Cities shall be divided into 4 classes for administration and the exercise of corporate powers as follows:
Cities of 150,000 population and over shall constitute 1st class cities.
Cities of 39,000 and less than 150,000 population shall constitute 2nd class cities.
Cities of 10,000 and less than 39,000 population shall constitute 3rd class cities.
Cities of less than 10,000 population shall constitute 4th class cities.
Population of cities shall be determined by the last federal census, including a special federal census taken of such city, except in newly incorporated cities when a census is taken as provided by law. Cities shall pass from one class to another when such census shows that the change in population so requires, when provisions for any necessary changes in government are duly made, and when a proclamation of the mayor, declaring the fact, is published according to law.
History: 1995 a. 225
; 1997 a. 35
See s. 990.001 (15)
, which provides that “If a statute refers to a class of city specified under s. 62.05 (1)
, such reference does not include any city with a population which makes the city eligible to be in that class unless the city has taken the actions necessary to pass into the class under s. 62.05 (2)
Annexations to cities of the first class. 62.071(1)(1)
Except as provided in subs. (3)
, no petition for annexation to a city operating its schools under ch. 119
shall be considered which will result in detachment of more than 20 percent of the equalized value of a school district. Upon receipt of a petition for annexation the city clerk shall determine in the following manner whether the proposed annexation will result in such detachment. The equalized value of the school district shall be determined as of the date of filing the petition for annexation. The city clerk shall add to the equalized value of the territory proposed to be annexed, as of the date of filing the petition for annexation, the equalized value as of the date of such detachment of any territory detached within the 3 years previous to the filing of the annexation petition from the district in any manner, and the city clerk shall certify a copy of his or her determination to the school district clerk and the secretary of the school district boundary appeal board. If the total of such value exceeds 20 percent of the equalized value of the district as of the date of filing the annexation petition, the proposed annexation shall not occur except as provided in subs. (3)
. All equalized values shall be determined by the department of revenue upon application by the city clerk. When more than one school district is involved in a proposed annexation, a separate determination shall be made for each district involved.
If the common council wishes to consider the annexation petition, it shall direct the city clerk to notify the clerk of each school district concerned and the secretary of the school district boundary appeal board that a petition for annexation, which will result in detachment of more than 20 percent of a school district, has been filed. Such notice shall be in writing and shall describe the territory proposed to be annexed and name the school district or districts from which it will be detached.
If the area to be annexed by such proposal includes more than 20 percent of the equalized valuation of a district, as determined by sub. (1)
, then the electors residing in the remainder of such school district not included in the annexation petition shall be afforded an opportunity to determine whether such remaining area of the district shall be included with the area proposed to be annexed in the following manner. The school district clerk shall, within 20 days of receipt of the report from the city clerk, call a special meeting of the district according to s. 120.08 (2)
for the purpose of voting on the question: “Shall the remainder of .... School District No. .... of the .... be included in the territory and petition for annexation to the City of ....?".
YES ⍽ NO ⍽
If the referendum at the special district meeting is decided in the affirmative, such remaining school district area shall be included within the coverage of the description in the annexation proposal and the annexation petition shall thereupon, without further notice, be considered amended to include all territory of the school district and s. 66.0217
shall be complied with for the entire area.
If the vote at the school district referendum is negative, the annexation proceedings on the original petition may continue in the same manner as if less than 20 percent of the district had been involved in the original petition.
Detachment of farm lands from cities. 62.075(1)(1)
When land used for agricultural purposes of an area of 200 acres or more contiguous to the boundary of any city, whether of one or more farms, which shall have been within the corporate limits of such city for 20 years or more, and during all of said time shall have been used exclusively for agricultural purposes, the circuit court of the county in which such land is situated shall enter judgment detaching such land from such city and annexing it to an adjoining town or towns, if the provisions of this section shall have been complied with. Such detachment and annexation thereof shall become effective for all purposes on the first day of January next thereafter, and the procedure therefor shall be substantially as provided in subs. (3)
. There shall be no adjustment, assignment and transfer of assets and liabilities under s. 66.0235
, but the detached territory shall continue to pay its proportional share, based on assessed valuation, of the bonded indebtedness of the city at the time of detachment.
