Catherine W. Idzerda" />

Rock County Board quiz contains a few stumpers

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
— What does it take to be a Rock County Board supervisor?

The smarts to understand a budget document the size and weight of an anvil.

The ability to squash your resentment over unfunded state mandates.

And, if you're appointed rather than elected, you might also have to take a quiz.

Look out for the trick questions.

Recently, the Rock County Board appointed Wayne Gustina to the 12th District Supervisory seat in Beloit.

When an opening occurs between election cycles, the board chair and a small committee interview candidates.

As part of the most recent interview process, the candidates for the seat, Gustina and Frank Marsden, were given a 12-question quiz. Both men scored 8 of 12, so the quiz wasn't a determining factor.

When asked about the quiz, board Chairman Russ Podzilni earnestly downplayed its importance.

"It's only part of the process," Podzilni said. "We also ask them challenging questions and see how they respond; we want to see what their thought process is."

For example, "How would you handle a call from an irate citizen?"

The quiz is a blend of demographics, geography and county government.

Questions such as "Who is the county administrator?" and "What is the approved amount of county budget?" are designed to make sure the candidate at least has some clue.

Others, such as "How many square miles does Rock County contain?" and "What is the population of Rock County?" are multiple choice and might be answered with educated guesses.

But others require a definite knowledge of Rock County government.

For example: "What county-owned facility is expanding with board approval?"

The answer is UW-Rock County. "Is expanding" doesn't mean in the future; it means now.

The next question, "What county facility is the board considering expanding?" refers to the future. The answer is the jail.

Would you qualify to be a supervisor candidate? Here's the quiz:

1. What is the population of Rock County?

A: 129,000 B: 160,000 C: 183,000. D: 206,000

2. How many members are on the Rock County Board of Supervisors?

A: 21 B: 25 C: 29 D: 33

3. How long is an elected county supervisor's term of office?

4. What is the approved amount of the '09 county budget?

A: $134 million B: $152 million C: $170 million D: $196 million

5. What is the county tax levy portion of the '09 budget? To rephrase the question, how much of the county's budget comes from tax dollars?

A: $42 million B: $55 million C: $66 million D: $81 million

6. How many square miles does Rock County contain?

A: 540 B: 630 C: 720 D: 850

7. What is the name of the Rock County administrator?

8. How many municipalities are there within Rock County?

9. Each supervisory district represents how many citizens?

A: 2,600 B: 3,800 C: 5,400 D: 6,700

10. What county-owned facility is expanding with board approval?

11. What county facility is the board considering expanding?

12. What county facility was recently annexed to city of Janesville?

Answers: 1. B; 2. C; 3. 2 years; 4. C; 5. B; 6. C; 7. Craig Knutson; 8. 28 or 29, depending how you're counting. Part of Brodhead is in Rock County; 9. C; 10. UW-Rock County; 11. Rock County Jail; 12. The airport. It was annexed in 2007.


8 to 12: You've got the right stuff. Just be ready for those zingers from Supervisor Eva Arnold. She looks like a sweet grandmotherly type, but she doesn't stand for any baloney.

5 to 7: OK, you've got a lot to learn. Borrow a pickup truck and use it to haul a copy of the budget home. Then read the county administrator's notes at the beginning of each chapter. They're illuminating.

2 to 4: You need to buy a newspaper subscription. Immediately.

1: We applaud your desire to serve the public, but please consider another position. Why not run for Congress of the Wisconsin Legislature?

Last updated: 10:41 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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