Municipal clerks are the unsung heroes

Statue of City Clerk Linda Ruehle, Issaquah WA

May is the month when we celebrate municipal clerks, and Jurassic Parliament is delighted to join in offering kudos to these unsung heroes of our society. When you look under the hood of local government, you find clerks everywhere. They are the dedicated, quiet, consistent, reliable, and hard-working “go to” people who keep our country ticking along.

If we didn’t have clerks posting notices, keeping the minutes of local government meetings, pulling out public records on request, staffing committees, answering the phone, greeting visitors and more, our local governments would grind to a screeching halt.

The list goes on and on—clerks are responsible for dozens of tasks, and yet they are almost invisible. People just don’t think about the work that it takes to staff and serve the thousands of local governments in this country.

Jurassic Parliament is proud to be presenting our training workshop at the Northwest Clerks Institute in Tacoma, Washington next month, as we have since 2005. Clerks are critical to our understanding of local government issues.

And sometimes, just sometimes, municipal clerks do get the recognition they deserve. This statue is a tribute to Linda Ruehle, who served as City Clerk in Issaquah, Washington for 27 years. Reader, if you pass by, leave a flower on her book to acknowledge the work of the municipal clerk, without whom democracy would perish.

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.


  1. Joe Kunzler on May 15, 2018 at 2:01 pm


    Great post but uh I gotta tell ya in this state of Washington if public employees get gifts they could get in BIG trouble. I did such for some public employees at a public agency for quite some time until I got summoned by the agency’s security & ethics office. It was shall I say, unpleasant and sad, for me, the security & ethics chief and the employees.

    Sorry to flag what is otherwise a beautiful post, but in this day & age…. 🙁



    • Ann Macfarlane on May 16, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Joe, I appreciate your heads-up. It is indeed a bureaucratic world, and we have to act that way too. Thanks for letting us know about your experience. Ann