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Riverside has a new City Clerk

After a three-month search, city staff found a replacement for their city clerk who retired in late January. With an election coming up in June, Donesia Gause-Aldana from the City of Carson came at the beginning of a busy year for Riverside.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, councilmembers unanimously approved Gause-Aldana’s employment contract, and Councilman Jim Perry (Ward 6) listed pressing matters related to the city clerk’s 2021 calendar.

“The city clerk who is also a charter officer is quickly needed as the city is entering the 2021-2022 budget process,” he said in the meeting. “The city will soon take on the steps through the city clerk’s office to revise and potentially redraw the boundaries for each of the seven wards and coordinate a November election involving potential changes to the city charter.”

What is the clerk responsible for?

The city clerk maintains democracy.

To create a working system of checks and balances within city government, there are thousands of laws and regulations. The city clerk serves as a compliance officer for federal, state and local statutes including the Political Reform Act, the Brown Act and the Public Records Act.

These complex laws pertain to the public’s rights in many forms and they evolve over time. The city clerk must have the education, training, and knowledge to understand and execute them.

In some cities, the position of city clerk is an elected one but in Riverside, they are appointed by the city council.

Who is our new city clerk?

Gause-Aldana comes to Riverside with 21 years of experience, including serving as an elected city clerk in Carson. Prior to that, she served in the City of Compton, Long Beach, Baldwin Park, and Newport Beach.

“She has gained some great expertise especially when it comes to strategic planning, project management, election oversight, budget administration, records management, and community relations,” Perry said Tuesday.

Gause-Aldana’s three-year contract takes effect on April 12th.

“I would like to thank the entire city council for giving me the opportunity to serve the residents of Riverside as their newest city clerk,” she said in the meeting. “With the upcoming election as well as the redistricting process pending, there are ample opportunities for the residents to engage with the city clerk’s office and to meet with me directly.”

No stranger to the Inland Empire, she received her Bachelor of Science in Business and Management from the University of Redlands, School of Business. She is currently working toward her master’s degree.