From Executive Director Mark D. O’Connell
From the roads we drive on to the sheriffs’ departments that keep our communities safe, counties are at the cornerstone of Wisconsin’s quality of life. As state and local governments evolve to meet the changing needs of the citizens we represent, counties will continue to play a prominent role. Because the challenges facing state government ultimately are faced by local government as well, a strong association is necessary to work with the state in the formation of common sense, and affordable public policy needed and deserved by our citizens.
Nearly every action taken by the executive and legislative branches of state government affects local government. Counties need to play a pivotal role in these actions and the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) is the organization through which dialogue and cooperation can occur. As an organization, WCA works diligently to provide services to our membership that allow them to serve their constituents in the most effective manner possible.
These services include a legislative team that serves on the frontlines, acting as the voice of county officials at the Capitol. In addition, we provide public relations services that include the publication of our monthly magazine, Wisconsin Counties, as well as a website that keeps members updated on a daily basis. Ongoing training and educational opportunities through seminars, legislative exchanges and the annual statewide conference are other resources that are also available to our membership.
Simply put, WCA is an association of county governments assembled for the purpose of serving and representing counties. The direction of this organization is one that is determined by the membership and the WCA Board of Directors consistent with the parameters set forth by the WCA Constitution. The organization’s strength remains with the dedicated county-elected official.
As we head toward the future, the challenges facing counties will continue to grow. State and federal funding reductions, paired with increasing demands for services, will force counties to find innovative solutions to better serve their citizenry. We are at our strongest when we are working together, shaping the future of our great state of Wisconsin.
Mark D. O’Connell, Executive Director, Wisconsin Counties Association