Within the time limited for filing the oath of office and before entering upon the duties of the office, the clerk must file a bond in such amount, with such sureties as the township board may require and approve. The bond must be conditioned on the faithful discharge of the duties of the office according to law and especially for the safekeeping of records, books and papers of the township and their delivery to his or her successor. The bond is filed with the supervisor and is payable to the township.
The statutory duties of the clerk are numerous, technical and legally essential to the proper operation of municipal government.
The clerk has custody of all records, books and papers of the township, if no other law so provides. The clerk must file and retain all certificates of oaths and other papers required to be filed in his or her office. All records must be kept by the clerk in a safe and proper place where they will not be exposed to any unusual hazard of fire or theft. They must be delivered to the successor in office. All records of the township, except those which have some confidential character, are public records that are open to inspection at reasonable times and places under the supervision of the clerk or other official appropriately having custody of the record.
The clerk must also open and keep an account with the township treasurer, charging the treasurer with all funds which are received by the treasurer by virtue of that office and crediting the treasurer with monies paid out on the order of the proper township authorities. The date and amount of all vouchers must be entered in a book kept by the clerk. The clerk is also required to keep a separate account for each of the several funds belonging to the township, crediting and debiting the same in accordance with proper receipts and warrants drawn by the township treasurer. The clerk is responsible for the detailed accounting records of the township utilizing the Uniform Chart of Accounts prescribed by the state treasurer. The clerk must also prepare and maintain the journals and ledgers necessary to reflect the assets, liabilities, fund equities, revenues and expenditures for each fund of the township.
The township clerk is the ex-officio clerk of the township's civil service commission for police or fire departments, if one is established. The clerk is required to supply clerical services to the commission without extra compensation.
The township clerk should maintain accurate records and an organized filing system of township resolutions, ordinances and other special proceedings or activities that can be readily produced upon request.
The previous description was excerpted from Authorities & Responsibilities of Michigan Township Officials, Boards and Commissions published by the Michigan Townships Association, copyright 1995.