"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
On January 30, 1922, a meeting was held in the Trenton City Hall for the purpose of forming a permanent, private organization of New Jersey municipal clerks. From that meeting, the Municipal Clerks' Association of New Jersey took shape and a committee was appointed to advocate for a law providing tenure to municipal clerks in the Garden State.
In 1927, the organization interacted with the N.J. League of Municipalities and sought to promote pride and professionalism among clerks as the Municipal Clerks' Association of New Jersey (MCANJ).
During the ensuing years, MCANJ took on a variety of concerns, primarily working to educate municipal clerks on, and advocate for, their protection and rights, especially New Jersey municipal clerks who come under attack. As time went on, the Association grew and expanded the scope of service, offering the benefit of its members collective experience and wisdom on pressing issues including revision and simplification of election law. In 1937, MCANJ commenced its effort to educate clerks on their roles and prepared a manual for clerks, which addressed duties and responsibilities.
The MCANJ corporate charter was formally registered on February 2, 1944.
In 1957, in recognition of the considerable responsibilities and duties required of New Jersey municipal clerks in conducting their duties, MCANJ recommended a study be conducted toward creating a school for municipal clerks in cooperation with Rutgers University. In 1965,the education course, "Duties of the Municipal Clerk," was introduced by Rutgers and held at Paramus High School in Bergen County.
Through the 1970's and 1980’s, Rutgers University increased the sophistication and scope of it municipal clerk education programming, emphasizing management studies and, later, professionalism. The MCANJ Education Committee worked closed with Rutgers in publicizing courses offered.
In the 1990’s, the MCANJ Spring and Fall Conferences expanded to a two-day educational events, Peer Alliance for Learning was formed and recommended "core duties" were drafted and approved by the MCANJ membership. By the late ‘90's technology was the focus with MCANJ’s state-of-the-art fax communication system.
The new millennium saw MCANJ’s information technology expand to include an e-mail database and website at www.njclerks.org. The Association celebrated its Platinum Jubilee 75th anniversary in style in the community where it all began: Trenton. The "Municipal Clerks at the Millenium - An Historical Report" confirmed that everything old is new again with many of the issues addressed in the past being the same ones arising today: elections, professionalism, Open Public Meetings Act, records requests. The Municipal Clerk is the vital link between the public and their government, and since in 1922, we have prided ourselves in our critical roles in this great democracy.