TOWN OF ASHFORD REFERENDUM QUESTION
APRIL 7, 2020 ELECTION
The Town of Ashford April 7, 2020 election ballot will have a referendum question on the backside of the ballot stating “Shall the person holding the office of Clerk in the Town of Ashford be appointed by the Town Board?” An explanation for why municipalities are going to appointed positions verses elected are mainly the degree of difficulty of the job. This position must be performed according to State Statues. Parliamentary Procedures, Agendas, Notices, Meeting Minutes, Open Records, Financial Statements, Annual Report, Audits, Budgeting, Setting the Tax Levy, Fire Dues Report, Open book, Board of Review, Liquor and Operator Licensing, Ordinances and Election Administration all require extensive training and must be done effectively and efficiently or a town can be in jeopardy of fines or loss of grants. In smaller municipalities it may be difficult to find a qualified candidate to run for the position and may need to look outside their community which would require an appointment of the position. Training has been an issue in townships whose clerks are elected and have decided not to run another term. Who will train the newly elected clerk? Many municipalities have to rely on neighboring municipalities volunteering their staff fort proper training and mentoring, if appointed a new clerk can start and be trained by the residing clerk who will be resigning or retiring in the future, where if elected this is not possible due to not knowing who would win the election if more than one candidate were to run for the position. There is always the fear of winning on popularity not on who is most qualified. If appointed there would an interview process for the most qualified person for the job that shall serve for a term, not to exceed 3 years. After the term the person may be reappointed or may be dismissed by the board only for cause, as defined in s. 17.001.
State Statue 60.10(1)(b)(2m) and 60.30(1e)€ requires towns under population 2500 to make a position of town clerk be presented to the town residents via referendum question on the ballot to allow the appointed position. Towns over population 2500 the board can decide if the position can be changed to appointed. The Town of Ashford’s population is 1786 hence the referendum question on the upcoming election. The Town of Ashford has discussed changing this position from elected to appointed in years past but are now moving forward with the question on the April 7, 2020 ballot. The Town of Waupun and the Town of Calumet will also have this question on their ballot on April 7, 2020. The Town of Springvale in Fond du Lac County passed the referendum question to appoint their clerk on the April 2018 ballot. The Town Auburn passed the referendum question on the November 2018 ballot. Other Townships include Town of Friendship, Town of Ripon and the Town of Metomen. The Fond du Lac County Clerk, Lisa Freiberg, The Wisconsin Towns Association, and the Town Attorneys are all in favor of having this position be appointed for the best interest of townships. The Town of Ashford wants to be proactive in always having qualified and well trained individuals for this position so please remember to vote Tuesday, April 7, 2020.