Are mayoral appointments to a police and fire commission or plan commission subject to confirmation by the city council?
Yes. Although sec. 62.13(1) and sec.
62.23(1)(c), Stats., simply state that a mayor shall appoint annually
one member of a police and fire commission and plan commission, sec.
62.09(3)(e), Stats., prescribes that appointments by the mayor shall be
subject to confirmation by the council unless otherwise provided by law.
The plain language of sec. 62.09(3)(b),
Stats., might be read to supersede the requirement of sec. 62.09(3)(e)
for mayoral police and fire commission appointments. However, the
judicial analysis in State ex rel. Pieritz v. Hartwig, 201 Wis.
450, 230 N.W. 42 (1930), and the legislative history of sec. 62.09(3),
Stats., substantially rebut such an interpretation and support the
conclusion that mayoral appointments to the police and fire commission
are subject to council confirmation. See Police and Fire Commissions
Moreover, based on the clear language of
sec. 62.09(3)(e) and the conclusion that it applies to mayoral
appointments to the police and fire commission, it reasonably follows
that mayoral plan commission appointments must also be confirmed by the
council. The sec. 62.23(1)(c), Stats., declaration that a mayor shall
appoint the members to the plan commission is not sufficient to satisfy
the council confirmation exception prescribed by sec. 62.09(3)(e). See
Commissions 158 & 159.
The type of exception contemplated by
sec. 62.09(3)(e) is illustrated by sec. 61.65(3g)(d)3, Stats. Under this
provision, appointments to a village police and fire commission are not
subject to confirmation by the village board unless required by
In sum, although the specific statutes
which vest police and fire commission and plan commission appointment
power in a mayor do not specifically provide for council confirmation,
sec. 62.09(3)(e) is best read to impose such a requirement.