Chapter 18 – City Clerk


At its first meeting in January following the regular city election the Council shall appoint by majority vote a City Clerk to serve for a term of two years. The Clerk shall receive such compensation as established by resolution of the Council.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[3])


The Clerk, or in the Clerk’s absence or inability to act, the Deputy Clerk, has the powers and duties as provided in this chapter, this Code of Ordinances and the law.


The Clerk shall attend all regular and special Council meetings and within fifteen (15) days following a regular or special meeting shall cause the minutes of the proceedings thereof to be published. Such publication shall include a list of all claims allowed and a summary of all receipts and shall show the gross amount of the claim.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[6])


The Clerk shall promptly record each measure considered by the Council and record a statement with the measure, where applicable, indicating whether the Mayor signed, vetoed or took no action on the measure, and whether the measure was repassed after the Mayor’s veto.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.7[1 & 2])


The Clerk shall cause to be published all ordinances, enactments, proceedings and official notices requiring publication as follows:

  1. Time. If notice of an election, hearing, or other official action is required by this Code of Ordinances or law, the notice must be published at least once, not less than four (4) nor more than twenty (20) days before the date of the election, hearing or other action, unless otherwise provided by law.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 362.3[1])
  2. Manner of Publication. A publication required by this Code of Ordinances or law must be in a newspaper published at least once weekly and having general circulation in the City.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 362.3[2])


The Clerk shall authenticate all measures except motions with the Clerk’s signature, certifying the time and manner of publication when required.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.7[4])


The Clerk shall certify all measures establishing any zoning district, building lines, or fire limits and a plat showing the district, lines, or limits to the recorder of the County containing the affected parts of the City.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.11)

18.08 RECORDS.

The Clerk shall maintain the specified City records in the following manner:

  1. Ordinances and Codes. Maintain copies of all effective City ordinances and codes for public use.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 380.7[5])
  2. Custody. Have custody and be responsible for the safekeeping of all writings or documents in which the City is a party in interest unless otherwise specifically directed by law or ordinance.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])
  3. Maintenance. Maintain all City records and documents, or accurate reproductions, for at least five (5) years except that ordinances, resolutions, Council proceedings, records and documents, or accurate reproductions, relating to the issuance, cancellation, transfer, redemption or replacement of public bonds or obligations shall be kept for at least eleven (11) years following the final maturity of the bonds or obligations. Ordinances, resolutions, Council proceedings, records and documents, or accurate reproductions, relating to real property transactions shall be maintained permanently.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[3 & 5])
  4. Provide Copy. Furnish upon request to any municipal officer a copy of any record, paper or public document under the Clerk’s control when it may be necessary to such officer in the discharge of such officer’s duty; furnish a copy to any citizen when requested upon payment of the fee set by Council resolution; under the direction of the Mayor or other authorized officer, affix the seal of the City to those public documents or instruments which by ordinance and Code of Ordinances are required to be attested by the affixing of the seal.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4 & 5] and 380.7[5])
  5. Filing of Communications. Keep and file all communications and petitions directed to the Council or to the City generally. The Clerk shall endorse thereon the action of the Council taken upon matters considered in such communications and petitions.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])


At the direction of the Council, the Clerk shall attend meetings of committees, boards and commissions. The Clerk shall record and preserve a correct record of the proceedings of such meetings.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])


The Clerk shall issue or revoke licenses and permits when authorized by this Code of Ordinances, and keep a record of licenses and permits issued which shall show date of issuance, license or permit number, official receipt number, name of person to whom issued, term of license or permit and purpose for which issued.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])


The Clerk shall inform all persons appointed by the Mayor or Council to offices in the City government of their positions and the time at which they shall assume the duties of their offices.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])


The Clerk shall perform the following duties relating to elections and nominations:

  1. Certify to the County Commissioner of Elections the type of nomination process to be used by the City no later than ninety (90) days before the date of the regular City election.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 376.6)
  2. Accept the nomination petition of a candidate for a City office for filing if on its face it appears to have the requisite number of signatures and is timely filed.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 376.4)
  3. Designate other employees or officials of the City who are ordinarily available to accept nomination papers if the Clerk is not readily available during normal working hours.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 376.4)
  4. Note upon each petition and affidavit accepted for filing the date and time that the petition was filed.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 376.4)
  5. Deliver all nomination petitions, together with the text of any public measure being submitted by the Council to the electorate, to the County Commissioner of Elections not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day following the last day on which nomination petitions can be filed.

    (Code of Iowa, Sec. 376.4)

18.13 CITY SEAL.

The City seal is in the custody of the Clerk and shall be attached by the Clerk to all transcripts, orders and certificates which it may be necessary or proper to authenticate.