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".
Except as provided in s. 66.0608
, the treasurer shall collect all city, school, county, and state taxes, receive all moneys belonging to the city or which by law are directed to be paid to the treasurer, and pay over the money in the treasurer's hands according to law.
The treasurer shall keep a detailed account in suitable books in such manner as the council shall direct. The treasurer shall keep in a separate book an account of all fees received. The treasurer's books shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection.
The treasurer shall each month at the first meeting of the council and as often as it shall require make to the council a verified report of moneys received and disbursed and of the condition of the treasury. Ten days before each regular city election the treasurer shall file in the clerk's office a full and minute verified report of moneys received and disbursed, tax certificates, vouchers and other things of pecuniary value in the treasurer's custody, and of all transactions of the treasurer's office from the date of the preceding like report.
The treasurer may receive no compensation except the salary fixed by the council. If the treasurer sells property for the payment of taxes, the treasurer may also receive any fee a constable would receive for this service. The treasurer shall deposit all other fees he or she collects into the treasury at the end of each day.
Except as provided in s. 66.0608
, the treasurer shall deposit immediately upon receipt thereof the funds of the city in the name of the city in the public depository designated by the council. Such deposit may be in either a demand deposit or in a time deposit, maturing in not more than one year. Failure to comply with the provisions hereof shall be prima facie grounds for removal from office. When the money is so deposited, the treasurer and the treasurer's bonders shall not be liable for such losses as are defined by s. 34.01 (2)
. The interest arising therefrom shall be paid into the city treasury.
The treasurer may in writing, filed in the office of the clerk, appoint a deputy who shall act under the treasurer's direction and in the treasurer's absence or disability, or in case of a vacancy shall perform the treasurer's duties. The deputy shall receive such compensation as the council shall provide. The acts of such deputy shall be covered by official bond as the council shall direct.
The comptroller shall monthly report in writing to the council at its first meeting the condition of outstanding contracts and of each of the city funds and claims payable therefrom, and shall each year on or before October first file with the clerk a detailed statement of the receipts and disbursements on account of each fund of the city and of each aldermanic district or other financial district during the preceding fiscal year, specifying the source of each receipt and the object of each disbursement, and also an estimate of the receipts and disbursements for the current fiscal year.
The comptroller shall each month and as often as reported examine the treasurer's accounts as reported and as kept, and attach thereto a report to the council as to their correctness and as to any violation by the treasurer of the treasurer's duty in the manner of keeping accounts or disbursing moneys.
The comptroller shall examine each claim presented against the city, and determine whether it is in proper form, and if it is on contract, whether authorized and correct. For these purposes the comptroller may swear witnesses and take testimony. If the comptroller finds no objection the comptroller shall mark his or her approval on the claim. If the comptroller disapproves in whole or in part, the comptroller shall report the reasons for that disapproval to the council. The comptroller shall in all cases report evidence taken. No claim shall be considered by the council or be referred to a committee until it has been so examined and reported on.
The comptroller shall countersign all contracts with the city if the necessary funds have been provided to pay the liability that may be incurred thereunder, and no contract shall be valid until so countersigned.
The comptroller shall each year make a list of all certificates for the payment of which special taxes are to be levied, in time for the same to be inserted in the tax roll, and certify its correctness.
The comptroller may in writing, filed in the office of the clerk, appoint a deputy who shall act under the comptroller's direction and in the comptroller's absence or disability, or in case of a vacancy shall perform the comptroller's duties. The deputy shall receive such compensation as the council provides. The acts of such deputy shall be covered by official bond as the council directs.
The clerk shall have the care and custody of the corporate seal and all papers and records of the city.
The clerk shall attend the meetings of the council and keep a full record of its proceedings.
The clerk shall enter at length, immediately after it goes into effect, every ordinance in an “ordinance book," with proof of publication, date of passage and page of journal where final vote is recorded. The clerk shall keep a record of all licenses and permits granted and record all bonds, in appropriate books.
The clerk shall draw and sign all orders upon the treasury in the manner provided by s. 66.0607
, and keep a full account thereof in appropriate books. The clerk shall carefully preserve all receipts filed with the clerk.
The clerk shall keep an accurate account with the treasurer and charge the treasurer with all tax lists presented for collection and with all moneys paid into the treasury.
The clerk shall keep all papers and records in the clerk's office open to inspection at all reasonable hours subject to subch. II of ch. 19
The clerk shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations under these statutes.
