POWERS OF A TOWN MEETING – State Statute 60.10
State Statute 60.11(6) Jurisdiction. An annual town meeting may transact any business over which a town meeting has jurisdiction.
Raise money, including levying taxes, to pay for expenses of the town, unless the authority has been delegated to the town board under sub.(2)(a)
Fix the compensation of elective town offices under 60.32, unless the authority has been delegated to the town board under sub.(2)(k).
Combine the offices of town clerk and town treasurer under 60.305(1)
In a town with a population of 2,500 or more, provide for the appointment by the town board of the town clerk, town treasurer, or both, or of the combined office of town clerk and town treasurer under 60.305(1), at a level of compensation to be set by the board that may not be reduced during the term to which the person is appointed.
Combine the offices of town clerk and town assessor under 60.305(2).
Establish or abolish the office of town constable and establish the number of constables. Abolition of the office is effective at the end of the term of the person serving in the office.
Designate the office of town clerk, town treasurer or the combined office of clerk and treasurer as part-time under 60.305(1)(b).
Designate town board supervisors as full-time officers.
Adopt a plan under 5.60(6) to elect town board supervisors to numbered seats.
Provide under 8.05(3)(a) for the nomination of candidates for elective town offices at a nonpartisan primary election.
Authorize the acquisition and conveyance of cemeteries under 157.50(1) and (3). Approve agreements to employ an administrator for more than 3 years under 60.37(3)(d).
Establish the hourly wage to be paid under 60.37(4) to a town employee who is also an elected town officer, unless the authority has been delegated to the town board under sub.(2)(L).
Directives or grants of authority-can be ongoing or for a single purpose and is in force until rescinded. By resolution the town meeting may:
- Authorize the town board to raise money, including levying taxes, to pay for expenses of the town.
- In a town of 2,500 or more, direct the town board to increase the membership of the board under 60.21(2).
- Authorize the town board to exercise powers of a village board under 60.22(3). A resolution adopted under this paragraph is general and continuing.
- Authorize the town board to issue general obligation bonds in the manner and for the purposes provided by law.
- Authorize the town board to purchase any land within the town for present or anticipated town purposes.
- Authorize the town board to purchase, lease or construct buildings for the use of the town, to combine for this purpose the town’s funds with those of a society or corporation doing business or located in the town and to accept contributions of money, labor or space for this purpose.
- Authorize the town board to dispose of town real property, other than property donated to and required to be held by the town for a special purpose.
- In a town located in a county which has enacted a zoning ordinance under 59.69, authorize under 60.62(2), the town board to enact town zoning ordinances under 61.35.
- Authorize the town board to engage in watershed protection, soil conservation or water conservation activities beneficial to the town.
- Authorize the town board to select assessors by appointment under 60.307(2).
- Authorize the town board to fix the compensation of elective town offices under 60.32(1)(b).
- Authorize the town board to establish the hourly wage to be paid under 60.37(4) to a town employee who is also an elected town officer, other than a town board supervisor.
The town meeting may authorize the town board to appropriate money in the next annual budget for:
- The conservation of natural resources by the town or by a bona fide nonprofit organization under 60.23(6).
- Civic and other functions under 60.23(3).
- Control of insect pests, weeds or plant or animal diseases within the town.
- Posting signs and otherwise cooperating with the county in the establishment of a rural numbering system under 59.54(4) and (4m).
- Improve the town cemetery under 157.50(5).
The terms “authorize” and “direct” are not used interchangeably. A town meeting that authorize(s) and act(s) gives the town board permission to do the act within its discretion, but if it “directs” that act be done, the action is mandatory.