Village of Stratford, WI
Marathon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Stratford 4-12-1988 as Secs. 2-1-1 and 2-1-3 and Title 2, Ch. 2 of the 1988 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Elections — See Ch. 42.
Emergency government — See Ch. 46.
Ethics — See Ch. 51.
A. 
Village government form. The Village of Stratford is a body corporate and politic with the powers of a municipality at common law and governed by the provisions of Chs. 61 and 66, Wis. Stats., laws amending those chapters, other acts of the Legislature and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin.
B. 
Division of government.
(1) 
Legislative branch. The Village Board is the legislative branch of the Village government. Its primary business is the passage of law in the form of ordinances or resolutions which shall prescribe what the law shall be, not only in relation to the particular facts existing at the time but as to all future facts arising under it. The Village Board shall fix the salaries of all officers and employees of the Village and shall manage the Village's financial affairs, its budget, its revenues and the raising of funds necessary for the operation of the Village.
(2) 
Executive branch. The Village President shall be the chief executive officer. He shall take care that all Village ordinances and state laws are observed and enforced and that all Village officers, boards and commissions discharge their duties. When present, he shall preside at the meetings of the Village Board. He shall from time to time give the Village Board such information and recommend such measures as he may deem advantageous to the Village.
The official Village newspaper shall be designated at the Village Board's organizational meeting.
The Trustees of the Village of Stratford shall constitute the Village Board. The Village Board shall be vested with all the powers of the Village not specifically given some other officer, as well as those powers set forth elsewhere throughout this Code.
A. 
Election; term; number. The Village of Stratford shall have six Trustees in addition to the President, who is a Trustee by virtue of his office as President. The six Trustees shall constitute the Village Board. Three Trustees shall be elected at each annual spring election for a term of two years, commencing on the third Tuesday of April in the year of their election.
B. 
Appointment as President. A Village Trustee shall be eligible for appointment as Village President to fill an unexpired term.
C. 
Residency. Members of the Village Board shall be residents of the Village at the time of their election and during their terms of office.
A. 
Election. The Village President shall be elected at the annual spring election in odd-numbered years for a term of two years, commencing on the third Tuesday of April in the year of his election.
B. 
Duties. The Village President shall by virtue of his office be a Trustee and preside at all meetings of the Board, have a vote as Trustee, and sign all ordinances, rules, bylaws, regulations and commissions adopted or authorized by the Board and all orders drawn on the treasury. He shall maintain peace and good order, see that the Village ordinances are faithfully obeyed, and in case of disturbance, riot or other apparent necessity appoint as many special marshals as he shall deem necessary, who for the time being shall possess all the powers and rights of constables.
A. 
Committee appointments. Standing committees of the Village are appointed by the Village President, subject to confirmation by the Village Board, and shall each consist of three or five members of the Village Board. The appointments to each committee shall be made at the annual organizational meeting of the Village Board. Standing committees shall review such matters as may be referred to them by the Village Board and shall submit recommendations for Board action.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
Committees established. The following standing committees are established:[2]
(1) 
Finance Committee.
(a) 
The Finance Committee shall consist of the Chairperson of the Public Works Committee, the Chairperson of the Public Safety Committee and one member at large.
(b) 
The Finance Committee shall:
[1] 
Review and finalize the annual budget for public hearing and Village Board approval.
[2] 
Monitor expenditures, supervise collection of accounts and coordinate and investigate Village borrowing.
[3] 
Review requests for nonbudgeted or emergency expenditures and make recommendations to the full Board.
[4] 
Review any proposed changes in the Village's insurance coverage and risk management program.
[5] 
Establish and annually review user and license fees and other fees and charges imposed by the Village, including but not limited to the charges for refuse collection and recycling services.
[6] 
Coordinate Village requests for grant funding.
[7] 
Advise the Village Board regarding potential and pending litigation involving the Village.
[8] 
Recommend for Village Board consideration policies and procedures regarding Village operations and the delivery of services to the public.
[9] 
Make recommendations on the issuance and conditions of issuance of licenses and franchises.
[10] 
Supervise the cable television franchise and conduct negotiations relating to said franchise.
[11] 
Negotiate service contracts.
