The county clerk is the clerk of the county legislative body. T.C.A. §§ 18-6-101; 18-6-104.  The clerk keeps the official records of the body, sends required notices, and keeps a record of all appropriations and allowances made and all claims chargeable against the county. The clerk may develop the agenda for the county legislative body meetings.

In addition to keeping the minutes, the County Clerk is required to:

  1. Notify each member of a special or called session not less than five days in advance of the meeting T.C.A. § 5-5-106;
  2. Present each resolution approved by the county legislative body to the county mayor for signature promptly after the meeting of the county legislative body and report the approval or nonapproval at the next meeting in the reading of the minutes. T.C.A. § 5-6-107;
  3. Notify members of vacancies which must be filled by the county legislative body, and record each member’s vote to fill the vacancy and enter it in the minutes. T.C.A. § 5‑5‑111; and
  4. Carry out any other duties required by local rules of procedure adopted by resolution of the county legislative body or required by statute.

In instances where no statute or rule of procedure adopted locally addresses a question of parliamentary procedure, many county legislative bodies follow Robert’s Rules of Order, a set of procedural rules which may or may not be adopted by the body.

Within almost every county there are three major operating department heads:  the county mayor, the chief administrative officer of the Highway Department, and the Director of Schools (under the direction of the Board of Education).  Income received and disbursements made by these departments must be authorized by the county legislative body, subject to general and private acts of the legislature and to court decisions.  Accordingly, no county funds may be expended unless authorized (generally referred to as “appropriated”) by the county legislative body.  T.C.A. § 5-9-401.

Appropriations may be made by the county for a number of specifically authorized purposes, or pursuant to the general authorization to appropriate funds for any statutorily authorized purpose. T.C.A. § 5-9-101 et seq.  The County Clerk keeps a book of appropriations. T.C.A. § 5-9-301.  Once an appropriation is made, warrants signed by the appropriate department head (more than one department head may be required) are drawn on the county treasury (trustee).

To learn more about County Clerks serving as the clerk of the County Legislative Body, review the County Legislative Body topic.