Webinar: City Secretary 101

City Secretary 101

With Speakers Laura Calcote, Kerri Craig, Shelley Goodwin, & Thomas Harris III

Live Webinar: Oct. 9, 2020
Purchase On-Demand Webinar Access

About the TMCCP webinar "City Secretary 101: Overview of Local Government in Texas, Boards/Commissions/Committees, Preparing for Council Meetings, Public Notices, Oath of Office/Notary Public/Certifying Documents"

Special thanks to Llano City Secretary Erica Berry, TRMC, for her contributions in preparation for this webinar.

Overview of Local Government in Texas and the Municipal Clerk Profession
From the roots of the “oldest of public servants in local government” to our roots through special acts of the Republic and State of Texas, we will dive into the history of the Municipal Clerk profession and the evolution of cities in Texas.

Boards, Commissions, and Committees – Oh My!
The presentation will take you, Dorothy, down the yellow brick road to learn to navigate the Land of OZ, complete with various boards, commissions, and committees.  These aspects of your municipalities serve a functional purpose in municipal government – to assist and guide the City Council of the Emerald City with creating public policies and procedures. You will explore the purpose, types (mandated versus non-mandated), relationship management aspects, and training tips to help you understand these various entities, while you successfully follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City.

Preparing for Council Meetings
One of the most demanding aspects of a municipal clerk’s job is the City Council meeting. The entire process of preparing for the meeting, managing the meeting, and finalizing all actions once the meeting is over can be overwhelming. This session will provide you with several tips for making that process easier and more efficient. You will learn how to make drafting minutes a breeze, create a user guide for meetings, and several tips that will help you be prepared for any of the myriad of challenges that may arise in the course of preparing for City Council meetings.

Public Notices
Standing in the streets and yelling was the old way of notifying the public. In current times the laws tell us what, when, and how to give notice on a large variety of items. The different types of notices and requirements can be intimidating, but the goal of this session is to help you understand the different types of notices, their requirements, and to help make your life easier.

Oath of Office, Notary Public, and Certifying Documents
This session will explore and provide tips to overcome the “weirdness” of administering an oath of office. An overview of the duties of a Notary Public, and how to certify documents will also be provided.


Our webinar attendees said:

"The entire webinar was terrific!"

"I love the opportunity to continuously learn through seasoned colleagues!"

"[The most valuable part of the webinar was] gaining the additional basic knowledge for city secretaries."


About the Speakers

Laura Calcote, TRMC, possesses a decade of experience working in the public sector. She has held several positions at the state and local governmental levels, ranging from a legislative document processor at the Texas Legislative Council to her current job as City Secretary for the City of Wimberley. Laura began her career as a city secretary in 2016, when she was hired with the City of Oak Ridge North. She had to learn the duties and tasks of her new role quickly and realized the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc. (TMCA) was the key to helping her do so. She enrolled in the Texas Municipal Clerks Certification Program within a couple of months at the job and received her Texas Registered Municipal Clerk Certification in October 2018. She is currently working to earn her first recertification. Laura has found the relationships formed and support from the members of the TMCA organization have been instrumental in her success as a municipal clerk.

Laura has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas State University and a Master of Public Administration from Stephen F. Austin State University. Her work experience and education have allowed Laura to acquire extensive knowledge and skills in government processes and procedures. Laura believes public service is a calling to promote the common good of the citizenry.

Laura is involved in various municipal organizations. She serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for Women Leading Government – Central Texas Chapter. She is a Resolutions Committee Member for the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Inc. and a member of the Capital Chapter and Hill County Chapter of TMCA, holding several positions on smaller committees within the Chapters. Also, she is a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) and the Texas City Management Association (TCMA). When Laura is not working or at a public meeting, she enjoys spending time with her fur child, Texa, traveling, reading a thought-provoking book and deepening her practice in yoga.


Kerri Craig, TRMC, has been a member of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association since 2014. She has over 25 years of experience in public service in the areas of strategic planning and data analysis, information systems, administrative and departmental management, legislative and legal research, records management, and budgeting. She began her career as a Municipal Clerk in 2014 when she was appointed City Secretary for the City of Dripping Springs. In 2016 she was appointed City Secretary for the City of Horseshoe Bay, where she continues to serve today. Kerri was voted Municipal Clerk of the Year by her peers in the Hill Country Texas Municipal Clerks Association in both 2018 and 2019.

Kerri earned the TRMC designation in October 2016 and is currently pursuing recertification. She earned the Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation from IIMC in November 2019, and is currently pursuing the IIMC Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) designation. Kerri is also in the final course of the Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program. She graduated with a Masters of Public Administration (MPA) degree in 2007, and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Management Information Systems in 2001, both from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi while working as the Director of Advancement Services.

Kerri is a native Texan and was raised in San Antonio. She is a member of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, Hill Country Chapter of TMCA, National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA), and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).


Shelley Goodwin, TRMC, has worked in State, County, and Municipal government for almost 30 years, 20 of those serving as City Secretary, Interim City Clerk, Deputy City Clerk, or Departmental Secretary. Shelley says:

"I obtained my Texas Registered Municipal Clerk in 2011 and is currently working on another Recertification. I am a graduate from New Braunfels High School (Go Unicorns), attended St. Edwards University, Texas Lutheran College, and received my Paralegal Associates Degree.

"I previously worked for the City of San Marcos as a temporary employee during Election Season, Departmental Secretary, which was changed to Deputy City Clerk, and serviced over two years as Interim City Clerk.  I also worked for the City of Garden Ridge, before settling in at the City of Fredericksburg.  In all my years of experience in the City Secretary/Clerk’s Office, I have performed a variety of duties from Event Planning, HR, Finance, Communications, and on top of City Secretary duties.

"I am a member of the Hill Country Chapter TMCA and one of the 2020 Municipal Clerk Excellent Award recipients. Recently, I was nominated for Clerk of the Year by the Hill Country Chapter of TMCA.

"My treasures are my husband Paul, and three children, Dustin, Dakota, and D’Lauren.  I am also grateful for my Daughter-in-Love Brooke, grandson Rowan, 2 dogs, 3 grand dogs and lots of grand cattle.  

"I enjoy antique shopping, being creative, fishing, watching HGTV, creating Honey Do Lists, spending time with my family, and as much time as I can with Rowan. Fun fact that most people do not know about me is I have fought in full contact karate matches in Texas tournaments and around the US in National Black Belt tournaments.

"My favorite part of being a City Secretary is… every day is different and never the same or dull, which gives me the ability to think outside the box. One of my favorite quotes is, 'The only way to do great work is to love what you do.'”


Thomas Harris III, TRMC, serves as city secretary of the City of Sugar Land. He previously served as the assistant city secretary. Prior to his employment with Sugar Land, Thomas served as the City of Lubbock’s deputy city secretary from 2008 to 2016, the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation’s executive director from 2013 to 2014 and program manager from 2005-2008.

Thomas has a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Texas A&M University. He has been certified as a Texas Registered Municipal Clerk since 2011 and is a member of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association, the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, the Texas City Management Association, and the Salt Grass Chapter Texas Municipal Clerks Association. He previously chaired the Child Protective Services Disproportionality Advisory Committee in Lubbock and the Texas Disproportionality and Disparities Advisory Council.