Thank you all for your work in this extraordinary year! See you in 2021!
A request for you from Todd Schmidt, the League's Board President
Tell Me Your Story of Humility & Servant Leadership
December, The Municipality, pg. 32
Todd Schmidt, Waunakee, Board President

"If you have a good personal story on the power of humility, please consider telling me about it. I can be reached directly at (608)850-5227 or email."
"Someone asked me what I might like to accomplish while in this role. There are several key priorities in front of the League today; all important, and none to be ignored. But, for me, there’s one leadership quality that, when applied day in and day out, and in all situations, will always result in the best and most honorable outcomes. That trait is: HUMILITY. Interchangeable with humility are terms like servant leadership and magnanimity.

What you can expect to see this year is lessons in humility presented regularly in League publications, social media and training events. My hope is that perhaps at least one of these lessons will reach the eyes and/or ears of each municipal elected and appointed official within our state.

You won’t ever hear me claim to be perfect. I’m very far from it. But I do have my own share of stories where being a humble municipal leader has demonstrated great care for citizens and improved reputation of communities. But I’d like to hear your stories and would be grateful to be able to share them with others."
Green Tier Legacy Communities
10 years of impact
December, The Municipality, pg. 6

2020 marks the 10-year anniversary of the Green Tier Legacy Communities Charter signing. (The League was an original charter member.) Since 2010, the network has grown from 5 pilot communities, to 29 cities, villages, towns and counties (1 new member joined recently!) The Charter works with all forms of local government and over 1,000,000 Wisconsinites reside in Legacy Communities.  LEARN MORE
Legislative Audit Bureau Recycling Program Audits
Released November 2020
(Click here and search "recycling. Limit your search to "2020")

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers three recycling programs, including two programs for awarding recycling grants to local governments and an electronics recycling program for manufacturers. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) administers the Clean Sweep program, which awards grants to local governments to collect and dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, household hazardous waste, and agricultural pesticides.
State Shorting Cities for Costs of Providing Services to its Facilities
December, The Municipality, pg. 12
Wisconsin Policy Forum

The Municipal Services Payments (MSP) program paid municipalities about $18.6
million in 2019, only 34.7% of what they were eligible to receive. This share — the smallest on record - resulted in a total funding gap of more than $35 million for local governments last year. Read the full report.

Preview the January column: State’s Budget Challenges Come into Focus
The Most Recent Capitol Buzz Newsletters

December 16, 2020 - Talking with Legislators about Municipal Needs
December 7, 2020 - Changes to Joint Finance Committee
December 1, 2020 - 2021 Municipal Services Program Payments Report Released
Wisconsin Municipalities Can Provide High-Speed Internet — Some Already Have…
December, The Municipality, pg. 13
Peter Cameron, Managing Editor, The Badger Project

"Internet service in small town and rural Wisconsin can be bad. More than 40% of rural residents lack access to highspeed internet, according to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. Nationally, about 31% of rural households lack access. Actual percentages might even be higher due to poor FCC mapping, experts say.
The Wisconsin state government has done relatively little to help. From 2014 to 2019, the state funded about $20 million in grants for expansion of broadband, an amount experts say is less than negligible, for the expensive work of burying fiber optic cable. In a similar time period, Minnesota shelled out more than $108 million in broadband expansion grants, according to Eric Lightner, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

That’s more than five times greater than Wisconsin’s investment. “Now, about 16% of rural households in Minnesota lack access to high-speed internet,” Lightner said. Compare that to Wisconsin’s 40%." Read the full article on page 13 of the magazine.

A Year in Review

The League's Executive Director, Jerry Deschane and the Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark O'Connell sat down with Ryan VanLanduyt, the Executive Director of Rice Lake Community Media to talk about 2020. It was a year!

Legal Articles
Garbage Collection and Recycling FAQs
December, The Municipality, pg. 8
Curt Witynski, Deputy Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities

Sanitation 30 Legal note answers questions regarding garbage collection and recycling services including the following: whether municipalities must provide garbage collection and recycling services; ability of municipalities to provide garbage collection services for some classes of property but not others; ways municipalities may cover the cost of garbage collection and recycling services; and whether there is an impact on a municipality’s levy limit if the community shifts from paying for garbage collection or recycling services through the property tax to a fee. Read the article.
“This Is Not My Beautiful House…”
(Strategies for Dealing with Dilapidated Properties)
December, The Municipality, pg. 20

Nuisances 161 Attorney Nathan Bayer, Crivello Carlson, provides an overview of tools for dealing with dilapidated properties including municipal citations, formal declarations of “nuisance,” and the possible rehabilitation, razing, or sale of a property through a receiver.
Enforcing Seasonal Weight Limitation Ordinances
December, The Municipality, pg. 24

Traffic Regulation 432 The federal Surface Transportation and Assistance Act’s provision governing access to System of Interstate and Defense highways did not preempt state law prohibiting operating a vehicle in violation of seasonal or special weight limitations (Wisconsin Stat. § 348.17) or town’s citing of tractor-trailer driver for driving on town road in excess of town’s seasonal weight restriction where driver had reasonable access to its destination through readily available permit process, and weight limitation was also based on reasonably tailored and well-founded police power consideration – avoiding damage to roads that were especially vulnerable during spring thaw. Town of Delafield v. Central Transport Kriewaldt, 2020 WI 61, 944 N.W.2d 819. Article authored by Attorneys E. Joseph Kershek and Kimberly Kershek. Read the article
Coaching Employees to Better Performance 
December, The Municipality, pg. 28
Lisa Bergersen, Principal Attorney at EngageHR Law, Former HR Director, City of Pewaukee

Employees 368 HR Matters column, by Attorney Lisa Bergersen, highlighting the importance of the employee-manager relationship and its impact on employee satisfaction and retention, and providing best practice tips for coaching employees to better performance. Read the column. (PDF)

All HR Matters columns are posted to their own page on the League's website for reference.
For the Good of the Order
When a Governing Body Wants to Change Its Mind
December, The Municipality, pg. 26
Daniel Foth, JD, Local Government Specialist, Local Government Center, UW-Madison, Division of Extension

Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th Edition (RONR)1 provides four Motions That Bring a Question Again Before the Assembly, sometimes known as “bring-back motions.”  Read the column. (PDF)

Access all of the "For the Good of the Order" columns on Parliamentary Procedure on the League's website here.
The League's Survey on Local Health Orders

The League surveyed larger municipalities in November, asking for information about their local public health orders. Read the survey results. (PDF)

This is posted to the League' Covid-19 page.

The popular League's Directory of Cities and Villages is available as a PDF.


The not-to-miss League's 2021 Product and Services Guide is available now!
Both are searchable PDFs.
Just download and save the document to your computer and then use Adobe search.
 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.
I Love Wisconsin. Red and Pink Hearts Pattern Map of Wisconsin Isolated on White Background.
Janesville's Covid-19 Positive Employee Process Map & Quarantine Timelines
November, The Municipality, pg. 8

Join Us!
Reminder - League Virtual Roundtables
For Local Officials and Staff ONLY

We've scheduled a regular Call for the 2nd Week of the month on Tuesday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 12:00 to 1:00 pm
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 12:00 to 1:00 pm
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 12:00 to 1:00 pm
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 12:00 to 1:00 pm