Last week long time Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessor Freddie Oakley announced she will be retiring at the end of the year to take a position in the Clinton campaign, ending a tenure that began in 2002.
That leaves a vacancy that needs to be filled administratively. County Administrator Patrick Blacklock is recommending that the Board of Supervisors name Chief Deputy Clerk/Recorder Jeffrey Barry, who is the son-in-law of Freddie Oakley, “as the interim Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessor to temporarily discharge the duties of the Office until such time as the vacancy is filled by appointment, and authorize Jeffrey Barry to receive a salary increase of 10% as compensation for assuming the duties of the Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessor, effective January 1, 2016 and continuing until the appointment of a Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessor.”
According to Transparent California, Mr. Barry currently makes just under $94,000 in salary.
The Board would then appoint an ad hoc board “subcommittee to guide development of a recruitment process and appointment procedure for the remainder of Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessor term, through January 8, 2019.”
It was explained to the Vanguard that this is a short-term appointment. It is expected that Mr. Barry would apply for the permanent appointment that would go until the 2018 elections select a replacement. Mr. Barry has the backing of Ms. Oakley – whose daughter he is married to.
The county staff report notes that Ms. Oakley has indicated her intention to retire from the office that she was re-elected to for a fourth time last year. “Her current term continues until January 8, 2019 and the new term begins at 12 o’clock noon on January 8, 2019 (Government Code section 24200). Accordingly, Ms. Oakley’s retirement creates a vacancy in the Office of the CRAE [Clerk-Recorder-Assessor-Elections] that, under subsection (c)(1) of Government Code section 1770, must be addressed for the remaining 36 months of the existing term.”
Under Government Code section 24105, according to the staff report, “when the Office of the CRAE is vacant, the duties of that office may be temporarily discharged by a chief deputy until the vacancy is filled in the manner provided by law (Government Code section 24105).”
Section 24105 “does not make the chief deputy the Yolo County Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters/Assessor when the Office becomes vacant; it merely gives the chief deputy the authority and duty as a chief deputy to perform the duties of the office while the office remains vacant. Presently, the Chief Deputy Clerk-Recorder/Assessor is Jeffrey Barry.”
In filling the vacancy in the Office of the CRAE, “the Government Code requires the Board of Supervisors to fill the vacancy by appointment (Government Code section 25304). No provision exists in the law for a special election to fill the vacated position. The appointee will hold office for the unexpired term (Government Code section 25304).”
Freddie Oakley began her career with Yolo County in 1987 as Chief Deputy Public Guardian/Public Administrator. Between 1991 and 1999, she held positions with the California Public Utilities Commission, California Legislator Burt Margolin, and Helyne Meshar & Associates.
In 1997, she was appointed by Gov. Wilson to fill the seat vacated by Yolo County Supervisor Helen M. Thomson who was elected to the California State Assembly. Oakley served the remainder of that term and then was appointed Chief Deputy Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters in 1999 under Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Tony Bernhard.
Upon his retirement, Oakley ran for and was elected Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters and has served Yolo County in that capacity since 2002. In 2015, she took on the additional responsibility of Assessor.
“It has been an honor and a joy to work for and with the people of Yolo County since 1987,” said Freddie Oakley. “When I left for a few years to work at the state level, I was amazed at how much I missed the county, and was thrilled when I had an opportunity to return. All of the many staff that I have worked with here have been terrific colleagues. I know that I am leaving these departments in the hands of capable, dedicated workers who know their jobs perfectly and do them with enthusiasm.”
“For almost three decades, in a variety of capacities, Freddie Oakley has served the people of Yolo County,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Rexroad. “She is impassioned about what she’s done and we honor her for her amazing public service.”
—David M. Greenwald reporting