The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is a body of 18 legislative representatives who are elected to four-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot in the spring of a presidential election year. Each supervisor represents about 53,000 people.
At the beginning of each term, the County Board elects one of its members to serve as chairperson. The current chair is Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. The chairman presides over Board meetings, makes assignments to the standing committees and special subcommittees and handles the department's daily business.
The Board's business is conducted through committee and Board meetings. Meetings are open and the public is welcome to attend. The Board's power to determine policy and direct county government comes from its state vested authority to adopt resolutions and ordinances. Because of this authority, the Board is able to establish programs, services and laws for the county.
One of the major responsibilities of the Board is to adopt the annual county budget. By October 1 of each year, the County Executive presents his recommended budget to the Board. The Finance, Personnel & Audit Committee spends about six weeks deliberating and recommending changes to the Executive Budget. At its annual meeting in mid-November, the full County Board adopts the next year's budget.
At regular meetings of the County Board, supervisors consider various ordinances and resolutions affecting county government. Much of the work is conducted through the Board's seven standing committees where committee members receive testimony from Supervisors, departments, outside agencies or the public.