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Workshops aim to explain county board duties

An up-close look at how government works

Mike Heine/The Week

(Published Oct. 3, 2007, 2:35 p.m.)

Thinking of running for the Walworth County Board?

Want to learn a little more about it before making a decision?

A series of workshops are being considered  that will shed light on the the details of the job, and will hopefully generate more public interest, County Board Chairwoman Nancy Russell said.

She and Administrator David Bretl brought up the idea of holding informational workshops to explain the ins and outs of being an elected county supervisor.

"We think it is only fair to the county and to individuals running for the board to provide, in an unbiased manner, the expectations for new supervisors," they said in a letter to the rest of the board.

The board usually held orientation sessions for those newly elected supervisors, but nothing before Election Day for anyone considering making a run, Russell said.

The workshops, which have not yet been scheduled, will explain the projected time commitments, government structure, committee assignments and duties, county policies and more, Russell said.

"A lot of times people might think it's a good idea to run for county board without any real knowledge of how much time is going to be required to do a good job," Russell said. "Especially with only 11 people, it's going to require a much bigger input from each person than maybe in the past so people need to do this with their eyes wide open."

A voter referendum last April forced a downsizing of the county board from 25 members to 11. The board will lose 14 members after next April's election.

County department heads, Bretl and perhaps a contingent of current board members would help put on the workshops, Russell said.

The plan is to have the workshops in late October or early November.

Candidates can start circulating nomination papers on Dec. 1.

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