A clerk is a senior official of many municipal governments in the English-speaking world. In some communities, the position is elected, but in many others, the clerk is appointed to their post. In almost all cases, the actual title of the clerk reflects the type of municipality he or she works for, thus, instead of simply being known as the clerk, the position is generally referred to as the town clerk, township clerk, city clerk, village clerk, borough clerk, board secretary, or county clerk. Other titles also exist. The office has existed for centuries, though in some places it is now being merged with other positions.
The duties of a municipal clerk vary even more than their titles. Particularly in the United States, it is impossible within the scope of this article to fully describe a clerk’s duties, because there are literally hundreds of different job descriptions extant. In some U.S. states, there are provisions in the state constitutions delineating the clerk’s duties, but in other states, each municipality decides for itself what role the clerk plays, or even, if there need be a clerk at all.