Unsung clerks serve as useful link

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In the hustle and bustle of getting the job done, sometimes we forget about those people who serve us. Most of the time they are faces behind the counter, who fulfill our requests for documents or information.

Municipal clerks generally get this short shrift. To the uninformed, they are keepers of the records and somebody to answer questions.

Here’s the rest: most city clerks have to undergo hours of training and professional development seminars. They have to be aware of the open meetings and records laws; they are responsible for carrying out elections in most cities; they are keepers of the minutes of the official meetings of city councils.

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This week is Municipal Clerks Week. The observance began in 1969.

So this week, if you visit the city hall in your city, tip your hat at the municipal clerk. After all, that person is the professional link between the regular folks like us, the local governing bodies and agencies of government at other levels.

That’s a lot more than standing behind a counter and being polite.