The Municipality Magazine
If you are a local elected official or staff of a League member municipality and are not receiving the magazine, email the League and we will add you to the subscription list.
What, who and how - the basics of cities and villages are presented in this issue of the Municipality magazine. Plus Ryan VanLanduyt, President of Wisconsin Community Media and Executive Director of Rice Lake Community Media talks about the current state of communication and League staff go Digging Into Municipal Cemetery Management. We republish an article from the Wisconsin State Journal on broadband and in legal, Claire Silverman provides details on open meetings law in the event that members of a governing body are attending other meetings.
The League’s Board of Directors has adopted an aggressive legislative agenda for the 2017-2018 session detailed in the Municipality. The Board was guided, as always, by the League’s core principles of strengthening local democracy and preserving and enhancing local revenue sources. Read about the opportunities and challenges anticipated in the 2017-18 Legislative Session. The importance of municipal rental inspection programs is detailed by Mark Rohloff, City Manager, City of Oshkosh and Tom Larson, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs, Wisconsin REALTORS Association discusses the property tax shift that would result if the state eliminates the personal property tax.
We report on the progress we've made on the League's Legislative Agenda in the January E-Muni and provide you with additional resources on rental unit inspections and a link to the Wisconsin Realtors Association footnotes on personal property tax.
Tom Larson, Wisconsin Realtors Association Senior VP of Legal & Public Affairs talks the Personal Property Tax with Jerry Deschane on the January League Local Perspective. The WRA opposes eliminating the Personal Property Tax if it creates a shift to real property or if it creates a budget hole for local governments. Thanks to WSTOTV in Stoughton for producing this show for us.
Engagement in the Civic Process is a multi-faceted issue. It's about citizens engaging with their government in person and online and it is also about citizens running for office. As Scot Simpson, River Falls City Administrator says in his article on engagement: "It's Everyone's Business." Jerry sat down with Wauwatosa Mayor Ehley and Bayfield Mayor Ringberg to ask them what inspired them to run for Mayor, Nick and Alex fromPolco take on the philosophical and practical considerations of engagement and Hoodstarter details why online crowdsourcing works. Todd Berry, WisTAX writes about the research whileRich Kremer, WPR digs deeper and interviews village and city officials about the interest, or lack thereof in running for local office.
Scot Simpson, River Falls City Administrator sat down with Jerry to talk about creating a culture of engagement. You can watch the League's December "Local Perspective" on YouTube, thanks to FCTV.
You can read the December E-Muni, the electronic supplement to the magazine here. We link to many additional resources on civic engagement.
November's the Municipality is focused on "The Future of Wisconsin," so we sent an email to the clerks asking for photos of "Future Voters of Wisconsin." We sourced more than 100 and in order to make sure that the photos weren't tiny, and that each child was on the cover, we created three covers for this magazine.
Futurist Rebecca Ryan takes on the future of Wisconsin government, Jerry Deschane interviewed Lancaster residents in an article entitled "Changing with the Times: The Impact of Hispanic Immigration on One Small City in Wisconsin," plus Jim Wood of Wood Communicationwrites on "Workforce Retention and Recruitment' while Richard Heinemann and Julia Potter of Boardman & Clark LLC details "How Wisconsin Municipalities Can Invest in the New Solar Economy."
Rebecca Ryan brings her wit and analysis but no crystal ball to the discussion she and Jerry Deschane have about the future of Wisconsin in the League's latest Local Perspective. Thanks to Sun Prairie Media for hosting us!
The November E-Muni provides resources on the Wisconsin Local Government Center's Trend Report, Wisconsin's demographics, the Monarch challenge as well as a bonus article on the successful Middleton Climate Referendum.
The October the Municipality highlights the expertise you'll have access to at the League's 118th Annual Conference in Stevens Point. Charles Carlson, Carlson Dettmann Consulting LLC writes about "Employee Performance and Compensation in the Public Sector" and was one of 30+ presenters at the Annual Conference. The cover photo is the city's skyline provided by Stevens Point resident Bruno Castelhano.
Watch the League's "The Local Perspective" interview with Charles Carlson, Carlson Dettmann Consulting, LLC as he dives deeper into the issue of employee compensation thanks to FACTvFitchburg here.
The League's October E-Muni provides additional resources on compensation, the FLSA overtime rule, the five conference resolutions and Mobile Integrated Health Care's benefit to your community. Read it here.
This month’s issue of the Municipality is packed with great information for and about Wisconsin’s small cities and villages. The League’s median member size municipality is 1,450, so there are a lot of small communities in Wisconsin.
