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City Clerk Denise Anderson-Warren to Retire

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By Jorge Casuso

September 13, 2023 -- When Denise Anderson-Warren joined the City Clerk's office homelessness was the hot-button issue and political factions were fighting for control of the City Council.

Twenty-nine years and more than a dozen Councils later, the same dynamic is gripping a vastly changed City as Anderson-Warren prepares to retire in December.

Denise Anderson-Warren

As City Clerk since 2016 Anderson-Warren has been Santa Monica's city elections official, political reform filing officer and compliance officer for the Public Records Act, Brown Act and local statutes.

She has also overseen the administration, elections and support services divisions of the City Clerk’s Office during a coronavirus lockdown that upended public services and meetings.

“Denise has expertly helmed the City Clerk’s office through some of its most challenging times, including transitioning City Council meetings to virtual meetings during the pandemic,” Mayor Gleam Davis said.

“Throughout it all she has been a knowledgeable and dedicated leader, and her career with the City has been an impressive one," Davis said. "I will miss seeing her on the dais every other Tuesday, but I wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Anderson-Warren served at the Clerk's office -- which provides support for some three dozen City Council meetings a year -- during the transition from print to digital records and electronic voting systems.

As City Clerk she implemented electronic filing systems for Campaign Disclosure Statements and Conflict of Interest Statements and helped facilitate electronic voting system upgrades for the City Council.

She also worked to standardize rules and procedures for boards, commissions and task forces and launched a "Civility Program" in a city where meetings can become highly emotional.

And she helped boost voter registration by promoting registration drives and was in charge of rolling out the Lobbyist registration ordinance.

In a City known for pioneering polices, Anderson-Warren oversees an office that often ushers agendas featuring cutting-edge legislation and manages hotly contested local elections.

Her office also is in charge of handling public records requests from a highly active citizenry and helping prep those planning to address the City Council.

Starting at the City Clerk’s Office as a Staff Assistant, Anderson-Warren has served in every position there but mail courier, she once said.

She worked her way up, serving as Deputy City Clerk, Records Management Coordinator, Support Services liaison, Administrative Analyst, Records and Election Services Manager and Assistant City Clerk before being appointed City Clerk.

“In my nearly three decades here, I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many staff, Council, and community members, and I’ve seen firsthand how much people care for our City and what a special place this is,” Anderson-Warren said.

“It has been an honor to spend my career serving the City of Santa Monica, and I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Anderson-Warren will remain in her position through the end of the year while the City, at Council’s direction, conducts a recruitment for her successor, City officials said.

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