A clerk is a senior official of many municipal governments in the English-speaking world. In some communities, including most in the United States, the position is elected, but in many others, the clerk is appointed to their post. In the UK, a Town or Parish clerk is appointed by the Town or Parish Council Members. In almost all cases, the actual title of the clerk reflects the type of municipality he or she works for, thus, instead of simply being known as the clerk, the position is generally referred to as the town clerk, township clerk, city clerk, village clerk, borough clerk, board secretary, or county clerk. Other titles also exist, such as recorder. The office has existed for centuries, though in some places it is now being merged with other positions.
The duties of a municipal clerk vary even more than their titles. In the United Kingdom, a clerk is generally responsible for a Local Council (Town or Parish). Particularly in the United States, it is difficult to fully describe a clerk's duties, because there are hundreds of different jobs a clerk may fulfill. In some U.S. states, there are provisions in the state constitutions delineating the clerk's duties, but in other states, each municipality decides for itself what role the clerk plays.