About the Clerk


The term “Clerk” is an ancient and honorable one. It comes from the early middle ages when churches regulated many local government matters and only clergymen were educated and could write; therefore, the idea of a Clerk as a writer, keeper of records and local official comes from this history. The first settlers in America soon created the office of parish or town clerk, and the post continues today as an essential position in municipal government. Every municipality in the nation, regardless of size or form of government, usually has a clerk or equivalent position.

In Florida, the Municipal Clerk is an important and exacting position in municipal government. The Clerk is expected to know virtually everything about the operation of the municipal and how to accomplish all that needs to be done. Even when the Clerk is not an expert, the clerk’s office must know where to refer a question or problem for proper action or answer. The role of the municipal Clerk has been well described by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks:

“The Municipal Clerk’s office can be truly called the hub of local government. It is the Clerk who is the contact between the citizens and the government. It is he/she to whom most complaints are brought. The Clerk gives advice on many subjects, not necessarily relating to the government, but by his/her contact with the public, they for a great part place confidence in him/her as the one who can answer most any question. The Clerk can, if he/she so desires, wield a great measure of influence in his/her community.”

Professional Development and Advancement

To be most effective and assure that proper laws and procedures are followed, the Municipal Clerk must keep abreast of new information and developments. This involves reading books and periodicals, consulting with colleagues, experts and professionals, and taking advantage of the opportunities for outside study through seminars, conferences, and college course work. The Municipal Clerk must keep abreast of changes in legislation and office technology. New statutes on public ethics, financial disclosure, and election laws must be closely monitored and observed. It is also important to be aware of changing trends and public opinion. The Municipal Clerk often serves as the public information officer and media contact for the municipal government. The Municipal Clerk has an obligation to serve faithfully the administrative authority of the municipality as well as the governing body.

International Institute of Municipal Clerks Professional Code

  • To uphold constitutional government and the laws of the community.
  • To conduct their public and private life as to be an example to their fellow citizens.
  • To impart to their profession those standards of quality and integrity that the conduct of the affairs of their office shall be above reproach and merit public confidence in their community.
  • To be ever mindful of their neutrality and impartiality, rendering service to all and to extend the same treatment you wish to receive yourself.
  • To record that which is true and preserve that which is entrusted to them as if it were their own.
  • To strive constantly to improve the administration of the affairs of their office consistent with applicable laws and through sound management practices to produce continued progress and so fulfill my responsibilities to my community and others.
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