Municipal Clerks Week is May 1-7

Municipal Clerks Week is May 1-7

22nd March 2011

Faith Elford / Membership/Mentoring Committee

Please share this information with your councils and boards. With all the issues and negative focus on public employees, now more then ever it's important to recognize the knowledge, responsibilities, and value of the clerks.

Municipal Clerks Week
HISTORY
Municipal Clerks Week was initiated in 1969 by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) and is endorsed by all of its members throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries. In 1984 and in 1994, Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, respectively, signed a Proclamation officially declaring Municipal Clerks Week the first full week of May and recognizing the essential role Municipal Clerks play in local government.

The true worth of the Municipal Clerk and Deputy Clerk is often not realized,” said IIMC President Sharon K. Cassler, MMC, Clerk of Council in the City of Cambridge, Ohio. “But Clerks perform some of the principal functions of the democratic process."
“One of the most important responsibilities Clerks administer is advising their municipality’s council of the legislative restrictions that apply to the ordinances and resolutions they wish to enact,” said Cassler.
Municipal Clerks and Deputy Clerks main functions are to serve as the council’s foundation. Other duties include, but are not limited to, preparing agendas, taking minutes, maintaining ordinance and resolutions files, keeping the municipality’s historical records, processing permits and serving as the clearinghouse for information about the local government.
They also record the actions of the various commissions and committees appointed by the council. Many serve as financial officers or treasurers and, in small municipalities, may act as chief administrative officers. Another important responsibility is administering part or all of the local election functions.
“The public often takes the administration of an election for granted,” stated Cassler. “In reality, it takes Municipal Clerks months to organize and prepare this key element in the democratic process which must be done correctly for the whole system to work.”
One of local government’s oldest positions is the Municipal Clerk. Their duties have expanded over the years and, today, modern technology assists them with their increasing responsibilities. To stay abreast of new computer applications, records management and other relevant information, many Municipal and Deputy Clerks return to the classroom to increase their knowledge of these issues, learn new material and sharpen old skills.
“Because some elements of government are constantly changing, Clerks must stay current of changes so they can advise their council and inform their community,” said Cassler. “As the focus of each level of government changes, Clerks must also adapt.”
TYPICAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MUNICIPAL CLERK:
• Maintains the official council minutes, ordinance books and all records and documents.
• Indexes all official actions of council.
• Issues licenses and permits.
• Processes contracts and agreements.
• Keepers of community history and vital records.
• Receives, distributes and files correspondence from citizens and other governmental agencies.
• Administers elections, registration and voting.
• Acts as a key liaison between local government and its citizens.
• Handles significant financial responsibilities including preparation of tax rolls, special assessments and budgets.
• Provides central services such as personnel, purchasing, etc.

Please use the sample Proclamation provided, or a printable version is on the WMCA website at www.wisclerks.org, to recognize your municipal clerk and their staff for the hard work they do serving your community.
 

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