Information about Current Office Operations
Beginning March 18, 2020, the front desk to City Hall is closed to the public along with other City facilities. The main entrance into City Hall is open, and there is an area accessible to the public just outside the double white doors leading into the City Hall rotunda to drop off payments, license applications, or other physical materials.
During the time the public desk is closed, teammates will still be working to continue delivering the essential services of the office, both externally to the public and internally to other City departments. Our team is ensuring the main City phone lines (507-328-2900) continue to be answered during business hours.
Applications can be completed online for most licenses and permits issued by the City Clerk’s Office. Visit www.rochestermn.gov/citizenaccess to access the online application system for new licenses or renewals. Paper applications can also be mailed in or dropped off in the drop box accessible just inside City Hall, and will be processed as quickly as possible. As circumstances continue to evolve, anticipate possible longer than usual processing times.
Parking tickets can also be paid online or by telephone, and the service fees charged by the vendor who provides this service are being paid by the City at this time to encourage payment by these methods.
Role of the Clerk's Office
The role of the City Clerk goes back to the beginning of the City of Rochester's history. At the time of the City's incorporation in 1858, the three city-wide appointed officials included the city justice, treasurer, and city clerk (referred to as the city recorder until 1892.) As chronicled by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, the municipal clerk is the oldest public servant role in local government.
Today the Rochester City Clerk's Office is not a large department by any means, but it plays an outsized role by weaving connections between City departments and other entities to deliver effective services and meet the needs of residents, businesses, and visitors.
Residents and other stakeholders in Rochester interact with the City Clerk's Office with a range of needs, including wanting to:
- Know what the City Council is doing, and to feel like they have an opportunity to let their local representatives know what is important to them in local decision making.
- Know what they need to start or run a business in the city and get licensed.
- Find information about City services.
- Complete transactions with the City.
- Get access to information that explains why and how the City has made different decisions.
- Have opportunities to participate in and engage with local government.
The City Clerk's Office helps meet these needs by:
- Creating an entry point for interactions with local government.
- Facilitating connections with other departments, entities, and services to deliver services and outcomes.
- Ensuring processes work effectively and efficiently to bring together work that happens across the enterprise to both ensure the work is completed and is made accessible to all stakeholders.
Charter & Statutory Duties of the City Clerk's Office
- Clerk of Council
- Attends all Council meetings and keeps the official record of the proceedings - minutes and agendas from 1997 to present are available electronically
- Publishes and posts all Council hearing notices
- Publishes notice of proposed ordinances as well as all adopted ordinances upon passage
- Notices all Council meetings
- Records & Information Management
- Election Administration
- Keeper of the City Seal
- Attests every contract of the City
- Affixes the City seal and certifies official documents
- Other delegated services
- Accepts filings of official documents including Oaths of Office, Ethics Ordinance Disclosure Forms, and Conflict of Interest forms
- Administers the Board of Appeal and Equalization
- Maintains a Domestic Partnership Registry
- Processes annexations to the City
- Publishes legal notices of bids and receives all bids
Direct Public Service Functions of the City Clerk's Office
- Serves as the Front Desk for City Hall
- Receives payment for a range of City functions, including assessments, parking tickets, administrative fines, and maintains a drop box for Rochester Public Utility bill payments
- Sells 10 and 20-ride bus tickets, monthly bus passes, and student semester passes - see Rochester Public Transit for more bus info
- Answers main City phone lines and web inquiries to respond to resident questions or identify proper points of contact to whom requests can be directed
- Processes parking violations
- Oversees the special assessment process
- Manages the Administrative Fine Enforcement Program
- Administers Business Licensing
- Issues Residential Parking Permits
- Processes all City Hall mail
- Provides City bursar services within City Hall
- Provides Notary Public Services
- Please note - we are unable to notarize USCIS Form I-9 or documents that are not in English.
- Charges for Notarial services are as follows:
- Each notarial signature - $5.00
- Each signature of a witness - $1.00 (you may bring your own witness at no charge)
The City Clerk also serves as the City's Communications Director, with responsibilities including: