City Clerk

City of Takoma Park, MD Class Specification

DEPARTMENT: Administration
REPORTS TO: City Manager
DATE: 02/2009
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Under general administrative direction, provides varied and complex administrative and technical support to the City Council; ensures proper codification of ordinances and serves as custodian of official City records; serves as first point of contact for persons seeking assistance or requesting information related to City Council actions. Position is required by the City charter and is an appointed official of the City. Serves as Elections Manager and manages all aspects of all Cityelections.


Customer Service

Handles customer questions and complaints, communicates with customers, handles service problems politely and efficiently, always available for customers, follows procedure to solve customer problems, understands all City services, maintains pleasant and professional image. Anticipates, monitors and meets the needs of internal and external customers and responds to them in an appropriate manner. Continually seeks to provide the highest quality service to all customers. Listens carefully when dealing with the public and communicates concern through tone of voice and by taking action to solve their problems in a timely manner. Complies with the City’s Customer Service Policy, including 24-hour response time for telephone calls and e-mails. Explains departmental and City issues to the public in a manner that demonstrates interest and concern for their problems. Listens well, diffuses conflict before it starts, finds causes of and solutions to problems, handles difficult people.


Communicates well both verbally and in writing when required, creates accurate and punctual reports, delivers presentations, shares information and ideas with others, has good listening skills. Effectively conveys information and expresses thoughts and facts. Demonstrates effective use of listening skills and displays openness to other people’s ideas and thoughts. Keeps key employees informed regarding relevant information. Shares information with other members of the team to foster teamwork and to further attainment of the City’s goals. Written and oral information is presented in a manner that projects a positive and professional image of the City.

Reports problems, concerns, issues that should be corrected. Readily shares information and ensures that team members are kept informed and up-to-date. Establishes team and individual accountability for goals, objectives and outcomes. Intervenes as necessary to identify and resolve conflict among team members. Makes conscious and deliberate efforts to build team spirit and identity.

Job Knowledge

Understands duties and responsibilities, has necessary technical skills, understands the City’s mission/values, keeps job knowledge current. Demonstrates the appropriate level of proficiency in the principles and practices of one’s field or profession. Demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement, including the understanding and application of technology where appropriate. Operates within the organization's formal and informal structures, builds allies and relationships across departments, uses allies to build consensus and create results, is appropriately diplomatic, understands others' roles and perspectives, can sell projects and ideas across the organization. Adapts to change, is open to new ideas, takes on new responsibilities, handles pressure, adjusts plans to meet changing needs. Prioritizes well and reacts to opportunities. Is attentive to detail and accuracy, is committed to excellence, looks for improvements continuously, monitors quality levels, finds root cause of quality problems, owns/acts on quality problems.


Budget/Cost Control

Plans for and uses resources efficiently, always looks for ways to reduce costs, creates accurate and realistic budgets and budget projections, tracks and adjusts budgets, contributes to budget planning. Prepares and submits budget within specified time constraints. Anticipates departmental operating and capital needs and budgets adequately for needed expenditures. Reports departmental expenditures within specified time constraints. Bills are submitted for payment on time. Completes and files all applicable reports related to grants, agenda items, etc. within specified deadlines. Anticipates long-term budgeting needs in manner that allows the City to anticipate and plan for sources of revenues for extraordinary future expenses. Controls expenditures to deliver department's services within agreed upon budget. Follows established procurement procedures in obtaining goods and services.Computer Skills  Skilled in the use of computers, adapts to new technology, keeps abreast of changes, learns new programs quickly, uses computers to improve productivity. Makes good use of web tools and on-line resources, can implement and manage web projects.

Decision Making/Judgment

Recognizes problems and responds, systematically gathers information, sorts through complex issues, seeks input from others, addresses root cause of issues, makes timely decisions, can make difficult decisions, uses consensus when possible, communicates decisions to others. Knows when to notify and/or involve the department head or the City Manager prior to making a decision.


Leads through change and adversity, makes the tough call when needed, builds consensus when appropriate, motivates and encourages others. Addresses projects, issues, and situations using innovative solutions that consider dollar and human resources as well as service goals. Asks clarifying questions, actively listens, stays open to other viewpoints, manages distractions and interruptions. Manages a fair workload, volunteers for additional work, prioritizes tasks, develops good work procedures, manages time well. Sets challenging and productive goals for team, keeps team accountable for actions, provides leadership, and motivation, uses checkpoints and data to track progress, sets up systems and processes to measure results.

Managing Performance

Applies clear/consistent performance standards, handles performance problems decisively and objectively, is direct but tactful, provides guidance and assistance to improve performance. Allocates work with adequate number of personnel so that project deadlines are never missed due to manpower allocation. Fully understands provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreement and ensures compliance with it. Consistently applies policies and procedures in an equitable manner with no valid complaints from subordinates. Trains and instructs employees in proper City techniques and procedures, including those designed to provide a safe working environment. Communicates job expectations and monitors employee progress such that there is sufficient documentation to justify performance appraisals, distinguished increases and/or disciplinary actions. Identifies and takes action to improve employee performance. Completes performance reviews within time-frame prescribed by City policy. Provides feedback and coaching, rewards hard work and risk taking, takes mentoring role, challenges and develops employees, accepts mistakes, provides visibility/opportunity. Defines roles and responsibilities, motivates and challenges employees, delegates effectively, and rewards contributions.


