The Municipality Magazine

The League's the Municipality magazine is printed monthly and circulates to almost 10,000 local elected officials, staff and partners in Wisconsin. We focus on issues that are of interest to Wisconsin's cities and villages and will help to move Wisconsin forward.  

If you are a local elected official or staff of a League member municipality and are not receiving the magazine, email the League and we will add you to the subscription list.  
December the Municipality - Engagement in the Civic Process

Current Issue



December 2016 

Engagement in the Civic Process is a multi-faceted issue.  It's about citizens engaging with their government in person and online and it is also about citizens running for office.  As Scot Simpson, River Falls City Administrator says in his article on engagement: "It's Everyone's Business."  Jerry sat down with Wauwatosa Mayor Ehley and Bayfield Mayor Ringberg to ask them what inspired them to run for Mayor, Nick and Alex from Polco take on the philosophical and practical considerations of online engagement and Hoodstarter details why online crowdsourcing works.  Todd Berry, WisTAX writes about the research while Rich Kremer, WPR digs deeper and interviews village and city officials about the interest, or lack thereof in running for local office.  
 
11 16 Magazine Cover
November 2016 

November's the Municipality is focused on "The Future of Wisconsin," so we sent an email to the clerks asking for photos of "Future Voters of Wisconsin."  We sourced more than 100 and in order to make sure that the photos weren't tiny, and that each child was on the cover, we created three covers for this magazine. 

Futurist Rebecca Ryan takes on the future of Wisconsin government, Jerry Deschane interviewed Lancaster residents in an article entitled "Changing with the Times: The Impact of Hispanic Immigration on One Small City in Wisconsin," plus Jim Wood of Wood Communicationwrites on "Workforce Retention and Recruitment' while Richard Heinemann and Julia Potter of Boardman & Clark LLC details "How Wisconsin Municipalities Can Invest in the New Solar Economy."

Rebecca Ryan brings her wit and analysis but no crystal ball to the discussion she and Jerry Deschane have about the future of Wisconsin in the League's latest Local Perspective.  Thanks to Sun Prairie Media for hosting us!  

11 16 Conference theme cover 369 pixels

October 2016 


The October the Municipality highlights the expertise you'll have access to at the League's 118th Annual Conference in Stevens Point.  Charles Carlson, Carlson Dettmann Consulting LLC writes about "Employee Performance and Compensation in the Public Sector" and was one of 30+ presenters at the Annual Conference.  The cover photo is the city's skyline provided by Stevens Point resident Bruno Castelhano.  

Watch the League's "The Local Perspective" interview with Charles Carlson, Carlson Dettmann Consulting, LLC as he dives deeper into the issue of employee compensation thanks to FACTvFitchburg here.  

The League's October E-Muni provides additional resources on compensation, the FLSA overtime rule, the five conference resolutions and Mobile Integrated Health Care's benefit to your community. Read it here.  

9 16 Water cover
September 2016

In this month’s issue, we focus on some of the challenges that come from living among the world’s best-irrigated farmlands. The EPA’s requirement that we reduce phosphorus in surface water gets two articles; one on the regulations themselves, and the other article on Oconomowoc’s innovative approach to managing that pollutant. The DNR provides us with some general information about the amount of groundwater being withdrawn and we’ll focus on new technologies being used to manage municipal water systems.

In addition to our focus on water, Claire Silverman reviews the recent Milwaukee residency decision and there’s a short article about this year’s Annual Conference, arguably the best in recent history and one you definitely won’t want to miss. 

Watch the League's "Local Perspective" with guest Tom Steinbach, City of Oconomowoc Wastewater Treatment Utility Manager detailing how the city worked with partners in the watershed to improve phosphorus levels.  Thanks to Karen Huismann and her team at WatertownTV for producing the show for us!  

The League's September E-Muni provides supplemental resources on water issues as well as other information.
8 16 Mag Cover Small Communities
August 2016

This month’s issue of the Municipality is packed with great information for and about Wisconsin’s small cities and villages. The League’s median member size municipality is 1,450, so there are a lot of small communities in Wisconsin. 

