News and Notices – Spring 2016

New Faces, Changing Places

After thirty years of service to UW-Extension, Tenley Meyer retired in December 2015. We appreciate everything she did behind the scenes to keep the LGC running smoothly. Thank you, Tenley! The new person at the Local Government Center helping to coordinate workshops, WisLines, and keep administrative details in order is Katy Sticha.
Katy comes to us from the UW-Extension Learning Store and Program Development and Evaluation unit. With her breadth of experience she has hit the ground running. Welcome, Katy!
And welcome back to Dan Hill! For the past four years Dan has been serving half-time as a Local Government Specialist and half-time as Secretary to the Faculty. He is now back with the Local Government Center full-time.

Meeting Your Needs for Budget and Finance Education

Understanding the basics of local government budgets and finance is a critical part of every local official’s job. For several years now, the Local Government Center has been operating without expertise in this area. This is about to change. Yunji Kim will be starting in this position in January 2017.
Yunji has a master’s degree in Public Administration and will be using the next six months to finish her doctorate in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. Her research interests include local finance, local government service delivery, community well-being indicators, and community development. Although she won’t be starting until January, you will probably have a chance to meet her at the Fall Town and Village workshops to be held around the state this September.

What Discourages People from Running for Office?

While LGC Specialists tend to stay focused on the basic programming that addresses the constant turnover in town, county, village and city officials in the state, we also try to stay on top of the cutting edge of issues and challenges facing local government. Over the past year or so the Center has been able to use some of its time on a study of political ambitions. A subset of this work focused on how these factors are different for women.
The preliminary results of this study identified four major reasons for choosing not to run. These findings have or will appear in the publications of Wisconsin’s three statewide local government associations. For more information about this study, please contact LGC Specialist Dan Hill at (608) 265-2852.

Center Specialists Present Work at National Conferences

The work of Center Specialists will be featured at four national conferences this spring and summer. Center Director Chuck Law presented a session building on his educational programming focusing on the successes of Wisconsin’s Business Improvement Districts (or BIDs) at the National Main Street Conference held in Milwaukee in May. On June 26, Center Specialist Bill Rizzo will be presenting deliberative governance approaches and techniques to Extension Educators from around the country at a pre-conference workshop at the 2016 Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals-National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Joint Conference in Burlington, Vermont and to another pre-conference workshop at the Joint Conference of the Community Development Society and International Association for Community Development in Bloomington, Minnesota. At the National Association of Towns and Townships Midwest Conference on July 18, Philip Freeburg will be presenting on annexation and Dan Hill will be presenting the findings from the study on political ambitions.

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