In cities, when a particular
measure must be enacted by a majority, three-fourths or two-thirds vote
of all the members of the common council, such as a budget change, is
the mayor included in calculating the total membership of the council
and thus the number of votes necessary to take the action?
No. The mayor is only counted if the mayor votes due to a tie. Wis. Stat. sec. 62.11(1) provides as follows:
The mayor and
alderpersons shall be the common council. The mayor shall not be counted
in determining whether a quorum is present at a meeting, but may vote
in case of a tie. When the mayor does vote in case of a tie the mayor's
vote shall be counted in determining whether a sufficient number of the
council has voted favorably or unfavorably on any measure.
In any extraordinary or super majority
vote setting, the mayor is not counted unless the mayor votes because
there is a tie. If the mayor votes, then the mayor is counted as a
member of the council for purposes of determining the number of votes
necessary to pass the measure and whether the necessary extraordinary
vote requirement has been met.
Bear in mind that the only time the
mayor's vote will be a matter of consequence is when the measure must be
enacted by a majority of all the members. If there is a tie vote and
the measure must be enacted by a three-fourths or two-thirds majority,
then the measure will fail regardless of whether the mayor votes. This
conclusion is based on conversations Daniel Olson had with Franklin City
Attorney Jesse Wesolowski on this issue and his analysis of Seelig v. City of Ripon, 237 Wis. 533 (1941) and the legislative history of sec. 62.11(1), Stats.