The clerk may in writing filed in the clerk's office appoint a deputy, who shall act under the clerk's direction, and in the clerk's absence or disability or in case of a vacancy shall perform the clerk's duties, and shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations. The deputy shall receive such compensation as the council shall provide. The clerk and the clerk's sureties shall be liable on the clerk's official bond for the acts of such deputy.
The clerk shall notify the treasurer of the county in which the city is located, by February 20, of the proportion of property tax revenue and of the credits under s. 79.10
that is to be disbursed by the taxation district treasurer to each taxing jurisdiction located in the city.
The clerk shall stamp or endorse traveling sales crew worker permits at the request of an employer under s. 103.34 (11) (c)
The attorney shall conduct all the law business in which the city is interested.
The attorney shall when requested by city officers give written legal opinions, which shall be filed with the clerk.
The attorney shall draft ordinances, bonds and other instruments as may be required by city officers.
The attorney shall examine the tax and assessment rolls and other tax proceedings, and advise the proper city officers in regard thereto.
The attorney may appoint an assistant, who shall have power to perform the attorney's duties and for whose acts the attorney shall be responsible to the city. Such assistant shall receive no compensation from the city, unless previously provided by ordinance.
The council may employ and compensate special counsel to assist in or take charge of any matter in which the city is interested.
The chief of police shall have command of the police force of the city, or the chief of a combined protective services department created under s. 62.13 (2e) (a) 1.
shall have command of the combined protective services force, under the direction of the mayor. The chief shall obey all lawful written orders of the mayor or common council. The chief and each police officer or combined protective services officer shall possess the powers, enjoy the privileges and be subject to the liabilities conferred and imposed by law upon constables, and be taken as included in all writs and papers addressed to constables; shall arrest with or without process and with reasonable diligence take before the municipal judge or other proper court every person found in the city engaged in any disturbance of the peace or violating any law of the state or ordinance of the city and may command all persons present in that case to assist, and if any person, being so commanded, refuses or neglects to render assistance the person shall forfeit not exceeding $10. They shall collect the same fees prescribed for sheriffs in s. 814.70
for similar services, unless a higher fee is applicable under s. 814.705 (1) (b)
The chief of police, or the chief of a combined protective services department created under s. 62.13 (2e) (a) 1.
, shall have charge of all city jails, including that portion of any jail which is used by the city in a joint city-county building.
Every officer in charge of a jail shall keep a record concerning each person placed in the jail, including the person's name, residence and description, the time and cause of the person's confinement, and the authority under which the person was confined; and when any person is released, the time of and the authority for such release.
The personnel required to comply with ss. 302.41
shall be provided at the expense of the municipality.
A constable who is given law enforcement duties by the common council, and who meets the definition of a law enforcement officer under s. 165.85 (2) (c)
, shall comply with the minimum employment standards for law enforcement officers established by the law enforcement standards board and shall complete training under s. 165.85 (4) (a) 1.
A constable shall keep his or her office in the city. No constable who keeps his or her office outside the limits of the city may receive fees for any service performed during the period the outside office is maintained.
History: 1971 c. 154
; 1971 c. 304
s. 29 (1)
; 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 21
; 1975 c. 375
; 1975 c. 421
; 1977 c. 29
; 1977 c. 305
; 1979 c. 34
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 189
s. 329 (21)
; 1983 a. 210
; 1983 a. 532
; 1985 a. 29
; 1985 a. 135
s. 83 (5)
; 1985 a. 225
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 27
; 1995 a. 225
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 32
; 1999 a. 150
; 2001 a. 16
; 2003 a. 47
; 2005 a. 40
; 2009 a. 3
; 2011 a. 32
; 2013 a. 214
; 2017 a. 51
NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 47
, which affects this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
See s. 196.675
, which provides that a city attorney may not be employed by common carrier or public utility.
See s. 66.0609
for an alternative system of approving claims under sub. (10).
A mayor may not veto council action or inaction on public works contracts. Sturzl Construction Co., Inc. v. City of Green Bay, 88 Wis. 2d 403
, 276 N.W.2d 771
Conflicts arising from the election of a school principal to the office of alderperson are discussed. 60 Atty. Gen. 367.
Alderperson and police officer spouses can continue to hold offices as long as the alderperson does not violate s. 946.13 (1) with respect to the police officer's contract. 63 Atty. Gen. 43.
