City of Madison

City Clerk  | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette

Mission, goals, and objectives

We exist to assist.  Our team serves to provide equitable access to open government by promoting the inclusion and full participation of all residents in the democratic process.  We are committed to achieving our mission through facilitating the right to vote, providing access to open meetings and open records, providing impartial license administration, and offering support for the legislative process.

Core values

  • Continual Improvement
  • Leaders in Innovation
  • Equity, Empowerment, and Engagement
  • Respect for Each Customer
  • Key Resource for Information
  • Service with Integrity and Empathy


City clerk's office personnel

  • City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl, WCPC
  • Jean Phelps, WCMC, Certified Municipal Clerk
  • Eric Christianson, WCMC, Certified Municipal Clerk
  • Thomas Lund, WCMC, Municipal Clerk II and Clerk's Office Records Custodian
  • Rachel Rodriguez, Municipal Clerk II
  • Nikki Schmidt, Municipal Clerk II
  • Jennifer Haar, Municipal Clerk I


Everyone in the City Clerk's Office is cross-trained to serve customers in each of the areas listed below.

The City Clerk's Office offers notary services from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Clerk's Office administers elections for the City of Madison.  This involves registering voters, issuing absentee ballots, hiring and training thousands of poll workers, setting up polling locations, testing election equipment to ensure accurate vote counts, certifying local nomination papers, auditing campaign finance reports, certifying local election results, deputizing Special Registration Deputies, and managing the quality of data within the Statewide Voter Registration System.  The City Clerk's Office provides voter outreach through presentations, brochures, voting equipment demonstrations, voter registration drives and mock elections; contact to schedule an event.

City meeting notices are posted on the bulletin board outside of the City Clerk's Office to comply with the state's open meetings law.  The Clerk's Office also links these agendas to an online meeting schedule.

The City Clerk's Office prepares the agendas and proceedings for the Common Council.  Before each Common Council meeting, Clerk's Office personnel assist the public with registering to speak on matters before the Council.  The City Clerk's Office impartially records the motions and votes at each Council meeting.

City of Madison businesses wishing to sell alcohol must apply through the City Clerk's Office.  Bartenders and others who will be selling or serving alcohol apply for an operator's license through the Clerk's Office.  The City Clerk's Office provides staff support to the Alcohol License Review Committee, which provides the Common Council with recommendations on whether to grant each license.

The City Clerk's Office is the filing officer for many types of city licenses, including secondhand stores, door-to-door salespersons, taxicab companies, theaters, tobacco sales, and transient merchants.  The Clerk's Office also processes license applications for Public Health for Madison & Dane County, including restaurants, hotels, swimming pools, campground sites, temporary food establishments, and tattoo & body piercing establishments.

The City Clerk's Office accepts claims against the City (for damages), and accepts service for lawsuits against the City.

City committee members, elected officials, employees involved in real estate transactions, employees involved in economic development negotiations, and city employees who are confirmed by the Common Council must file an annual Statement of Interests form with the Clerk's Office to identify potential conflicts of interest.

Lobbyists are required to register with the City Clerk's Office within five working days of their initial lobbying communication.  Principals employing lobbyists are required to file expense statements with the City Clerk's Office in January and July.  Lobbying complaints are filed with the City Clerk's Office.

City employees and officials who receive anything of value or have a fee waived or reduced in connection with their official duties are required to file a report with the City Clerk's Office.

The City Clerk's Office prepares an official City Roster to help Madison residents connect with their local government.

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