Kyle Christianson, Legislative & Research AssociateJennifer L. Bock, Managing EditorEngaging County Boards
 There are 72 counties inWisconsin. In Wisconsin, counties serve asan agent of the state. Unlikecities and villages, cou...
Counties in Wisconsin are theprimary means of delivering stateservices at the local level. For example, there are no loca...
 Care for the elderly and peoplewith disabilities. Mental health and AODAtreatment. Investigation and prevention ofchil...
 Operation of state courts. Judges, DAs and public defendersare all state employees. Other staff and expenses are paidb...
 Federal-state funds, e.g.,Medical Assistance and highwayfunds. Targeted state funds, e.g., YouthAids and Community Aids...
 Given ongoing budget shortfalls,state funding for counties hasbeen reduced in recent years. In the 2011-13 state budget...
State law allows counties threelocal revenue sources Property taxes 0.5 percent sales tax Vehicle registration – “wheel...
 62 of 72 counties have a salestax One county has a “wheel tax” Counties’ primary source ofrevenue is the property taxC...
 Property values have droppedthe last 5 years. Counties operate under both atax rate limit AND a levy limit. The tax ra...
 Levy limits have been in place since2005. 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 makes thelevy limits permanent. Levies mayincrease no m...
Who are County Officials? County Supervisors run for office tomake a difference – they desire tomake their county a bette...
 They are a product of their lifeexperiences They may bring bias with them to office They are a cross-section of the st...
What is their job like? It involves a lot of conflict(resolution) There are long hours and manymeetings There is a lot ...
County officials face demands frommany directions Constituents Local activists and supporters Media Special Interests...
How do you break through the clutterof competing interests?By educating local officials andbuilding relationshipsHOW TO EN...
1. The Golden Rule Treat county supervisors the way youlike to be treated – with respect andcourtesy2. Always introduce y...
Become a resource for county officials County supervisors are not experts inall issues. Many have full-time jobs thatrequ...
Educate supervisors on county-relatedapplications Law enforcement – live and remote videomonitoring Surveillance cameras...
Enhanced broadband may not matter toindividual supervisors, but it matters tosomeone. Taxpayers benefit from more efficie...
When discussing an issue (e.g.,broadband) Be pleasant Be clear Be concise Be accurate Be firm but not argumentative ...
PEOPLE! There are strength in numbers. Your group Your coalition Your supportersGetting Your Message Heard
“Engagement is building relationshipsand putting those relationships to workto accomplish shared goals.”Gideon Rosenblatt,...
Kyle Christianson, christianson@wicounties.orgJennifer L. Bock, bock@wicounties.orgWCA Office phone: 608-663-7188Thank You...
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WI Counties Association 2013 Boot Camp Presentation

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Wisconsin Counties Association presentation for 2013 UW Extension broadband High Speed Bootcamp, Kyle Christianson and Jennifer Bock

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WI Counties Association 2013 Boot Camp Presentation

