Toolbox of Democracy
Governing Bodies and the Outlier Syndrome
June, The Municipality , page 6
Tami Tanoue, Executive Director, Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency

"The Outlier is the “lone wolf ” who sits on a city council or board of trustees and steadfastly refuses to act like a member of the team. Even while isolating himself or herself as the only person on the losing side of just about every vote, the Outlier manages to create havoc with the rest of the body." Read the article on page 6 in the June magazine online here...
NEW! League Conflict Management Resources
June, The Municipality , page 13
Jerry Deschane, Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

The League, in cooperation with League of Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance , is introducing an important new resource for Wisconsin cities and villages that are dealing with conflict. The League and League Insurance are partnering with the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) to provide conflict management training, information and consultation for elected leaders. Read the article on page 13 of the June magazine for the details and look for WIPPS workshops as part of the League's conferences plus a new column in the magazine.
What is your leadership style?
June, The Municipality , page 11
The Wiseman Group

"While the narcissistic leaders grab the headlines, the vast majority of diminishing happening inside our workplaces is done by the Accidental Diminisher—managers with the best of intentions, good people who think they are doing a good job leading.

Accidental or not, the impact on their team is the same – Diminishers only get ½ of the true brainpower of their people." Learn more through the Wiseman Group
League Insurance Policyholder Share $2.5 Million
June, The Municipality , page 14

Questions about coverage? Contact League Insurance aka LWMMI
Covid-19, Mental Health & the Importance of Virtual Healthcare
June, The Municipality , page 18
Laura Taylor, Communications Specialist, WEA Trust

In April, Amwell, a leading telehealth provider available to WEA Trust insureds, reported an increase of 634 percent of daily visits compared to the previous year. While telehealth is not a replacement for emergency services, organizations like Amwell were able to use their existing platform to reduce hospital and clinic traffic for non-COVID related illnesses, as well as provide guidance to those wondering if they should be seen in-person for COVID-19 type symptoms. 
Legal Articles
(Scroll Down for the March, April and May Legal Articles)
Legal - Understanding League Legal Services
June, The Municipality , page 21
Claire Silverman, Legal Counsel, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Claire and Maria Davis, the League's Assistant Legal Counsel, respond to an average of 2,500 legal inquiries annually - and perhaps more this year with Covid. In this article, Claire provides information on how to access legal services, who may inquire, whether an inquiry is confidential and so much more. Read the article (PDF). Access all of the Legal Articles from the last few year's of magazines...
HR Matters
Handbooks - An HR Best Practice
June, The Municipality , page 24
By Lisa Bergersen, Principal Attorney at EngageHR Law , Of Counsel at Buelow Vetter , Former HR Director, City of Pewaukee 

"Handbooks are an important human resources tool for even the smallest employer. Many laws in Wisconsin apply to all employers and handbooks should contain policies related to these laws. Handbooks also serve as vital employee communication and litigation avoidance tools. This month’s HR Matters reviews the benefits, pitfalls, and recommended content of handbooks." 

All HR Matters columns are posted to their own page on the League's website for reference.
The League's Sample Employee Handbook - A Template for YOU to Use!

The League is pleased to provide this  Sample Employee Handbook  (PDF) as a resource for our members. This Sample includes common handbook provisions, but it does not include every policy that may be required for your particular organization. We intend it as a guide for drafting an initial handbook or to help assess revisions to your current handbook; it should not be adopted in its entirety and must be customized to address your current practices, policies, local ordinances, and how your organization operates. The Sample also envisions that lengthier policies such as those related to safety rules, technology, and ethics may be maintained outside of the confines of the Sample Handbook.

For a more complete explanation of the benefits, pitfalls, and recommended content of handbooks, please read the June 2020 HR Matters column (PDF).
An employment law attorney should review the final version of your organization’s handbook. This Sample Handbook does not constitute legal, accounting, or any other professional service or advice. Should you have questions about the Sample, please contact the League at  email
Legal - You’re in the Public Sector Now!
June, The Municipality , page 19
Maria Davis, Assistant Legal Counsel, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Legal comment highlighting important differences between the public and private sectors that elected officials and municipal staff should be aware of when serving in local government. Read the article (PDF)
Legal - For the Good of the Order
Robert’s Rules, Chapters 49-50, Rules for Small Boards
Karen W. Moore, Local Government Specialist, Local Government Center ,
Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison

As certified parliamentarian James Slaughter explains, smaller bodies do not require the formality necessary for meetings of larger organizations.  Read the article (PDF)

Access all of the "For the Good of the Order" columns on Parliamentary Procedure on our website here .
In Case You Missed It
Due to the focus on Covid-19 and the daily Covid newsletters, we did not send an E-Muni for the March, April and May The Municipality magazine. March was focused on "Public Utilities," April on "More Housing" and May was "Wisconsin Adapts" with a photo album highlighting the activity in cities and villages across Wisconsin.
Note - if you work for a League member municipality and previously shared a magazine with colleagues but would now like your own, please send an email with your mailing address to There is no additional cost.
The League's March "The Local Perspective" on PFAS

PFAS are in the air, in food containers, stain repellents and cosmetics. They are used in manufacturing as well as firefighting foam and are found in water. What is the municipal responsibility and ability to mitigate? Paul Kent, Stafford Rosenbaum LLP , who literally wrote the book on water law in Wisconsin, is Jerry Deschane’s guest on the League’s March Local Perspective. They talk about all of these issues plus the science of PFAS.
Learn more about Paul’s book – “ Wisconsin Water Law in the 21st Century ” Check out the League’s PFAS resources Thanks to FACTv for hosting us!
March 2020 The Municipality Legal Articles

Attorneys Richard Heinemann and Jared Walker Smith, Boardman & Clark, LLP
Legal comment discusses options, and related responsibilities, for municipal utility governance, including utility commissions under Wis. Stat. § 66.0805, boards of public works, and other alternatives such as a committee of the governing body or a new utility board or other commission not expressly given the powers of a Wis. Stat. § 66.0805 commission.

