Editorial: Where’s Ellie? Antioch City Clerk failing to do her job, keeping public uninformed, lacks transparency

From the Antioch City Council 2021 Agendas and Minutes page on the City of Antioch website.

Hasn’t posted council meeting minutes since June 22; council not holding her accountable; if Householder can’t handle the job she should resign and save the voters the hassle of a recall

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder. Official photo by City of Antioch.

By Allen Payton

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder is failing to completely do her job and as a result the public is not being provided with the information they seek and deserve to know in a transparent manner. As one example, the minutes from the past 12 council meetings have not yet been posted on the City Council’s Agendas and Minutes page on the City’s website. As of Thursday, December 9, 2021, the most recent minutes posted there are for the council’s June 22, 2021 meeting.

While the minutes for previous meetings are supposed to be included in the next council meeting’s agenda, until that is posted on the City’s website, members of the public and media must watch the council meeting video of the previous meeting to learn what was said and done for any particular agenda item during.

While the annotated agendas, which are on that webpage, show what the total votes were, they don’t show how each council member voted.

Worse, in the past few months, the minutes for several previous council meetings are being lumped in with the current meeting agenda and/or they’re being forwarded to a future council meeting.

For example, on the annotated agenda for the Nov. 9th council meeting, the council was asked to approve the minutes from the meetings on Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 16 and Oct. 26. Each of them were, on 5-0 votes. Yet none of the minutes from those meetings have been added to the webpage.

Then on the annotated agenda for the Nov. 23rd council meeting the minutes for the Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16 council meetings all show, “It is recommended that the City Council continue the Meeting Minutes” and the council approved each of them on 5-0 votes.

Householder is making it difficult for the council, public and media to know what the council members said during previous council meetings and requiring them to spend more of their time searching for the information.

Why aren’t the minutes being included in the following council meeting agendas? If the minutes for a previous council meeting are already included in the next meeting’s agenda, what is so difficult for Householder to ensure a copy of them is posted on the council’s Agendas and Minutes page, especially now that the clerk’s office has added another staff member? Plus, the city clerk doesn’t even type up the minutes from each meeting. She has a minutes clerk handle that!

Another example is instead of Householder attending the City Clerk’s conference, this week – in her first year in the position – she sent Deputy City Clerk Christina Garcia, to learn about any new laws, rules or procedures for doing her job.

Also, while it is a part-time position, Householder doesn’t work in her office at City Hall but chooses to work remotely, so she’s not available to answer her taxpayer funded phoneline nor readily available to meet with members of the public who she was elected to serve.

Another example has been Householder taking the full 10 days – each time – to respond to the recall petitions for Mayor Thorpe submitted by the organizers, when it only took the County Clerk two days to do the same for the organizers of the recall to remove Householder from her position as Antioch School Board trustee. While it’s believed she did that intentionally to delay the signature gathering, Householder has yet to answer the repeated question why it took her so long, each time.

Finally, after a call to the clerk’s office, a call to Householder’s cell phone and sending two emails – one to her and Garcia at 11:31 AM and another one to the email address used by the clerk’s administrative assistant at 11:33 AM, today, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 asking for a copy of the Nov. 9th council meeting minutes or where they could be found on the City’s website, as of 7:00 p.m. there was no response.

If Householder is too busy to fulfill the duties of her job and both of her elected positions of Antioch School Board trustee and City Clerk, then she should resign from the city clerk’s position – the duties for which she’s clearly dropping the ball on – and save the voters from having to go through the process to remove her via a recall.

the attachments to this post:

Ellie Householder City of Antioch official FB

ACC 2021 Agendas & Minutes

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