Just what is a City Clerk, and what is the City Clerk's place in government?
The City Charter of Youngstown, approved in 1923 empowered City Council to appoint a City Clerk as well as their staff. The official functions and duties of the City Clerk are much like the Secretary of State. The City Clerk is a Department Head responsible for the legislative operations of the city and directly accountable to the City Council. The City Clerk has direct signature authority and their signature is required on all Ordinances Resolutions, and other official documents of the City. The City Clerk's office is a citywide information and document resource, and is the official records management office for City Council. Every municipality in the United States has a City Clerk or someone who functions as one. The Clerk serves at the pleasure of Council.
The City Clerk handles a myriad of duties relating to the official business of City Council and its committees. It is incumbent on the City Clerk to be informed and to keep the City Council members informed.
- Maintain custody, control, filing and storage of all legislation, books, papers, minutes and other written and records documents and materials pertaining to the operation of city government
- Oversees, guides and tracks the entire legislative process, from introduction of proposed legislation to final approval and publication
- Creates agendas for Council members
- Coordinates and schedules official City Council meetings and public hearings, recording each for permanent record
- Accepts petitions filed by citizens
- Furnishes to the general public copies of all transcripts, legislation, orders, certificates, meeting notices and other matters of public information
- Acts as a liaison with City departments, outside agencies, other branches of government and the general public on behalf of City Council
- Responsible for documenting and following thorough on all requests of Council for information documents and reports from various administrative units of municipal governments and maintains a file of the results of these requests
- Management of administrative clerical support staff
The City Clerk's Office is responsible for recording minutes for Legislative and Standing Committee Meetings, as well as Public Hearings. Each of these sessions is recorded. Minutes are also recorded verbatim and transcribed. These minutes are kept on file in the City Clerk's office and copies are made available upon request.
All proposed Ordinances and Resolutions are submitted to the City Clerk's Office for processing. The Clerk's Office is responsible for making sure that all proposed legislation is introduced by Council, assigned a bill number, place in proper committee, discussed in Committee Meeting, and before Council for final action deemed by Council. All legislation receiving final approval is then signed by the Council President and City Clerk, and forwarded to the Mayor for signature of approval. The Mayor has ten (10) days to act on the legislation. Once the Mayor approves the legislation, it is returned to the City Clerk's Office. The City Clerk's Office then records the legislation and issues a Resolution or Ordinance number. Resolutions and Ordinances are advertised in the newspaper.
The legislative processes such as, agenda preparation and packets/files of Council generate other processes.
Proposed Legislation Introduced in Council
On 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Council conducts their Caucus Meeting. At this meeting proposed legislation is introduced by Council Members. The pieces of legislation are given an affirmative recommendation, a negative recommendation, or may be held pending additional information, the scheduling of public hearings for reports and recommendation from City departments. Legislation may also be tabled, which means that no action is taken. The legislation is given a number, which is used as a reference for tracking prior to its final passage. The Consent Agenda is prepared after introduction.
- Promote effective communication among City Council, employees and the public
- Simplifying processes, procedures, and systems
- Treat the public with respect and dignity
- Staying abreast of current laws as well as any changes in the laws
- Preserving the City's history and making it available to the public through a highly effective and sound records management program
- Carrying out and promoting the organization goals of City Council