The vital bridge between the local government and the citizens of a certain town is the town clerk. Being a significant actor in a town's administration, a town clerk handles a multitude of tasks. The next paragraphs will help all of us to understand what are the main duties and responsibilities of a town clerk and what educational and skills requirements are there, if someone is interested in filling up such a position.
Education and Training Requirements
In order to become a town clerk, a person interested in this line of work should at least have an associate degree in accounting, computer, business education, office procedures or other related field. Apart from this minimum educational requirement, one should also have clerical experience, including public relations experience as well.
There are however, certain towns that require as minimum absolute educational requirement a bachelor's degree in a related field, an associate degree being insufficient. Another detail worth mentioning is the fact that with the purpose of becoming a town clerk one needs a certification. In order to obtain a certification as a registered municipal clerk, one should have some years of working experience in this area, should hold the minimum educational requirement stated in the certification's rules, should endorse the Code of Ethics for Clerks and should pass an exam. Depending on the state, this certification should be renewed at different numbers of years.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skills Requirements
An efficient town clerk should have an excellent verbal and written communication skills and strong interpersonal skills, as he or she enters in contact with all sort of people, such as other Town officials, employees and the public. He or she should also have solid knowledge of modern office practices, procedures and techniques, and of bookkeeping. A town clerk should be proficient when it comes to computer use or typewriter use. He or she should prove that he/she has the ability to prepare records and to maintain them. It is understood that a town clerk should posses a thorough understanding of the duties and responsibilities of town and city clerks, as indicated in the State statutes.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Town Clerk
- As mentioned earlier, a town clerk is the link between the town council and the citizens, and with that in mind, he or she should respond to public grievances in a prompt manner
- Prepare document proceedings and minutes of the town meetings, after organizing and attending those meetings, handle issues of permits, zoning issues and other documents of relevance and other related activities
- Act as the custodian of the official Town seal and serve as Acting Town Manager during the Town Manager's absence
- It is also among a town clerk's responsibilities to maintain a public information service and records of all the deaths, births and marriages within that town
- He or she is also responsible for updating, uploading and managing a town's website with resolutions, processes, procedures and agendas