County Organizational
Meeting
J. Michael Blaska
Wisconsin Counties Association
Constitutional Authority
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Legislature may confer on boards powers of
a local, legislative & administrative character
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Identifies county officers as well as
conditions of elections, removal & terms
Statutory Authority
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Authority comes from Chapter 59
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Counties are a body corporate that can sue
and be sued
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Powers are limited by state statute
Administrative Home Rule
Sec. 59.03(1) – Every county may exercise any
organizational or administrative power, subject
only to the constitution and to any enactment of
the legislature which is of statewide concern
and which uniformly affects every county.
Administrative Home Rule
Sec. 59.04 Construction of Powers. To give
counties the largest measure of self
government under the administrative home rule
authority granted to counties…
liberally construed in favor of the rights, powers
and privileges of counties to exercise any
organizational or administrative power
Self Organized Counties
Self organization provides more flexibility on
the manner in which the board of supervisors
may operate
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Use of staggered terms
Compensation of supervisors
Filling county supervisor vacancies
Self Organized Counties
How accomplished?
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Majority of whole board adopts an ordinance
invoking the authority of the authorizing
statute
County board adopts the policies it desires
Organizational Meeting
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Required to meet on the third Tuesday of
April
May adjourn to different date
Purpose is to organize & transact business
Prepare Agenda
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Call to Order
Roll Call
Oath of Office
Election of Officers (list)
Adoption of Rules
Business
Adjournment
Organizational Meeting
Conducting
The
Elections
Who Runs the Meeting
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May be the current chair
May be the former chair that was defeated
May be the vice-chair or 2nd vice chair
May be someone trusted
Should not be someone who is seeking the
office
Nominations
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Declare the floor open for nominations
Need not be recognized by the chair
Anyone can nominate
Can nominate yourself
Chair should restate the nominee placing
their name before the body
Nomination speeches are allowed
Nominations
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No second required but allowed to show
support
Seconding speeches are allowed
Technically nominations are not necessary each member is free to vote for anyone
eligible
Nominations
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Motion to close
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No motion necessary but may accept a motion to
close
Not in order until reasonable time has been given
Is out of order if someone is seeking the floor
Requires 2/3 vote
No requirement to ask 3 times
Chair can declare nominations are closed
Elections
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May allow candidates to say a few words
If only one candidate the chair may accept a
motion to close nominations & cast a
unanimous ballot
If only one candidate the chair may declare
the candidate the victor
Appoint ballot clerks – perhaps the county
clerk & a respected board member
Elections
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Only time a secret ballot may be used
Continue to vote until a majority is reached
Never drop off the lowest candidate
Candidates may withdraw
When unable to reach a majority: take a
recess, allow the candidates to speak, allow
members to speak
Winner takes the chair
Elections
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Impropriety of limiting voting to the 2 leading
candidates
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Leading candidates may represent 2 different
factions – division may be deepened
May unite members w/compromise candidate
Improper to remove nominee w/lowest votes
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Repeat balloting until you have a winner
Nominee w/lowest number of votes could be a
“dark horse” who all can agree on
Organizational Meeting
Board Rules
Sources of Procedural Rules
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State Statues
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Local Rules
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Robert’s Rules of Order
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Content
Chapters
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County Board Officers
Organization of the County Board
Procedural Rules of the County Board
County Board Officers
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Duties of chairperson
Duties of vice-chairperson or persons
Duties of sergeant-at-arms
one or two?
 male & female?
(may need to hold more elections if new rules add
officers)
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Organization of the Board
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Determine standing committees &
responsibilities
Other committees & responsibilities
Staff Assistance
Scheduling, notice, conduct
Public appearances at committee & county
board
Organization of the Board
Standing Committees
Name the committees
Responsibilities
Number of members
How appointed – board chair or committee
Officers appointed or elected
Organization of the Board
Committee Creation
County
may establish as many standing &
advisory committees as it deems necessary
Committee
chair has authority to set the
agenda, preside at meetings, make reports and
make recommendations on the committee’s
behalf
Procedural Rules
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Resolutions: form, referrals, how processed,
fiscal analysis, county board action
Seating arrangements, board members, staff,
department heads, general public
County board calendar – who prepares?
Order of business
Parliamentary procedure
Define Session
Procedural Rules-Resolutions
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What is the format – who drafts
How are resolutions introduced – members,
committee, anytime, board meetings
What happens w/resolution once introduced
What is the referral process – chair,
committee, clerk
How do they get on committee calendar
What happens once approved
Procedural Rules - Order of
Business
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Call to order
Special matters & announcements
Approval of bills & accounts
Approval of proceedings(minutes)
Consent calendar
Reports on zoning committee
Procedural Rules - Order of
Business
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Ordinances
Award of contracts
Resolutions
Special order of business
Such other business as allowed by law
Procedural Rules - Parliamentary
Procedure
Identify
rules specific to county
List common or basic rules of order
Designate Robert’s Rules of Order Newly
Revised 11th Edition for questions not covered
in board rules
Procedural Rules - Session
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Definition of session determines when
business can be brought back before the
assembly
A session may be one meeting, 1 year, the
term of supervisor or as determined
County Board Rules
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Current board should review rules & amend
as necessary prior to organizational meeting
New board adopts rules at organizational
meeting
Rules should be incorporated into county
ordinance
We have to stop meeting this way
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Ukrainian Parliament-April 26, 2010
Source: nytimes.com “Ukraine Passes Deal Under Hail of Eggs”
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Wisconsin Counties Association
J. Michael Blaska
Chief of Staff
22 E. Mifflin St., Suite 900
Madison, WI 53703
608-663-7188
[email protected]
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