BREA : City Clerk Completes Certification Courses


City Clerk Elaine M. Capps gets to use the letters CMC behind her name.

She said being awarded the prestigious designation Certified Municipal Clerk brings more credibility and respect among professionals.

The award also gives the city a boost of prestige at a time when it is needed, city officials said this week.

As City Council and staff members have been dealing with controversy over redevelopment projects and lawsuits regarding eminent domain over the past three years, Capps has been taking classes on improving her job performance.

Her new title makes her one of only 203 city clerks in California who are certified, said Sheri Burdick, spokeswoman for the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, the association which awards the designation. There are more than 800 city clerks in the state, Burdick said.


Capps, a resident of Brea since 1964, was elected in 1992. She served as the city’s deputy city clerk for two years before her election. She was hired by the city in 1975 as previously worked as a clerk in the community services, finance, development and research departments.

Capps is responsible for preparing City Council agendas and answering public inquiries.

She handles about 100 phone calls a day from people who seek information about the city, including questions about legislators, the city codes, the location of the dump and the deadline to file papers to run for election for the council, she said.

“I really like it a lot,” said Capps, a grandmother of eight. “I have a lot of public contact because this is a very special city. People are really interested in what’s happening here.”

Burdick said the certification program began in 1970 in an effort to “professionalize the city clerk position.”