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Wisconsin league's conference pushes issues of local control.

Oconomowoc, Wisc.--Betty Ziewacz, the Village President of North Fond du Lac, and the outgoing President of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, presided over the organization's 93rd annual meeting in Oconomowoc last week. The key issues were federal and state: mandates, intrusion over local control, and respect for municipal elected officials.

At a special roundtable of general municipal issues, presided over Phil Donahue style by incoming League President Scott Schultz, mayor of Stevens Point, one speaker described the attitude of state and federal governments during a discussion of a new state tax law as follows:

"[This is] one of many examples of how the legislature has no idea about how its actions will affect a local government, even though the legislators will come home and talk about the 'state and local partnership.' They don't even care. But it is our citizens who will be impacted. It is our citizens who will be mad."

The roundtable discussion focused on open meeting laws, ethics, and a newly passed state property tax credit. The credit has caused enormous confusion which Wisconsin communities are trying to both understand and explain to local taxpayers. It will defer property tax revenue to cities, while at the same time imposing new and unfunded paperwork mandates. The only enforcement mechanism in the law is against municipalities.

At the annual business meeting, the membership elected Beverly Anderson, mayor of Darlington, as 2nd Vice President.

After the election, the members voted to adopt 8 resolutions urging:

[Section] an override of the governor's veto of supplemental school aid in tax increment financing districts;

[Section] an override of the governor's partial veto resulting in the imposition of a fee on municipal wastewater dischargers, but not private residents;

[Section] opposition to any state restrictions on municipal spending or levies;

[Section] joint efforts with NLC in opposition to the pending police officers' bill of rights amendment;

[Section] exemption from the state income tax for interest on municipal bonds issued by Wisconsin municipalities;

[Section] support for legislation recognizing the position of administrator in cities and villages;

[Section] support for federal legislation to prohibit private polluters from bringing Superfund contribution actions against local governments for the disposal of ordinary municipal waste, including both garbage and municipal sludge;

[Section] support for federal action on S. 12 in the United States Senate to return to local governments authority over cable TV.
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Title Annotation:League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Author:Shafroth, Frank
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Oct 28, 1991
Words:393
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