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Letter: She's surprised county board's pondering coordinator


Continued from last week...

"While this is considered by some to be desirable because it places an elected person directly in charge of a government operation, this form of government has been in long-term decline because it has frequently been seen to encourage non-productive competition between commissioners and their respective departments; it distracts from the elected official's primary responsibility of policy making and planning; and it places a person in charge of a department who frequently has no training or experience in government departments which have become increasingly complex.

"In the most severe cases, this form of government has also been considered more prone to official corruption. Hence, the Wisconsin legislature and statutes do not provide for this form of government. The title 'supervisor' appears to be a primary source of the misinterpretation of the duties of Wisconsin County Boards of Supervisors. They do not directly 'supervise' under Wisconsin law; they 'oversee' through their policy making and budgeting authority.

"County Executive. In the County Executive form of county government, a County Executive is elected by the citizens specifically to act in the capacity of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the county. While Milwaukee County is required to have a County Executive, any county in the state may choose this form of executive structure. This form of government is generally chosen due to such reasons as political climate, complexity of governmental issues in that county, projected growth, or some other issue or issues for which the citizens feel the need for a full-time elected CEO who answers directly to the citizens.

"The County Executive coordinates and directs all administrative and management functions, appoints (subject to county board confirmation) and supervises department heads; appoints members to boards and commissions; also subject to board confirmation; submits the annual budget; and holds veto authority over board decisions, ordinances, resolutions, and appropriations."

To be continued ...

Pamela Sans