Talk:Municipal clerk

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Talk from pre-merger[edit]

I am posting here the talk page comments from City clerk, Town clerk, and County clerk that existed before the merger into this article. (Village clerk, which also redirects here now, had no talk page comments to move).

From Town Clerk[1][edit]

Town Clerk gown[edit]

--Charlie Huang 【遯卋山人】 13:07, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

It seems to me that City clerk and Town clerk may be covering the same ground, but I'm not sure. I started looking at these to see which one was closest to Village clerk (for which I wanted to create a redirect instead of a new article), and while I chose to link it to Town clerk, I'm left wondering if all three positions wouldn't just fit in one article. If someone who knows about these would care to comment, I'd be interested in what you had to say. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:35, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

The problem is the differences. There are country differences which have to be treated. There may be regional differences in the US. Both of these for one position, not three. Merging three tends to create havoc in trying to outline the article with people adding exceptions all over the place. Harder to do with three separate articles.
Take a look at New England town which should be "about the same" for the entire New England states. It is a monstrosity with nearly no hope of readability! A good idea gone bad. Sometimes separate is better, unfortunately. Student7 (talk) 12:52, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

From City Clerk[2][edit]

Merge proposal[edit]

It seems to me that City clerk and Town clerk may be covering the same ground, but I'm not sure. I started looking at these to see which one was closest to Village clerk (for which I wanted to create a redirect instead of a new article), and while I chose to link it to Town clerk, I'm left wondering if all three positions wouldn't just fit in one article. If someone who knows about these would care to comment, I'd be interested in what you had to say. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:35, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

From County Clerk[3][edit]

How long is the term for county clerk?

In the U.S., it depends on the state. In Michigan, all of the countywide elected officials (sheriff, clerk, treasurer, prosecuting attorney, etc.) were elected to two-year terms until 1964, four-year terms since then. I expect that most states have a roughly similar history. In some states, perhaps, it depends on the specific county. Kestenbaum 18:15, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Title needs to change as a result of merger of "county clerk"[edit]

The merger of county clerk into this article creates a serious inconsistency. In most U.S. states, a county is a division of the state government, as opposed to a municipal corporation with independent existence. The title should then change to Clerk (government official). Any objections? --Coolcaesar (talk) 00:56, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, my initial response is no, though I'm certainly open to discussion. First of all, I don't think I share your understanding of the relationship between the state government and the smaller governments. Cities, townships, and counties are all subdivisions of the state. And, unlike the federal relationship between the states and the US government (the relevant quality here being that the neither the states nor the federal government is dependent on the other for its existence), the state governments are essentially unitary in nature. While the exact relationships between each state and its subdivisions differ, there are no states in which the subservient role of the various municipal units is not a fact. In some states, many cities have a large degree of autonomy, in others, much less so. In some states, counties have significant autonomy, including taxing authority. So right now, I'm not sure I'm with you. Please feel free to explain more, however. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:42, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a significant difference between municipalities and counties. Municipalities are (with a few exceptions) state chartered organizations operating as a third-tier of government; see Political divisions of the United States. The second-tiers (usually counties) comprise the state geographically. Municipalities occasionally comprise a second-tier entity. Second-tier entities (counties) are not chartered corporations but direct subdivisions of the states. Third-tier cities in the U.S. do not subdivide counties.

Suggest splitting the county functionality out to its own article (as it was originally) to avoid convoluted phrasing to separate municipalities and counties.
SBaker43 (talk) 02:22, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Uninformative...[edit]

This article gives very little information about the kind of work a town clerk actually does.77Mike77 (talk) 00:00, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

That's a fair point, Mike, but there's a couple of reasons for that. For one, as the person who probably did the greatest amount of work creating what you see here, I am an American, and was able to put in details only for the US. But also (and this is my second point), there is little that can be stated definitively because of the fact that the job is so varied depending on the jurisdiction. I've tried to include as much detail as I can that applies to the jurisdictions noted, but beyond that, it is difficult to generalize. The key thing to get out of the article is simply that "clerk" given to someone in municipal government, but that his duties vary depending on the specific municipality. Sorry it doesn't tell you more. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:12, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

