About the Seattle City Clerk

In Seattle, the City Clerk serves as the Administrative Head of the Legislative Department. The office is comprised of Legislative Operations, Seattle Municipal Archives, and the City Records Management Program, and is also responsible for the Legislative Department’s Public Disclosure Program, Technology and Information Management Services, and Human Resources.

The Office of the City Clerk provides access to the City of Seattle's legislative process, local laws, policies, and regulations, ensuring the integrity and preservation of the public record. This commitment is demonstrated by the ease of access to public information and timely research assistance, ensuring reliable information, and consistent and transparent public service.

We are committed to promoting civic education, and our services and resources are developed specifically for public access, encouraging all Seattleites to Be Informed and Be Involved in their local government.

We invite you to become familiar with the services and resources featured throughout our web site, or contact us directly if you require assistance.

Monica Martinez Simmons, Seattle City Clerk

Historical Perspective

A city clerk is a public official whose principal duties include keeping records or accounts for the municipality and other duties prescribed by law. The position is central to government transparency as the Clerk’s office is responsible for preserving and making official records and legislation accessible to the public. The role of the Clerk has greatly expanded over the years and modern technology is a key factor in supporting the increased responsibilities. Over time, the Clerk’s office has evolved into the information hub of local government as well as a direct link between the citizens and government. The Clerk often serves as the community historian maintaining the city’s historical archives.

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 and the City Clerk's Office became a division of the Legislative Department, effective in 1993.

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