Dodge County Not Discussing Public Health Ordinance At Upcoming Meetings

(Juneau) Officials in Dodge County say in a press release that they will not be discussing a public health ordinance at this time that would establish clearer guidelines for health officials. Initial work on the ordinance began after the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the state’s safer-at-home order, leaving many counties to review their own policies related to localized orders.

It was discovered that Dodge County did not have an ordinance governing public health matters or diseases; instead relying on state statutes. Work on the county ordinance, that sought distinct procedures for Dodge County Public Health when combating communicable diseases, sparked a community backlash with some calling it constitutional overreach.

Earlier this month, the county board learned that the Wisconsin Counties Association established a committee to work on a statewide, county-level health order. Dodge County Board Chairman Russ Kottke says until the Association’s committee reaches a recommendation, the county has postponed all board and committee discussions of the health ordinance. That means the matter will not be on the Human Services and Health Board meeting agenda on Wednesday, July 1 or the Executive Committee meeting agenda on Monday, July 6th.

Kottke says the Dodge County website has a health ordinance page that would contain future drafts and updates to the proposed ordinance. He says Dodge County is committed to transparency and welcomes public input on all matters of public interest.