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Dedication to public service, a passion for the city clerk role and a willingness to mentor and lead were just some of the reasons Best Best & Krieger LLP Director of Election Services Stephanie Smith was recently awarded the City Clerks Association of California’s Pat Hammers Spirit Award.
The Award, given in memory of Cathedral City’s City Clerk Pat Hammers, recognizes a California municipal clerk who exemplifies Pat’s spirit and dedication to the profession.
Before joining BB&K in December, Stephanie served as city clerk for the cities of Lake Forest and Murrieta. She was president of the CCAC’s Executive Board in 2018-2019 and often writes or teaches on topics ranging from city management to workplace change initiatives to financial planning. At BB&K, Stephanie brings her wealth of hands-on municipal government experience to her role helping public agencies navigate election laws. She is overseeing the launch of BB&K’s Election Law Resource Center, which helps California cities and other public agencies comply with all aspects of local elections, from calling the election and the nomination process to handling vacancies and redistricting issues.
Stephanie was nominated for the Pat Hammers Spirit Award by two former colleagues. Her former colleague at the City of Murrieta, Assistant City Clerk Jennifer Ransom, wrote about Stephanie in her nomination: “Her resilience in navigating change, aptitude for designing ad applying innovative programming and her unflappable commitment to a service leadership focus, especially in building relationships within the organizations she serves as well as across the city clerk profession, have provided a unique and inspiring example to myself and her team during an intense period of change. Stephanie has extensive knowledge and training in several disciplines, making her a precious resource for any institution.”
Stephanie’s former assistant city clerk at the City Lake Forest, Jennifer Connally, wrote in her submission: “Stephanie has always advocated for the clerk seat at the table. She knows the important influence the clerk can have in every day governance. She believes the clerk is the bridge between the government and the governed and she has integrated that belief in her work…”
Please join us in congratulating Stephanie for this honor!


Best Best & Krieger LLP is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With more than 200 attorneys, the law firm has 10 offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Ontario, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter or @BestBestKrieger on LinkedIn.

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Director of Election Services
Stephanie Smith

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