City Council Celebrates Municipal Clerks Week With Resolution and Exhibit

May 3, 2018 | 0 comments

Tonight, the City Council passed a resolution naming next week (May 6-12, 2018) Municipal Clerks Week. The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), a professional non-profit association with 14,500 members comprised of City, Town, Township, Village, Borough, Deputy and County Clerks throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries has been honoring the work of municipal clerks during the first full week of May since 1969.

The City Council is proud to honor the work of the Department of the City Clerk through a resolution and an exhibit entitled Clerks: The Evolution of Recorded History of City Government from 1636 to the Present, in partnership with Providence City Archives, on display in the Third Floor Gallery of City Hall through the end of May.

“The work that my team and I do on a daily basis is vital to our community,” stated Providence City Clerk Lori L. Hagen. “The City Clerks department does more than take notes at Council meetings – we are the keepers of all historical records related to the democratic process in the city of Providence. Over the past decade, we’ve led the way in digitizing our records to ensure their longevity and that anyone can access them on the city’s Open Meeting Portal. Thus, continuing the long tradition of ensuring transparency in local government.”

Council President David A. Salvatore stated that “the Clerks are the backbone of our municipal democracy, and serve as a resource for historians and constituents alike on the goings on of our municipality. Lori Hagen, Providence City Clerk, and her team continue to do a remarkable job in making sure that the community has access to meeting minutes, notes and recordings of city meetings and I’m delighted to be able to highlight their important work with this resolution and exhibit.”

About the Exhibit:

Clerks: The Evolution of Recorded History of City Government from 1636 to the Present will take visitors on a journey through the history of Providence, going back to our first Clerk, Roger Williams.  The exhibit will feature several artifacts from the long and storied history of our municipal government including ledgers, town records, various recording instruments and much more.

About the City Clerk Department:

The City Clerk operates under the auspices of the City Council. This department is responsible for maintaining and recording all votes, orders, resolutions, and ordinances made and passed by the City Council as well as those of its subcommittees, and meetings of the retirement board. Furthermore, the City Clerk furnishes the heads of departments and the chairmen of all committees of the City Council with certified copies of such votes or resolutions as they relate to their respective departments or committees.

They are the official repository for all ordinances, resolutions and official documents related to the government of the City of Providence and responsible for the authenticity of all legal documents.  In addition, the City Clerk collects and presents to the City Council all petitions concerning abandonments and easements, personal injury and automobile or property damage, as well as certificates of Assumed Business Name and Going Out of Business.

The department also oversees the Providence City Archives and its staff.

About the City Archives:

A formal archival program for the City of Providence was established in 1978 as part of a year-long centennial observance marking the dedication of City Hall. The archives, located on the 5th floor of City hall, houses extensive collections of manuscripts, printed material, maps, blueprints, and photographic images that span the period from the colony’s founding in 1636 to present day.

The nearly 40,000 cubic feet of records detail all aspects of the development and operation of municipal government. Highlights of the holdings include vital and probate records, house and city directories. Local census data, deed books, as well as collections of maps and atlases. These collections offer researchers a unique opportunity to trace the history of New England’s second largest city from its settlement as a coastal village, through its transformation into a national industrial powerhouse in the nineteenth century.

What’s on the Open Meeting Portal:

Committees Completed on the Portal (Agendas, Minutes, Exhibits & Audio)

  • City Council Meetings – 1993 to Present
  • Board of Investment Commissioners – 1995 to Present
  • City Council as a Whole – 1986 to Present
  • Special Committee on Ways & Means – 2012 to 2014
  • Commissioners of Dexter Donation – 1990 to Present
  • Special Committee on Education – 2012 to 2014

Committees in Progress on the Portal:

  • Board of Contract and Supply – Back to 1995
  • Retirement Board – Back to 1970
  • Retirement Board Medical Sub-Committee – Back to 1996
  • Committee on Finance – Back to 1941
  • Committee on Ordinances – Back to 1977
  • Committee on City Property – Back to 1994
  • Committee on Claims and Pending Suits – Back to 1992
  • Committee on Urban Redevelopment, Renewal & Planning – Back to 1986
  • Committee on Public Works – Back to 1994
  • Environmental Sustainability Task Force – Back to 2005

So far the Clerks Department has uploaded nearly 5,000 meetings to the Open Meetings Portal which can be accessed here:

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