New Factsheets Answer Questions about County Government

UW Extension’s Local Government Center has updated its fact sheet titled County Government in Wisconsin History & Background and created a new fact sheet:  Limits of County Board Administrative Authority.  Fact sheets are brief publications covering specific topics and offer a ready and accessible source of information.   These and other Fact sheets are available on the Center’s Web site.

Wisconsin residents know they live in a county, that county’s name and usually where the courthouse is located.  The details of county government structure may not be so readily understood, or county officials may be looking for clarification of their responsibilities.   There may be specific questions about county government structure and operation, such as:

  • What are the differences between county executives, county administrators and county administrative coordinators?
  • What are the responsibilities of the county supervisor?
  • Should a county supervisor be appointed administrative coordinator for the county?
  • Where do elected positions such as the county sheriff, register of deeds or the county clerk fit in county government structure?
  • Who is responsible for the regular daily operation of county government?

These fact sheets are a good beginning to address these kinds of questions and other questions about county government.   An article appeared in the October 2012 issue of Wisconsin Counties magazinebased on the Limits of County Board Administrative Authority Fact sheet.

Other resources on county government are available from the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA).  On the WCA web site you will find Wisconsin County Official’s Handbook, (Third Edition)and the County Government: History, Services, and FundingThe Local Government Center contributed several chapters to the Handbook and is working with the Wisconsin Counties Association on the Handbook’s Fourth Edition, currently in development.

Philip J. Freeburg