[12] 
Consider any other matters which may be referred by the Village Board.
(2) 
Public Works Committee. The Public Works Committee shall:
(a) 
Review and finalize the annual capital improvement program and provide for park maintenance programs.
(b) 
Recommend policy guidelines regarding public improvements.
(c) 
Mediate disputes between property owners and the Village regarding public improvements.
(d) 
Review and approve any unusual requests for use of Village buildings.
(e) 
Review and recommend any proposed changes, improvements, remodeling, additions, etc., to the Municipal Building and other Village buildings, parks or property.
(f) 
Recommend for Village Board consideration policies and procedures regarding Village operations and the delivery of services to the public.
(g) 
Recommend actions regarding use and maintenance of Village streets.
(h) 
Consider any other matters which may be referred by the Village Board.
(3) 
Public Safety Committee. The Public Safety Committee shall:
(a) 
Review traffic and pedestrian safety matters and recommend needed action for Village Board approval.
(b) 
Advise the Village Board on policies for police and fire protection and on revisions in the Village's building, health and safety codes.
(c) 
Supervise Village inspection services and the Village Police Department.
(d) 
Advise the Village Board on matters pertaining to the Police Department, Fire Department and emergency government programs.
(e) 
Review and recommend Village Board action regarding proposed state legislation impacting upon the Village and its residents.
(f) 
Recommend for Village Board consideration policies and procedures regarding Village operations and the delivery of services to the public.
(g) 
Make recommendations to the Village Board for establishment and revision of a Village safety program and, after such a program is in place, supervise such program.
(h) 
Consider any other matters which may be referred by the Village Board.
(4) 
Personnel Committee.
(a) 
The Personnel Committee shall consist of five members as follows: the Village President, Chairperson of the Public Safety Committee, Chairperson of the Public Works Committee, Chairperson of the Finance Committee and Chairperson of the Water and Electric Commission. In any case where the same person chairs more than one of these committees, the Village President will appoint an alternate from the Village Board to serve as the fifth member.
(b) 
The Personnel Committee shall:
[1] 
Establish and supervise the general personnel policies for the Village.
[2] 
Serve as negotiating unit for the Village in all labor negotiations.
[3] 
Interview prospective employees, make recommendations to the Village Board for hiring of new employees and make recommendations regarding disciplinary actions involving Village employees.
[4] 
Assure compliance by the Village with applicable state and federal statutes and regulations in the area of personnel.
[5] 
Consider any other matters which may be referred by the Village Board.
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
General provisions.
(1) 
The President shall designate the chairperson of each standing committee. All committee appointments except designation of chairperson shall be subject to confirmation by a majority vote of the Board.
(2) 
All Trustees shall serve on at least one standing committee. The Village President shall be an ex officio member of each standing committee or may be appointed to serve as a member of a specific committee.
(3) 
The Village President may declare the entire Board a committee of the whole for informal discussion at any meeting or for any other purpose and shall ex officio be chairperson of the same.
(4) 
The Village President may, from time to time, appoint such special committee or committees as he deems advisable or as provided for by motion or resolution by the Board stating the number of members and object thereof to perform such duties as may be assigned to them.
D. 
Standing committee meetings. Each standing committee shall meet as necessary to accomplish the responsibilities of each committee. All committee meetings shall convene at the Municipal Building.
E. 
Committee reports.
(1) 
Each committee shall, by the Friday before the regular Board meeting, submit a report to the Clerk on all matters referred to it. Such report shall recommend a definite action on each item and shall be approved by a majority of the committee. Any committee may require any Village officer or employee to confer with it and supply information in connection with any matter pending before it.
(2) 
Written reports of the regular standing committee meetings shall be submitted to the Village Clerk on the Friday before the regularly scheduled Village Board meeting.
F. 
Ambiguity of committee authority. In case of ambiguity or apparent conflict between the preceding definition of committee authority and a definition, in these ordinances, of the authority of a Village officer, employee, board, or association, the latter shall prevail.
A. 
General. The Village Board shall be vested with all the powers of the Village not specifically given some other officer. Except as otherwise provided by law, the Village Board shall have the management and control of the Village property, finances, highways, streets, and navigable waters and the public service and shall have the power to act for the government and good order of the Village, for its commercial benefit and for the health, safety, welfare and convenience of the public and may carry its powers into effect by license, regulation, suppression, borrowing, taxation, special assessment, appropriation, fine, imprisonment 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.
