Municipal Finance
Covid-19 and the Wisconsin Economy
July, The Municipality , page 4
Steven Deller, Tessa Conroy, Matt Kures

"With the current pandemic many economists and business analysts hope for a quick, or “V”-shaped recovery because there was nothing fundamentally unsound with the economy prior to the pandemic. Most analysts are thinking that the recovery from the pandemic will follow more of a “W” shape. The logic is that with a slow reopening of the economy, businesses will begin to reopen and people in greater numbers can return to work. There is uncertainty, however, as to whether or not reopening will come with a rise in infections leading to another shutdown or multiple partial shutdowns as infections wax and wane. The fear amongst economists and business analysts is that a second shutdown will greatly undermine consumer and business confidence."  Read the article in the July issue of The Municipality ...

Cited in the article: Dingel, Jonathan I., and Brent Neiman. How many jobs can be done at home? No. w26948. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2020.

Join in! Community Economic Development weekly Zoom Lunch-n-Learn by the Center for Community & Economic Development at the Division of Extension. Webinars are free of charge and open to all.  Details here .
COVID-19 Effects and Maintaining Fiscal Stability: Impacts and Action
July, The Municipality , page 8

Over the last four months, the onslaught and spread of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on nearly every Wisconsin community. And between necessary public service and school closures, shuttered businesses, and unprecedented job losses, municipal leaders find themselves facing new uncertainty or financial instability. Today, the question for many is “What’s next?” Read Jonathan's article in the League's July The Municipality ...

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Tax Incremental Financing Information including the TIF Manual. (See page 11 of the magazine for a graph on "How TIF Works.")
Six Steps to Project Prioritization and Funding
July, The Municipality , page 13

"Name your top-priority community project. If you find it difficult to name just one, you’re not alone. It’s no secret that every municipality has a laundry list of imperative projects – some with enthusiastic support, others with formidable opposition. Deciding when, how, and what to prioritize can be a complex matrix of decision-making. When budget time arrives – or funding opportunities come knocking – it’s essential to have a plan.

No doubt you’ve heard that before. But, what does having a plan really mean?"

Click here to comment on the article - and connect with Rob & MSA - on the League's LinkedIn page.

Click here to comment, like and share this article on MSA's Facebook page.
Cybersecurity Best Practices for Municipalities
July, The Municipality , page 16
Jenifer Zurfluh, Senior Vice President Cyber Risk Manager, IncredibleBank  

As a Cyber Risk Manager, Jenifer Zurfluh routinely recommends 10 proactive security measures. Read Jenifer's recommendations in the League's July magazine...

(Yes, it can happen to you.) Wisconsin Cities Still Recovering From January Cyberattacks Two Wisconsin cities are still recovering after they were hit with ransomware in January, and one state official predicts those kinds of attacks will only get worse in the future.

Ransomware is a kind of cyberattack that locks governments or companies out of their data, usually demanding money in exchange for access. It often enters a system through phishing emails, which contain a shady link or attachment.

Ransomware shut down internal computer systems, like email, in Oshkosh and Racine on Jan. 28 and Jan. 31, respectively. Read the article...

Click here to follow IncredibleBank on Facebook, and here to follow them on LinkedIn and here to follow them on Twitter.
Changing Traffic Patterns During COVID-19
July, The Municipality , pg. 18

Review the full report here .

Note - the League talks with WisDOT frequently and anticipates having a better idea of the impact of decreased gas tax and other revenue on Transportation Funding in the next few months.

A reminder that the Policy Forum has a Municipal Data Too l which provides five years of data on municipal revenues and spending. Review how to use it by watching this video here .
COVID-19 Stalls Legislative Session with Key Bills Pending in Senate
July, The Muncipality , pg. 19
Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

The 2019-2020 Session by the Numbers:
Number of Assembly bills introduced.....................................1,037
Number of Senate bills introduced............................................932
Number of bills enacted into law as of 5/1............................... 186
Number of bills the League followed ..........................................93
Number of bills League supported..............................................69
Number of bills League opposed ..................................................12
Number of bills on which League was neutral...........................12

So far this session, of the 69 bills we supported, 24 were enacted into law. Of the 12 bills we opposed, only one became law. The number of bills we support that are enacted into law could change for the better if the Senate meets one more time. At this point, however, 35% of the bills we supported were enacted into law and 92% of the bills we opposed were not. 

