Commissions FAQ 3
Are mayoral appointments to a police and fire commission or plan commission subject to confirmation by the city council?
Yes. Although sec. 62.13(1) and sec. 62.23(1)(c), Stats., simply state that a mayor shall appoint annually one member of a police and fire commission and plan commission, sec. 62.09(3)(e), Stats., prescribes that appointments by the mayor shall be subject to confirmation by the council unless otherwise provided by law.
The plain language of sec. 62.09(3)(b), Stats., might be read to supersede the requirement of sec. 62.09(3)(e) for mayoral police and fire commission appointments. However, the judicial analysis in State ex rel. Pieritz v. Hartwig, 201 Wis. 450, 230 N.W. 42 (1930), and the legislative history of sec. 62.09(3), Stats., substantially rebut such an interpretation and support the conclusion that mayoral appointments to the police and fire commission are subject to council confirmation. See Police and Fire Commissions 109.
Moreover, based on the clear language of sec. 62.09(3)(e) and the conclusion that it applies to mayoral appointments to the police and fire commission, it reasonably follows that mayoral plan commission appointments must also be confirmed by the council. The sec. 62.23(1)(c), Stats., declaration that a mayor shall appoint the members to the plan commission is not sufficient to satisfy the council confirmation exception prescribed by sec. 62.09(3)(e). See Commissions 158 & 159.
The type of exception contemplated by sec. 62.09(3)(e) is illustrated by sec. 61.65(3g)(d)3, Stats. Under this provision, appointments to a village police and fire commission are not subject to confirmation by the village board unless required by ordinance.In sum, although the specific statutes which vest police and fire commission and plan commission appointment power in a mayor do not specifically provide for council confirmation, sec. 62.09(3)(e) is best read to impose such a requirement.