B. 
Acquisition and disposal of property. The Village Board may acquire property, real or personal, within or without the Village, for parks, libraries, historic places, recreation, beautification, streets, waterworks, sewage or waste disposal, harbors, improvement of watercourses, public grounds, vehicle parking areas and for any other public purpose; may acquire real property within or contiguous to the Village, by means other than condemnation, for industrial sites; may improve and beautify the same; may construct, own, lease and maintain buildings on such property for instruction, recreation, amusement and other public purposes; and may sell and convey such property. Condemnation shall be as provided by the Wisconsin Statutes.
C. 
Acquisition of easements and property rights. Confirming all powers granted to the Village Board and in furtherance thereof, the Board is expressly authorized to acquire, by gift, purchase or condemnation under the Wisconsin Statutes, any and all property rights in lands or waters, including rights of access and use, negative or positive easements, restrictive covenants, covenants running with land, scenic easements and any rights for use of property of any nature whatsoever, however denominated, which may be lawfully acquired for the benefit of the public or for any public purpose, including the exercise of powers granted under §§ 61.35 and 62.23, Wis. Stats., and may sell and convey such easements or property rights when no longer needed for public use or protection.
D. 
Village finances. The Village Board may levy and provide for the collection of taxes and special assessments, may refund any tax or special assessment paid, or any part thereof, when satisfied that the same was unjust or illegal, and generally may manage the Village finances. The Village Board may loan money to any school district located within the Village or within which the Village is wholly or partially located in such sums as are needed by such district to meet the immediate expenses of operating the schools thereof, and the board of the district may borrow money from such Village accordingly and give its note therefor. No such loan shall be made to extend beyond August 30 next following the making thereof or in an amount exceeding 1/2 of the estimated receipts for such district as certified by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the local school clerk. The rate of interest on any such loan shall be determined by the Village Board.
E. 
Construction of powers. Consistent with the purpose of giving to villages the largest measure of self-government in accordance with the spirit of the home rule amendment to the Constitution, the grants of power to the Village Board in this section and throughout this Code shall be liberally construed in favor of the rights, powers and privileges of villages to promote the general welfare, peace, good order and prosperity of the village and its inhabitants.
The Village Board, on behalf of the Village, may join with other counties, villages, cities, towns or other governmental entities in a cooperative arrangement for executing any power or duty in order to attain greater economy or efficiency, including joint employment of appointive officers and employees.
The President and other Trustees who make up the Village Board, whether operating under general or special law, may by majority vote of all the members of the Village Board determine that an annual salary be paid the President and Trustees. Salaries heretofore established shall so remain until changed by ordinance and shall not be increased or diminished during their terms of office.
A. 
Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the Village Board shall be held on the second Tuesday of each calendar month at 7:00 p.m. local time, except when the day so designated falls on a legal holiday, in which case the regular meeting shall be held at such other date and time as the Village Board shall designate. When the Village Board designates a date and time for the regular Board meeting, notice thereof shall be posted at the Municipal Building in the Village of Stratford and in two other places designated by the Village Board at its organizational meeting. All meetings of the Board shall be held at the Municipal Building, unless specified otherwise in the minutes of the preceding meeting or by written notice posted at the regular meeting place at least three hours prior to any meeting. In any event, all Board meetings shall be convened within the boundaries of the Village.
[Amended 3-12-1991]
B. 
Annual organizational meeting. The Village Board shall hold an annual organizational meeting on the third Tuesday of April.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
C. 
Board minutes. The Village Clerk shall keep a record of all open Board proceedings and cause the proceedings to be published.
A. 
Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Village President, by two Trustees filing a request with the Village Clerk at least 48 hours prior to the time requested for such meeting or by a majority of Trustees verbally agreeing at a prior meeting to schedule a special meeting. The Village Clerk shall select the day for the special meeting and immediately notify each Trustee of the time and purpose of such meeting. The notice shall be delivered or mailed to each Trustee personally or left at his usual place of abode a minimum of 24 hours prior to the meeting time. The Village Clerk shall cause an affidavit of such notice to be filed in his office prior to the time fixed for such special meeting. Notice to the public of special meetings shall conform to the open meeting requirements of § 61.32 and Chapter 19, Subchapter V, of the Wisconsin Statutes. The Village Clerk shall give notice immediately upon the call for such meeting being filed with him.
