The City of Kaukauna has had an elected Clerk/Treasurer position since 1988.  It is now one of the last municipalities of this size in the State to have this position elected. Other communities have moved to an appointed split position because of the ever-changing requirements and responsibility of the role.

The fast-paced environment of a Clerk/Treasurer makes it difficult to learn on the fly.  Many times Clerk duties fall parallel with Treasurer duties, making it difficult to give each duty the necessary attention.  Over the years, the WI Department of Revenue and Counties have increased reporting requirements for the position, adding to the complexity.

The positioning structure of being elected doesn’t require experience or background in the area of Clerk/Treasury.  Currently, this position is only accountable to the voters in Kaukauna, who may or may not be paying close attention to the details or may not be aware of the qualifications needed.  Cash handling and record-keeping are important parts of the position that require proper training, integrity, and experience.

Duties of the Two Roles

Treasurer Duties

  • Handling Cash/Bank Deposits
  • Invest City’s Reserve Funds
  • Tax Collection($18 million/year)
  • Cash flow Management
  • Financial Reporting
  • State and County Reporting

Clerk Duties

  • Care and custody of municipal papers and records and transfer of those records to the Clerk’s successor.
  • Attend Common Council board meetings and keeping a full record of the proceedings.
  • Allowing inspection of records permitted by Wisconsin’s open record laws.
  • Maintaining: Minutes, Ordinances, Resolutions, Licenses & Permits.
  • Issuing & Maintaining Licenses (Dog, Bartender, Liquor, etc.).
  • Knowing and understanding the City Ordinances and Resolutions.
  • Coordinate and reconcile elections along with posting notices.

Appointed vs. Elected

Changing to Appointed

  • Making an appointed position would allow the candidates to be screened and interviewed to ensure they meet the criteria deemed necessary to perform at a high level in the position.
  • Being appointed will make the position accountable to the mayor and council who closely monitor the day to day activities.
  • Being appointed would provide stability in the position year to year and reduces the risk of turnover every two years in this critical role.

Leaving Elected

  • Gives the voters the choice of who they want to fill the position.
  • Would allow anyone without the necessary experience or education to run for the position.
  • Would require the person filling the role to live within the City.

Be Heard! Come out to vote October 29 for what you feel is the best structure for Clerk/Treasurer position.  Early voting at City Hall from Oct. 14 through Oct. 25.  Absentee voting – Request an absentee ballot at www.myvote.wi.gov or call the Clerk’s Office at 920-766-6300.

Referendum Question: Shall the City of Kaukauna, Outagamie County, Wisconsin change the Clerk/Treasurer position from elected to appointed?  If you would like additional information on the referendum, there will be a public forum on October 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall 144 W Second Street, Kaukauna, WI.

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