Historical Perspective of the Office of the City Clerk

Seattle's first City Charter allowed for a Clerk of the Common Council to be elected by the Council. In 1875, the position of City Clerk became elective and remained so until 1896, when the new Charter designated the Comptroller ex-officio City Clerk. The Comptroller served as City Clerk through 1992. A 1991 City Charter amendment transferred the Comptroller's function to the Department of Finance. The Office of the City Clerk became an appointed office as a division of the Legislative Department, effective in 1993. In 2010, the City Clerk assumed the additional role of administrative head of the Legislative Department.

For more history on the City Clerk and other Seattle officials, please visit the Municipal Archives' history of City Officials.