B. 
In the event that all of the Trustees file a written consent or waiver of notice, any special meeting shall be held forthwith, but not less than two hours after the required notice is provided under § 19.84(3), Wis. Stats.
C. 
The request for any special meeting shall state the purpose for which the meeting is to be called, and no business shall be transacted but that for which the meeting has been called.
A. 
Open Meetings Law compliance. All meetings shall be open to the public, unless falling within a lawful exception of the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See §§ 19.81 to 19.98, Wis. Stats.
B. 
Adjournment of meetings. Any regular session of the Board may be adjourned for later reconvening as many times as the Board may determine to be necessary, advisable or convenient. Said adjournment may be made for a new reconvening time later in the same day or on a subsequent day. Any such adjournment may provide for reconvening at the same place or another place. An adjournment to a closed session may be only for a permitted purpose as enumerated in § 19.85, Wis. Stats., and must meet the other requirements of said § 19.85, Wis. Stats.
C. 
Meetings to be open. During the holding of any open session in the regular meeting room or in the substituted meeting room, said room and said meeting shall at all times be open and remain open to all citizens.
D. 
Closed meetings. The provisions of this Code do not prohibit the Board or any committee thereof from having a closed meeting which is legally convened and legally held in a room in said building other than the official meeting room or in some other building in the Village.
A. 
Four members of the Village Board shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may adjourn or may compel attendance of absent members if a majority is not present. The President shall be counted in computing a quorum.
B. 
When the presiding officer shall have called the members to order, the Village Clerk shall proceed to call the roll in alphabetical order, noting who is present and who is absent, and if, after having gone through with the call, it shall appear that a quorum is not present, the fact shall be entered in the minutes, and the members present may adjourn to a later date in the month; if they do not establish the next meeting date, the Village Board shall stand adjourned to the time appointed for the next regular meeting unless a special meeting is called sooner.
A. 
Village President to preside. The Village President shall preside over meetings of the Village Board. In the absence of the Village President, the President Pro Tem shall preside. In case of absence of the Village President and President Pro Tem, the Village Clerk shall call the meeting to order and the Trustees present shall elect one of their number acting President Pro Tem.
B. 
President Pro Tem. The Village Board at its first meeting subsequent to the regular election and qualification of new members shall, after organization, choose from its members a President Pro Tem who in the absence of the President shall preside at meetings of the Board and during the absence or inability of the Village President shall have the powers and duties of the Village President, except that he shall not have power to approve an act of the Board which the Village President has disapproved by filing objections with the Village Clerk.
C. 
Duties. The presiding officer shall preserve order and decorum, decide all questions of order, and conduct the proceedings of the meeting in accordance with the parliamentary rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, unless otherwise provided by statute or by these rules. Any member shall have the right to appeal from a decision of the presiding officer. Such appeal is not debatable and must be sustained by a majority vote of the members present, excluding the presiding officer. In the absence of the Village Clerk, the Deputy Clerk shall perform the duties of the Clerk.
A. 
At all meetings, the following order shall be observed in conducting the business of the Village Board:
(1) 
Call to order by presiding officer.
(2) 
Pledge of allegiance.
(3) 
Roll call by Clerk.
(4) 
Minutes of preceding meeting approved.
(5) 
Public hearings and public input; reports of paid experts.
(6) 
Committee reports.
(7) 
Other reports.
(8) 
Financial reports.
(9) 
Approval of vouchers for payment.
(10) 
Approval of water and electric vouchers.
(11) 
Adjournment.
B. 
No business shall be taken up out of order unless authorized by the Village President or by majority consent of all Trustees and in the absence of any debate whatsoever.
A. 
