Appointments & Vacancies FAQ 5

Must an appointed municipal officer be a resident of the municipality he or she serves?

The answer is no, unless the municipality has adopted a requirement that appointed officers be residents of the municipality or unless the appointive office is one in which a statute requires the official to be a resident of the municipality: e.g., Wis. Stat. sec. 30.37(3) (board of harbor commissioners), sec. 27.11(1)(a) (board of public land commissioners), and sec. 43.54(1)(a) (library boards). In general, however, state law does not contain a residency requirement for persons who serve in appointive municipal offices. Thus, a non-resident may be appointed to municipal office unless the city or village has adopted its own residency requirement for appointive officers or unless the appointment is to a board or commission which state law specifies must be filled by municipal residents.

In contrast to appointive municipal officials, all elected municipal officers must be residents of the municipality and alderpersons must be residents of the district from which they are elected. See Wis. Stat. secs. 61.19, 62.09(2)(a) and 17.03(4)(c).

A person appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office must meet the residency qualification applicable to elective municipal officers. Wis Stat. sec. 17.28.