Janesville City Council might repeal ‘ward supervisor’ ordinance

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Monday, July 11, 2011
— At least one Janesville resident, K. Andreah Briarmoon, has complained over the years that the council should follow its own ordinance and appoint 32 “ward supervisors” to better represent the city.

Council members apparently have heard it enough.

President George Brunner asked the city’s attorney to research the history of the ordinance, and members now will consider repealing it at a 7 p.m. meeting Monday night.

Along with the meeting, a public hearing also is scheduled at City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St.

Brunner said now is a good time to study the ordinance since the city is redrawing its electoral ward boundaries.

City Attorney Wald Klimczyk said his research found that the term “ward supervisor” is pre-1923, when the city elected mayors and aldermen and alderwomen, and before it switched to a council-manager form of government.

Then, the alderman or alderwoman in each ward also served as a Rock County supervisor, he said.

Janesville’s charter and related ordinances require that council members be elected at large, never from wards, Klimczyk said.

For some reason, the ordinance remained in the ordinances in some form under different numbering, he said. No council took the time to repeal it.

The ordinance, if followed, would require 64 ward supervisors, Klimczyk said.

“Common sense also precludes what in essence would be simultaneous, two governing bodies,” he said.

Brunner said the ordinance “goes way back. It’s a confusing ordinance to have that in there.”

Last updated: 5:55 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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