Marathon County: The Case of Uniform Addressing (Case Study)
- Marathon County articulated a goal to support a growing culture among county administration and elected officials of the value of public engagement, including the importance of public input as part of governance.
- Three organizational motivations:
- to take responsibility for exercising policy discretion (versus “agent of state”)
- to appropriately respond to “customer expectations”
- to support strategic goal to develop “a communication system with community to improve the public’s understanding of the services provided”
- Three practical considerations: the county was
- faced with increasingly complex policy issues
- needed to grow its leadership capacity
- was concerned about a disenfranchised electorate.
- WIPPS, in partnership with the UW-Extension Local Government Center and local Cooperative Extension office, was invited to submit proposal to develop a public engagement training program for the county.
- Halfway through the training process, a contentious issue around duplicate addressing emerged with various potential solutions. This spurred county leaders to request that training switch to a “live” exercise.