Elected vs Appointed
Public service is a key responsibility of county-wide officials. The electoral process brings forth individuals interested in public service. Voters deserve the right to choose who will provide the most effective and responsive public service. Elimination of the electoral process diminishes the voice of the people.
County-wide elected officials are accountable to their constituents, while an appointed department head is accountable only to the person or committee who appointed them. This separation of power removes the opportunity for undue influence by the county executive, administrative staff, and county board supervisors in their performance of their duties, and maintains the integrity of their offices.
Allowing county boards, especially where there are county executives, to appoint individuals to these public service positions could lead to a patronage system that is contrary to Wisconsin good government practices.
County-wide elected officials are more responsive to the administrative needs of the taxpayer and are in a better position to maintain the checks and balances needed in county government.
County-wide elected officials deal with people’s records and monies, which affects their lives in almost every aspect. Since county elected officials are the guardians of the public’s records and monies, they ought to answer directly to the people whose records they protect.