demanding constituency: the students, parents, teachers, and staff of the Burbank public schools.
I met Kimberley several years ago when I served on the Measure I committee. Her professionalism and sense of duty to our schools impressed me greatly, and through this work we became friends. My respect for her has only grown since we began working with one another. I’m convinced Kimberley would be able to transition to the job of City Clerk smoothly and seamlessly. She’s not a city hall insider, which means she will bring a fresh and responsive approach to her clerk duties.
In my discussions with Kimberley, we’ve agreed that one of the things she should take the lead on is reforming and updating our current municipal election code. The current laws have some significant gaps, not only in their requirements but in their consistent application. She also understands concepts such as ranked choice voting and approval voting, and if either were to become the method for selecting our government officials, she would be ready to facilitate and help voters to understand these changes.
I’m voting for Kimberley because I know her abilities and I trust her character.
Clark for Clerk!
Editor’s Note: John Echeto is the Campaign Treasurer for Kimberley Clark’s campaign.