Government Responsibilities and Procedures

A. Local Government Relationships within Dane County [adopted 1972] 

Support of:

  1. County responsibility for housing, solid waste, health and multimodal transportation that includes airports
  2. Shared responsibility by county and local units for parks
  3. County responsibility for air pollution while working toward regional and state responsibility
  4. Mandatory procedures for citizen participation at the study, planning, and administrative stages of the above services

[1984-1986 LWVDC Study of Administrative Arrangement of Libraries: no position]

B. Municipal* Budget Procedures [#1-3 adopted 1978; #4-10 adopted 1980] 
(* municipal refers to county, town, village or city) 

Support of:

  1. Local government adherence to minimum statutory requirements,¹ recognizing that statutory change might be necessary to force compliance with these requirements by municipalities. 
    ¹Statutes mandate that budgets include: 
  • previous year's actual revenues and expenditures
  • all existing indebtedness
  • all anticipated revenues
  • all proposed expenditures
  • revenues and expenditures for current year (actual figures for at least six months)
  • listing by fund of all anticipated unexpended or unappropriated balances
  • budget summary.

In addition, state law requires adequate notice of public hearings and meetings dealing with budgets, and requires that copies of proposed budget details be readily available to citizens prior to budget hearings.

  1. Well-publicized budget hearings using means such as local newspapers, public service announcements on radio and television, and making proposed budgets available in libraries, banks, and other places
  2. Line-item budgeting as basic and necessary for accountability
  3. The inclusion of program information and performance measures in the county and city budgets. Small cities and villages which could generate such information could add it to their budgets.
  4. The use of side-by-side narrative to explain special items, significant increases in expenditure of revenues, new programs, or programs dropped. Such narrative should be used sparingly, with an economy of words, for clarity.
  5. The inclusion of a statement policy by the chief executive outlining the policy goals of the budget. Such a statement is desirable at all levels and is necessary at the city and county levels.
  6. Towns should precede their annual meetings with public hearings prior to the formulation of the budget.
  7. Citizen participation at all levels of the budget-making process, most importantly at the needs assessment level and at public hearings
  8. Inclusion of a detailed account of expenditures of special revenues
  9. Inclusion of a table of contents or index for Dane County and Madison budgets. This is desirable for other units of government if the complexity of the budget warrants it.

C. Finance - Madison [adopted prior to 1972] 

Support of:

  1. Improved procedures for budgetary analysis and review of local governments, including the use of program budgeting as a tool in determining costs of alternative means of realizing public goals
  2. Analytical and advisory role of the city Finance Director as distinct from and subordinate to the policy making role of elected officials

D. Mayor - Madison

Support of:

  1. Four-year term for the Mayor of Madison

E. Economic Impacts of Development [adopted May 1987] 

Support of:

  1. Compiling economic impact information and preparing an analysis early in the decision-making process for development projects with the potential for significant economic impact in the community or region
  2. League believes that this will lead to better decisions and that the long-term consequences of making development decisions without trustworthy information outweigh the cost of such compilation and analysis.
  3. When economic impact analysis is undertaken, it is highly important to determine both who benefits from and who pays for a project. The analysis should include long-term effects on revenue and expenses for municipalities as well as on revenue for other government units (e.g. school and VTAE districts, counties). Immediate effects on revenue and expenses, while not a high priority, are also important.
  4. The economic impact analysis should also include information about property value trends.
  5. An economic impact analysis should include an analysis of changes in employment that can be expected from the project, such as the net number of jobs created or lost (long/short-term, skilled/unskilled) and a documented need for jobs with differing skill levels within the community.
  6. Economic impact analysis should include an analysis of the influence of the development project on the demand for housing, and information on the existing low/medium/high income housing mix, the single and multiple family dwelling inventory, and trends in achieving mixed-housing neighborhoods

Recent LWVDC Statements, Studies, and Position Updates

Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) January, 2005
Testimony at Hearing of Dane County Redistricting Subcommittee November, 2015 (Based on state positions on Apportionment.)
Statement to the Dane County Board in support of Resolution 32 ALLOWING HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS TO USE COUNTY DESIGNATED ADDRESSES FOR THE PURPOSES OF RECEIVING AN ID. June, 2016 (Based on national position on Voting Rights.)
Statement to the Dane County Board in support of the Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission September, 2016
Request that Mayor Soglin adequately fund the Madison City Clerk's Office August 1, 2016
Request that Mayor Soglin adequately fund the Madison City Clerk's Office August 1, 2017
Request that Mayor Soglin ensure convenient bus service to DMV at new Excelsior Drive location September 18, 2017
Request for Madison Common Council to sponsor a budget amendment for bus service to new DMV location October 17, 2017
Statement to the Dane County Board in support of recording all meetings of standing committees October 24, 2017
Statement to the Dane County Board in support of temporary suspension of Wisconsin's voter ID law October 26, 2017
Correspondence with UW–Madison Chancellor's Office regarding access to student voter IDs July 25–November 9, 2017
Letter to members of the Personnel and Finance Committee re funding for voter ID education November 14, 2017
Message sent to County Board President Sharon Corrigan and Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner (among others) as part of an email discussion about greater public access to county committee deliberations November 14, 2017