5. Must an appointed municipal official be a resident of the municipality he or she serves?

In general, the answer is no, unless there is a statutory requirement that the appointed official be a resident of the municipality – e.g., Wis. Stat. §§ 30.37(3) [board of harbor commissioners], 27.11(1) [board of public land commissioners], and 43.54(1)(a) [library boards]. In the absence of such a statutory requirement, a non-resident may be appointed to a municipal office or position unless the city or village has adopted its own residency requirement for appointed officials. However, it is important to note that Wis. Stat. § 66.0502 prohibits municipalities from enacting employee residency requirements. In light of this prohibition, whether a local residency requirement is permissible likely turns on whether the appointed official is an “employee.” If an appointed person is an employee, § 66.0502 appears to preclude a local residency requirement.

In contrast to appointed municipal officials, all elected municipal officials must be residents of the municipality and alderpersons must be residents of the district from which they are elected. See Wis. Stat. §§ 61.19, 62.09(2)(a), and 17.03(4)(c).

A person appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office must meet the residency qualification applicable to elective municipal officers. Wis. Stat.§ 17.28.

(rev. 3/19)

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1. 1. What is the proper procedure for filling vacancies in city or village offices?
2. 2. Does a council member or village trustee vacate their office by temporarily moving out of the district or village they represent?
3. 3. What is the proper procedure for resigning from a municipal elective or appointive office?
4. 4. Is there a time limit within which vacancies on a municipal governing bodies must be filled?
5. 5. Must an appointed municipal official be a resident of the municipality he or she serves?
6. 6. Can a minor (i.e., someone who has not reached the age of 18 years) be appointed to a municipal committee or commission?
7. 7. If a municipal official is temporarily unable to perform duties due to illness, may the governing body appoint someone temporarily until the officer is able to return and perform their duties?
8. 8. Does an elected local government official automatically vacate his or her office if s/he moves outside out of the municipality or aldermanic district for which s/he was elected?
9. 9. Can a person vote to fill his/her own vacancy on a municipal governmental body such as a village board or city council?
10. 10. If a new position is created by the municipal governing body, can a member of the governing body resign from the board and apply for the new position?
11. 11. What is the proper method for making an appointment to fill a vacancy in an appointed office?