City Clerks Handbook

The City Clerks Association of California Handbook provides a broad approach to the duties of City
Clerks throughout the State of California (both statutory and traditional). It is a compilation of various
duties along with “how to” descriptions for accomplishing these duties. The handbook is intended as a
guide not a legal reference document.

The statues of the State of California prescribe the basic functions and duties of City Clerks in general law
cities. City Clerks in charter cities customarily have the same duties, but individual charter provisions may
provide for variations or additional duties for that particular city. The Government Code provides that a
City Clerk shall perform such additional duties as are prescribed by ordinance. Thus, the duties and
responsibilities of City Clerks are not necessarily the same even in general law cities, and each City Clerk
is subject to the exact requirements of his/her own city.

It is important that State Codes be referenced along with the use of the handbook to insure that
procedures are applied according to most recent law. In many instances, the City Attorney is relied
upon for advice and consultation.


The handbook is made available through continued efforts of the members of the City Clerks Association
of California. The 2012 City Clerks Handbook is available for purchase ($40) on CD. Get your copy today!


Fill out our online form here.


The 2012 version is a re-publication of the 1993 version which includes the 1996 and 2004 updates. This
version reflects law in effect as of January 1, 2011. Below is a list of topics from the Table of Contents:

Chapter One City Clerk – One of the Oldest Professions
Chapter Two Organization and Administration
Chapter Three Community Relations & Communications
Chapter Four Legislative Procedures
Chapter Five Meetings, Agendas, Minutes, Follow Up
Chapter Six Elections
Chapter Seven Change of Organization and Vacation
Chapter Eight Assessments, Licenses and Other Financial Duties
Chapter Nine Projects, Grants, Capital Improvements
Chapter Ten Deeds and Deed Processing
Chapter Eleven Bids and Bid Openings
Chapter Twelve Agreements and Contracts
Chapter Thirteen Claims, Summons, Insurance
Chapter Fourteen Records Management