Land eligible; “
No owner shall be eligible to sign a petition for the detachment of any such territory unless that owner is the owner of a parcel of land comprising at least 20 acres. No such land shall be detached from any city unless the remaining territory of said city shall be left reasonably compact and the boundaries thereof left substantially regular; provided, that such determination shall be made without regard to the existence of railroad rights-of-way, public utility easements or public or private highways traversing any part of such lands and remaining within such city. No lands shall be eligible for detachment where any public improvements have been extended to or installed for the benefit of such lands. As used in this section, “owner" means the holder of record of an estate in possession in fee simple, or for life, in land or real property, or a vendee of record under a land contract for the sale of an estate in possession in fee simple or for life but does not include the vendor under a land contract. A tenant in common or joint tenant shall be considered such owner to the extent of that person's interest.
When the owner or owners of all of the said lands of any such area file a verified petition in the office of the clerk of said court, setting forth the facts in accordance with subs. (1)
, the court shall make an order fixing the time of hearing thereof, which shall not be less than 60 nor more than 90 days thereafter, and at least 40 days prior to said time fixed, notice of hearing of such petition shall be served on such city, town or towns and all owners found in this state of any land in such area, in the manner prescribed in s. 801.12
for the service of a summons. Said notice shall be in substantially the following form:
Notice is hereby given that the petition of .... will be heard by the circuit court of .... County, at the court house, in the city of ...., Wisconsin, on the .... day of ...., .... (year), at .... M., or as soon thereafter as counsel can be heard. That said petition prays for the detachment of the following area of land from the city of .... and annexation to the town of ...., in accordance with section 62.075 of the Wisconsin statutes, which area of land is described as follows:
.... (Petitioner's attorney) ....
P.O. Address ....
The city, town or towns, owners of land in the vicinity, or owners of any interest therein, if opposed to the proceedings, shall, at least 15 days before the time of hearing fixed by the order, file in the office of the clerk of circuit court and serve on the petitioners their verified objections to the granting of the prayer of the petition, specifying the grounds of objections thereto. The proceedings may be adjourned or continued for cause. The issue raised by the petition shall be tried by the circuit court upon the evidence submitted by the petitioners and objectors; and witnesses shall be compelled to appear and testify as in other cases in circuit court and the rules of evidence, practice and procedure shall be the same. The circuit court may render judgment under subs. (1)
, detaching from the city and annexing to the town or towns the area, if the facts required by the subsections are proved by a preponderance of the evidence. If the facts are not so proved, the petition shall be dismissed. In the event of a contest, costs may be awarded to the successful party.
Notice of entry of judgment; upon whom served.
A certified copy of every such order shall be filed with the town and city clerk and with the county clerk and 4 copies with the secretary of administration. The secretary of administration shall forward 2 copies to the department of transportation and one copy to the department of revenue.
No land which has been platted may be detached, and any land detached pursuant to this section shall not be eligible for platting pursuant to ch. 236
unless re-annexed to the city.
Alteration of aldermanic districts. 62.08(1)(1)
Within 60 days after the wards have been readjusted under s. 5.15 (1)
the common council of every city, including every 1st class city, shall redistrict the boundaries of its aldermanic districts, by an ordinance introduced at a regular meeting of the council, published as a class 2 notice, under ch. 985
, and thereafter adopted by a majority vote of all the members of the council, so that all aldermanic districts are as compact in area as possible and contain, as nearly as practicable by combining contiguous whole wards, an equal number of inhabitants according to the most recent decennial federal census of population. Territory within each aldermanic district to be created under the plan shall be contiguous, except that territory within the city that is wholly surrounded by another city or water, or both, may be combined with noncontiguous territory, or island territory, as defined in s. 5.15 (2) (f) 3.
