The League of Women Voters of the Northwoods

is committed to enhancing our members’ and our fellow citizens’ understanding and participation regarding local government. The average citizen’s knowledge about local issues, local elections and local government often falls short of what it takes to insure good government and wise allocation of local tax dollars.

Think about it — many things that determine the quality of our daily lives are controlled at the local level:

Public health and safety
Child protection services

Public schools
Road maintenance

Water and sewage
Parks and recreation

The ongoing activities of local government receive relatively little attention amidst media whoopla about state and national politics.  We seek to fill in that gap. We want to know:

•  Who are our local officials?
•  What are the duties of various boards, councils and committees?
•  How do they operate?
•  What are the important issues and related interest groups?
•  How wisely are decisions being made and tax dollars being spent?
•  What are the opportunities for public input?


LWVNOW’s  strategies to encourage informed participation include:

  • Co-sponsoring events and forums devoted to local issues and elections.

  • Getting to know local officials. 

  • Disseminating information about the operations and responsibilities of local government entities.

  • Encouraging citizens to consider running for local offices.

  • Each LWVNOW member selecting a county, district or municipality meeting to attend on a regular basis to report about key issues, official actions taken and opportunities for citizen input.

Resources for observing local government: League of Women Voter’s Observing Your Government in Action: A Resource Guide; League of Women Voters of the Northwoods Tips for Agency Observers and Observer’s Meeting Report Form


Good to Know:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
— Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Wisconsin’s state constitution specifies that county government’s responsibilities are limited by statute to carrying out state laws, while municipalities have been granted “home rule”.

Suggested reading:  UW-Extension's Local Government Center and UW-Extension's Resources for Local Officials

For information about Public Records and Open Meetings law and public participation in government meetings: Citizens for Education in Town Governance website page Open Government 

LWV WI Local Government Advocacy

Click to view the LWV WI website page County Government