My point is that not everyone (in North America) has noticed the connection between the word "clerk" and the word "clerical", and so to say that the Town Clerk does pretty much anything, depending on the location, could mean that he/she might sweep floors, stack boxes, water the plants, stand guard at the entrance, place tickets on over-parked cars, respond to calls about burned-out streetlights, etc. I won't edit it myself, but maybe you could add a simple sentence like, "The town clerk generally does work of a clerical nature, such as record-keeping, filing, taking the minutes of the meetings, and so on." Another thing concerns pronunciation: in Britain, they pronounce "clerk" as "clark". 77Mike77 (talk) 18:23, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

The municipal clerk is responsible for record-keeping and other administrative functions, but the municipal clerk might be the head of a department or of several departments that perform these duties. It is essentially an executive position, not a clerical position. This is the type of confusion that has caused the position to be retitled in some places, as in New Zealand (mentioned in the article), and in Philadelphia, where the position is now titled chief administrative officer. Of course, in a very small town, the town clerk might be the only employee in the department, and therefore have to perform all the clerical duties personally, but to say that the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk of Los Angeles County is a "clerical worker" is a fundamental misunderstanding of his role and responsibilities! Jack N. Stock (talk) 04:54, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

Country order[edit]

Seems that one of our Kiwi editors has sought to use this article as an opportunity to promote NZ; the order in the article has been changed to (the ostensibly) neutral state of alphabetical order. I thought historical order, that is, the order in which the position developed in various countries, was a more sensible arrangement, but upon further review, I see the articles are largely bereft of historical info, so that's not important, and I'll not change them (besides, my Yankee ego is strong enough to stand up against this challenge). However, I find the extra layer of headings to be unnecessary, and will remove them. Cheers, all! HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:43, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

It looks sort of, well, wrong without having all the countries under a "by country" header. How about this as a compromise: take out the level three header for the US states (use the ";" instead)? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 03:52, 29 December 2012 (UTC)
Hey, it's not really that important to me. Go ahead and put it the way you had it. No worries, mi kiwisimo. HuskyHuskie (talk) 22:43, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 11 March 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. (non-admin closure) TonyBallioni (talk) 00:42, 20 March 2017 (UTC)


Clerk (municipal official)Municipal clerk – Maybe it's too late, but this should have been moved to municipal clerk when we had the chance. This title would be simpler and more intuitive. Nobody is asked their job and replies, "oh, I'm a clerk (municipal official)" or "I'm a keeper (animal care)" or anything in that style. Google it, you'll find that "municipal clerk" is a common term for this position, and the certification is Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC). Similarly, the certification (in the USA) for a municipal finance officer is Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO), not "certified finance officer (municipal official)." Even worse, the real-world generic term for this position is a redlink! I'd go ahead and boldly move this, but I see the page title has already been subject of considerable discussion. Your thoughts? Jack N. Stock (talk) 22:25, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

I just saw that the second paragraph in the lead begins "The duties of a municipal clerk..." Jack N. Stock (talk) 22:41, 11 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as "clerk" is concise and not subject to different usage in different countries. "Municipal clerk", on the other hand, is certainly uncommon in New Zealand at least. Lastly, the way the proposer comments on nobody introducing themselves as a "clerk (municipal official)" would suggest a fundamental misunderstanding of what disambiguation on Wikipedia is for, and how it is to be used. Schwede66 05:01, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
    • I was more thinking of WP:NAME. The example you mock refers particularly to naturalness, but also to conciseness. "Clerk" is concise, but "Clerk (municipal official)" is not so concise. As for NZ use, the title there is Chief Executive and previously Chief Administrative Officer, so I suspect the use of "clerk" in any form would be uncommon for this position.
      • Recognizability – although many people would not commonly use the title "municipal clerk," it is more recognizable and accurately descriptive than "clerk" or "chief executive" or many other alternatives.
      • Naturalness – this is the title that the 9,500-member International Institute of Municipal Clerks chooses. Unfortunately, there are many different titles used around the English-speaking world, so no one title is going to seem completely natural to everyone. It is more natural than the current title.
      • Precision – there is no confusion that the word "municipal" adequately modifies the word "clerk" to specifically refer to this position.
      • Conciseness – my proposal is more concise than the current title, and nobody is seriously proposing the title be simply "clerk."
      • Consistencycourt clerk, law clerk, and many other articles are titled in similar style for various occupations.
Also, the title should recognize that a municipal clerk is not someone who does general office tasks, not a clerk in the general sense. This is usually an executive position (hence the CE/CAO titles in NZ), so the term "municipal clerk" means something different to "clerk (municipal)." Jack N. Stock(talk) 05:43, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.