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Municipal Clerks Week: The Legislative Historian

Posted on May 8, 2019


Trivia - Day 3

One of the City Clerk’s many roles is to keep a record of the legislative history of the City, and my goodness has that process changed over the years. From beautifully handwritten minutes, to verbatim minutes typed on a typewriter (if you don’t know what this is, swing by the City Clerk’s office for the opportunity to view a real-life typewriter – don’t worry, we don’t actually use it anymore, just an ancient artifact). Eventually we moved to a more efficient minute-taking style of action minutes that are created on a computer (woot woot!).

Just 50 years ago, we brought an ordinance to the City Council to correct typos that took place in the final printing of an ordinance – which sounds simple, but in actuality, the City Clerk’s office staff were required to retype the ENTIRE ORDINANCE on a typewriter, for even the most simple grammatical errors. Mistakes happen all the time, and fail-sharing is new-age high-five, but mistakes like this would cost the office an entire day of re-listening to the audio tapes from the City Council meeting, and retyping the ordinance on their handy-dandy typewriter.

Yesterday’s Trivia Results:
How many City Clerks have there been since the City’s Charter was established in 1913 AND how many years did the longest standing City Clerk serve for?

Most Creative Response & Winner:
Jim Schutz
“There have been seven City Clerks since 1913 with Eugene W. Smith serving for 50 years. Eugene’s colleagues often called him “Lean Gene” because he was such a parsimonious penny pincher. In fact, his real surname was Freudenbergerhausen but he went by “Smith” because his manual typewriter used up way too much expensive ink spelling Freudenbergerhausen on all the important Resolutions and Ordinances of the day.”

Congratulations Jim Schutz!

Honorable Mentions 50% Correct:
Ali Guidice, Whitney Fry, Chris Viebrock, Christine Foster, Shawn Plate

Correct Answer:
eugene smith
There have been 7 City Clerk’s since 1913 and the longest serving City Clerk was my good pal Eugene Smith who served this city for 50 years!

In the theme of historians, here is your third trivia question:

Trivia - Day 3

When did the City Clerk’s office stop handwriting their minutes? And when did the City Clerk’s Office move away from typewriter minute creation process?

Party with #clerklife today!
Don’t forget to swing by our office at City Hall in Room 209 from 1:00 – 3:00 for some snacks, knick-knacks and artifacts! https://employees.cityofsanrafael.org/event/municipal-clerks-week-snacks-knick-knacks-and-artifacts/

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