"Throughout the decades of the 20th century we have managed to build on the foundation that was laid by the founding fathers (and mothers) of our great organization. We as Municipal Clerks, hold the oldest and one of the most respected positions in government."
Bernadette M. Dubuss (MCANJ President 1999)
Foreword - Municipal Clerks at the Millenium
Records reflect that on January 30, 1922 a meeting was held in the Trenton City Hall for the purpose of effecting a permanent organization of Municipal Clerks. A committee was appointed to draft a bill providing for the tenure of Municipal Clerks. In 1927 we established an association with the N.J. League of Municipalities, in an effort to shed the light of "professionalism" on the Municipal Clerks' Association of New Jersey.
During the ensuing years, the Association took on a variety of concerns, such as protecting the rights of Clerks whose positions came under attack. The prime objective was the protection of the interests of any Municipal Clerk in New Jersey, where the principle of tenure of office was under attack.
The Association addressed Election matters with a suggestion for revision and simplification of election law. We had Educational services as early as 1937, with the need to address a manual for Clerks, which addressed duties and responsibilities.
In 1949, we adopted a Resolution , deeming it advisable that "all registered voters be furnished with identification cards as evidence of eligibility to vote, which would contain pertinent data as to naturalization of citizenship".
1953 saw changes in Title 40, Chapter 69A, eliminating the Municipal Clerk from "assignment to the supervision of any one individual". Bingo and raffles licensing law were submitted to the voters for their approval.
1957 The Municipal Clerks Association recommended a study of the possibility of setting up a "school" for Clerks in cooperation with Rutgers University, and the Course "Duties of the Municipal Clerk" was introduced by Rutgers at the Paramus High School in Bergen County in 1965.
As we progressed into the 70's major changes took place - Rutgers "beefed" up our education program, with an emphasis on management studies. Election Law reform was high on our list of things to address and the dreaded "OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT" made life a bit more confusing for old-time politician and the newly elected as well.
Our goal for the 80's was professionalism. The Education Committee worked closed with Rutgers in publicizing courses offered. We were now asked to investigate the source of funding used in the purchase of a liquor license and the Legislator was implementing A3917 addressing RMC certification.
Spring and Fall Conferences in the 90's went to two day educational events, Peer Alliance for Learning was formed and "core duties" were drafted and approved by our membership. By the late 90's Technology was the focus with our fax communication system.
The new millennium saw Information Technology expand to email data-base and our website at www.njclerks.org. We celebrated our 75th anniversary in style in the community where it all began, Trenton.
It's very clear from the words taken from our "Municipal Clerks at the Millenium - An Historical Report" That everything old is new again. Many of the issues we addressed in our past are the same ones we are addressing today. Election reform, professionalism, Open Public Meetings Act. The Municipal Clerk is the vital link between the public and the official, the link that keeps the circle complete. We are ever building upon the foundation set for us in 1922.