Mon - Fri 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
330 Court Street Eagle River Wisconsin 54521


Date:  Tuesday December 11, 2012 (12/11/12)

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Vilas County Board Rules and Members

Click here for a list of all Supervisors.

Contact the County Clerks office for an official copy of the Standing Rules.


    1. The hour of meeting shall be 9:00 A.M., unless adjournment to some other hour or at the call of the chairperson.
    2. If a quorum is not present, the members may adjourn from time to time until there is a quorum. A majority of Board members shall constitute a quorum.
    3. The Clerk of the Board shall provide a roll call of all members of the board, whose names shall be arranged alphabetically, and the roll shall be called by names.
    4. Attendance at all County Board meetings and Committee meetings is mandatory and may be enforced by the Executive Committee as allowed by law.
    5. In the event of illness, or other prolonged absence, of any Board member causing absence of his/her attendance at committee meetings, the County Board Chairperson, as soon as possible, shall appoint a substitute Board member to act on his/her behalf.
    6. In the event of a vacancy on County Board, either by death, resignation, removal or other cause, the County Board Chairperson, as soon as possible, shall nominate a substitute member to finish out the unexpired term. Such new member must be approved by the County Board.
  1. At the organizational meeting the Chairperson, or in his/her absence, the Vice Chairperson or Second Vice Chairperson of the previous Board, shall call the new Board to order. If neither is present, the County Clerk shall call the meeting to order. The Order of Business shall be:
    1. Pledge of Allegiance.
    2. Roll & Oath of Office.
    3. Adoption of Standing Rules and Committee Duties.
    4. Election by majority vote of: A permanent Chairperson. A permanent Vice Chairperson. A permanent Second Vice Chairperson.
    5. Election by plurality vote of: A Highway Committee consisting of five members of the County Board.
    6. Such other business as may legally be brought before the organizational meeting in the order prescribed under Section IV following "Roll Call".
  2. The following Standing Committees shall be named according to the procedures provided by the Wisconsin Statutes and these rules. This shall be done within two weeks following the organizational meeting.
    1. Advertising and Publicity (5 members)
    2. County-Tribal Concerns (5 members).
    3. Emergency Management (4 members and either the County Board Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, or 2nd Vice-Chairperson).
    4. Executive, Ethics and Insurance (4 Chairmen from different Committees and County Board Chairperson).
    5. Extension Education and Community Development (5 members).
    6. Finance and Budget (5 members).
    7. Forestry, Recreation and Land (5 members).
    8. Health Insurance Board of Trustees (3 members).
    9. Highway (5 elected members).
    10. Land, Air and Water Conservation (LAWCC) (6 members).
    11. Land Records (5 members).
    12. Law Enforcement (5 members).
    13. Legislative and Judicial (5 members).
    14. Library (5 members).
    15. Personnel (5 members).
    16. Public Health Board (9 members).
    17. Public Property (5 members).
    18. Social Services Board (5 members)
    19. Solid Waste and Mining Impact (5 members).
    20. Zoning and Planning (5 members).
    21. Board of Adjustment (no more than 5 members, plus 2 alternates)
    22. Commission on Aging (no more than 12 members).
    23. Community Options Program (no more than 25 members).
    24. Highway Safety (no more than 12 members).
    25. Land Use Planning Committee (Temporary).
    26. Local Emergency Planning Committee (no more than 12 members).
    27. Loss Control Committee (no more than 12 members).
    28. Northern Waters Library System Trustee Board (2 representatives).
    29. Veterans Service Commission (no more than 3 members).
  3. The General Order of Business at Board Meetings shall be:
    1. Pledge of Allegiance.
    2. Roll Call.
    3. Approval of Agenda.
    4. Approval of Minutes of previous meeting.
    5. Resolutions tabled or postponed to a day certain.
    6. Introduce and act on all resolutions and ordinances as posted.
    7. The hearing of Resolutions, Petitions, Communications, and Memorials not previously submitted to the Board members by mail, and disposition by reference to the appropriate committees by the Chairperson, unless the Board wishes immediate action and votes on motion to waive the rules (two thirds vote required) to do so.
    8. Consideration of Committee and departmental reports including those not previously submitted to the Board by mail.
    9. Letters and communications.
    10. Committee Reports.
    11. Pay per diem.
    12. Adjournment.
    1. County Board meetings shall be the 3rd Tuesday of January, March, April, June August and September; and the 2nd Tuesday of November. Such meeting dates shall be subject to addition or change as deemed absolutely necessary by the County Board Chairperson.
    2. The County Clerk shall keep the minutes of all County Board meetings.
    1. The Chairperson shall preserve order and decide questions of order subject to appeal to the Board, and shall vote on all questions.
    2. The Chairperson without calling for a vote shall refer all matters that come before the Board to the appropriate committee, unless otherwise ordered by the Board.
    1. Voting shall be by signed ballot or roll call to determine any questions of policy or salaries involving Board members or County employees. Any election of an officer of the Board or any committee of the Board may be by secret ballot pursuant to 19.88(1), Wisconsin Statutes. Other voting shall be by Ayes and Nays, except that the roll shall be called and each vote recorded on all questions involving the expenditure of money. A roll call vote may be called for by any member on any issue at any time; however, if the vote is unanimous, the roll call need not be taken.
    2. On roll call vote the name of the Chairperson shall be read last.