In this issue we debut the results of the League’s 1st Annual State of Wisconsin’s Cities and Villages Report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance as well as the results of a survey of Governance in municipalities with a population under 10,000.  In addition, Errin Welty details success stories in Wisconsin’s small downtowns and provides information on upcoming downtown forums.  We talk about broadband and Jerry tours the League’s smallest member municipality, Stockholm, population 66.  

Watch the League's inaugural "The Local Perspective", our new 1/2 hour talk show which will air on public access media throughout the state.  We'll highlight our monthly magazine theme. Thanks to Wisconsin Community Media for making this possible and specifically to Sun Prairie's Media Center for producing the first show in their studio.  Errin Welty, WEDC downtown expert was our first guest.  Watch the show here

You can read the August E-Muni with easy access to the resources provided in the magazine as well as some extras here.  

7 16 Muni Financing

July 2016



This month’s issue of 
The Municipality focuses on money. Specifically, we’ve assembled a variety of resources that you can use as you start to make your 2017 fiscal decisions. We’ve asked the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to explain their very simple and very affordable borrowing program for local government needs. The State of Wisconsin Investment Board gives an overview of Wisconsin’s public employee retirement system, which is one of the best-managed retirement systems in America. For spice, we’ve included an editorial from Tony Minghine, Deputy Director of the Michigan League of Municipalities on the “emergency management mentality” that led to the crisis in Flint and that (in Anthony’s opinion) threatens local governments across the country.  Among that diversity of options you’re sure to find one or two “fiscal nuggets” that will help your city or village.

Plus Claire Silverman, the League's Legal Counsel dissects the Drivers Privacy Protection Act and what it means for your municipality and also outlines how the FLSA Overtime Laws impact cities and villages.  

The League's July E-Muni provides you with direct links to the municipal financing resources highlighted in the magazine.
6 16 Cover FINAL New Officials mag page

June 2016 

  

We put out a call for pictures of new officials and received all of the great photographs featured on the front of the June edition of the Municipality.  Welcome to the almost 800 newly elected officials who joined the ranks with the April election. We posted everyone's picture in our Facebook album so that you can say congratulations. We feature Mayor Novak of Dodgeville, who is currently also a State Legislator and Mayor Kaufert of Neenah, who served as a State Legislator for 24 years.  "Leadership Habits of Highly Effective Governing Bodies" and "Working with the Media" provide resources for everyone in local government.  Curt Witynski takes on transportation funding and Eric Giordano tackles the issue of local control. 

In the League's June E-Muni, we provide one additional Media tip and more resources for all, not just new officials.

LWM_May_2016_cover

May 2016


Thanks to the strength of League lobbying by you, the local elected officials and staff, the 2015-16 Legislative Session turned out well for Wisconsin's cities and villages. The League's May magazine provides a full summary. In addition, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance breaks down where the action is in municipal liability and Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP outlines prevention and detection of fraud. As an endnote, the Rhinelander Street Superintendent takes on potholes in a "Letter from the Street." 

The League's May E-Muni - Legislative Wrap-Up plus Liability & Fraud, Oh My!  

April Magazine Cover
April 2016
Transitions and the Creative Economy are the focus of the League’s April the Municipality.  Three retiring mayors share what they learned in their years in office and in addition, we reprinted an article featuring a retiring Madison alder entitled “Celebrating the Drama Free Public Servant.”  League Legal Counsel, Claire Silverman provides you with everything you need to know post April 5 election including “Oaths, Bonds, Vacancies and Organizational Meetings” and WEA Trust gives you the information you need if you are thinking of transitioning to another health plan.  In addition, we feature poems by several city poet laureates and an article by Arts Wisconsin Executive Director Anne Katz “So How Do You Do the Creative Economy Anyway? (Hint:  It’s a Process.)” 

