The Municipality Magazine

The League's The Municipality magazine is published monthly and circulates to almost 10,000 local elected officials, staff and partners in Wisconsin. We focus on issues that are of interest to Wisconsin's cities and villages and will help to move Wisconsin forward.  

If you are a local official or staff of a League member municipality and are not receiving the magazine please email the League and we will add you to the subscription list.

If you would like to subscribe please use the online order form.  The subscription rate is $25 annually. 
9 20 21st Century Funding

September 2020

Moving Wisconsin's cities and villages into 21st Century Funding is our focus. As Jerry Deschane stated in his column, "Wisconsin has a growing fixed-income population, yet, irrationally we rely on the unforgiving property tax to fund schools, technical colleges and local government. The lack of a balanced approach to local government revenue leads to the impression that Wisconsin is a “high tax” state, even though overall state and local revenues as a portion of personal income are squarely in the middle among states. Relatively high property taxation drags down our housing market and makes attracting people to Wisconsin difficult. According to research by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, no other state relies as heavily on the property tax.  

Levy limits are killing Wisconsin. Cities and villages cut corner after corner as sub-inflationary levy limits choke the primary resource supporting first responders and educators. State leaders praise themselves for “holding the line” on property taxes, without having to endure the pain of cutting police officers and deferring critical maintenance. It’s time for an evolution." 

The League's September E-Newsletter with Opportunities, Events, and Funding. 

8 20 The Municipality Racial Equity Mural

August 2020

The League takes our role as a convener of the state dialog on racial equity seriously. From the columns by Milwaukee Common Council President Cavalier Johnson and Reggie Jackson to Eric Giordano's "I am White and Privileged. Now What?" and Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly's statement, we ask that you read this issue. Join us for the Chief Executive Workshops session on Racial Equity or the Annual Conference Workshop or convene your community,  What role does local government and do you, as a leader in local government, have in moving toward racial equity?  

The League's August E-Newsletter with Opportunities, Events, and Funding. 

The August E-Muni takes a deep dive into the magazine providing a sampling of racial equity initiatives and statements from communities across Wisconsin.   

7 20 Cover The Municipality Muni Finance

July 2020

The state of the economy and municipal finance considerations in the age of Covid-19 are the articles that anchor the magazine - authored by experts at the Center for Community and Economic Development Dept of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin--Madison and by Ehlers. The 6 steps of project prioritization by MSA and cybersecurity by Incrediblebank round out the articles. Curt Witynski also provides a review of the legislative session to date and Claire Silverman provides an overview of recreational immunity.  

The July E-Muni takes a deep dive into the magazine's articles on the economy and provides direct links to the legal articles. 

A plethora of Opportunities, Events and Funding are provided in the July E-Newsletter.  

6 20 The Municipality New Officials Cover Oshkosh Downtown

June 2020

The June issue is focused on new officials and includes articles on leadership, the impact of the pandemic on municipal financing and important legal distinctions that make governing different from running a business.  Every April an average of about 800 officials take office for the first time. Welcome! 

The League’s June 2020 E-Newsletter with Opportunities, Events, Grants & Training For You 

The June E-Muni, the League’s Deep Dive into the magazine, includes direct links to the legal articles from the March, April and May articles as well as the June issue.  

5 20 League The Municipality Wisconsin Adapts


May 2020

Wisconsin does indeed adapt! The League’s May magazine includes a photo album that depicts life in the first few weeks of the pandemic. Thank you to everyone who provided photos! There are also a lot of screenshots. What stands out is how innovative, resilient and community building local government is in this moment - and frankly always. You are truly leading your communities both through the every day and the extraordinary.

Thank you!

4 20 The Municipality More Housing - COVER

April 2020

Wisconsin needs more housing for families and workers, for young people and for people who are older. Whether you call it affordable or workforce housing, it is home to someone. The April magazine covers all kinds of housing, covers planning for housing, removing barriers and includes success stories.   

3 20 The Municipality Public Utilities COVER

March 2020

The League’s March issue of The Municipality magazine is focused on the role of public utilities in Wisconsin’s cities and villages.  While there are only 81 “public power” utilities in Wisconsin, every municipality has a public water and wastewater utility. In addition to the article highlighting Kaukauna Utilities, the magazine features articles from the Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin on public power, by the Wisconsin Rural Water Association on water utility challenges and a legal article on municipal utility governance by Attorneys from Boardman and Clark LLP. In addition, Stephanie Marquis provides tips on "Working with the Media" and Lisa Bergersen’s "THC at Work" is likely to be well read. 

