Honoring Our Municipal Clerks

By Ryan Gayman, Government Partnerships Advisor · May 06, 2021

This week is the 52nd Annual Professional Municipal Clerks Week. Clerks have the immense responsibility of providing the infrastructure that ensures residents have seamless access to and experiences with their government. Unfortunately, these champions of organization and communication are often not highly visible in our government operations.

What results is a limited understanding of what clerks do and how important they are to the government operations that directly impact millions of lives across the U.S. As Engaging Local Government Leaders — one of the leading networks of local professionals — once put it, clerks are the nerve center of government.

The importance of clerks has only increased during the pandemic, as governments have shifted operations and adopted new, often digital practices to ensure that interacting with government and public information remain transparent and accessible. Based on clerks’ central importance, we (especially folks in the world of “government technology”) should be doing much more to elevate the voices of these public service leaders.

At Column, we are delighted that our team has the opportunity to work with dozens of clerks across the U.S. who use our tools to support one of their many responsibilities: managing public notices. Moreover, we are thankful that clerks continue to be so generous with their time and share their expertise on the world of public notice. Thanks to these clerks, the tools we build actually tackle the challenges that government professionals face when managing the public notice process. Finally, we appreciate how clerks have leaned in to trying new solutions like Column. Too often the government is portrayed as slow to adopt new things. However, in our experience, clerks have been champions for change.

In celebration of Professional Municipal Clerks Week, we wanted to take a second to give thanks to clerks for all that they do behind the scenes, as well as provide some suggestions for how you can support them.

How can you support municipal clerks?

  • Educate yourself. One of the easiest things that you can do is learn about the pivotal role and responsibilities of municipal clerks. To start, check out the International Institute of Municipal Clerks website for more information. Next, check out your own municipality’s website and visit the clerk’s page to get to know your own local clerk.
  • Say thanks by email. After you learn how important clerks are in managing local government and you find contact information for your own community’s municipal clerk, take the time to send that person a short appreciation email. Clerks are the channel connecting the public and local government — as such, they are very approachable!
  • Give a shoutout on Twitter. Make your appreciation public — post a tweet that tags your municipality and clerk accounts. Join the hundreds of others showing their support for municipal clerks by including the hashtag #MunicipalClerksWeek in your post.

From coast to coast, municipal clerks are keystones of our local governments, who work tirelessly to ensure that public interest information and government services are accessible to all residents. We hope that you’ll take the time to learn more about these critical public service leaders and support their work in 2021 and beyond.

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