Law concept. Wooden judge gavel,scales of justice and books on table in a courtroom or enforcement office.

Scottsdale City Council appointed a new City Clerk to replace Carolyn Jagger, who is retiring from the city after nearly two decades on the job.

On Feb. 2, the Council approved the appointment of Benjamin Lane, a deputy city clerk in Phoenix since 2011, to take office on March 8.

Lane will earn an annual salary of $155,000 – $26,500 less than Jagger did during her last full year in office.

The city clerk is one of five city leadership positions expressly defined in the city’s charter. Charter officers – which include the city manager, city treasurer, city attorney and city auditor – are hired directly by Council.

Jagger was charged with reviewing those complaints and determining whether or not there was probable cause to forward them to the City Attorney. 

Council selected Lane from a field of five finalists that included Jennifer Ekblad, city clerk in Coronado, California; Keely Hartsell, former Maricopa County chief deputy recorder; Cherry Lawson, Marana town clerk; and Lucinda Williams, city clerk in Fullerton, California.

According to his application, Lane received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University and went on to earn a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Lane has worked for Phoenix since 2005 and spent over 10 years as a deputy city clerk.

He is a member of the Arizona Municipal Clerks’ Association and chairs its records management committee. He is also a member of the Arizona City/County Management Association and the American Society for Public Administration

As Scottsdale’s new clerk, Lane will wear a number of hats.

The clerk plays a central role in the city’s elections and is responsible for ensuring those elections are conducted in a fair and open manner.

In recent years, a lesser-known responsibility of the clerk came to light when a handful of citizens filed complaints alleging campaign finance violations by local PACs and candidates in connection with the 2018 and 2020 elections.

According to his application, Lane worked in the Phoenix Record and Elections Division, managing the election process, and was heavily involved in campaign finance reporting and producing candidate pamphlets for city elections.

The clerk is also responsible for recording and preserving city records, making those records accessible to the public and ensuring the city remains compliant with laws requiring public notice of meetings of the City Council and other bodies.

Lane oversaw Phoenix’ records management program and was responsible for ensuring essential records like city council meeting minutes were properly stored and accessible to the public.