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Special Edition 2020 WMCA E-Newsletter

Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association
Monthly Newsletter

Special Coronavirus Edition

Diane Coenen Headshot
A Special Message From Your President

To All Professional Super Clerks:

I applaud you because you are proving just how professional and super you are by digging deep and doing your job to the best of your ability in the most unbelievable circumstances we have ever faced as Professionals in an election.

Your WMCA Board of Directors had an emergency meeting on Monday, March 30th to discuss the election issues we are all facing and to decide what we can do as an organization. What we recognize is that for every Clerk/Municipality there is a different set of circumstances and differing opinions on what could or should be done to overcome the obstacles. What we know is that WMCA is here for its members and will continue to work to support you by listening, giving support and reaching out to our leaders for help.  What we decided is that WMCA cannot take a position to make an official statement on what fixes need to be done to administer the April 7th Election or enjoin lawsuits.

I believe we can all agree that we are an organization of awesome Municipal Clerks/Staff who have very specific statutory requirements for facilitating elections, who at this historic time need realistic solutions to our problems. Some obstacles may seem insurmountable so take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are doing your very best. You cannot control the things you cannot change, but you can control how you react to them so prioritize life/safety first and then look at how you can solve the problems using the tools and resources available to you. Your solutions may not be perfect, and you may not be able follow statutes to the letter of the law but hold your head high and feel confident that you had the courage to do your best.

Your WMCA Board will continue to do what we have been, just like so many members of WMCA, as well as non-members, retired Clerks, local elected officials, election workers, and groups that advocate for WMCA by continuing to call and email all our representatives, the Governor and WEC asking for action, giving our opinions, providing realistic common sense suggestions to help us.  The bills that have been proposed are being proposed in response to what they are hearing ……. WE NEED HELP!!!

If our leaders decide to tae action, the fixes may not be true fixes and will not help everyone, but our leaders are trying to hear our struggles and for that WMCA is thankful. We have been working for close to three years to have a seat at the table and have our representatives reach out to us, the Professional who has the experience and knowledge to be able to provide insight to proposed legislation and the affects it will have on our jobs and our municipality. I know firsthand our efforts are working because I have been personally contacted by many over the last two weeks and asked to provide input. WMCA will continue to work to foster a relationship of respect and cohesiveness with our legislators and if we all continue to provide realistic suggestions to solve the problems we are facing, our strong and experienced voices will be heard and sought out.

We are growing stronger every day and I thank you for that. I admire all of you and the courage you have displayed. The courage to continuously serve your community, the courage to do business differently, the courage to support each other even when it may mean sacrifice within your own operations. Your dedication and passion to your job is truly inspiring and because of that we will work through all of this together.

Wishing you continued good health,


WMCA 2019-2020 President Diane Coenen

Some Useful Updates for You

In this unprecedented and frightening time, our state department and association friends are passing along some very helpful information for you, the Professional Municipal Clerk.  Please check them out.

From the League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Options for Conducting Meetings Remotely

    By Curt Witynski, Deputy Executive Director, League of Wisconsin Municipalities
    The Office of Open Government in the Wisconsin Department of Justice issued two advisories in March 2020 indicating that governmental bodies may meet remotely during the COVID-19 public health emergency and still comply with the open meetings law. The March 16 advisory states that “governmental bodies typically can meet their open meetings obligations, while practicing social distancing to help protect public health, by conducting meetings via telephone conference calls if the public is provided with an effective way to monitor such calls (such as public distribution, at least 24 hours in advance, of dial-in information for a conference call).” The March 20 advisory further explains that meeting “notices should provide instructions for how the public may access the remote meeting, whether it is to be held via telephone conference call or video conference call. This includes providing the
    telephone number, video conference link, and any necessary passcodes or other login information.”
    Click here for the full article from the League  and further information on call options for your board meetings.
     From the Department of Revenue
    The Wisconsin Department of Revenue has set up a webpage with Covid-19 Information and Announcements. 
    The page includes documents discussing tax filing; alcohol beverage guidelines; and a lot of information on Property Assessment, open book, and Board of Review.
    Click here to check out the DOR page of information.

    From the UW-Extension

    Election Working Training:

    The Local Government Education program has created a ninety-minute election training Zoom that local government clerks can use to train new election workers.   This training is free to any clerk that wishes to use it.  Melissa Kono, County Extension Educator in Clark and Trempealeau Counties, created the training presentation and materials. Victoria Solomon,  Green County Extension Educator, assisted with the training presentation and developed the Recruiting materials.  

    We are posting these materials on the LGE website at so that a clerk can download it to use as required.  These materials follow the Wisconsin Election Commission training guidelines.  An individual can watch on their home computer or a computer at the local government office. The training is a recorded ZOOM webinar, accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

    Election Working Recruitment:

    Also, we've developed a one-page approach for clerks to use to recruit new election workers.  Attached is a recruiting resource document that is also available on the LGE website

      From Our Own Past President Astrella

      Over the past week or so I have seen a lot of great ideas being shared about how to try and minimize our contact with people, ensure the safety of our poll workers (and ourselves!) and how to handle/sanitize things.  I asked my wife, Dr. Julie and her colleague Dr. Rebecca Muehrer (both Clinical Professors at the University of Wisconsin) to put some simple things together for us to follow on the days leading up to Election Day and Election Day itself.  If you have a Fire Chief or EMS Director you may already know some of this stuff, but if not, it's GREAT information for you, friends and family.  There are some valuable links at the end if you'd like more info and if you have specific questions feel free to ask me, and I'll get answers from either of them as quick as I can.  Click here for this important information page.

      I hope you all are doing your best to stay safe, sane and healthy.  Don't forget to wash your hands.

      Chris Astrella, WCPC
      Town of Oakland

       WMCA Associate Members are great partners with the WMCA.  The next time you need to purchase a service or software, or other items, check out the vendors ads on the WMCA website on the Municipal Vendor page.

      Issue #4  
      March 2020

      For the best display of this E-Newsletter, click here to open as a webpage.

      In This Issue

      Coronavirus Information from:

      Other 2020 Educational Opportunities
      Mark your calendars for the following opportunities and watch your email for the registration information:
      All Spring District Meetings have been cancelled for this Spring.  The Districts will have on-line elections for District Directors for next year.

      Northern Spring Training - in Minocqua on May 14-15, 2020.  CANCELLED FOR 2020.

      IIMC Annual Conference
      - May 17-20, 2020 in St. Louis, Missouri.  Click here for all the details.

      UW-Green Bay Clerks Institute -
      July 12-17, 2020. Click here for all the details.

      40th Anniversary WMCA Conference
      August 26-28th, 2020 - Chula Vista
      You can reserve your hotel room now.  See Hotel information and code on the WMCA website.  Click Here.  Registration for the conference will be out in April-May.

      CareerAds Button

      Have You Checked Out the Career Ads Lately?  Have you been thinking of making a change or possibly moving up to a bigger position?  Don’t forget to check out the “Career Ads” section of the WMCA website.  Go to: and click on the blue button on the right side of the website to check out all of the openings around the state.



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