Officers FAQ 6

Is a village president a chief executive officer under state law?

No. A village president, unlike a mayor, is not designated as the chief executive officer by state law. Instead, a village president is declared a trustee with certain administrative responsibilities. These responsibilities include presiding at all board meetings and signing all ordinances, rules, bylaws, regulations, commissions, licenses, and permits adopted or authorized by the board and all orders drawn on the treasury except as provided by Wis. Stat. § 66.0607. In addition, the village president is also directed to “maintain peace and good order” and “see that the ordinances are faithfully obeyed.” The village president is also given authority to appoint special marshals in certain circumstances and is given charge of the village jail. In all other respects, the executive authority of a village president is a shared authority with all other members of the village board. Wis. Stat. § 61.24. Although the village president is not generally designated a chief executive officer, it’s worth noting that there are some statutory references in statutes pertaining to cities, villages, and towns, that refer to “chief executive” and include a corresponding provision defining “chief executive” to include village president (e.g., Wis. Stat. §§ 66.1007(1)(c), 66.1109(1)(c)). Some references do not contain a definition and simply refer to the chief executive office of a village (e.g., Wis. Stat. § 30.37(3)). In those instances, we believe it is reasonable to infer that the legislature is referring to the village president. (rev. 4/21)