Want to stay informed and make a difference? Want to improve government?
Becoming an observer is a perfect opportunity for someone to have an impact simply by attending one meeting per month. We believe there are benefits not only to the observers, our organization, and the community, but to the board or committee being observed as well.
Our role is to gather information.
We learn about what the governmental body is doing, we learn about the issues facing our community, and we are empowered to take action, if warranted and supported by previously determined League positions.
We also learn how issues are being addressed. The League promotes government openness, transparency and accountability as vital to a healthy democracy.
Follow the links to discover how to become an observer, what resources are available, and what you would be expected to do. And then, join us!
By doing this you will have accomplished two vital tasks: First, you will let our government officials know that we (as citizens and League members) are watching how they do their job.
Second, you will be helping your local League members stay informed and able to react as important issues arise. Please contact the LWV DC for more information; Contact Us.
One of the best ways to improve the quality of government is to "put it in the spotlight." Sometimes videotaping governmental meetings can accomplish this, but most government business occurs without this watchful eye.
The League has long believed in the value of an observer corps whose job it is to stay abreast of issues by maintaining a presence at as many government meetings as possible.
Check with the LWV DC chairperson or secretary. Try the government websites. Meeting dates and times often change, so visit the website before you take make plans to attend a meeting. Call the Clerk's office of the county, village, town or city to check on possible last minute changes in meetings.
Annual reports: Call the committee, department, or body that you are observing or that your group oversees. Ask for a copy of the annual report and read it. This will give you more understanding of what they do, how they do it, and what issues they face.
DOOR COUNTY INFORMATION: Official Directory.
This wonderful little resource can be purchased from the County Clerk at the Government Center (first copy is free; additional copies are $2 each; also found online at county website). New copies are available in May or June (sometimes copies run out). It lists members of all county, city, town, and village governments and their addresses and phone numbers. It also contains county school boards, information on state and federal representatives, county and city personnel, county committees, rules of order and many other useful items.
OPEN MEETINGS LAW / OPEN RECORDS LAW:
Open Meetings questions about posting of agendas:
1) The agenda must be posted 24 hours before the meeting. The County Board's rules require 48 hours and other bodies may have other rules, but no less than 24 hrs. There is an exemption for a shorter time for emergencies.
2) It must be posted 3 places and must be a complete agenda. (The County Board calendar, for example, does not count as one of the three.) The newspaper posting doesn't count as one of the three either. It is a courtesy. The county's postings are in the lobby of the County Gov. Center near the stairs near the front door, at the Justice Center, and the library bulletin board. Online is also a courtesy but does not count as one of the three.
LWV POSITIONS: You can learn about League positions by accessing them online.
For National positions, go to National LWV
For Wisconsin positions go to Wisconsin LWV
For Door County positions, contact the Action Chair for hard or electronic copies.