The City Secretary, or Municipal Clerk, is the oldest public servant role in recorded history. The earliest Clerks appeared around 5,000 B.C. with the invention of writing. Biblical reference to the Town Clerk is found in the Book of Acts chapter 19 verse 35. In ancient Greece, the Town Clerk read official documents publicly at the opening of each meeting, and pronounced a curse upon anyone who sought to deceive the people. Although City Secretaries no longer pronounce curses at meetings (well, most of us don’t), we are still the Keepers of the Archives as we record, maintain and safeguard the history of our City government. Every city in Texas is required to have a City Secretary as soon as it is formed. Although the duties are different for every city, there are core duties that all City Secretaries perform, some of which are required by the Texas Local Government Code. These duties include administering elections, managing records, coordinating public information requests, preparing agendas, recording minutes and facilitating City Council meetings, swearing in municipal officers, and codifying ordinances approved by City Council.
Duties & Responsibilities
The city secretary is an officer of the city, appointed by the City Council. The Position of city secretary is a statutory position. In addition to the statutory duties of the position, the city secretary serves as director of the City Secretary Department consisting of the City Secretary's Office, Records Management, Mayor / Council services, Municipal Court, Open Records Requests, and the Public Information Office. The City Secretary's Office is responsible for the preparation and dissemination of City Council meeting agendas and packets. The City Secretary must attend every meeting of the City Council and keep accurate minutes of the proceedings, engrossing and enrolling all laws, ordinances, and resolutions of the City Council.
The Office of the City Secretary is the administrative agency responsible for the care and maintenance of all City of Llano records. This office houses all legal transactions, City Council minutes, agendas, deeds, ordinances, resolutions, contracts and a vast array of other historical and regulatory information. the city secretary is designated as the city's records management officer by state law. She is responsible for developing and administering a records retention and destruction policy, monitoring the records storage centers, overseeing the control of electronically stored records and upgrading technology to provide for efficient and economic storage of records.
In addition to these duties, the City Secretary's Office responds to requests for city records filed each year under the Texas Public Information Act. The city secretary serves as the chief election official for the City of Llano. The city secretary provides staff support, guidance and prepares submissions to the U. S. Department of Justice for pre-clearance of election issues under the Federal Voting Rights Act.
The mission of the City Secretary’s office is to promote open and responsive government through proper recording, maintenance, and preservation of the City's legislative history and official documents; provide responsive customer service to our citizens and neighbors; conduct fair and impartial City elections; enhance public participation in the municipal government process; and improve public access to municipal records.
The Texas Local Government Code §22.074 states that a person may be certified to serve as City Secretary. Such training and certification is vital given the importance and complexities of the position of City Secretary. The Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program requires the City Secretary to complete an extensive and rigorous certification program consisting of: completing 200 hours of university-level coursework, successfully passing four examinations, and attending eight seminars over a 3-year period.