A mayor in a city with a police and fire commission does not have the authority to order a police chief to reinstate a discharged probationary police officer. 81 Atty. Gen. 1
When no provision fixes the term of appointive officers, such as a city treasurer, the term is limited to that of the appointing authority; removal by a successor does not implicate a due process property interest. Wolf v. City of Fitchburg, 870 F.2d 1327
Police accountability in Wisconsin. 1974 WLR 1131.
Common council. 62.11(1)(1)
The mayor and alderpersons shall be the common council. The mayor shall not be counted in determining whether a quorum is present at a meeting, but may vote in case of a tie. When the mayor does vote in case of a tie the mayor's vote shall be counted in determining whether a sufficient number of the council has voted favorably or unfavorably on any measure.
(2) Time of meeting.
The council shall meet at least once a month, and on the first Tuesday unless a different day be fixed by the council. More frequent regular meetings may be established by the council. The mayor may call a special meeting by notifying members in a manner likely to give each member notice of the meeting and providing the notice at least 6 hours before the meeting. Following a regular city election the new council shall first meet on the 3rd Tuesday of April.
The council shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its members, may compel their attendance, and may fine or expel for neglect of duty.
Two-thirds of the members shall be a quorum, except that in cities having not more than 5 alderpersons a majority shall be a quorum. A less number may compel the attendance of absent members and adjourn. A majority of all the members shall be necessary to a confirmation. In case of a tie the mayor shall have a casting vote as in other cases.
Meetings shall be open to the public; and the council may punish by fine members or other persons present for disorderly behavior.
The ayes and noes may be required by any member. On confirmation and on the adoption of any measure assessing or levying taxes, appropriating or disbursing money, or creating any liability or charge against the city or any fund thereof, the vote shall be by ayes and noes. All aye and nay votes shall be recorded in the journal.
The council shall in all other respects determine the rules of its procedure.
The style of all ordinances shall be: “The common council of the city of .... do ordain as follows".
Proceedings of the council shall be published in the newspaper designated under s. 985.06
as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
. The proceedings for the purpose of publication shall include the substance of every official action taken by the governing body. Except as provided in this subsection every ordinance shall be published either in its entirety, as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
, or as a notice, as described under par. (c) 2.
, within 15 days of passage, and shall take effect on the day after the publication or at a later date if expressly prescribed.
All ordinances passed by the governing body of any city of the second class between January 1, 1914, and January 1, 1924, which were or may have been required to be published before becoming effective, but which were not published, shall be valid to the same extent as if they had been published in the first instance, as required by law, providing said ordinances and all amendments thereto are printed in the official journal of any such body together with the record of the passage of the same; however, the provisions of this paragraph shall not be effective in any city unless the governing body thereof shall so elect by a vote of two-thirds of its members.
A notice of an ordinance that may be published under this paragraph shall be published as a class 1 notice under ch. 985
and shall contain at least all of the following:
A summary of the subject matter and main points of the ordinance.
Information as to where the full text of the ordinance may be obtained, including the phone number of the city clerk, a street address where the full text of the ordinance may be viewed, and a website, if any, at which the ordinance may be accessed.
Except as elsewhere in the statutes specifically provided, the council shall have the management and control of the city property, finances, highways, navigable waters, and the public service, and shall have power to act for the government and good order of the city, for its commercial benefit, and for the health, safety, and welfare of the public, and may carry out its powers by license, regulation, suppression, borrowing of money, tax levy, appropriation, fine, imprisonment, confiscation, and other necessary or convenient means. The powers hereby conferred shall be in addition to all other grants, and shall be limited only by express language.
See s. 118.105
for control of traffic on school premises.
When a municipality's power to contract is improperly or irregularly exercised and the municipality receives benefit under the contract, it is estopped from asserting the invalidity of the contract. Village of McFarland v. Town of Dunn, 82 Wis. 2d 469
, 263 N.W.2d 167
Madison's power to forbid chemical treatment of Madison lakes was withdrawn by s. 144.025 (2) (i) [now s. 281.17 (2)]. Wisconsin Environmental Decade, Inc. v. DNR, 85 Wis. 2d 518
, 271 N.W.2d 69
When a city council creates a governing board for a utility under s. 66.068 (1) [now s. 66.0805 (1)], the council is prohibited by s. 66.068 (3) [now s. 66.0805 (3)] from fixing wages for utility employees. Schroeder v. City of Clintonville, 90 Wis. 2d 457
, 280 N.W.2d 166