About the Urban Towns Committee
The Urban Towns Committee (UTC) is an integral part of the Wisconsin Towns Association (WTA). UTC’s fundamental goal is to achieve more equitable treatment for towns that are most urgently facing urban and recreational land use pressures. It also promotes a better understanding of the many contributions town governments make to Wisconsin. The UTC was created in 1988 by the WTA Board of Directors. It has about 130 member governments and conducts membership meetings in various locations around the state.
The UTC's specific objectives are to: provide mutual assistance among urban and urbanizing towns throughout the state; recommend and advocate policy positions to the WTA Board; offer training and education to urban town officials; create a public forum for the exchange of information of concern to urban and urbanizing towns; and to advise the WTA Board about developments of concern to UTC towns.
More about the UTC
Wisconsin has been a state for over 150 years and it's worth remembering that towns have been an integral part of Wisconsin's history from the very beginning. The goal of the UTC is to give urban and urbanizing towns the statutory and administrative tools they need to keep on serving our constituents for another 150 years. Some of the UTC's activities include:
Education: One of the key goals of the UTC is to offer town officials in-depth information about issues ranging from economic development to managing municipal programs. The speakers and topics the committee offers are always timely and help members to cope better with the challenges they face. Many of the UTC's programs are of value to all town officials (and all towns are invited to participate) but they carry a special urgency for urban towns due to the budgetary, political and land use pressures they face.
Research: The UTC has carried out surveys and other research to help suggest ways to strengthen urban town administration and to highlight the contribution town governments continue to make to efficient, high quality municipal services. The committee shares this information with legislators and others who may lack first-hand familiarity with the special qualities that urban towns bring to the local government scene in Wisconsin.
Advocacy: A central part of the UTC's mission is to tell the urban towns' story in Madison. But the group's basic message is not that towns exist to fight against the counties, cities or other local governments. Instead, the UTC has always stressed that urban town leaders are primarily interested in promoting steps that allow them to serve their constituents better. The UTC has worked with the WTA Board and Staff to offer the Wisconsin Legislature and other state officials an agenda for positive change in intergovernmental relations. For example, the UTC helped lead the successful fight for legislation allowing closer cooperation among municipal neighbors on boundary, services and fiscal issues. But the UTC also vigorously opposes narrow-minded legislation that would undercut the ability of urban towns to serve town residents efficiently and effectively.
Membership in the UTC is voluntary. More information is available by contacting the WTA.