Curt detailed provisions adopted that impact municipalities in the State's 2019-21 Budget in the League's September 2019 The Municipality magazine . Read it on page 11 in that magazine.
Legal Articles
Wisconsin’s Recreational Immunity Statute: How Much Protection Does It Offer?
July, The Municipality , page 23
Claire Silverman, Legal Counsel, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Summarizes Wisconsin’s recreational immunity statute, § 895.52, which provides municipalities with broad immunity from liability for the death or injury of a person engaged in a recreational activity on municipal property. Also summarizes significant court decisions interpreting the statute.  Read the article (PDF). Access all of the Legal Articles from the last few year's of magazines...
HR Matters
How to Conduct a Sound Workplace Investigation
July, The Municipality , page 26
By Lisa Bergersen, Principal Attorney at EngageHR Law , Of Counsel at Buelow Vetter , Former HR Director, City of Pewaukee 

HR Matters column (PDF)by Attorney Lisa Bergersen discussing how to conduct sound workplace investigations. The article includes several considerations to help ensure a timely, fair, objective, and thorough investigation, such as: proper timing of an investigation, taking interim measures when warranted, selecting the right investigator, planning the investigation, using proper interview techniques, gathering all potentially relevant evidence, and making a final decision. 

All HR Matters columns are posted to their own page on the League's website for reference.
Important HR UPDATE!

Wisconsin has issued mandatory updates to a number of workplace posters , including those addressing wage and hour, fair employment, and cessation of health care benefits. Employers can visit the Department of Workforce Development for information on ordering posters or downloading the Wisconsin Workplace Poster Packet at .

Employers should consider auditing their federally-required posters as well to ensure the most recent versions are in use; visit  for an updated list of federal workplace posters.  
Reminder: 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
The Main Motion and Secondary Motions Relating to it
Daniel Foth, JD, Local Government Specialist, Local Government Center ,
Division of Extension, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This month, Daniel discusses Part One, Main Motions, which ranks the secondary motions from §21 to §10 (high to low). Part One notes the various secondary motions (§21 to §11), that typically relate to the main motion (§10). Read the article (PDF)

Access all of the "For the Good of the Order" columns on Parliamentary Procedure on our website here .
Please note!
Annual Conference Resolutions Deadline: August 17, 2020

Municipalities are invited to submit resolutions establishing League positions on legislative and other issues for consideration by the membership at the League’s Annual Conference Business Meeting on October 6.

Please submit your resolutions as a Word document by Monday, August 17 to Curt Witynski, the League’s Deputy Director at . They will be published online. 

According to the League’s constitution, all such proposals must be published prior to the Annual Conference to be eligible for considerations.
   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.
Join Us!
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.  

Tuesday, August 25:   Never Waste a Crisis: Silver Linings within the Pandemic  -- Scott Botcher, Fox Point Village Manager; Scot Simpson, River Falls City Administrator

Wednesday, August 26:   State Finances, Shared Revenue, & the November Election  -- Jason Stein, Research Director, Wisconsin Policy Forum; Charles Franklin, Director of the Marquette Law School Poll

Thursday, August 27:   Leading Amid Conflict  – Mayor Mike Palm, Baraboo; Mayor Anissa Welch, Milton; Mayor Dan Devine, West Allis. Moderated by Eric Giordano, Executive Director, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service.

$50 for all three lunch and learns. Join us for one or join us for all – the price is the same. One lunch is included. Your registration includes a $10 certificate for either Culver’s or Kwik Trip.

Registration deadline is close of business August 24, 2020. Refunds minus $10 administrative fee will be granted for cancellations received by five business days prior to event (Aug 18.)

Thanks to our Chief Executives Workshop sponsor  MPIC   !
Avoiding Common Mistakes
The League in partnership with   League Mutual    (LWMMI)
September 10 - 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. 

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
You don't want to miss!
The League's Local Gov 101

September 11 - Zoom Webinar

• Organization & Powers of Cities and Villages
• Recognizing and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
• Budgeting & Financial Oversight
• Procedures for Local Government Meetings
• Managing Public Works Activities

Thanks to our sponsors!
The League’s 122nd Annual Conference   will be a series of Small In-Person Regional and Virtual Events.
October 6-8 & 13-15

We are busy working out all the details -- including locations for the small, in-person events, valuable workshops, drawings for prizes and a virtual walk/run. (Yes, you read that right.) We will be updating our website soon!