There are five elected officials in the Town of Dayton. They are:
- One Town Chair
- Two Town Supervisors
- One Town Clerk
- One Town Treasurer
The town supervisors and town chair make up the town board. ” The town board has charge of all affairs of the town not committed by law to another body or officer or to a town employee.” The major responsibilities of the town board are as follows:
- Town boards are statutory bodies. This means that they only have authorities granted to them through state statutes.
- Town boards may only engage in discussion about or take action on town board matters at a properly noticed town board meeting (State of Wisconsin open meetings law)
- The town board takes action by voting on motions and adopting ordinances and resolutions. Most actions require a simple majority vote, but some actions require a super majority vote.
- The town board must review and comply with state ethics laws for local officials.
- The town board is responsible for the preparation of the annual budget and conducting the required public hearing on the budget. It is common for the town chair and the town clerk to participate in the creation of a proposed budget.
- The town board is responsible for the preparation of an annual financial statement. The statement must include the previous year’s revenues and expenditures and the current indebtedness of the town. The statement must be presented at the town’s annual meeting. (The Town of Dayton uses a local accounting firm to assist with preparation of the annual statement.)
- The town board must approve all claims and disbursements from the town treasury.
- The town board designates public depositories for town funds, and it selects investment options for surplus funds.
- The town board is responsible for the care and supervision of town highways. (The Town of Dayton contracts this service to the Waupaca County Highway Department.)
- The town board is responsible for the creation of new highways and the altering or discontinuation of existing highways. (The Town of Dayton contracts this service to the Waupaca County Highway Department.)
- The town board must comply with the state competitive bidding law for public works and, for projects over $25,000, the state prevailing wage law.
- The town board must approve all contracts.
- The town board must provide fire protection for the town. (The Town of Dayton contracts this service to the City of Waupaca Volunteer Fire Department.)
- The town board must provide ambulance service for the town. (The Town of Dayton contracts this service to a local ambulance service company.)
- The town board has the option of providing law enforcement for the town. (The Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department provides law enforcement for the Town of Dayton.)
- The town board must develop and adopt an emergency management program and plan that is consistent with the state emergency management plan.
- The town must have either an elected or appointed assessor. (The Town of Dayton has an appointed assessor.)
- The town board members and town clerk act as the town board of review unless a citizen board of review is appointed. (The Town of Dayton does nothave a citizen board of review.)
Planning and Zoning
- The town is responsible for planning and zoning. (The Town of Dayton has approved the county zoning ordinance.)
- The town may appoint a plan commission. (The Town of Dayton has a Town Planning Commission that makes planning and zoning recommendations to the board.)
- The town board has the authority to hire employees on a permanent or temporary basis to carry out the functions of town government. The town board establishes the qualifications needed for each position and the terms of employment.
- The town board has the authority to hire legal counsel to assist the town.
The town supervisor is a member of the town board of supervisors. All supervisors, including the town chair, each have an equal vote. The town supervisor has the following responsibilities and powers:
- Make or second motions at town meetings
- Vote on motions
- Attend meetings of other organizations and make investigations as needed to provide information for discussion and consideration at the monthly town board meeting.
- Draft documents such as ordinances, resolutions, financial studies, contracts, job descriptions, topic summaries or other documents for discussion and consideration at the monthly town board meeting.
The town chair is a member of the town board of supervisors. He or she has all of the same responsibilities and powers as the other town supervisors, and the town chair has some additional powers and responsibilities that are not available to other supervisors. The town chair does not have veto power. The extra powers most often exercised are as follows.
- Preside over meetings of the town board
- Provide notice of town meetings
- Preside at town elector meetings
- Sign documents such as ordinances, contracts, resolutions, etc.
- Sign checks and transfer orders
The town clerk is not a member of the town board of supervisors and does not (with some exceptions) vote on town board matters. Duties of the town clerk are as follows:
- The town clerk is responsible for taking minutes of town board meetings and making sure that any ordinances or resolutions adopted by the board are posted or published as required by the law.
- The town clerk is often delegated the responsibility for providing proper notice of town board meetings, public hearings and other required public notices.
- The town clerk is required to keep a finance book which shall contain a complete record of the finances of the town.
- The town clerk is often called upon by the town board to assist with the preparation of the annual town budget.
- The town clerk has the responsibility to carefully examine the assessment roll upon receipt from the assessor and prior to the board of review.
- The town clerk is responsible for providing notice to the public of the open book (public review of the assessment role) and board of review (citizen opportunity to challenge individual assessments).
- The town clerk will swear in all persons testifying before the board of review and provides notice of board of review decisions.
- The town clerk prepares the tax roll and tax bills and mails the tax bills to property owners.
- The town clerk is responsible for providing election notices, scheduling election workers, supervising election paperwork preparation, maintaining and testing election equipment, and swearing in newly elected officials.
- The town clerk is responsible for maintaining, preserving and disposing of town records.
- The town clerk is responsible for processing and granting license applications.
The town treasurer is not a member of the town board of supervisors and does not generally vote on town board matters. Duties of the town treasurer are as follows:
- The town treasurer receives and takes charge of all money belonging to the town. As soon as practicable, the town treasurer must deposit town funds in the depository designated by the town board.
- The town treasurer must sign all transfer orders and checks that make disbursements from the town treasury.
- The treasurer must keep an itemized account of all moneys received and disbursed.
- At the request of the town board, the town treasurer must present the account books and any supporting documentation to the board. It is common that the treasurer gives a report of the town finances at the regular monthly board meeting.
- The town treasurer is responsible for collecting all property taxes, special assessments, special taxes and special charges shown on the tax role.
You can refer to the Wisconsin Town Association web site for a detailed job description for all town officials. This summary was derived from documents published by the Wisconsin Town Association.