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Columbus News

Posted on: July 27, 2023

CITY GOVERNMENT 101: What does the City Clerk's Office do?


“City Government 101” is an ongoing series that debuted in April 2023 that highlights different aspects of municipal government as it pertains to Columbus, Nebraska, in hopes to provide information on how the City of Columbus operates. Please send questions and suggestions to

You’ve probably overheard someone you know at one time or another say they’ve got to make a trip to the City Clerk’s Office. But admit it, maybe you were a little too cool to ask why they needed to stop there.

A city clerk is one of the oldest public service positions, dating back to ancient Greece. In the United States, the office of city clerk was one of the first to be established when early colonists set up local governments.

Nowadays, a city clerk is an elected or appointed senior official who is responsible for many administrative functions that relate to maintaining the public records of a municipality. Think of the City Clerk’s Office at the City of Columbus as the ultimate helper for the public, the mayor, the city administrator and the City staff. The City Clerk’s Office team is made of government rock stars. 

In essence, they provide policy, technical and administrative support to all City officials. The office serves as the liaison between citizens, elected officials and City staff.

The Office is responsible for many things, including:

- Administering oaths of office

- Preparing and maintaining minutes and agendas for City Council and various community committees

- Maintaining records for Columbus and Roselawn cemeteries

- Acting as a compliance officer for federal, state, and local statutes

- Managing public inquiries and relationships and arranging for ceremonial and official functions

- Storing and maintaining municipal documents and records, fiscal records and vital records

- Recording management for the city, including filing and maintaining records

- Providing all the information about a city's policies, regulations, previous legislation, and history

- Administers permits and licenses, such as:

* Building Moving License

* Fireworks Permit

* Handicapped Parking Permit

* Liquor License

* Pawn Broker License

* Registered Tree Service

* Solid Waste Hauling License

* Tobacco License

If you’re someone who likes to work in a fast-paced environment with a wide variety of duties facing you daily, a career as a city clerk might be right for you. The role of the city clerk is a demanding one that requires the ability to pull everything together quickly.

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