Develops realistic plans, sets goals, aligns plans with City’s goals, plans for and manages resources, creates contingency plans, coordinates/cooperates with others. Creates and communicates a long-term vision, balances short and long term goals, keeps own and team's work aligned with overall goals, creates and adjusts strategic plans. Generates new ideas, challenges the status quo, takes risks, supports change, encourages innovation, solves problems creatively.


Prepares Council Chambers for meetings; attends meetings and transcribes minutes; maintains and attests to the official record of Council actions; provides Mayor and Council technical advice on the proper conduct of meetings and the legal requirements associated with notice of open and closed meetings in compliance with the Maryland Open Meetings Act.

Advises the Council and City Manager of the Maryland Public Information Act and the Freedom of Information Act and serves as the City’s official records custodian.

Maintains rolling agenda; prepares agendas for all Council meetings in consultation with staff and Mayor; coordinates and supervises the preparation of weekly Council agenda packages.

Administers and supervises all aspects of all City elections.

Maintains City's central filing system and archives; administers the City's records management program.

Recommends amendments to the City Code as needed; assists staff with Code amendments; drafts ordinance to amend

Code; incorporates adopted legislation into text of the City Charter/Code; maintains City Code.

Responds to citizen, staff, Council and outside inquiries for information and requests for official documentation; conducts

research utilizing City files, Codes, reference materials, etc; determines when it is appropriate to refer individuals to other

City departments or governmental agencies; prepares responses to requests filed in accordance with the Public Information Act.

Serves as staff liaison to various citizen committees, recruits for committee vacancies, educates committees on Open

Meetings Act, and maintains records of Council appointed committees.

Carries out supervisory responsibility in accordance with policies, procedures and applicable laws including: interviewing, hiring and training, planning, assigning and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Maintain Domestic Partnership Registry. Review applications for domestic partnership, submit applicants’ payment for certificate to Finance Office, prepare certificate and provide certificate to applicants.

Writes and submits articles for the City's newsletter.

Process Speed Humps Requests and Requests for Designation/Removal of Residential Permit Parking Areas.

Maintain log of requests for information submitted under the Maryland Public Information Act. Compile information for response or route requests to appropriate staff. Provide response to the requestor.

Maintain permanent record copy of administrative regulations, ensure public notification of pending regulation.


Prepare and monitor the City Clerk and Legislative Division budgets.

Maintains and upgrades professional knowledge, skills, and development by attending seminars and training programs and reading trade and professional journals and publications.

Administers various permit processes; reviews applications for permits; prepares permits; coordinates related efforts with other departments; serves as signatory on all permits.

Draft ordinances, resolutions and other agenda items as needed.

Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Computer
  • General Office Equipment


Education and Experience

Associate’s Degree in a related field; and,

Five to six years of progressively responsible related experience; or,

Any combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Licenses and Certifications

Certified Municipal Clerk desirable.


Knowledge of:

Applicable state, federal and local ordinances, laws, rules and regulations.

Operation and structure of municipal government.

Roberts Rules of Order.

Recordkeeping, report preparation, filing methods and records management techniques.

Correct English usage, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary.

Principles and practices of budgeting.

Office administrative and secretarial practices and procedures, such as business letter writing and the operation of standard office equipment, including a word processor and personal or on-line computer.

Administration of staff and activities, either directly or through subordinate supervision.

All computer applications and hardware related to performance of the essential functions of the job.

Skill in:

An advanced level of interpersonal skills necessary in order to deal with elected officials at County, State, and Federal levels, as well as City staff, citizens, and various citizen and community groups.

Using tact, discretion, initiative and independent judgment within established guidelines.

Analyzing and resolving office administrative situations and problems.

Researching, compiling, and summarizing a variety of informational and statistical data and materials.

Organizing work, setting priorities, meeting critical deadlines, and following up on assignments with a minimum of direction.

Applying logical thinking to solve problems or accomplish tasks; to understand, interpret and communicate complicated policies, procedures and protocols.

Typing at a rate of 70 net words per minute.

Planning, organizing, assigning, directing, reviewing and evaluating the work of staff.

Selecting and motivating staff and providing for their training and professional development.

Preparing clear and concise reports, correspondence and other written materials.

Communicating clearly and effectively, orally and in writing.

Mental and Physical Abilities

Significant ability to concentrate and pay close attention to detail in reviewing, preparing and presenting budgets, reading  and writing reports, or representing the City at in-house or outside public meetings.

Ability to read, analyze and interpret professional periodicals and journals, technical procedures and government regulations.

Ability to speak effectively before public groups and respond to questions.

Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, common fractions and decimals.

Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.

Ability to write reports, correspondence, procedure manuals.

Ability to conduct legal research.

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a variety of individuals.

Ability to effectively deal with the media.

Ability to draft and compose legislation and regulations.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is frequently required to sit, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, reach with hands and arms, speak and hear, and lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

While performing the essential functions of this job the employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, climb or balance, and lift and/or move up to 30 pounds.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in a normal office environment with little exposure to outdoor temperatures or dirt and dust.

The incumbent's working conditions are typically moderately quiet.

file: City Clerk

This class specification should not be interpreted as all inclusive. It is intended to identify the essential functions and requirements of this job. Incumbents may be requested to perform job-related responsibilities and tasks other than those stated in this specification. Any essential function or requirement of this class will be evaluated as necessary should an incumbent/applicant be unable to perform the function or requirement due to a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Reasonable accommodation for the specific disability will be made for the incumbent/applicant when possible.