  1. 1. Kyle Christianson, Legislative & Research AssociateJennifer L. Bock, Managing EditorEngaging County Boards
  2. 2.  There are 72 counties inWisconsin. In Wisconsin, counties serve asan agent of the state. Unlikecities and villages, counties doNOT have constitutional homerule. Counties may do only what statelaw allows them to; or what thestate requires of them.County Government in WisconsinAn Overview
  3. 3. Counties in Wisconsin are theprimary means of delivering stateservices at the local level. For example, there are no localoffices of the WisconsinDepartment of Children & Familiesto deliver services. Countiesprovide those services for thatdepartment.County Government in WisconsinAn Overview
  4. 4.  Care for the elderly and peoplewith disabilities. Mental health and AODAtreatment. Investigation and prevention ofchild abuse and neglect. Maintenance of state highwaysand county roads. Operate county jails and Sheriff’soffices.State Mandated Services Providedby Counties
  5. 5.  Operation of state courts. Judges, DAs and public defendersare all state employees. Other staff and expenses are paidby counties. Recording of state vital recordsand property transactions. Real and personal property taxcollections.State Mandated Services Providedby Counties
  6. 6.  Federal-state funds, e.g.,Medical Assistance and highwayfunds. Targeted state funds, e.g., YouthAids and Community Aids. General state funding, e.g.,shared revenue.How Counties Pay for Services
  7. 7.  Given ongoing budget shortfalls,state funding for counties hasbeen reduced in recent years. In the 2011-13 state budget,funding for most county serviceswas reduced by 10%. Someprograms experienced largerreductions. Counties do not have a lot ofdiscretionary funds.Trends in State Funding
  8. 8. State law allows counties threelocal revenue sources Property taxes 0.5 percent sales tax Vehicle registration – “wheel tax”Other County Revenues
  9. 9.  62 of 72 counties have a salestax One county has a “wheel tax” Counties’ primary source ofrevenue is the property taxCounty Revenue Sources
  10. 10.  Property values have droppedthe last 5 years. Counties operate under both atax rate limit AND a levy limit. The tax rate limit was set at 1992levels.County Property Taxes
  11. 11.  Levy limits have been in place since2005. 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 makes thelevy limits permanent. Levies mayincrease no more than the increasein net new construction. The statewide average allowableincrease for levies in 2012(13) is0.7%.Levy Limits
  12. 12. Who are County Officials? County Supervisors run for office tomake a difference – they desire tomake their county a better place They enter office with the best ofintentions They wish to be liked They want to be respectedHOW TO ENGAGE COUNTY BOARDS:KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
  13. 13.  They are a product of their lifeexperiences They may bring bias with them to office They are a cross-section of the state They have a variety of personalitiesand skills They can be either introverts andextroverts They are detail oriented people and bigpicture people There are leaders and followersWho are County Officials?
  14. 14. What is their job like? It involves a lot of conflict(resolution) There are long hours and manymeetings There is a lot of time away fromhome and family They are expected to beknowledgeable about a variety oflocal issuesWho are County Officials?
  15. 15. County officials face demands frommany directions Constituents Local activists and supporters Media Special Interests Personal goals and aspirations FamilyWho are County Officials?
  16. 16. How do you break through the clutterof competing interests?By educating local officials andbuilding relationshipsHOW TO ENGAGE COUNTY BOARDS:KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
  17. 17. 1. The Golden Rule Treat county supervisors the way youlike to be treated – with respect andcourtesy2. Always introduce yourself They may not always remember yourname3. Treat their time as valuable Many people place demands on theirtimeGetting Your Message Heard
  18. 18. Become a resource for county officials County supervisors are not experts inall issues. Many have full-time jobs thatrequire a significant time commitment. You are the expert, make yourself aresource for them. Become aneducator. Make the case for why counties shoulddevote their limited resources tobroadband efforts.Getting Your Message Heard
  19. 19. Educate supervisors on county-relatedapplications Law enforcement – live and remote videomonitoring Surveillance cameras in remote areas thatare problem areas Access to meetings for everyone in thecounty Distance learning and remote education foryour school districts Live medical consultation for your clinicsand hospital(s) in the county Electronic medical records Radio interoperability Public safetyGetting Your Message Heard
  20. 20. Enhanced broadband may not matter toindividual supervisors, but it matters tosomeone. Taxpayers benefit from more efficient, less-expensive government operations. Schools benefit by enablinginterconnectedness, access to the samelevel of education in rural areas as in urbanareas. Hospitals and patients benefit by havingaccess to experts and specialists remotely. Business benefits by leveling the playingfield (online bill pay, supply chain, etc.) Farmers benefit due to the increasedreliance on GPS, internet-based irrigation,fertilizing practices.Getting Your Message Heard
  21. 21. When discussing an issue (e.g.,broadband) Be pleasant Be clear Be concise Be accurate Be firm but not argumentative Thank themGetting Your Message Heard
  22. 22. PEOPLE! There are strength in numbers. Your group Your coalition Your supportersGetting Your Message Heard
  23. 23. “Engagement is building relationshipsand putting those relationships to workto accomplish shared goals.”Gideon Rosenblatt,The Alchemy of ChangeQuestions & AnswersEngaging County Boards
  24. 24. Kyle Christianson, christianson@wicounties.orgJennifer L. Bock, bock@wicounties.orgWCA Office phone: 608-663-7188Thank You!Questions? Contact Us.

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