Town of Paris Clerk-Treasurer Referendum – November 6, 2018
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the referendum on the ballot for Tuesday, November 6?
The referendum is a resolution asks voters to approve an ordinance passed by the Paris Town Board on July 24 that would make the office of Town Clerk-Treasurer an appointed position, rather than an elected position as it is currently. State statutes require that voters approve this ordinance change via a referendum question.
- What will appear on the November 6 ballot?
The formal ordinance passed unanimously by the Paris Town Board asks voters to approve making the office of Town Clerk-Treasurer an appointed position. The question will appear as follows on the November 6 ballot:
Shall the person holding the office of Clerk-Treasurer in the Town of Paris be appointed by the town board?
- Why is this change being proposed now?
As the current Clerk-Treasurer looks toward retirement, the Town Board is aware that there is limited interest from other residents to run for the position. Appointed Clerk-Treasurers do not have to be town residents, giving the Town access to a larger candidate pool. Transitioning to an appointed position will provide the Town flexibility to find a qualified individual that will continue providing quality services to residents.
- What will it mean if a majority of voters vote “yes” and the referendum is approved?
If the referendum passes, the ordinance will go into effect when the incumbent Clerk-Treasurer’s term expires in April 2019. The Town Board will set the qualifications, job description and benefits. Residents of the Town as well as non-residents will be able to apply for the position.
- What will it mean if a majority of voters vote “no” and the referendum fails?
If the referendum is rejected, the ordinance will not go into effect and Town residents will continue to elect the Clerk-Treasurer. Potential candidates for the position will be limited to Town residents only. If no Town residents seek the elected position the quality of services provided by the Town will likely be impacted.
- When and where do I vote?
Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2017. All elections in the Town of Paris are held at the Paris Town Hall, 16607 Burlington Road. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wisconsin voters are required to show an acceptable photo ID in order to vote. Additional voting information, including polling places, can be found on the Town’s website: https://town-of-paris.org/town-services/elections-voting
- Will there be anything else on the ballot?
Yes, voters will also select federal and state elected officials on the November 6 ballot.
- Will property taxes increase if the Town Board has the authority to appoint the Clerk-Treasurer?
No. Property taxes will NOT increase as a result of making the Clerk-Treasurer an appointed position. The changed from an elected to an appointed position does not involve any planned changes in salary or benefits.
- Do other Towns in Wisconsin have appointed Clerk-Treasurers?
Out of the 1,255 towns in Wisconsin, more than 400 have converted from elected Clerks, Treasurers and Clerk-Treasurers to appointed positions.
- What are the differences between an elected Clerk-Treasurer and an appointed Clerk-Treasurer?
- Are not required to be town residents.
- Are essentially town employees hired by the Town Board. The position qualifications, job description and wage/benefit package are determined by the Town Board.
- Cannot be removed by the Town Board during their term of office, unless there is “cause” for removal (misconduct or neglect of duties). The Town Board can decide not to re-appoint an official at the end of his or her term without establishing a cause.
- Can be appointed for a term not to exceed 3 years at one time, but the Town Board can set a shorter term.
- MUST be town residents.
- Are answerable to the electorate and cannot be required by the Town Board to hold specific qualifications or obtain training (unless required by state law-such as election training for Clerks).
- Can be recalled from office like other elected officials, but cannot be removed from office by the Town Board.
- Are elected for two-year term during the spring election of odd-numbered years.
- Can a Town switch back to having an elected Clerk-Treasurer vs. an appointed position?
Yes. No sooner than two years after an ordinance is approved by a referendum or no sooner than two years after a person is appointed to office, whichever applies, the Town Board can return to a system of electing the Clerk-Treasurer. Voter approval is not required to switch back.
- How can I find out more?