Celebrate Municipal Clerk Week by learning more about the City Clerk profession in the first of this blog series.
Greetings, Redwood City!
Welcome to the City Clerk Corner, a new blog series brought to you by staff in the City Clerk’s Office. The purpose of the City Clerk Corner is to deepen the connection between community and local government by highlighting important topics and sharing helpful information regarding services provided by the Office of the City Clerk. Upcoming topics include navigating the City Council meeting process; Board, Commission and Committee information; Public Records Act (PRA) requests; City Council redistricting; and more! Our goal is to promote transparency and greater access to City information, records, and legislative and democratic processes. We look forward to further connecting with you!
First, allow us to introduce ourselves — below is the City Clerk team and our various roles and responsibilities. “What does a City Clerk do?” is a very frequently asked question and we hope this information is helpful in getting to know more about the City Clerk profession.
History of the Municipal Clerk
The municipal clerk, along with the tax collector, is the earliest of public servants. The Office of Municipal Clerk can be traced back to the year 1272 A.D. in the history of the Corporation of Old London. During the 1500s in England, there was not only the “Towne Clarke” but also the “Clerc Comptroller of the King’s Honorable Household.” In 1603, there was a “Clarke General of the Armie.” King Henry VIII had a “Clarke of the Spicery” and King Charles had his “Clerk of the Robes.”
Over the years, Municipal Clerks have become the hub of government, the direct link between the communities they serve and their government.
The eminent political scientist, Professor William Bennett Munro, writing in one of the first textbooks on municipal administration, stated:
“No other office in municipal service has so many contacts. It serves the Mayor, the City Council, the City Manager (when there is one), and all administrative departments, without exception. All of them call upon it, almost daily, for some service or information. Its work is not spectacular, but it demands versatility, alertness, accuracy, and no end of patience. The public does not realize how many loose ends of city administration this office pulls together.”
Municipal Clerks Week: May 2–8, 2021
This year, the 52nd Annual Professional Municipal Clerks Week will be celebrated from May 2–8.
Initiated in 1969 by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), and endorsed by all of its members throughout the United States, Canada, and 15 other countries, the week is a time of celebration and reflection on the importance of the Clerk’s office. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation that officially declared Municipal Clerks Week the first full week of May, and in 1994 and 1996, President Bill Clinton also signed proclamations confirming Municipal Clerks Week.
At its meeting on April 26, 2021, the Redwood City City Council issued a proclamation recognizing Municipal Clerks Week and commended the City Clerk team for all their recent work and accomplishments.
To learn more about the City Clerk’s Office and the services we provide, visit our web page here.