, may be combined with noncontiguous territory within the same municipality to form an aldermanic district. The aldermanic district plan shall not include provision for division of any census block unless the block is bisected by a municipal boundary or the division is made as required under s. 5.15 (2) (c)
. The populations of the aldermanic districts shall be determined on the basis of the federal decennial census and any official corrections to the census to reflect the correct populations of the municipality and the blocks within the municipality on April 1 of the year of the census, if the corrections are issued prior to division of the municipality into wards under s. 5.15
. Within 60 days after enactment or adoption of a revised division ordinance or resolution under s. 5.15 (4) (a)
, the common council shall amend the aldermanic district plan to reflect any renumbering of the wards specified in the plan.
If territory becomes a part of any city after April 1 of the year of the federal decennial census, the limitations of s. 5.15
relating to population or area do not apply to the creation of new wards in the attached territory, or to the addition of the territory to an existing ward, but no ward line adjustment may cross the boundary of a congressional, assembly, or supervisory district.
Whenever the boundaries of aldermanic districts are altered, or new aldermanic districts created, every aldermanic district or ward officer residing within the territory of a new or altered aldermanic district shall hold the same respective office therein for the remainder of the officer's term; and all other vacancies shall be filled as provided by law for the filling of such vacancies.
The common council of any city may, by a two-thirds vote of all its members but not more frequently than once in 2 years, increase or decrease the number of aldermanic districts or the number of members of the city council, and in that case shall redistrict, readjust and change the boundaries of aldermanic districts, so that they are as nearly equal in population according to the most recent city-wide federal census as practicable by combining contiguous whole wards. In redistricting such cities the original numbers of the aldermanic districts in their geographic outlines shall as far as possible be retained, and the aldermanic districts so created and those the boundaries of which are changed shall be in as compact form as possible. This subsection does not apply to changes in aldermanic districts authorized under sub. (4m)
If in a city that is solely contained within one county the aldermanic districts are coterminous with the supervisory districts of the county and the county board decreases the number of supervisors in the county after enactment of a redistricting plan under s. 59.10 (3) (cm)
, the common council of the city may, by a majority vote of all of the members of the council, no later than November 15 immediately preceding the expiration of the terms of office of members of the council, decrease the number of aldermanic districts and the corresponding number of members of the council in the city to maintain coterminous boundaries between the aldermanic and supervisory districts and may change the expiration date of the term of any council member to an earlier date than the date provided under the current ordinance if required to implement the redistricting or to maintain classes of members. Any amended aldermanic district plan that is adopted under this subsection is subject to the same procedures and requirements that apply to decennial plans adopted under sub. (1)
If a city fails to comply with sub. (1)
, any elector of the city may submit to the circuit court for any county in which the city is located within 14 days from the expiration of the 60-day period under sub. (1)
a proposed plan for creation of aldermanic districts in compliance with this section. If the court finds that the existing division of the city into aldermanic districts fails to comply with this section, it shall review the plan submitted by the petitioner and after reasonable notice to the city may promulgate the plan, or any other plan in compliance with this section, as a temporary aldermanic district plan until superseded by a districting plan adopted by the council in compliance with this section.
The officers shall be a mayor, treasurer, clerk, comptroller, attorney, engineer, one or more assessors unless the city is assessed by a county assessor under s. 70.99
, one or more constables as determined by the common council, a local health officer, as defined in s. 250.01 (5)
, or local board of health, as defined in s. 250.01 (3)
, street commissioner, board of police and fire commissioners except in cities where not applicable, chief of police except in a city where it is not applicable, chief of the fire department except in a city where it is not applicable, chief of a combined protective services department except in a city where it is not applicable, board of public works, 2 alderpersons from each aldermanic district, and such other officers or boards as are created by law or by the council. If one alderperson from each aldermanic district is provided under s. 66.0211 (1)
, the council may, by ordinance adopted by a two-thirds vote of all its members and approved by the electors at a general or special election, provide that there shall be 2 alderpersons from each aldermanic district. If a city creates a combined protective services department under s. 62.13 (2e) (a) 1.
, it shall create the office of chief of such a department and shall abolish the offices of chief of police and chief of the fire department.
