The Position of Municipal Clerk
Commonly known as Township Clerk, is governed by State statute. The position requires appointment by the governing body, and ultimately must be held by a Registered Municipal Clerk, a state issued certification following successful completion of specific coursework and exam.
The role of Municipal Clerk is one of significant responsibility and diversification. The principal or “core” duties of a municipal clerk are defined by State statute as the following:
- Secretary to the Governing Body
- Secretary to the Municipal Corporation
- Election Administrator and Registrar of Voters
- Administrative and Licensing Officer
- Custodian of Records
These “core” duties encompass a myriad of state statutes and include interaction with all levels of government, federal, state, county, and local, most municipal departments, local organizations, and residents. Each one of the aforementioned duties includes numerous responsibilities and tasks that are undertaken by the Municipal Clerk and staff.
As Secretary to the Governing Body (Township Council), the Municipal Clerk attends all Council meetings; records minutes; prepares the Council meeting agenda, resolutions and meeting packets; receives and opens bids and RFP’s; administers and records Oaths of Office; processes correspondence and records; files and advertises ordinances and acts as a liaison between the public and the governing body.
The Municipal Clerk, as Secretary to the Municipal Corporation, signs official documents, has custody of the Township Seal and attests the signature of the Mayor and other Township officials.
As Election Official, the Municipal Clerk registers voters and is responsible for running the Municipal (May), Primary and General Elections, including furnishing election material, determining the validity of petitions, tallying the votes and certifying election results.
The Municipal Clerk also issues various licenses, i.e. Bingo, Raffle, Liquor, Amusement Business, Amusement Device, Limo, Gas Station, Rental Property, etc.; furnishes data to the public, provides copies of Ordinances, Resolutions and other information requested by the public and personnel.
Additionally, the Municipal Clerk’s Office is often referred to as the doorway to the community because of the diversification of the position, and often serves a direct link between the municipality’s residents and local government. If the Municipal Clerk is unable to directly assist you, be assured that you will be referred to the appropriate party or pointed in the right direction, literally and figuratively.
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