How important is a Municipal Clerk to the effective management of a local government? In our recent North America Wide Survey of 15,000 Clerks we asked them to share information about their responsibilities outside of agenda and minutes management. Respondents identified nearly 50 unique roles they are taking on in addition to the core duties of being a Clerk. Most Clerks will tell you they ‘wear multiple hats’ in their organization. But for the first time we have a complete picture into just how many Clerks are being asked to go above and beyond.
Findings of Our Survey
About 50% of Clerks that responded in our North American Municipal Clerks survey say ‘they wear 2 or more hats’. Nearly 20% wear 3 or more hats, including the core function of agenda and minutes management.
As you can see in the image below, Clerks are much more likely to take on additional responsibilities at smaller organizations. There is a strong correlation between the size of an organization and how many different roles a Clerk is expected to fill.
There’s a steep drop in the number of Clerks wearing multiple hats as the population size being served by a local government increases. More local tax dollars, means a larger staff – so it’s not surprising to see this trend. But it’s clear the ‘breaking point’ is in the 10,000 population range. It’s the point where budget is available to hire multiple clerks with more specialized duties.
3 Key Learnings
- Clerks are hard to replace! The duties are a bit different from organization to organization and finding a person with the skill set needed to quickly replace a departing Clerk can be difficult.
- It becomes more clear why Clerks are sometimes a bit of an unknown entity in the public. Clerks are multi-tasking specialists who play a major role in making government run smoothly and effectively. So when someone asks… what does a Clerk do? It’s not one thing, but a collection of important and sometimes very different activities to ensure a local government runs smoothly.
- If a local government can’t afford to hire a new full-time Clerk, a cost effective measure is to look at technology to help make internal processes more efficient. Paperless Agenda solutions cost local governments a fraction of the salary of a full time employee and can reduce the time it takes to manage meetings by 50% or more. Learn more by watching this short video!