What Is A City Clerk?

A City Clerk is a clerk for a municipality. It is among the oldest public servant positions in government.

In the United States, a City Clerk is an appointed or elected official (like in Chicago) whose primary responsibility is to be the official keeper of all municipal records. In some places, the Clerk may be known as the "Village Clerk" or "Town Clerk".

A City Clerk is an office manager, accountant, purchasing agent, public relations specialist and customer service representative - all rolled up into one.

City Clerks champion the needs of municipalities and their populace from behind the scenes.

Because the City Clerk position is not always thrusted into the political spotlight like mayors and council members, misconceptions exist as to how important their job really is to the day-to-day operations of city business.


But what does a City Clerk actually do?

In Chicago, the City Clerk is the second highest ranking city official. More importantly, the Office of the City Clerk it is the most visited office in City Hall and neighborhood satellite sites. There are nearly 100 hard working men and women that help keep the day-to-day operations of the City Clerk's office running seamlessly.

The Chicago City Clerk's office is responsible for

  • Recording, tracking and managing all official city government records accurately and efficiently, including City Council legislation - this is its primary function
  • Issuing and collecting payment for the "wheel tax" via the Chicago City Vehicle Stickers
  • Issuing business and automatic amusement device licenses
  • Managing the city's dog registration program
  • Passing policy, when necessary
  • The City Clerk's office is absolutely essential in order to provide Chicagoans with easy, accurate and open access to their government

Interesting Facts

  • The Chicago City Clerk's office has a budget of approximately $9 million, but brings in approximately $120 million in revenue to the City
  • 1.3 million Chicago City Stickers are sold each year
  • The Illinois State legislature created the Chicago City Clerk's Office as an elected position in order to serve as an independent and separate voice of checks and balances to city government

Re-Elect City Clerk Susana Mendoza

In the City of Chicago 2015 Election on February 24, 2015, Chicagoans will have the opportunity to re-elect City Clerk Susana Mendoza, who remains committed to serving as that separate voice of checks and balances.

Learn more about her accomplishments as City Clerk and want she looking to do for the Office moving forward.