Dane County, Wisconsin

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Dane County is one of 72 counties in Wisconsin. The county seat is Madison.[1]

Website evaluation

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


The good

  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 12 years.[2]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for at least three years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for at least three years.[3]
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.[4]
  • Elected officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[5]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for most departments.[6]
    • Contact information for administrative officials is provided, including a mailing address and phone number.
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2002 are available.[7]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.[8]
  • Local taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[9]

The bad

  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are not listed for every department and individual emails are not always provided.
  • Building permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are not posted online.[10]
    • Permit applications cannot be downloaded on the site.[11]
  • Contracts
    • Approved contract statements are not available for vendors above $10,000.
  • Lobbying
    • If the county engaged in lobbying actives or if it's a member of government lobbying associations are not disclosed, nor is the total cost of lobbying activities or membership dues for associations available.
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is not identified. Ballotpedia requires a mailing address, phone number and personalized email be listed with this position.

Public records

E-mailed requests

In November 2008, Dane County Corporation Council Member Marcia MacKenzie said that records custodians in Dane County do not have to respond to requests for information under the Wisconsin Open Records Law that are e-mailed. Requestors must provide their requests either in person or via standard mail.[12]

Dane County Sheriff's Office

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is now accepting open records requests online.

For years, the department required anyone seeking criminal history, background checks, jail records or any other documents to mail or fax their requests. Records now can be obtained online.[13]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

Main article: Wisconsin government sector lobbying

2005-2006 government sector lobbying associations

Dane County spent nearly $175,000 lobbying in the 2005-2006 session of the legislature for issues such as more state money for county nursing home patients and arguing against the taxpayer bill of rights. [14]

Public employee salaries

Main article: Dane County employee salaries

External links

References