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$3.6 million public safety referendum recommendation advances to full Washington County Board

Washington County, WI – The Washington County Public Safety Committee approved a proposed $3.6 million public safety referendum to increase the budget for the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. If the referendum is approved the $3.6 million would continue in perpetuity meaning it would be an annual tax.


The recommendation to move forward with the referendum advanced on a vote of 5-0-1, to the full County Board at its August meeting and if passed by the board will appear on the November 9, 2022, ballot.

Those voting in favor included supervisor Jeff Schleif, Jeff Millikin, Chris Bossert, and Tony Thoma, and Pamela Konrath. Supervisor Brian Krebs was absent.




County Executive Josh Schoemann said, “This [levy] would focus specifically on the sheriff’s department in crisis response. That would mean we’d be adding up to three detectives, and three social workers that work together 16 hours a day, seven days a week, both in responding to crises but also being proactive.

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“By putting it in the referendum it would be funded perpetually. It would be a permanent increase to the tax levy and will be a binding referendum.”

According to Schoemann, staffing in the Sheriff’s Department would increase 15%, “We want to give the people of Washington County the opportunity, the choice, of whether this is something they want to see and are willing to pay a little bit more money for.

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This is a working story and more information will be posted when details become available.

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