MARTINEZ -- Eighteen people have applied for the $149,851-a-year Contra Costa County clerk-recorder post set to open when incumbent Steve Weir retires in March.

Applicants include former Contra Costa supervisor and Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla of Pittsburg and Weir's brother, Jack, who is a Pleasant Hill city councilman. The men appear to be the only candidates who have served in public office.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to interview the applicants on Feb. 5. The board could make its selection the same day or a week later, on Feb. 12.

The successful candidate will serve the remainder of Weir's four-year term. To keep the job, the candidate will have to win an election set for 2014.

Weir is leaving office March 29 after serving nearly a quarter of a century. He was appointed in 1989 after James Olsson, the clerk-recorder at the time, died. Weir ran and won in 1990 and was re-elected five times without opposition.

The clerk-recorder said he will not endorse anyone.

While vacancy appointments always have political undercurrents, Contra Costa's clerk-recorder also operates the county's elections. County supervisors will likely take great pains to consider the applicants' ability to demonstrate partisan impartiality along with management skills.

The best-known applicant is Canciamilla, 57, who served three terms in the Assembly as a Democrat following a single term on the Board of Supervisors.


Advertisement

The attorney and co-owner of the Pittsburg Funeral Chapel was one of the vocal moderates in Sacramento known as the "Mod Squad," which included members of both major parties who publicly tangled with their leaders. He registered as having "no party preference" in 2011.

Before being elected to the Pleasant Hill City Council in 2010, Jack Weir, 73, a registered Republican, was largely known in political circles as a vocal taxpayers' advocate. Weir vociferously opposed the city's proposed utility tax hike on the same ballot, and it was a winning strategy -- he was the top vote-getter, while the tax failed.

Weir also runs his own organizational change consulting company, whose clients have included the Oakley Unified School District and New Directions Counseling Service. He said he would resign his city seat if the supervisors select him.

Among the other clerk-recorder applicants, five live outside the county and are ineligible. Several failed to complete the supplementary questionnaire.

Some of the other candidates:

  • Cheryl Sudduth of El Sobrante, the director of contracts and compliance for Goodwill Industries of Oakland for the past decade. Sudduth also ran as a Democrat against incumbent Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, in the 2012 primary.

  • Yolanda Manullang of Richmond, whose most recent job was a six-month stint as an administrative assistant for Liberty Tax Service.

  • Skyler Maxwell of Pittsburg, a former Tri Delta Transit bus operator.

  • Stephen Murphy of Pleasant Hill, a UC Berkeley basketball statistician and real estate agent.

  • Robert Sayavong of Richmond, a seasonal data entry person for Alameda County election department.

    Contact Lisa Vorderbrueggen at 925-945-4773, lvorderbrueggen@bayareanewsgroup.com, www.politicswithlisav.blogspot.com or Twitter.com/lvorderbrueggen.

    fast facts: Contra Costa clerk-recorder
    Type: Elected, nonpartisan, four-year term
    Duties: Run the county election system; oversee clerk-recorder functions such as deeds, fictitious business names and marriage licenses; and serve as the county's commissioner of civil marriage.
    Money and workforce: $14.3 million annual budget and 86 employees.
    Minimum qualifications: U.S. citizen, a registered voter and a Contra Costa County resident.
    Pay: $149,851.20 a year plus benefits. Must work at least 10 years with the county to qualify for a pension, although prior public employment may count. Salary is set by the board of supervisors.
    Source: Times research