The office of the Municipal Clerk is an important part of the machinery of local government. The Office of the Municipal Clerk is the hub of government, the direct link between the residents and the government. The Clerk is the historian of the community for the entire recorded history of the town and its people. No other office in municipal service has so many contacts. The Clerk serves the Mayor, the Governing Body, the Manager and all administrative departments without exception. All of them call upon the Clerk, almost daily, for some service or information. The work is not spectacular, but it demands versatility, alertness, accuracy and no end of patience. This office pulls together many loose ends of public administration.
Duties of the Municipal Clerk
The position of Municipal Clerk is so important to the workings of local government that in New Jersey it is mandated by statute that a Town must appoint a Municipal Clerk. There are 566 Clerks in the state of New Jersey. The statute also describes some of the core duties of the Clerk, such as:
- The Clerk shall act as: secretary to the Municipal Corporation and the custodian of the municipal seal and all minutes, books, deeds, bonds, contracts, and archival records of the corporation.
- The Clerk shall act as: secretary to the governing body, prepare meetings agendas, be present at all meetings of the governing body, keep a journal of the proceedings of every meeting, retain the original copies of all ordinances and resolutions and record the minutes of every meeting.
- The Clerk shall act as: the chief administrative officer in all elections held in the municipality.
- The Clerk shall act as: chief registrar of voters in the municipality.
- The Clerk shall act as: the administrative officer responsible for the acceptance of applications for licenses and permits and the issuance of licenses and permits.
- The Clerk shall act as: the coordinator and records manager responsible for implementing local archives and records retention programs as mandated.
- Also the Clerk shall perform such other duties as imposed by statute or municipal ordinance. The office is also responsible for the maintaining of municipal records such as minutes, resolutions, ordinances and updating of the Municipal Code.
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