The town clerk is elected for either a one-year or, if the town so votes, a three-year term. 17 V.S.A. § 2646(2).
The clerk also serves as school district clerk unless the district has voted otherwise. 16 V.S.A. § 426.
The town clerk:
- Administers oaths of office and the voter’s oath (24 V.S.A. §§ 1160, 2124), and is automatically an ex-officio notary public (24 V.S.A. § 441);
- Records all proceedings of town meetings (24 V.S.A. § 1152);
- Issues various licenses including marriage and dog licenses, and fish and game licenses, among others, and may register vehicles (18 V.S.A. § 5131; 20 V.S.A. § 3581(a); 10 V.S.A. § 4254; 23 V.S.A. § 6);
- Records all land records (deeds; liens; restrictions on deeds; hazardous waste site information and storage and disposal certifications; underground storage tank information; and local permits attached to real property) (24 V.S.A. §§ 1153–1164);
- Records all vital records (deaths, births and marriages) (18 V.S.A. §§ 5007–5013);
- Serves as presiding officer of all elections except non-Australian ballot town meetings unless the municipality by vote or charter provides otherwise (17 V.S.A. §§ 2452, 2680), and has many other election and town meeting responsibilities (Title 17 generally); and
- Works with the listers on setting the grand list and on tax appeals (Title 32 generally).
Clerks have many additional responsibilities scattered throughout the statutes. See VLCT’s Handbook for Vermont Municipal Clerks for further detail.