County Government. Roles and Responsibilities Alan Probst Local Government Specialist Local Government Center UW-Extension. County Government. Wisconsin counties are governed by elected county board of supervisors
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Roles and Responsibilities
Local Government Specialist
Local Government Center
59.17(1)(a) states “each county with a population of 500,000 or more, a county executive shall be elected for a 4-year term
59.17(1)(b)providesthat“Counties with a population of less than 500,000 may by resolution of the board or by petition and referendum create the office of county executive or abolish it by petition and referendum.”
59.18(1) states “Counties having a population of less than 500,000 may by resolution of the board or by petition and referendum create the office of county administrator” and “The county administrator shall be appointed by majority vote of the board.”
59.19 Administrative coordinator . In any county which has not created the office of county executive or county administrator, the board shall designate, no later than January 1, 1987, an elected or appointed official to serve as administrative coordinator of the county . The administrative coordinator shall be responsible for coordinating all administrative and management functions of the county government not otherwise vested by law in boards or commissions, or in other elected officers.
(comprehensive plan, capital improvement plan, parks plan, etc.)
Ordinances & resolutions
The budget is the document through which the board determines what services will be provided, how they will be funded, and to what level they will be funded.
The budget is the single most important document in the board’s duty to provide services
An ordinance is a local law prescribing rules of conduct related to the corporate powers of the governmental body. It is a law that can be enforced by the officials of the governmental body. It is intended to be a permanent part of the governmental code. (Ordinances can also be organizational and can grant powers, such as a licensing ordinance).
Resolutions are usually less permanent and deal with matters which are less permanent or temporary in character. They are more often used to grant special privileges, express opinions, or to communicate with other governmental bodies. A resolution may be used to adopt a budget.
Provided for by Article VI of the Wisconsin Constitution
Duties discussed in Chapter 59 of the Wisconsin Statutes
Sheriff 59.27 (jail, law enforcement)
Coroner 59.34 (medical examiner)
Clerk of Court 59.40 (court records)
Register of Deeds 59.43 (record deeds, mortgages)
Clerk 59.23 (board & other records
Treasurer 59.25 (collect & disperse funds)
District Attorney 978.05 (criminal actions)
Surveyor 59.45 (execute land surveys)
County Board has very limited control over Constitutional officers
Primarily restricted to budgetary control; however must fund sufficiently to meet state mandates
Multiple court rulings support the autonomy of constitutional officers
The limitation on board control of constitutional officers provides a portion of the system of checks and balances in county government
Effective board operations are based on mutual understanding and respect for each other’s position and viewpoint
Leadership responsibility can easily become confused and controversial
Education Elected by people
Experience Local connection
When you read the Wisconsin statutes, it strongly implies:
“Thou Shalt Not Micro-Manage”
A key to staff success is to remain “politically savvy while politically neutral”