Johnstown residents consider town board size

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

TOWN OF JOHNSTOWN—Voters here will be asked Tuesday if they want to increase the size of their town board by 66 percent.

That might seem like a significant increase until you read the referendum question: “Shall the town board adopt an ordinance changing the size of the town board from three supervisors to five supervisors?”

The referendum, which is advisory, is something residents and the board have thought about for more than a year, said Mary Mawhinney, Johnstown clerk.

It first came up at last year’s annual meeting, but residents and officials decided to wait another year.

At this year’s annual meeting, residents voted in favor of increasing the board’s size. At a later meeting, the board voted it down, Mawhinney said.

The issue was raised again by a resident and returned to the board several times without action.

Finally, the board decided to go to referendum to get more input.

Johnstown, population 769, has had a three-person board throughout its history.

Other Rock County towns with three-person boards include Avon, population 598; Center, population 1,055; Magnolia, population 755; Newark, population 1,526; Porter, population 955; Plymouth, population 1,171; Rock, population 3,183; Union, population 2,109, and Spring Valley, population 742.

The town of La Prairie has 826 residents and a five-member board. It is the only town that has a five-member board and a lower population than Johnstown.

Johnstown Town Board members are paid $3,500 a year.

Board members who do road work or other duties get paid an hourly rate for their work, Mawhinney said.

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