Goals & Objectives
- Continue to have auctions of tax-deeded properties and return them to the tax rolls.
- Continue to provide quality services to the public.
- Continue to conduct all federal, state and countywide elections in an efficient manner.
- Continue to serve the County Board of Supervisors.
The roots of the Wisconsin Office of County Clerk go back to 14th Century England. The office was called clerk of peace and dealt with county - level courts that acted legislatively as well as judicially. These earliest clerks collected fees for the specific duties they performed. The office gradually developed in England into an office, which we would recognize as fairly similar to our own.
When Wisconsin was first a territory, the County Clerk was appointed by the County Board. Several different arrangements were used from 1836 until 1849, by which time Wisconsin had become a state. Election of the clerk of the county board of supervisors by the electors of the county began in 1849. An act of 1845 declared that the clerk of the county board of supervisors was also county clerk. The official designation of the office was changed to "County Clerk" in 1878.
The clerk holds one of the most complicated posts in Wisconsin local government. The clerk is the official record keeper for many basic county activities and meetings, county financial administration, election administration and is the local outlet for several state functions such as fish and game licenses and marriage licenses.
ElectionThe election of the clerk is designed to maintain the responsiveness of the clerk to local interests. The general scheme of Wisconsin local government was that counties were really state-administered outposts. That idea is still important and helps to explain why the state legislature feels free to use counties as it wishes. Election of county officials avoids rigidity that might take effect if the functions were carried out by appointees of state agencies. In many counties, energetic, responsible clerks have often become the focal point for effective administration of the county. With an increasing number of counties having executives and administrators-and all counties having appointed an administrative coordinator-the setting in which many County Clerks work is quite different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Nevertheless, the opportunity for interesting and important public service remains for those who are elected to be County Clerk.
The self-image of the modern County Clerk is that of a member of the management team of the county and representative of the state in several important functions. Modern clerks have learned to use computers effectively and understand that one of their major functions is as manager of a complex information system for the public, other county officials and the state government.