Compatibility of Offices 4

Can a member of a common council or village board simultaneously serve as a county board supervisor?

Yes. Wis. Stat. sec. 59.10(4), authorizes a member of a common council or village board to simultaneously serve as a county supervisor. Section 59.10(4) provides as follows:

No county officer or employee is eligible for election or appointment to the office of supervisor, but a supervisor may also be a member of a committee, board or commission appointed by the county executive or county administrator or appointed or created by the county board, a town board, a mosquito control district, the common council of his or her city, the board of trustees of his or her village or the board of trustees of a county institution appointed under s. 46.18.

In the past, the relevant statutory provision clearly and unambiguously provided that a county supervisor could also serve on a common council or village board. Unfortunately, the statute has been amended over the years and the gradual cumulative effect of the amendments is that there is no longer a clear exemption. A technical reading of the current statute indicates that a supervisor can also serve on a committee, board or commission appointed by a common council or a village board, but does not seem to say that the supervisor can serve on the governing body of the municipality itself. Nonetheless, it is the League’s opinion, based on the legislative history of the statute, that a court would conclude that the statute was clearly intended to make the offices of county supervisor and member of a common council or village board compatible. For a more detailed discussion of the statute’s legislative history, see Compatibility 604, published in the June 2002 issue of the Municipality.