Appointments & Vacancies

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249. In the absence of a contract or understanding providing otherwise, where an ordinance provides for an appointed village officer to serve a five-year term, "subject to review for reappointment," the officer's term does not automatically renew after 5 years when the village board takes no action to reappoint. However, the appointed officer continues to serve until his or her successor is appointed and qualifies, pursuant to sec. 61.23(1), Stats. Tenure statutes are strictly construed and where the legal provision prescribing the term of an officer is uncertain, an interpretation will be adopted that limits the term to the shortest time. See 3 McQuillin, The Law of Municipal Corporations, sec. 12.108. 12/1998.

248. Section 17.28, Stats., which requires that any officer appointed to fill a vacancy qualify in the manner required by law of the officer in whose stead the officer is appointed, makes it clear that only a resident may be appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office where residency is a requirement of the office. League opinions to the contrary, written before sec. 17.28 was created, Appointments & Vacancies #178 and 194 should not be relied on. 3/1995.

247. Section 17.245, Stats., provides that newly created municipal elective offices must be filled by election. Section 9160(3x) of 1991 Wisconsin Act 269 (the budget adjustment act), which took effect May 1, 1992, provides a temporary exception to that general rule by allowing municipalities that adopt an ordinance creating a municipal court before December 1, 1992, to initially fill the office of municipal judge by temporary appointment pending the election of the incumbent for the first term. 11/1992.

246. In cities operating under the city manager plan set out in Wis. Stat. ch. 64, a majority vote of the entire authorized membership of the common council is necessary to appoint a person to fill a vacancy on the council regardless of the number of council members actually present and voting. Sec. 64.07(3), Stats.

245R. Reviews statutory procedures governing resignations from public office and the filling of vacancies in municipal offices. 9/2003.