City Secretary’s Office Achieves Exemplary Five-Star Designation for 2021
The City Secretary’s Office has received the Exemplary Five-Star Designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records Division for the eleventh year.
Tomball received the 2021 State of Texas Exemplary Five Star designation, which requires meeting or exceeding stringent requirements set forth by the State, including registration of 100% of the City’s birth AND death records within one business day, and attending annual and regional conferences.
The Exemplary Five-Star Designation is the State’s highest honor for vital statistics registrars and would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of each member of the City Secretary’s Office.
Are you interested in serving on a City Board or Commission?
Serving on a City board or commission offers an excellent opportunity to provide input and insight for the improvement of the City’s operations and the Tomball community. The time commitment is minimal, but the opportunity to make a difference is significant. Membership on City boards or commissions is open to all Tomball residents. Service is voluntary and without monetary compensation. The City will provide any required training. Applications remain on file for two years only and are available through "Quick Links" (to the right).
The City Secretary of Tomball
Functioning much like the Secretary of State, the City Secretary is the local official who maintains the integrity of the election process, ensures transparency and access to city records, facilitates the city’s legislative process, and is the recorder of local government history. The City Secretary acts as the compliance officer for federal, state, and local statutes, including the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act, and serves as the filing authority for campaign finance reports and financial disclosure statements.
The City Secretary’s Office provides information to the citizens of Tomball, elected officials, staff and the public in accordance with election, state and federal law, the city’s Home-Rule Charter, and other rules and regulations as adopted, in a courteous and service-oriented manner. The City Secretary’s Office administers democratic processes, manages public inquiries and relationships, arranges for ceremonial and official functions, and ensures transparency of the City’s legislative actions to the public. Please click the link for a short PowerPoint describes the Office of the City Secretary for the City of Tomball.
The City Secretary’s office:
- Records and maintains records of all proceedings of the city council
- Provides information regarding operations of the city to the community as a whole
- Maintains custody of municipal records
- Administers/conducts the city’s elections
- Provides administrative support to the Mayor, Council, and City staff
- Coordinates appointments and training of board and commission members
- Publishes official notices of the city
- Issues certain licenses and permits
- Records, files, and issues birth and death records
- Coordinates city events
- Provides continuity for Tomball city government.
Functions of the City Secretary’s office include:
- City Council Meetings
- Public Information Services
- Resource for citizens
- City Ordinances
- Legal Notices
- Council Services
- Records Management
- Vital Statistics/Local Registrar
- City Events
- Budget Preparation for the Mayor and Council, Legal, and City Secretary’s Office
- Proclamations and Service Flags
- Miscellaneous services
What is a City Secretary?
In 1934, the eminent political scientist, Professor William Bennett Munro, writing in one of the first text books on municipal administration about the municipal clerk/city secretary’s office stated: “No other office in municipal service has so many contracts. It serves the mayor, the city council, the city manager (when there is one), and all administrative departments without exception. All of them call upon it, almost daily, for some service or information. Its work is not spectacular, but it demands versatility, alertness, accuracy, and no end of patience. The public does not realize how many loose ends of city administration this office pulls together.”
Many people might ask the about the City Secretary, "Just what is a City Secretary, and what is the City Secretary’s place in government?"
The City Secretary serves as secretariat to the City Council, the official keeper of records, and the local elections administrator. The official functions and duties of the City Secretary are outlined in the Functions section above. In this section we hope to provide you with a more esoteric view of the City Secretary’s role, and the background and history of this office.
The City Secretary functions much like the Secretary of State or the County Clerk. In Tomball, the City Secretary is a Department Head responsible for the legislative operations of the city and is directly accountable to the City Council and the City Manager. The City Secretary has direct signature authority and his/her signature is required on all Ordinances, Resolutions, and other official documents of the city. The City Secretary’s office is a citywide information and document resource, and is the official records management office for the City. Every municipality in the United States has a City Secretary or someone who functions as one. Little occurs within the municipality that the City Secretary’s office does not touch, either through leadership; by recording, archiving or providing information; preparing and posting or publishing notices and information; and organizing and facilitating policies, programs and events.
Our present City Secretary, Doris Speer, and our Assistant City Secretary, Tracylynn Garcia, are Texas Registered Municipal Clerks, through the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program. The Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program is the only university-level professional education program for city clerks and city secretaries in Texas, and is the third oldest of such programs in the country. It is administered by the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program located at the University of North Texas, and by the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc. The certification program is recognized by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Through the years many changes have occurred, improving the program and increasing public recognition. The 69th Texas Legislature adopted H.B. 2092, which gives State sanction of the Program and provides that certification will be issued to each person who successfully completes the program. H.B. 2092 also requires persons that certify as Registered Municipal Clerks in Texas re-certify every five years.
The Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program provides current insight into such areas as public relations, interpersonal communications, and community organization which will improve on-the-job ability and enhance the clerk personally and individually. Increasing personal awareness, flexibility, knowledge, and innovations result in new professionalism. Successful completion of TMCCP requires approximately 200 hours of individual home study and written homework; examinations over each of the four courses; and attendance at eight two-day seminars. Re-certification requires an additional 80 hours of professional development course work every five years, including attendance at six two-day seminars and a selection of educational opportunities to earn points towards re-certification. Currently, hundreds of municipal clerks are enrolled in TMCCP and are working toward certification or re-certification. As of 2017, 801 enrollees have completed the extensive three-year certification program.
Doris Speer, City Secretary, holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration/Strategic Leadership, is a Texas Master Registrar, has achieved Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) status and is a Athenian Fellow through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).
Tracylynn Garcia, Assistant City Secretary, is a Texas Master Registrar, and has earned her Certified Public Manager (CPM) distinction through the Hobby School of Public Affairs Certification Program located at the University of Houston. Additionally, she is a Texas Registered Municipal Clerk, and has achieved Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) status through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC).
This professional organization boasts over 10,000 members, and is comprised of City Secretaries and Deputy City Secretaries from the United States, Canada, and other countries. IIMC provides all City Secretaries and their assistants with a variety of services and activities to assist them with the duties and responsibilities of their office.
The IIMC Certification Program is a nationally acclaimed award which has advanced the careers of countless clerks. The first Certified Municipal Clerk Program was initiated in 1969 by the membership of IIMC to recognize those Municipal Clerks who had achieved basic levels of professional competency. The MMC and CMC awards are granted after an applicant has met specific requirements in education, experience and professional participation, in keeping with IIMC’s central education mission to provide and facilitate Municipal Clerk learning opportunities directed toward these ends and to the public good.