HR Matters THC at Work  (PDF)
Column by Lisa Bergersen discusses employee use of marijuana, THC, and CBD and how employers can manage issues in the workplace, including drug and alcohol policies, training managers and staff to recognize and address impairment, and conducting drug and alcohol testing.

Parliamentary Procedure For the Good of the Order - Nominations (PDF)
Daniel Foth, JD, Local Government Specialist, Local Government Center, UW-Madison, Division of Extension

Stephanie Marquis, President, SME LLC
April 2020 The Municipality Legal Articles

Attorneys Abby Busler & James M. Kalny, Davis|Kuelthau s.c.
Legal comment discusses Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and their perceived benefits
and drawbacks, municipal authority to regulate ADUs, and specific things some Wisconsin municipalities have addressed in ADU regulations such as ownership requirements, zoning regulations, permitted locations, plan submission and conditional use permits, and also the interplay between ADUs and short-term rentals.

Article addresses municipal authority to regulate and license short-term rentals under Wis. Stat. sec. 66.1014 and highlights a recent Sheboygan County circuit court decision concluding a town ordinance enacted pursuant to sec. 66.1014 was not preempted by that statute.

Column by Lisa Bergersen discusses best practices for conducting background checks, including what a background check should include and legal and practical considerations in performing background checks such as obtaining signed consent, credit checks, criminal records, social media inquiries, and working with screening companies.

Daniel Foth, JD, Local Government Specialist, Local Government Center, UW-Madison, Division of Extension
May 2020 The Municipality Legal Articles

Legal note discusses timing for Board of Review in face of Covid-19 public health emergency.

Column article by Lisa Bergersen discussing legal restrictions pertaining to medical inquiries, examinations, and privacy in the employment relationship. The article outlines what is permissible or prohibited at each stage of the employee life cycle including during the application phase, inquiries following a bona fide conditional offer of employment, and medical inquiries/examinations of current employees. 

Daniel Foth, JD, Local Government Specialist, Local Government Center, UW-Madison, Division of Extension

Legal FAQs on local authority, information on Emergency Orders and examples of municipal plans for reopening are available on the League's website  here   

Wondering what to do if an employee contracts Covid-19? Questions and answers about employees on the League's website  here  

Wondering about Financing Impacts? Questions and answers about the State's "Routes to Recovery" funding, the CARES Act and FEMA funding on the League's website  here  
League Handbooks
The following Handbooks are now available as a PDF at a reduced price for email delivery.

  • Handbook for Wisconsin Municipal Officials - PDF Available!
  • Handbook for Wisconsin Police and Fire Commissioners - Completely updated in Jan. 2019.  PDF Available!
  • Municipal Licensing and Regulation of Alcohol Beverages - Completely updated in Sept. 2019. PDF Available!

Physical PRINT copies of    ALL    Handbooks are also still available but on a delayed weekly shipping basis. You can order Handbooks online    here
Join Us!
Avoiding Common Mistakes

Brought to you by the League in partnership with  League Mutual   (LWMMI)
July 8 - 9:00 - 4:00 with an hour break for lunch - Webinar

Attendance is  free   for League members insured by LWMMI; for League members not insured by LWMMI, the League has reduced its usual one-day training registration fee to $50. Breakfast and lunch are included. 

What will you learn?
These sessions will focus on scenarios inspired by real-life examples to illustrate how controversial decisions, compounded by poor municipal governance, can quickly spin out of control. 

League attorneys, Claire Silverman and Maria Davis, will provide an overview of the legal framework governing body members must use when making decisions and explore how deviating from that framework can expose municipalities to liability, damage the municipality’s reputation, and hijack the municipal agenda. 

On the HR side of things, Lisa Bergersen of EngageHR Law, LLC will help attendees navigate a number of human resources and employment law compliance issues that come up with some frequency including wage and hour, harassment/discrimination/bullying, family and medical leave laws, and social media. Lisa will also cover best practices in areas such as handbooks, workplace safety, counseling/discipline/terminations, and documentation.  Details and registration
WMCA Class hours for CLERKS who take Avoiding Mistakes!
Clerks who attend “Avoiding Mistakes” will be provided with an emailed certificate that states: “This class counts for Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association certification hours of six hours.” The Clerks who took the class in February will also receive a certificate. 

Because both the League’s Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers Workshop and the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association (WMCA) Conference were rescheduled to 2021, we talked with Faith Elford, WMCA Executive Director and gained permission to offer certification for “Avoiding Mistakes.” We will also be offering certification for certain workshops at the League’s Annual Conference. 

We hope this is helpful to you! 
SAVE THE DATE for the League's Chief Executives Workshop
August 25, 26, 27 - 11:30 - 1:30 each day - Webinar

The League’s Chief Executives Workshop is coming to you!

The 2020 Chief Executives Workshop will be held in your office this year. Due to the pandemic, the League’s annual municipal leadership event will be held virtually. Join us August 25-27 for three lunch and learn programs from 11:30am – 1:30pm. Each day’s workshop will consist of a guest presenter or moderated panel discussion followed by a question and answer period with the speaker or panel, which will then lead into an open-ended roundtable discussion.  

One lunch is included! With your registration you will receive a $10 Culvers or Kwik Trip e-certificate.

We are working on providing great speakers. Details to be announced soon!