Functions of the City Clerk's Office

General Overview of the City Clerk’s Office function:

To provide for proper governmental oversight and the ability of the City Clerk to carry out corporate functions with proper independence, the City Clerk is appointed for an indefinite term by the City Manager and confirmed by the City Commission; the City Clerk is removed in the same manner.   

The City Clerk’s office serves as the legislative and corporate office for the City of Traverse City, with many operational responsibilities, serving in accordance with and upholding the Michigan ConstitutionMichigan law, the City Chartercity ordinancesCity Commission Policies and Administrative Orders of the City Manager.

Snapshot of the key functions of the City Clerk's Office:  

  • Planning, organizing, and administering all federal, state, and local elections.
  • Serving as Clerk of the City Commission – in cooperation with the City Manager, administering the legislative process by preparing meeting packets and agendas for official sessions of the City Commission (approximately 52 annually), expediting, tracking, and processing completed actions of the City Commission
  • Serving as the public information office for the city, with the City Clerk serving as a primary spokesperson; managing the city's online presence and government television presence, and handling various requests for information, including serving as Freedom of Information Act Coordinator (FOIA), handling all requests for access to public records and serving as HIPAA/Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act official, managing access to health records that are protected under HIPAA
  • Managing and approving various city licenses and permits including all special events
  • Managing, updating, and coordinating the city’s Code of Ordinances, and the City Charter.
  • Serving as corporate officer, responsible for various corporate functions, including auditing pending financial disbursements of City Funds, including Traverse City Light and Power (approximately $125 million annually) prior to providing final authorization along with the City Treasurer/Finance Director.  Reviews and executes contracts authorized by the City Commission and tracks terms and unique provisions.
  • Recruiting and coordinating the appointment process of volunteers to city boards and committees.
  • Serving as insurance and risk manager, administering the city’s liability, property, and special insurance policies (protecting approximately $150 million in city assets), handling insurance claims, and reviewing, tracking, and making recommendations on approximately $1 billion annually in insurance coverage required of others to protect the city’s assets.
  • Records manager for the city’s vital records, reviewing items for completeness and cataloging them in the city’s authenticated document management system
  • Open Meetings Act Compliance 
  • Records manager for plot owners at the Oakwood Cemetery, managing ownership records for the cemetery
  • Providing advice to various city boards and committees with respect to various policy issues, and the Open Meetings Act, Freedom of Information Act, boardmanship, parliamentary and board practices
  • Chief staff to the Traverse City Coast Guard City Committee
  • Preparing other formal documents on behalf of the city, City Commission, and others, such as Mayoral Proclamations, reports and publications.
  • Serves as Title VI Non-Discrimination Compliance Officer, including handing complaints of alleged discrimination under Title VI. 
  • Performing other official functions as prescribed by Michigan LawCity CharterCity Ordinances and Policies, the City Commission and City Manager.

 City Clerk's Office Mission Statement:
To serve community residents and business owners, the City Commission, the City Manager, city departments and other stakeholders, rendering equal service to all, providing top-level, enthusiastic, accurate and courteous service.