Appointments & Vacancies FAQ 7

If a municipal official, such as a member of the library board or the governing body, is temporarily unable to perform his or her duties because of an illness, may the governing body appoint someone to fill the temporary vacancy until the officer is able to return and perform his or her duties?

Yes. State law provides that if any municipal officer, other than an alderperson or trustee, “is incapacitated or absent from any cause,” the governing body may appoint a person to discharge the officer’s duties until the officer returns or until the disability is removed. See Wis. Stat. secs. 61.23(1) (villages) & 62.09(5)(d) (cities). These statutes further provide that if a trustee or an alderperson is "temporarily incapacitated because of physical or mental disability," the village board or common council may appoint a person to discharge the trustee’s or alderperson’s duties until the disability is removed.