The League's April E-Muni is a supplement to the print magazine and provides you with easy access to additional resources on the Creative Economy that we were not able to include in the magazine itself. 
March. 2016 Magazine
March 2016
Wisconsin is on the cutting edge of forestry practices, undertaking an inventory of both public and private trees across the state that will allow policymakers to plan for the long term.  Municipalities receive a payback for their investment in trees which can be quantified and includes increased property values and reduced stormwater costs.  Also, thanks to MSA Professional Services, park project planning is broken down into a five-step process that will help insure success and Daniel Olson, the League’s Assistant Legal Counsel takes on “Reducing the Legal Risks of Community Dog Parks.”   We also published “A Walk in the Park,” by artist Grant Snider. 

Adopt the Creative Economy ProclamationCreative Economy Proclamation (DOC) as seen in the March Magazine. 

The League's March E-Muni includes links to the Michigan Municipal League Resources and articles related to Jerry Deschane's column, "Lessons From Flint" as well as additional resources on the value of trees to cities and villages.  
Februrary Magazine 2016
February 2016
How can we increase the number of women running for local elected office?  That question is addressed in February’s the Municipality in an article by UW-Extension staff.  The Extension surveyed women serving in local government as well as potential candidates and found that how you ask women to run makes a difference.  The magazine also highlights several Wisconsin women in office, details election law changes that you should know as well as provides details on YPWeek2016.  

Check out the E-Muni, the email supplement to the magazine that accompanies this edition. If you are interested in being added to the distribution list for the E-Muni, contact Gail Sumi, email
Jan16cover
January 2016
Wisconsin's alcohol culture has both positives and negatives, hence the cover photo of the January the Municipality. In this edition, we highlight successful municipal efforts to improve the alcohol culture, provide resources for you to try in your community, as well as an article on a new law allowing Wine Walks. In addition, Jerry Deschane writes on the shortage of EMT's in many communities and we take on the heroin and opioid scourge.  

Read the January E-Muni, the email supplement to the magazine which provides additional resources on changing the alcohol culture as well as resources to fight heroin and opioids.

Cover 1
December 2015
There are lots of pictures of the League's 117th Annual Conference in Milwaukee in this edition of the Municipality as we recap this valuable experience for the 350+ local elected officials, staff and partners who attended.  Hear also from newly elected League President, West Allis Dan Devine on his goals for 2016 and learn more about the North Shore Fire Consolidation as well as the Dark Store property tax strategy that is shifting property taxes to homeowners and small businesses in many municipalities.  
Cover 2

November 2015


Interested in the municipal water utility process for finding and fixing a water main break? This is your issue. The City of Madison Water Utility provides a pictorial that takes you through the process. In addition, Curt Witynski provides "Alternative Methods for Paying for Municipal Infrastructure" and Eau Claire Finance Director Jay Winzenz shares his expertise on "Capital Planning and Budgeting."  
Cover 4
October 2015
It's the people with the passion for your community that get things done is the focus of Rick Rolfsmeyer's, Executive Director of Rural Partners article in this edition of the Municipality. Attorney Paul Schwarzenbart of Stafford, Rosenbaum also shares his expertise with his article on "Disciplinary Process - Police and Fire Commission."  
Cover 3
September 2015
Economic development is the focus of the League's September the Municipality. Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna makes the case that municipalities have to adapt their thinking to the new economy. In addition, Brian Doudna of WEDA provides tips on "Economic Development - Taking Charge of Your Future" and Attorney Matt Dregne gives everyone a lot to think about before considering TID financing in his article "TIF - Financial Gaps and Bottom Lines."  Curt Witynski, the League's Lobbyist also provides an update on everything 2015-17 State Budget and its impacts on municipalities. 
Cover 5
August 2015
Creating a community that is welcoming for all ages and is sustainable is the focus of this the Municipality. We highlight Oshkosh's first inclusive playground, and Sam Wilson, ED of AARP Wisconsin showcases the AARP online tool that measures livable communities for all ages. In addition, Green Tier Legacy Communities are featured and you can learn three actions to improve the health of your community by reading the Ninjas For Health article.