You Need These 5 Skills to Be a Successful City Clerk

As a City Clerk, you serve the Mayor, City Council, City Manager, and all administrative departments. Your role demands versatility, alertness, accuracy, and extreme patience as you fulfill general office duties, keep records, provide customer service, complete meeting preparation, and election duties. Due to the complexity of these responsibilities, a variety of skills are needed to serve in this role.

If you want to be a successful city clerk, you need to have these five skills.


Reading Comprehension

You must respond to the public’s requests for public meeting agendas, minutes and other Freedom of Information Act requests. You prepare ordinances, resolutions, and agendas for council meetings and write up meeting minutes and manages local elections. You track follow-up actions after council meetings and send reminders to council members regarding these activities.

Active Listening

You help to administer municipal elections by preparing and distributing ballots, appointing and training election officers, and tabulating and certifying the results. You record and edit the minutes of meetings, then distribute them to officials and staff. You carry out budgeting duties such as preparation, expenditure review, and administration. You take and transcribe diction, type and proofread correspondence, and schedule appointments. You assist with bid openings and the awarding of contracts and collaborate with staff to develop and implement goals, objectives, policies, and priorities.


Because your city clerk role serves the Mayor, City Manager, City Council, and other administrative departments of the municipality, speaking is a vital skill. Your position may include acting as an accountant, public relations specialist, office manager, purchasing agent and customer service representative. You’re responsible for certifying and recording resolutions, regulations, and ordinances passed by the council. You work with city auditors, oversee city elections and administer oaths of office.


A significant amount of writing skills is necessary for your position of City Clerk. You’re responsible for writing agendas for city council, answering correspondence, and clocking the minutes of meetings. You prepare civic reports and monitor fiscal records and accounts. You draft reports on civic needs, tabulate election results and issue public notifications. You proofread memos, process claims against the municipality and prepare ordinances, resolutions and proclamations.


As a City Clerk, you must be skilled at coordination. You’re responsible for effective service delivery to residents, properly posting public meetings, and managing official records, documents, vital statistics, and financial records. You issue licenses and permits and record contracts and agreements, bids, deeds, maps, and licenses. You ensure that polling places meet standards of accessibility, distribute election supplies and equipment, and obtain lists of registered voters. You prepare ballots according to law, process applications for potential candidates for elected office and publicize elections and election results.


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