Training For Public Officials (and Committee Members)
The Office of the City Attorney provides formal training for local public officials and city employees, regarding their unique legal duties and obligations in working for or representing a government entity. Among these training exercises are programs for new Common Council
members, usually conducted shortly after the spring elections. If you are appointed to a City Committee as a citizen volunteer, there may not be formal training, however you are subject to these same roles of conduct as representatives of the City.
Presentation Materials Given to New Council Members
- Ethics for Local Government Officials: This program, adapted almost entirely from a program made available by the State of Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, Ethics and Accountability Division, is an overview of Wisconsin's statutory rules regarding ethics for local government officials in Wisconsin.
- Meeting Procedure and Civility: These materials describe some of the specific meeting procedure rules for the Wauwatosa Common Council and its committees, as described in the Wauwatosa Code of Ordinances. The program concludes with some words of wisdom from former U.S. President George Washington, taken from the book "George Washington's Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation," which was written when he was 14 years old. It is hoped that keeping some of President Washington's rules in mind can provide a bit of reasoned wisdom to sometimes heated debates.
- Open Meetings Overview: This program describes some of the very basic parameters of the Wisconsin Open Meeting law which are of immediate importance to newly-elected or appointed public officials. It is not intended to be a full and thorough overview of all aspects of that law.
- Records of Public Officials: This program describes the unique aspects of the Wisconsin Public Records law which apply to elected officials, including each official's duties as custodian of their own records.
The materials that are provided above are for informational use only, and are not intended to be legal advice to members of the public, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship between the Wauwatosa City Attorney's Office and any member of the public who is viewing them. The materials were current at the time they were presented, but there is no guarantee that the provisions described in the materials have not been changed by subsequent amendments to the law or cases interpreting these provisions.