The council, by a two-thirds vote, may dispense with the offices of street commissioner, engineer, comptroller, constable and board of public works, and provide that the duties thereof be performed by other officers or board, by the council or a committee thereof. The council may, by charter ordinance, adopted pursuant to s. 66.0101
, provide that there shall be one alderperson from each aldermanic district. Any office dispensed with under this paragraph may be recreated in like manner, and any office created under this section may be dispensed with in like manner.
A corporation or an independent contractor may be appointed as the city assessor. The corporation or independent contractor so appointed shall designate the person responsible for the assessment. The designee shall file the official oath under s. 19.01
, and sign the affidavit of the assessor attached to the assessment roll under s. 70.49
. No person may be designated by any corporation or independent contractor unless he or she has been granted the appropriate certification under s. 73.09
. For purposes of this subsection, “independent contractor" means a person who either is under contract to furnish appraisal and assessment services or is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, business or profession in which the services are offered to the general public.
No person may assume the office of city assessor unless certified by the department of revenue under s. 73.09
as qualified to perform the functions of the office of assessor. If a person who has not been so certified is elected to the office, the office shall be vacant and the appointing authority shall fill the vacancy from a list of persons so certified by the department of revenue.
The office of constable is abolished in 1st class cities. The duties of the constable in such cities shall be performed by the sheriff of the county in which the city is located.
No person shall be elected by the people to a city office who is not at the time of election a citizen of the United States and of this state, and an elector of the city, and in case of an aldermanic district office, of the aldermanic district, and actually residing therein.
An appointee by the mayor requiring to be confirmed by the council who shall be rejected by the council shall be ineligible for appointment to the same office for one year thereafter.
The mayor and alderpersons shall be elected by the voters.
The other officers except as provided in s. 62.13
shall be selected by one of the following methods:
Appointment by the mayor subject to confirmation by the council.
Selection under any of the above methods, the selection to be made from an eligible list established under s. 66.0509
Such other officers shall continue to be selected in the manner prevailing on April 15, 1939, provided one of the above plans was in force on that date. Such method shall be continued until changed in the manner provided by s. 66.0101
Any city may also proceed pursuant to s. 66.0101
to consolidate any such other office or offices.
Whenever a city is newly created the officers other than those specified by par. (a)
shall be appointed by the mayor until provided otherwise pursuant to par. (b)
Appointments by the mayor shall be subject to confirmation by the council unless otherwise provided by law.
Every person elected or appointed to any office shall take and file the official oath within 10 days after notice of election or appointment, except that elected assessors shall take and file the official oath within 5 days before June 1.
If the council requires them to do so, the treasurer, comptroller, chief of police and such others as the statutes or the council may direct, shall execute and file an official bond in such sum as the council may determine, with 2 or more sureties or such bond may be furnished by a surety company as provided by s. 632.17 (2)
, or the council may provide a schedule or blanket bond that includes any or all of these officials. The council may at any time require new and additional bonds of an officer. All official bonds must be approved by the mayor, and when so approved shall be filed within 10 days after the officer executing the same shall have been notified of election or appointment. Official bonds filed with the city clerk shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose. If the council does not require any or all of these officials to execute and file an official bond, the council shall obtain a dishonesty insurance policy or other appropriate insurance policy that covers such officials, in an amount determined by the council, in lieu of the bond requirement.
When an appointive officer has filed the oath, and bond if required, the clerk shall issue to the officer a certificate of appointment. If the appointment is to a board or commission the appointee shall file the certificate with the secretary thereof.
A city may pay the cost of an official bond furnished by an officer of the city, pursuant to law or any rules or regulations requiring the bond, if the officer furnishes a bond with a surety company or companies authorized to do business in this state. The cost of the bond furnished by the officer may not exceed the current rate of premium per year on the amount of the bond or obligation executed by the surety. The cost of the bond shall be charged to the fund appropriated and set up in the budget for the department, board, commission or other body, the officer of which is required to furnish a bond.
The regular term of office of mayor and alderperson shall commence on the 3rd Tuesday of April in the year of their election. The regular terms of other officers shall commence on May 1 succeeding their election unless otherwise provided by ordinance or statute.
