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Burbank's Strategies to Improve Voter Turnout

In cities across the nation, the question is frequently asked how do we improve voter turnout? When Federal and State elections are consistently showing low turnout, how do municipalities compare and compete? National and State level elections have more advertising through the candidate’s big advertising budgets, organizations like Rock the Vote and news coverage.  Municipalities don’t have that backing unless they are consolidated with one of those elections.  So what do you do?

A Clerk's Guide to Getting Council and Staff Using a Paperless Agenda

I started my position as an assistant in Corporate Administration at the City of Revelstoke in the summer of 2009.  I was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of paper being used for the distribution of agendas.  At that time there were Committee of the Whole agendas, Council agendas as well as In-Camera agendas for both meetings.  I was required to assemble and photocopy 22 copies of each agenda for Council and the Management Team.  I also recognized that other departments such as Development Services, Finance and Parks, Recreation and Culture were creating separate Committee Agendas with additional paper copies.  The amount of paper was unreasonable and I was determined to find a more efficient process.

Getting the Most Out of Your Agenda and Records Management Team

In our recent North America Wide Survey of 15,000 Clerks we asked them to share information about their responsibilities outside of agenda and minutes management.  Respondents identified nearly 50 unique roles they are taking on in addition to the core duties of being a Clerk.   Most Clerks will tell you they ‘wear multiple hats’ in their organization.  But for the first time we have a complete picture into just how many Clerks are being asked to go above and beyond.


The Servant Leader in You

Robert Greenleaf who coined the Servant Leadership philosophy in the 1970s said that ‘“Good leaders must first become good servants.” How does a Municipal Clerk become a good servant first, and then a leader?  Is it by patiently listening to a frustrated voter, a bereft co-worker, or contributing to a local professional association? Serving others is exactly that, serving others for the sake of the greater good when you don’t expect anything in return, except for the satisfaction in knowing that you are making a difference for that individual, or cause.  The servant leader always proceeds for the greater good.

New Job, New Municipality - Managing Change as a Clerk

With every new job comes an apprehension of what challenges lie ahead. We all have some reservations or fears of the unknown, especially when taking on the large responsibilities that come with being a Municipal Clerk. Whether it’s your first job or your 5th as a Municipal Clerk, the road to success is long and difficult at times, and change is a necessary part of the journey.   With that in mind, here’s my take on 3 challenges to prepare for if you are starting at a new organization.  For those just starting your career as a Clerk I think this advice really applies as well.