In this issue we debut the results of the League’s 1st Annual State of Wisconsin’s Cities and Villages Report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance as well as the results of a survey of Governance in municipalities with a population under 10,000. In addition, Errin Welty details success stories in Wisconsin’s small downtowns and provides information on upcoming downtown forums. We talk about broadband and Jerry tours the League’s smallest member municipality, Stockholm, population 66.
Watch the League's inaugural "The Local Perspective", our new 1/2 hour talk show which will air on public access media throughout the state. We'll highlight our monthly magazine theme. Thanks to Wisconsin Community Media for making this possible and specifically to Sun Prairie's Media Center for producing the first show in their studio. Errin Welty, WEDC downtown expert was our first guest. Watch the show here
You can read the August E-Muni with easy access to the resources provided in the magazine as well as some extras here.
This month’s issue of The Municipality focuses on money. Specifically, we’ve assembled a variety of resources that you can use as you start to make your 2017 fiscal decisions. We’ve asked the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to explain their very simple and very affordable borrowing program for local government needs. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board gives an overview of Wisconsin’s public employee retirement system, which is one of the best-managed retirement systems in America. For spice, we’ve included an editorial from Tony Minghine, Deputy Director of the Michigan League of Municipalities on the “emergency management mentality” that led to the crisis in Flint and that (in Anthony’s opinion) threatens local governments across the country. Among that diversity of options you’re sure to find one or two “fiscal nuggets” that will help your city or village.
Plus Claire Silverman, the League's Legal Counsel dissects the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and what it means for your municipality and also outlines how the FLSA Overtime Laws impact cities and villages.
The League's July E-Muni provides you with direct links to the municipal financing resources highlighted in the magazine.
Thanks to the strength of League lobbying by you, the local elected officials and staff, the 2015-16 Legislative Session turned out well for Wisconsin's cities and villages. The League's May magazine provides a full summary. In addition, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance breaks down where the action is in municipal liability and Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP outlines prevention and detection of fraud. As an endnote, the Rhinelander Street Superintendent takes on potholes in a "Letter from the Street."
The League's May E-Muni - Legislative Wrap-Up plus Liability & Fraud, Oh My!
Transitions and the Creative Economy are the focus of the League’s April the Municipality. Three retiring mayors share what they learned in their years in office and in addition, we reprinted an article featuring a retiring Madison alder entitled “Celebrating the Drama Free Public Servant.” League Legal Counsel, Claire Silverman provides you with everything you need to know post April 5 election including “Oaths, Bonds, Vacancies and Organizational Meetings” and WEA Trust gives you the information you need if you are thinking of transitioning to another health plan. In addition, we feature poems by several city poet laureates and an article by Arts Wisconsin Executive Director Anne Katz “So How Do You Do the Creative Economy Anyway? (Hint: It’s a Process.)”
The League's April E-Muni is a supplement to the print magazine and provides you with easy access to additional resources on the Creative Economy that we were not able to include in the magazine itself.
Wisconsin is on the cutting edge of forestry practices, undertaking an inventory of both public and private trees across the state that will allow policymakers to plan for the long term. Municipalities receive a payback for their investment in trees which can be quantified and includes increased property values and reduced stormwater costs. Also, thanks to MSA Professional Services, park project planning is broken down into a five-step process that will help insure success and Daniel Olson, the League’s Assistant Legal Counsel takes on “Reducing the Legal Risks of Community Dog Parks.” We also published “A Walk in the Park,” by artist Grant Snider.
Adopt the Creative Economy Proclamation: Creative Economy Proclamation (DOC) as seen in the March Magazine.
The League's March E-Muni includes links to the Michigan Municipal League Resources and articles related to Jerry Deschane's column, "Lessons From Flint" as well as additional resources on the value of trees to cities and villages.
How can we increase the number of women running for local elected office? That question is addressed in February’s the Municipality in an article by UW-Extension staff. The Extension surveyed women serving in local government as well as potential candidates and found that how you ask women to run makes a difference. The magazine also highlights several Wisconsin women in office, details election law changes that you should know as well as provides details on YPWeek2016.
Check out the E-Muni, the email supplement to the magazine that accompanies this edition. If you are interested in being added to the distribution list for the E-Muni, contact Gail Sumi, email.
Wisconsin's alcohol culture has both positives and negatives, hence the cover photo of the January the Municipality. In this edition, we highlight successful municipal efforts to improve the alcohol culture, provide resources for you to try in your community, as well as an article on a new law allowing Wine Walks. In addition, Jerry Deschane writes on the shortage of EMT's in many communities and we take on the heroin and opioid scourge.
Read the January E-Muni, the email supplement to the magazine which provides additional resources on changing the alcohol culture as well as resources to fight heroin and opioids.