PFAS is in the air, food containers, stain repellents, cosmetics and is used in manufacturing as well firefighting foam.  It’s also in the water.  What is the municipal responsibility and ability to mitigate? Paul Kent, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP, who literally wrote the book on water law in Wisconsin is Jerry Deschane’s guest on the League’s Local Perspective. They talk about all of these issues plus the science. Watch the League’s Local Perspective.  

2 20 The Municipality Transportation

February 2020

Transportation, including roads, ports, transit, bicycles and more are covered in the League’s February The Municipality magazine. 

From weight limitations, to favorite potholes, to rail and ports, bikes and buses, from the DMV and Real ID to the State Patrol, Craig Thompson, Secretary-Designee of the Wisconsin Dept of Transportation is Jerry’s guest on the League’s Local Perspective

Read the League’s E-Muni with direct links to transportation resources including the #AboutTime inaugural newsletter. 

1 20 ELECTIONS COVER

January 2020

We cover everything related to elections in the January, The Municipality magazine.  You will be amazed at the work that goes into providing an election from the Clerk to election security and more.  

CORRECTION:  In the League’s January 2020 magazine article titled, Badger Book Overview, it is important to clarify that Badger Books, used to check in and register voters and process absentee ballots at local polling places, do NOT use an internet connection. 

On this month’s League Local Perspective, Jerry Deschane talks with Kelly Michaels,  Brookfield City Clerk about election security, the event planning that is involved, absentee ballot processing and the number of volunteers and training that is included. You’ll want to bring your municipal election staff flowers after watching this show! 

The League’s E-Muni links directly to resources referenced in the magazine including the Wisconsin Elections Commission

12 19 Partnerships COVER

December, 2019

The focus of The Municipality this month is on partnerships. We look at it from every angle we can think of, from economic development to intergovernmental cooperation. We give examples of cities partnering with cities and villages partnering with counties.

Tim Hanna and his new role as the Director of the Local Government Center of Wisconsin is the focus of the League's December the Local Perspective. Thanks to FACTv for hosting us! Watch it here...

We deep dive into partnerships in the December E-Muni

11 19 INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES

November, 2019

Inclusivity means different things to different people. As Jerry Deschane said in his column "So don’t sweat the awkward conversation. We’ll help you through it. This month’s issue of The Municipality is filled with great thoughts, ideas and examples from some of Wisconsin’s best municipal voices on the topic of inclusion."

What makes a community, either large or small, a welcoming community? In making your community a more attractive place to live and work for diverse residents, how do you honor the community's heritage? What do you do to get there? Jerry Deschane sits down with Eric Giordano, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy & Service for our November Local Perspective. Eric works with communities around the state. Watch it here.

Direct links to the ICMA Equity and Inclusion Toolkit, the legal article on public comment and much more in the November E-Muni.

10 19 VILLAGES FINAL COVER

October, 2019

Wisconsin's 413 villages vary by geographic size, by population or by property value, or by their rural or urban setting, but you still can’t put your finger on the one thing they all have in common. Wisconsin villages are uniquely Wisconsin and fun to read about! 

Why the Green Bay Mayor's Masters in Library Science is applicable to local government, the strength of local impact, the Packers, Economic Development and the League's Annual Conference are among the topics discussed in the latest League Local Perspective. Jerry sits down with Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich in his office. Thanks to Shelby Hearley, Green Bay Multimedia Communication Specialist for hosting us! Watch the video...

The October E-Muni provides direct links to Cybersecurity information, legal articles like the ABS's of CBD and more. 

9 19 COVER DOWNTOWN DESTINATIONS

September, 2019

Downtown as a destination is a topic of two of our articles and several of our Annual Conference Workshops. In addition, Curt reviews the state budget's impact on cities and villages. 

The E-Muni links to resources on transportation aids, downtown development and the legal articles.  

Lisa Bergersen, Principal Attorney at EngageHR Law, Of Counsel at Buelow Vetter, Former HR Director, City of Pewaukee talks with Jerry about the importance of Human Resources on the League's Local Perspective.