There are 25 members of the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors, elected to two year terms in even numbered years from separate geographic districts with a population of approximately 15,596 per district. From its members the board elects a chairperson, first vice-chairperson and second vice-chairperson as officers of the county board. The county board is the legislative branch of Waukesha County government, guiding the direction of the county by setting policy. The County Board of Supervisors is authorized in the Wisconsin Statutes (Chapter 59) to exercise powers for a wide variety of local government activities.
Supervisors set policy by establishing plans, approving ordinances, resolutions and reviewing the annual budgets. Policy can best be described as the “what” and “why”, for instance if an activity will be funded and how it will benefit the public.
Its most important legislative activity focuses on reviewing and approving an annual Waukesha County budget as proposed by the county executive. As part of the budget process, the board, with the leadership of its Finance Committee, reviews operations and programming for all departments. The review determines what services will be provided, how they will be funded and at what level they will be funded. To fund the annual budget, the board must pass property tax levies (General and Federated Library) as well as set user fees and fines as allowed by state law.
In order to ensure that county government functions according to the budget, the board uses a committee system to review all operations. The committees consist of seven members each. The county board chair assigns committee membership.
The County Board’s objectives are to be attentive and responsive to the needs and concerns of the citizens of Waukesha County; to work with each other, the county executive, county judges and all staff to provide efficient and effective services for the citizens of Waukesha County; and to fulfill all responsibilities as outlined in federal, state and local laws.
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