Wisconsin News

Voters could decide to downsize Monroe County Board of Supervisors

Referendum could apear on April ballot

MONROE COUNTY, WI - Voters in Monroe County could decide whether to cut the number of supervisors that serve on the board.

Some supervisors would like to see the board cut from 24 members down to just 16.

They collected more than 1,900 signatures on a referendum petition, which is enough to get the referendum placed on the spring ballot.

Supporters of the change say there are just too many members on the board, making for too much discussion and arguing and not enough action. One board member who circulated the petition says he's heard the complaints of voters for years.

"The perception, as I see it, among the voters of Monroe County is that there are too many supervisors on the board of supervisors," said District 23 Supervisor Pete Peterson. "I heard that over and over. I've heard that for years. I've been on the county board two different times, almost eight years now. I've heard that from day one."

But some board members worry the change would mean less representation for voters. Right now each board member represents about 1,800 residents. If the referendum passes, that number would change to one for every 2,800. They say instead of cutting board members, they should just find a better way to work together.


At least one board member thinks the referendum is a power grab for a small number of supervisors.

"They would like to control everything, rather than having the full county board get together and really start compromise or working together," said Jim Rice, District 24 supervisor. "Like I said when I started, we should be able to agree to disagree but by the same token we gotta get the work done."

If the county clerk certifies the signatures, the referendum will appear on the April ballot.

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