    3. Each member participating in debate must vote aye or nay on each question unless excused by the Chairperson for stated reasons.
    4. Whenever a resolution, ordinance or motion is defeated, any member may move for reconsideration at any time during the same session. If two-thirds (2/3) of the members present vote in favor of reconsideration, the subject shall be before the Board for further action. When the vote on any question is a tie, it is lost.
    5. No vote shall be taken on any orally presented motion or amended resolution until the Clerk has written it out in full and read it back to the board so as to give the Board a clear statement and the proceedings a correct record.
    6. No ordinance, resolution or motion shall be debated or put to a vote unless it has been moved and seconded.
    7. After a motion has been moved and seconded, it is in possession of the Board, but it may be withdrawn at any time before amendment or decision. If withdrawn, it shall not be entered upon the minutes.
    8. When a resolution is under debate no motion shall be received except to amend, to lay on the table, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to withdraw or to adjourn.
    9. In all cases when an ordinance, resolution or motion shall be entered in the minutes of the Board, the name of the member moving the same and his/her second shall be entered in the minutes.
    10. All questions, except privileged questions, shall be put in the order in which they are moved, unless otherwise directed by the Board.
    11. In all parliamentary questions raised during a session of the Board, and which are not covered specifically by the foregoing rules, Robert's Rules of Order shall prevail.
    1. Whenever any member desires to speak to the Board, he/she shall raise his/her hand, address the Chairperson, and be recognized. When two or more members raise their hands at once, the Chairperson shall designate the member who is to speak first, but in all cases the member who shall first raise his/her hand and address the Chairperson shall speak first. He/she shall confine his/her remarks to the subject and not deal in personalities. When called to order he/she shall not be allowed to proceed without permission of the Chairperson.
    2. Time for citizen comments will be provided at County Board meetings; however, in accordance with state statutes, citizen comments must be specific to action items posted on the published agenda and must be made prior to Board action on the item. When anyone not a member desires to address the Board, permission to do so must be asked by a Board member. The Chairperson may limit the time a non-member may speak.
    1. Annual reports, resolutions, ordinances and requested appointments sponsored by Committees or individual members shall be in writing and filed with the Clerk 10 days prior to the next meeting of the Board. The Clerk shall have them copied and mailed to members for their information and consideration five days prior to the meeting. Each late resolution shall be deferred to the next scheduled County Board meeting by the Chairperson unless a member moves to waive this rule and allow immediate action (two thirds vote required). If two thirds vote fails, the resolution will automatically be put on the agenda for the next meeting. The Chairperson, with the assistance of the Clerk, shall prepare the Agenda. The Agenda shall be mailed to all Board Members on the Friday prior to the meeting.
    2. Any resolution presented for consideration at any meeting must bear the signature of the member(s) offering the same, or if offered by a Committee, the signatures of a majority of that Committee. Prior to consideration at any meeting, all resolutions must be brought to the Corporation Counsel for review of their legality and language, and must contain a corporation counsel signature line stating approved as to form.
    3. All committee or individual members' recommendations shall be in resolution form to be presented to the County Board for action. All resolutions shall be numbered consecutively beginning with the first meeting of the calendar year.
    4. When a Committee Annual Report or Resolution or Ordinance is taken up and is under consideration, the main question shall be "Shall the recommendations of the Committee be adopted by the Board?" and unless specific amendments are offered in the usual parliamentary form, discussion shall be limited to adoption or rejection of the report or resolution.
    5. All accounts or claims against the County shall be audited and approved by the majority of a Committee, itemized, duly verified, and filed with the Clerk of the Board in the manner prescribed by law.
    1. The County Board shall by resolution establish the hours during which the County Offices, except the Court's, shall be open to the public, and the hours of work to be required of employees in those offices.
    2. Salaries or wages for all employees shall be determined by the County Board as provided in 59.22, Wisconsin Statutes, after consideration and recommendation by the Personnel Committee.
  4. No rules of the Board shall be suspended, altered or amended without the consent of 2/3 of the members present. No hiring of additional personnel and/or creating new positions or building projects and/or building acquisitions may be authorized without the consent of 2/3 of the members present.
    1. No ordinance, resolution or motion shall be considered and voted upon where an appropriation is required unless accompanied by a written fiscal impact statement endorsed by the person or committee introducing or submitting the same. This fiscal impact statement must either be included within the resolution itself or incorporated as an attachment. This fiscal impact statement shall set forth the best estimated financial impact of the proposed ordinance, resolution or motion, if any, to the County including whether or not the costs have been previously included in a budget account.
    2. Except as provided in the Finance and Budget Committee rules, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the entire membership of the Board must be obtained before a budget appropriation may be changed. Any changes made under this rule must be published to the public within 10 days of the change.


