CORRECTION (Published 3/27/2014)

A story about the Pleasant Hill city clerk incorrectly reported the deadline for petition signatures to place the clerk's recall on the November ballot. Recall supporters have until mid-July to collect 3,800 signatures.

PLEASANT HILL -- Amid more calls Monday for City Clerk Kim Lehmkuhl's resignation -- including from two council members -- city leaders agreed voters should decide whether to change the clerk position from elected to appointed.

The council decided to consider a November ballot measure asking whether the city clerk should become an appointed office after it came to light in January that Lehmkuhl failed to produce council meeting minutes during her entire first year in office, despite repeated entreaties from city staffers and council members.

"We basically have no control -- as we found, unfortunately -- or very little control over what the city clerk does," said Councilman Michael Harris, who along with Councilman Jack Weir asked Lehmkuhl to step down.

Mayor Tim Flaherty, however, said his decision to put the question to Pleasant Hill voters isn't a reaction to Lehmkuhl's performance.

"I support putting this on a the ballot because it's the modern way," he said.

The election will cost Pleasant Hill about $19,000. If voters approve making the position appointed, a staff member who answers to the city manager will assume the clerk's duties.

A measure to recall Lehmkuhl also may appear on the November ballot. The city certified the recall petition last week, so supporters have until mid-July to collect 3,800 signatures.

The desire for professionally trained and certified clerks accountable to city officials has been driving the trend toward making it an appointed office. According to the League of California Cities, voters in 132 of the state's 482 cities elect the city clerk. In Contra Costa County, only Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Antioch and Pittsburg still have elected city clerks.

City clerks perform such critical tasks as preparing meeting minutes, maintaining official records and administering elections. They also ensure that municipalities comply with federal, local and state laws, including California's open meeting and public records acts.

However, in Pleasant Hill the city attorney is responsible for public records requests and compliance with the Brown Act. The city manager's office handles elections, campaign finance and records management.

Weir cautioned his colleagues against a "knee-jerk reaction" to Lehmkuhl's troubles. Although he favors keeping the clerk an elected position, Weir agreed voters should have the opportunity to make the call.

Under fire again Monday, Lehmkuhl sought to defend herself. She said she had little relevant training when she became clerk, and received neither support from city staff nor a budget to help her perform her duties. Lehmkuhl also accused council members and city staffers of having, "thrown (her) under the bus."

She also pointed out that Weir and Harris are up for re-election in November.

"There's a problem here and it's not accurate or fair to place it completely at my feet," said Lehmkuhl, who assured the council she will complete the outstanding minutes by the March 31 deadline.

Lisa P. White covers Concord and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.