What is a Clerk?

This week Trustee Pramod Shah, who is running for clerk in the 2013 election, discusses the history of the clerk and what the duties are.


Tell Me How The Job Of A Village Clerk Evolved–

The municipal clerk is one of the oldest public servant positions in history and dates back to the great municipalities of Asia and Europe. Throughout history it was the job of the clerk to maintain the records and in ancient times, before writing, the clerk was the person whose memory was the public record. The position was considered very important since it dealt with the maintenance of a city’s records. There have been many important figures throughout history who have held this position. One of the most famous was Pepin the Younger who was the father of Charlemagne, who became the first Holy Roman Emperor after the fall of Rome1.

The term “clerk” as we know it was created towards the end of the middle ages in England. In ancient Hebrew times, the clerk was called the “Mazkir Ha’ir”, which means “reminder.” In Greece, the clerk was called the city secretary and in the Frankish Kingdom (modern day France), the clerk was called the “Mayor of the Palace.” No matter what the name, the job duties have not changed.

Tell Me What The Clerk Of The Village Of Skokie Does–

By Village code, the Village Clerk is the custodian of the Village Seal and affixes its impression on documents when required. By state statute, the Clerk is the keeper of the Village records which includes minutes and ordinances. The Village Clerk’s Office has numerous responsibilities, including filing, distributing, publishing and providing security for legal documents such as ordinances, resolutions, proclamations, agreements and minutes of the Board of Trustees’ meetings.

Citizen’s Assistance is another important aspect of the Village Clerk’s Office that falls under the Records Division. The Village Clerk’s Office provides a Citizen’s Assistance line that can help with inquiries about, and requests for, Village services. Additionally, Citizen’s Assistance directs residents to other agencies and organizations that offer needed services. Referrals are often given to agencies that provide consumer, legal, transportation, health, social, employment and other services.

The Skokie Village Clerk provides election services, with its primary goal to provide the greatest convenience to voting. The Election Division of the Village Clerk’s Office is responsible for all matters involving elections, and the Clerk is the local election official. Skokie residents can register to vote in the Village Clerk’s Office. The Clerk’s election duties include, but are not limited to voter registration and re-registration. Receiving certain nominating petitions and processing requests for lost voter registration cards.

The Clerk’s office is also involved in the verification and distribution of temporary handicapped parking placards and issuing real estate tax transfer stamps. Further, this division administers bicycle registration, the STAR bus registration process and the RTA senior/disabled passes.

Finally, the Village Clerk’s Office is responsible for processing Passports.

The Next Time You Are In Village Hall, Stop By The Clerk’s Office On The First Floor And Say Hi!

Each week we have a blog post and/or video where one or more representatives from our slate reaches out to a local business and resident to answer some of their questions.  If you have a question or want us to come to your business, click the link below.

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1San Antonio Municipal Office. (n.d.). History of the Municpal Clerk. Retrieved from http://www.sanantonio.gov/clerk/MunicipalClerksHistory.pdf.

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