2018 Clerks’ Orientation Conference

This annual conference is an excellent basic training for city employees charged with municipal clerk duties, including essential information on election laws, financial management, data practices, human resources, and insurance and loss control issues. Below are materials from the conference that took place June 20-22 in St. Cloud.

Technology Bootcamp

Does your job as city clerk include technology support? If so, you are not alone. Many city clerks are tasked with wearing the hat of tech support. In this session, we walked through some of the common technical questions clerks have, shared best practices, reviewed model policies and resources, and touched on your cybersecurity coverage through the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT).

—Presentation: Technology Bootcamp (pdf)

To Share or Not to Share: Data Practices Issues for City Clerks

Data practices law is complex, and applying the law can be tricky! This session outlined how to respond appropriately to requests for data, explored some of the data management issues raised by technology—including mobile devices—and discussed who you can consult with for either informal advice or an advisory opinion on data practices matters.

—Presentation: Data Practices Issues (pdf)

Financial Fundamentals for City Clerks

This session explored the basics of municipal financial management, including budgeting and planning, ongoing fiscal activities, and financial statements and reporting. It also covered required communications with state agencies and strategies for keeping the city council and citizens informed.

—Presentation: Financial Fundamentals for City Clerks (pdf)


In this session, clerks had the opportunity to learn more about the League of Minnesota Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including various coverage options, loss control services available to member cities, and claim handling procedures.

—Presentation: Introduction to LMCIT (pdf)

HR Issues for City Clerks

In most cities, the job of city clerk involves at least some overlap with human resources issues and there’s so much to know! This session walked through the HR issues that are most likely to come up in your world–things like leaves of absence, personnel policies, how to compute overtime, and some basics of discipline and performance. It also explored the kind of help you can get from the League with HR issues.

—Presentation: HR Issues for City Clerks (pdf)

Open Meeting Law

What meetings must be open? When can you close a meeting? What requirements apply? This session covered the nuts and bolts of the Open Meeting Law, including who must comply and the requirements for noticing a meeting. It also covered the seven exceptions to the Open Meeting Law and answers to common questions about electronic communications, serial meetings, social gatherings, and more.

—Presentation: Open Meeting Law for Clerks (pdf)
—Handout: Meetings of City Councils (pdf)

What Clerks Can and Cannot Do: Legal Compliance for Cities

The Office of the State Auditor (OSA) oversees the more than $20 billion spent annually by local governments in Minnesota. This session covered cash transactions, debt, claims and disbursements, public bidding, conflicts of interest, and other legal compliance issues that can trip up cities. Attendees learned about the OSA’s audit guide and checklists, and how to use these resources to make sure your city is in legal compliance with state laws.

—Presentation: Clerks–What You Can and Cannot Do (pdf)

How to Prevent and Detect Fraud: Implementing Internal Controls

You’ve seen news headlines about local government employees misusing or stealing public funds. But that will never happen in your city, right? This session addressed the various types of fraud and how to spot them, and what steps you can take to prevent fraud from happening in your city.

—Presentation: How to Prevent & Detect Fraud (pdf)

Role of Personnel Committees

Many cities use Personnel Committees to vet council decisions about employee compensation, labor contracts, performance evaluations, and disciplinary action. This session was a quick dive into the topic, exploring best practices and including audience discussion.

There were no materials for this session.

Public Expenditures 101

Cities are the pillars of their communities and are often asked to help various organizations by donating time, resources, or funds to accomplish their goals. This session explored the general criteria for a valid public expenditure and discussed commonly analyzed expenditures, including factors used to determine the validity of donations to organizations, contributions toward economic development, expenditures on certain employee expenses, and more.

There were no materials for this session

City Clerk: A Leadership Opportunity

The role of city clerk is an essential function in city government. Only one person occupies this position and much is expected in this demanding and challenging role with regard to duties and statutory responsibilities. Learning the “how’s and why’s” of a city clerk’s’ role is important, but it is just as important to learn that a city clerk is also a leader in city hall and in the community. This session will reflect on and highlight leadership expectations of your new role.

—Presentation: City Clerks: A Leadership Opportunity (pdf)