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TOWN OF HIGHLAND COPYRIGHT © 2017

The office of the clerk-treasurer

embodies the following functions:

 

Finance Administration:

 

• Receive and care for all monies

• Cash management

• Internal audit

• Investment

• Fee collection

• Budget officer

• Revenue forecasting

 

Municipal Secretariat

 

• Archivist for records

• Keeper of the municipal seal

• Clerk of the legislative body

• Acknowledging official

• Journal clerk

• Reading clerk

• Officer of the municipality

as its corporate secretary

and corporate treasurer

OFFICIAL DUTIES

HISTORY OF THE CLERK-TREASURER OFFICE

HISTORY IN HIGHLAND

 

Highland was incorporated April 4, 1910 after Andrew Reiner presented a petition to the

Lake County Commissioners asking that the 304 residents be organized as a town. The

first election of municipal officials was held the following year.

 

At the time of Highland’s incorporation, Indiana law provided for separately elected Town

Clerks and Town Treasurers. It would be another 25 years before Indiana combined the

two and the elected position of Clerk-Treasurer was created.

 

ORIGINS OF OFFICE

 

The office of the municipal clerk traces its origins to the period before Bible times.

 

• Town Remembrancer “Mazkir Ha’ir” in Hebrew is the term used for Town Clerk.

• Title “clerk” is derived from the Latin “Clericus”. It is how the current title clergy is

derived as well and represented from the middle ages those who were considered

learned or scholarly owing to the ability to read, write and serve as a recording official.

• City Clerk for Old England was established 1272 A.D.

• Clerk Comptroller of the King’s Household was established in the 1500s.

 

HISTORY IN UNITED STATES AND IN INDIANA

 

Although its roots can be traced to Great Britain, the unique formulation of clerktreasurer

which combines the office of secretariat of the municipal corporation and the

legislative body along with the offices of fiscal, disbursing and investing officer of the

corporation, could be argued to be uniquely American.

 

New England Colonies established town clerks in their early municipal governments. In

England, the Office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was established following the

development of the Magna Carta, provided for the first time a reversal from the Feudal

system of paying dues for the protection of the realm to a system of taxes which allowed

for consultation with the populace prior to taxing. Chancellor of the Exchequer is the

equivalent of the budget officer for government and the title of chancellor suggests the

proximity to the executive as well as some of the administrative duties familiar to clerks.

 

The American nature of the clerk-treasurer’s work as manager of appropriations is very

much an outgrowth of an early debate between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander

Hamilton whether the Legislative Branch of the new government or the Executive should

have province over spending authority.

 

The Founding Fathers coalesced around the notion that spending is allowed only when

appropriated by the legislative body.

 

Laws for city and towns expressly prohibit the clerk-treasurer from disbursing from the

local treasury except upon allowance of the proper board of jurisdiction and those

boards of jurisdiction may not spend unless the monies have been appropriated by the

legislative body.

QUICK LINKS

CONTACT INFO

Highland Municipal Building

3333 Ridge Road

Highland, IN 46322

(219) 838-1080 main number

(219) 972-5097 fax

 

Michael Griffin

Clerk-Treasurer

mgriffin@highland.in.gov

 

Katie Minchuk

Deputy Clerk-Treasurer

kminchuk@highland.in.gov