Adams County, Wisconsin

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Adams County is one of 72 counties in Wisconsin. It was formed in 1848 and is named after President John Quincy Adams. There are 647.74 square miles and 47 lakes in the county. The county seat is Friendship.[1]

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Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Wisconsin county websites
Transparency Grade
Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning P
Audits N
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Contracts N
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Lobbying N
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Public records P
Local taxes P
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Transparency grading process

The good

  • The budget is posted.[2]
  • A calendar of public meetings is right on the home page of the website, along with who to contact if you have special needs (wheelchair access, AV needs) so that you can be accommodated.
  • Meeting minutes and handouts from meetings are available online through the beginning of 2007. The same webpage mentions meeting agendas, but none were found.[3]
  • County board members are identified, their duties outlined, committees served on and contact information are all provided.[4]
  • Contact information of administrative officials is given.[5]
  • * A link to the Wisconsin Open Records Law is on the county board page, and information on obtaining records is available.[6][7]
  • Some tax information is available.[8]

The bad

  • No specific custodian of records is mentioned nor are any FOIA request guidelines.
  • No budget or checkbook register are online.
  • Zoning guidelines are not posted, but some planning ordinances and contact information are posted.[9]
  • Contracts, audits or membership in lobbying organizations are not disclosed.

Public records

The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council performed an audit of compliance with the Wisconsin Open Records Law in 2008. 3 in 10 of the requests submitted were found to be ignored or responded to in violation of state law.

In Adams County, the Sheriff's Office erred when a staffer informed the requestor that jail booking records are not public records. Sheriff Darrell Renner indicated concern when he heard that his office had failed the audit, saying, "Since taking office, one of my priorities is to be as transparent as possible with all the operations in our department." He believed that the error arose from someone not in administration attempting to handle the call.[10]

See "Audit finds nearly 10% of open records requests denied or ignored" for more.

External links