Referred Measure 2D in the 2018 Denver election: The Clerk and Recorder’s Office appointees

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Snow day at the City and County Building, Dec. 21, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Referred Measure 2D would allow the City Clerk and Recorder a chance to appoint two additional staffers and give them the flexibility to decide what that position will be.

Here’s the language you’ll see on your ballot:

Shall the Charter of the City and County of Denver be amended to require that the Deputy Clerk and Recorder must be an at-will appointee of the Clerk and Recorder, allow the Clerk and Recorder to appoint two additional at-will employees who shall be exempt from the career service personnel system to serve in positions to be designated by the Clerk and Recorder, and to eliminate the requirement that the Director of Elections must be an at-will appointee of the Clerk and Recorder?

What does that mean?

Currently, the city clerk and recorder can make two appointments when they're in office. This new rule would allow them an additional appointee; however, one of those appointments must be a deputy clerk (first), so this essentially leaves her with two appointments. And under the new rules, the clerk and record will no longer be required to appoint a director of elections, leaving here the option to fill the appointments with another position. This new rule would apply to the new clerk and record scheduled to be elected in May.

Who’s for it and who’s against it?

Current City Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson said this would allow for more flexibility in appointing and employing office staff. Johnson, who is not seeking re-election in May, said the deputy clerk and recorder would remain an appointed position, which is the person who ends up in charge when the clerk and recorder is absent from the office. It would still allow the clerk and recorder to appoint the director of elections but won't require it.

Former Denver Director of Elections Amber MacReynolds said this new rule would allow the new clerk and recorder to use their new appointee slots to chose a chief technology officer or chief of staff or a policy director, for example. This opens up the possibility for the director of elections position to be a career service position if it's not among the clerk's appointee, which she said could provide more job security.

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