  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, the Chairperson of the County Board, in collaboration with the Vice Chairperson and Second Vice Chairperson, shall appoint the membership of each committee of the Board and shall designate the Chairperson of each appointive committee, except Social Services and Highway.
  2. Except as otherwise provided by law, the Chairperson of the County Board shall be an ex-officio a member of all standing committees. His/her ex-officio membership is in addition to the membership hereinafter prescribed for each committee. Any committee lacking a quorum may call on the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson or Second Vice Chairperson to make a quorum as an active member of that committee for that day. The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Second Vice Chairperson shall be paid mileage and per diem when used to make a quorum by any properly authorized County Committee.
  3. When requested by a committee, and when determined to be necessary by the Chairperson of the County Board, the Chairperson of the County Board may appoint a Board member to serve temporarily on a committee for the purpose of obtaining a quorum of the committee so that a particular meeting may be held without delay.


  1. All committees of the County Board shall keep a written record of their meeting, including dates, attendance, proposed resolutions, matters considered, including all information on bids or proposals submitted for their approval and their action thereon in a committee file in the office of the County Clerk or in the office so named and copies shall be mailed to the County Board Chairperson with the next meetingss agenda. These minutes shall be of public record.
  2. All Committees shall prepare preliminary budgets and turn them in to the County Clerk before October 10th of each year.
  3. All committees shall audit all claims and accounts submitted to them. Committees shall submit approved claims to the County Clerk by the 10th of each month. If claims are not submitted to the County clerk by the 10th of each month, the claims will not be presented to the Finance Committee until the following month. Any late charges will be the responsibility of the submitting Department.
  4. Any committee that has the duty of obtaining supplies, services and equipment (other than basic office supplies) for a department, an office, or a group of offices must gain the approval of the Property Committee prior to procurement by the Purchasing Agent. For all purchases of $500.00 or more, the requesting department shall obtain three (3) written quotes, which shall first be presented to the supervising committee and then to the Property Committee for approval. Basic office supplies less than $500.00 and within budgetary guidelines shall be obtained through the Purchasing Agent. Said Purchasing Agent shall use a uniform system of Purchase Orders to achieve maximum efficiency.
  5. a. Any committee (or individual Board member) which desires to propose new projects or major improvements to existing services, equipment or facilities which would require sizeable appropriations and thus have a major effect on the budget for the following year, shall present these by resolution to the County Board at the September meeting. Sizeable appropriation shall mean any amount equal to or greater than 10% of a departments annual budget or $20,000, whichever is less.
    b. Except for the Highway Department, no committee (except the Forestry, Recreation and Land Committee and the Law Enforcement Committee, which have a $15,000 limit) shall enter into any commitment or contract in amounts exceeding $10,000 without first having County Board approval.
  6. Any committee that has a contract binding on the county must first have the contract reviewed and initialed by the Corporation Counsel and any other person required by law. All contracts shall be signed by the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson of the County Board, or the County Clerk, or the Chair of the presiding committee, and any other person required by law, with the exception of contracts for services that are in the ordinary and customary practice and procedure of the Department of Social Services, which shall be signed by the Director of Social Services.
  7. All public work projects where the cost of such work will exceed $25,000.00 shall be let by contract to the lowest responsible bidder, pursuant to Wis. Stat. 59.52(29).
  8. Board members or committees who desire to present resolutions to the County Board for non-budgeted expenditures or expenditures of money in excess of any of the committee's or department's budget shall first advise the Finance Committee.
  9. All committees shall refer to the specific Standing Rules for their committee.
  10. All committee members shall file their committee per diem and expense bills for each calendar month with the County Clerk each month no later than five days prior to the meeting of the Finance Committee.
  11. a. The per diem reimbursement for a committee member's attendance at meetings will be $45 per day, regardless of the number of meetings attended on any one day.
    b. Only committee members will be paid per diem at a specified committee meeting unless the County Board Chair and/or a Committee Chair requests a Committee member to attend a specific meeting.
  12. Special Committees of the County Board shall continue to function until their respective duties have been performed or termination by the County Board Chairperson. Special Committees shall submit a progress report to the County Board Chairperson every six months.
  13. All Committees must comply with the Open Meeting Law requirements as provided in 19.83, 19.84 and 19.85, Wisconsin Statutes.
  14. Only County Board Committee members can vote unless otherwise provided by Statute.
  15. The Corporation Counsel shall attend any closed session of a committee when requested by the committee.
  16. Before any new grant applications over $1,000 may be made by a department or office, they must first be approved by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Any grant application for monies less than $1,000 and not requiring matching County funds must first be approved by the Committee overseeing the department that is applying for the grant.
  17. A Committee may appoint a subcommittee of its members, with County Board Chairperson approval, but only for the purpose of fact-finding or the performance of other advisory duties. Such subcommittee may not include a quorum of the regular Committees members.
  18. All County Board Supervisors and employees must receive prior approval from a specific committee for any out-of-County travel.
  19. Unless required by law or otherwise, there shall be no segregated, non-lapsing accounts. Unless specifically provided for in the following years budget, all monies left in the County Budget at the end of each year will be returned to the General Fund unless a department can justify the need for a non-lapsing account.