Ordinances to be in writing. All ordinances or bylaws submitted to the Board shall be in writing and shall include at the outset a brief statement of the subject matter. Resolutions shall be in writing at the request of one Trustee; such request shall be nondebatable. Unless requested by a Trustee before a final vote is taken, no ordinance, resolution or bylaw need be read in full. Resolutions and ordinances may be referred to an appropriate standing committee for an advisory recommendation.
B. 
Subject and numbering of ordinances. Each ordinance shall be related to no more than one subject. Amendment or repeal of ordinances shall only be accomplished if the amending or repealing ordinance contains the number and statement of the subject matter of the ordinance to be amended or repealed, and the title of amending and repealing ordinances shall reflect their purpose to amend or repeal.
C. 
Notice.
(1) 
The Village Board may take action on an ordinance only if it appears on the written agenda for the meeting at which action is requested.
(2) 
Ordinances will be placed on the agenda for Board action only if they are submitted to the Village Clerk in written form on the Friday prior to the meeting at which action is requested.
D. 
Disposition of petitions, communication, etc. Every petition or other writing of any kind addressed for reference to the Village Board shall be delivered to the Village President or to the presiding officer of the Board as soon as the opening of the next meeting of the Village Board following the receipt of the same. Every such petition or other writing and every paper, communication or other proceeding which shall come before the Board for action may be referred by the Village President or presiding officer to the appropriate committee or commission, unless objected to by some member of the Board.
A. 
All general ordinances of the Village and all regulations imposing any penalty shall be published either in their entirety or by notice as provided in § 61.50(1), Wis. Stats., in the official paper of the Village once or posted according to state law and shall be immediately recorded, with proof of publication, by the Village Clerk in a book kept for that purpose and/or the Village Code. A printed copy of such ordinance or regulation in any book, pamphlet or newspaper and published or purporting to be published therein by direction of the Village Board shall be prima facie proof of due passage, publication and recording thereof.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
All ordinances shall take effect and be in force from and after passage and publication thereof, unless otherwise provided.
A. 
A roll call shall not be necessary on any questions or motions except as follows:
(1) 
When the ayes and nays are requested by any member.
(2) 
When required by the Wisconsin Statutes.
B. 
All aye and nay votes shall be recorded in the official minutes. The Village Clerk shall call the roll in alphabetical order, and the Village Clerk shall call the roll starting with "A" and then in alphabetical order one time and then starting with "Z" and in reverse alphabetical order the next time.
C. 
Except as provided below, the Village Board shall in all other respects determine the rules of its procedure, which shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, which is hereby incorporated by reference, unless otherwise provided by ordinance or statute, except when otherwise limited or modified by this Code.[1]
(1) 
No Trustee shall address the Board until he has been recognized by the presiding officer. He shall thereupon address himself to the Board and confine his remarks to the question under discussion and avoid all personalities.
(2) 
When two or more members simultaneously seek recognition, the presiding officer shall name the member who is to speak first.
(3) 
No person other than a Trustee or elected or appointed officer shall address the Board unless the person is on the agenda or is recognized by the presiding officer.
(4) 
An ordinance, resolution or other motion shall not be acted upon unless it has been seconded. An ordinance, resolution or other motion shall not be withdrawn or amended without the consent of the person proposing the same and of the person seconding it.
(5) 
When a question is in debate, no action shall be in order except the following, and these several motions shall have precedence in the order in which they stand:
(a) 
To adjourn.
(b) 
To lay on the table.
(c) 
The previous question.
(d) 
To postpone to a certain date.
(e) 
To refer to a standing, select or special committee.
(f) 
To amend.
(g) 
To postpone indefinitely.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
When a question has been once decided, any member of the majority or, in case of a tie, any member voting in the affirmative may move for a reconsideration at the immediate following meeting thereof, but if a motion to reconsider is made on a day subsequent to that on which the question was decided, a vote of the majority of the entire Board shall be required to sustain it.
The Village Board has the power to preserve order at its meetings. Whenever any disturbance or disorderly conduct shall occur in any of the meetings of the Board, the President may cause the room to be cleared of all persons causing such disorderly conduct.
The rules of this chapter shall not be rescinded or amended unless the proposed amendment or motion to rescind has laid over from a regular meeting, and then it shall require a vote of 2/3 of all the members of the Board.
These rules shall not be suspended except by a two-thirds vote of all the members of the Board.