July 28, 2021 – Washington County, WI – The Washington County government has decided to begin publishing a brand new quarterly newsletter in hard copy.
The high-resolution glossy publication will arrive four times per year via United States Postal Service to the tune of $200,000 annually.
“Right now it is not online,” said Josh Schoemann, Washington County Executive. “Our goal ultimately is to get an online presence with it.”
“We are sending out 55,000 of these things and direct mailing them,” said Schoemann. “It’s $50,000 each time as of right now.”
Schoemann pointed out this amount covers both the production and the postage of the mailer.
As for the source of the funding for this publication, Schoemann said, “The first one is coming from some strategic priorities money, basically unspent from last year, that we rolled over to get it going… And then we’re going to budget it in for ’22 and ’23.
“It’s basically coming from property tax money, bottom line,” said Schoemann, “but in this case, it’s what we had left in the surplus from last year.”
Schoemann feels the publication is needed because “most of the people I talk to, especially when knocking doors, don’t know most of what the county does and social media only get us so far.
“We’ve got 140,000 people we’re trying to touch in 55,000 households” said Schoemannm. “So we want to be able to get to them directly and have an avenue for them to be coming back to us as well.”
Regarding any questions that could arise about potential electioneering through the publication, Schoemann said, “The simple answer is that from January 2024 – April (election day) 2024 I and the County Board Supervisors will not have a presence on the newsletter. This is common practice in the legislature and is a settled rule. We would follow that template to avoid any such electioneering.”
The first issue of the new publication will be coming out the first week of August.
The County Board and County Executive Josh Schoemann issued the following press release today, July 28, 2021.
Washington County Creates, Delivers First Ever Newsletter to More Than 55,000 Residents August 2021
West Bend, WI – In an effort to focus on the people, County Executive Josh Schoemann and the county board are pleased to announce the creation of our first quarterly newsletter. Entitled “Our Great Community,” this printed, eight-page mailer is designed to inform, educate, and motivate readers about county operations and our commitment to the residents we serve. Delivery to approximately 55,000 residents is expected early August 2021.
“I’m more than excited to present a printed, tangible publication that will serve as a valuable resource for information, events, and timely issues that will generate discussion and excitement for ‘Our Great Community,’” said Josh Schoemann, Washington County Executive. “We’ve been talking about a newsletter for nearly a decade, and it has been one of our Strategic Priorities to communicate directly to as many constituents as possible regarding the issues of the day and those to come.”
“This newsletter will be sent to households in Washington County, enabling the County to update our citizens on the many initiatives that County government is advancing,” said Washington County Board Supervisor Don Kriefall. “We will continue to live by our priorities as we find ways to make a better, more cost-effective government, by and for the people.”
Articles in each issue of “Our Great Community” will include a message from the County Executive and County Board Chairman Kriefall. In addition, readers will find county-sponsored events, local business spotlights, and county departments’ pertinent and timely information. We also encourage reader feedback and ideas for potential articles. The next issue will be mailed to residents in October 2021.