2016 Clerks’ Orientation Conference

The 2016 Clerks’ Orientation Conference took place in August in St. Paul. This annual event is an excellent basic training for city employees charged with municipal clerk’s duties, including essential information on election laws, financial management, data practices, human resources, and insurance and loss control issues. Handouts and related resources from the training sessions are posted below.

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 allowed for reflection and highlighted leadership expectations in this new role.

Juggling Many Hats: Successfully Managing the Multiple Roles of a City Clerk
A panel of experienced clerks discussed the expectations and duties of a city clerk, including running elections, managing records, and working with the public and elected officials. Participants shared challenges and tips on how to be successful in this critical city role.

There are no handouts available from this presentation.

To Share or Not to Share: Data Practices Issues for City Clerks
Data practices law is complex, and applying the law can be tricky! Respond appropriately to requests for data, explore some of the data management issues raised by technology—including mobile devices—and find out whom to consult for either informal advice or an advisory opinion on data practices matters.

Clerks at the Capitol
Clerks play an integral role in advocating for the League’s policies and cities around the state. Acquire legislative proposals that could impact your work as a clerk and see how you can be involved in the League’s policy development process.

Open Meeting Law
What meetings must be open? When can you close a meeting? What requirements apply? Attendees mastered the nuts-and-bolts of the Open Meeting Law, including who must comply and the requirements for noticing a meeting, and the seven exceptions to the Open Meeting Law. Common questions about electronic communications, serial meetings, social gatherings and more were also answered.

HR Issues for City
In most cities the job of city clerk involves at least some overlap with human resources issues and there’s so much to know! Common 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—are covered.

Intro to the League
Explore some of the many products and services available to you as a member of the League.

Financial Fundamentals for City Clerks
This session explores the basics of municipal financial management, including budgeting and planning, ongoing fiscal activities, and financial statements and reporting. Learn about required communications with state agencies and strategies for keeping the city council and citizens informed.

Presentation materials coming soon!

CTAS Version 8 Overview
The Office of the State Auditor collaborated with representatives of small cities and townships to develop and distribute the Small City and Town Accounting System (CTAS). The program is designed to maintain accounting records and assist in bookkeeping tasks. CTAS also facilitates the submission of financial records to the Office of the State Auditor. Learn just how easy end-of-the-year reporting can be using CTAS software.

What Clerks Can and Cannot Do: Legal Compliance for Cities
The Office of the State Auditor 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, other legal compliance issues that can trip up cities, audit guide and checklists, and how to use these resources to make sure your city is in legal compliance with state laws.

Presentation: What Clerks Can and Cannot Do: Legal Compliance for Cities (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? Understand the various types of fraud and how to spot them, and what steps you can take to prevent fraud from happening in your city.

Council-Staff Relations
When people are elected as mayor or councilmember in their city, they’re naturally excited to get started. Most probably came into office with some great ideas about goals they’d like to accomplish or maybe even things they’d like to change. This session covers the various forms of city government in Minnesota, the roles and authorities of city officials—both elected and appointed staff—within those forms, potential pitfalls to avoid, and finally, how to make it all work smoothly.

Participants learned more about the League of Minnesota Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including various coverage options, loss control services available to member cities, and claim handling procedures.

Election Administration
Understand basic election laws and the responsibility of clerks, including recent legislative changes that impact your city. This broad overview intended to familiarize you with resources available to help with your election questions.