Except as otherwise specially provided the regular term of elective officers shall be 2 years. A different tenure for such officers or any of them may be provided by charter ordinance.
The council may, by a record vote of two-thirds of all the members, by ordinance adopted and published previous to publication of the notice of the election at which alderpersons are to be elected, provide for a division of the alderpersons into 2 classes, one class to be elected for 2 years and the other for 4 years, and thereafter the term of alderpersons shall be 4 years.
If any officer other than an alderperson is incapacitated or absent from any cause the common council may appoint some person to discharge the officer's duties until the officer returns or until such disability is removed. If an alderperson is temporarily incapacitated because of physical or mental disability, the common council may appoint a person to discharge the alderperson's duties until the disability is removed.
Persons serving in appointive offices shall serve until their respective successors are appointed and qualify, unless otherwise provided by ordinance.
Salaries shall be paid the mayor or alderpersons only when ordered by a vote of three-fourths of all the members of the council.
In this paragraph, “
compensation" means a salary, a per diem compensation for each day or part of a day necessarily devoted to the service of the city and the discharge of duties, or a combination of salary and per diem compensation.
Except as provided in subd. 3.
, and subject to par. (a)
, the compensation for an elective city office shall be established before the earliest time for filing nomination papers for the office. After that time, no change may be made in the compensation for the office that applies to the term of office for which the deadline applies. The compensation established for an elective office remains in effect for ensuing terms unless changed.
In a newly incorporated city, the compensation for an elective office may be established during the first term of office.
Salaries shall be paid at the end of each month unless the council shall at any regular meeting by ordinance order payment at more frequent intervals.
The corporate authority of the city shall be vested in the mayor and common council.
Officers shall have generally the powers and duties prescribed for like officers of towns and villages, except as otherwise provided, and such powers and duties as are prescribed by law and except as to the mayor shall perform such duties as shall be required of them by the council. Officers whose powers and duties are not enumerated in this subchapter shall have such powers and duties as are prescribed by law for like officers or as are directed by the council.
All officers and departments may make the necessary rules for the conduct of their duties and incidental proceedings.
The general laws for the punishment of bribery, misdemeanors and corruption in office shall apply to city officers.
Whenever a city official in that official's official capacity is proceeded against or obliged to proceed before any court, board or commission, to defend or maintain his or her official position, or because of some act arising out of the performance of that official's official duties, and that official has prevailed in such proceeding, or the council has ordered the proceeding discontinued, the council may provide for payment to such official such sum as it sees fit, to reimburse the official for the expenses reasonably incurred for costs and attorney fees.
The mayor shall be the chief executive officer. The mayor shall take care that city ordinances and state laws are observed and enforced and that all city officers and employees discharge their duties.
The mayor shall from time to time give the council such information and recommend such measures as the mayor may deem advantageous to the city. When present the mayor shall preside at the meetings of the council.
The mayor shall have the veto power as to all acts of the council, except such as to which it is expressly or by necessary implication otherwise provided. All such acts shall be submitted to the mayor by the clerk and shall be in force upon approval evidenced by the mayor's signature, or upon failing to approve or disapprove within 5 days, which fact shall be certified thereon by the clerk. If the mayor disapproves the mayor's objections shall be filed with the clerk, who shall present them to the council at its next meeting. A two-thirds vote of all the members of the council shall then make the act effective notwithstanding the objections of the mayor.
Except in cities that have adopted s. 62.13 (6)
, the mayor shall be the head of the fire and police departments, and where there is no board of police and fire commissioners shall appoint all police officers, and the mayor may, in any city, appoint security personnel to serve without pay, and in case of riot or other emergency, appoint as many special police officers as may be necessary.
The council at its first meeting subsequent to the regular election and qualification of new members, shall after organization, choose from its members a president, who, in the absence of the mayor, shall preside at meetings of the council, and during the absence or inability of the mayor shall have the power and duties of the mayor, except that the president shall not have power to approve an act of the council which the mayor has disapproved by filing objections with the clerk. The president shall when so officiating be styled “Acting Mayor".