Each election year in Wisconsin, about one-third of the local government offices on the ballot will be filled by newcomers — driven to office by a reformer’s zeal or a desire to serve their friends and neighbors. And some of them will know little about the laws that govern the conduct of local government.
That’s where the UW-Extension’s Local Government Center steps in.
For the past 21 years, the center has worked quietly behind the scenes to help neophytes learn the ropes and veteran office holders update their knowledge. Philip Freeburg, the center’s local government law educator, describes the operation as a “boots on the ground” representation of the Wisconsin Idea.
The center offers workshops, fact sheets and teleconferences on a wide range of topics: government finances, human resources, disaster management, elections and ethics. Its mission also includes expanding research and knowledge about local government education. Continue…