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Fountain Valley city clerk elevated to department status

Fountain Valley City Clerk Rick Miller, right, swears in Patrick Harper as mayor in 2021.
Fountain Valley City Clerk Rick Miller, right, swears in Patrick Harper as mayor on Dec. 7, 2021. Miller’s office was elevated to city department status following a vote this week of the City Council.
(File Photo)
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Fountain Valley has granted the office of the city clerk department status, a nod of recognition with respect to an increasing workload for the city’s primary recordkeeper.

The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance for the conversion, which will see the office of the city clerk go from a division of administrative services to its own department.

Rick Miller, the city clerk, will become the director of the department.

Colin Burns, legal counsel for the city, described the responsibilities being handled by the city clerk. The office takes care of the city’s records and handles California Public Records Act requests, as well as filings with the Secretary of State and the Fair Political Practices Commission.

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Additionally, the city clerk handles legal notices, administers oaths and serves as the elections official for the city. The office is responsible for preparing the minutes at public meetings.

“It is a very large role,” Burns added. “Rick does an absolutely fantastic job of it with his team, but it has gone well past what would normally be required of a division.”

Council members also took action on Tuesday to adopt the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Among the personnel expenses, a new full-time position was requested for a risk manager who would operate under the purview of the city clerk.

The risk manager would cost the city $188,570 annually, providing services by minimizing liability risk, supporting worker’s compensation and administering emergency preparedness programs.

“He’ll be able to have an additional staff, somebody to help him with worker’s compensation cases,” Burns added ahead of the vote. “At this point, it’s literally just the city clerk handling a bevy of litigation matters. … He really needs to get to department-level status, so he can get a staff, he can get opportunities, and we can really recognize the fact that the workload is substantial and department level.”

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