Jean M Jacobson – Chair, Town of Norway
I am proud to serve as the Chair of the Town of Norway. Together with the town board and staff, we are proud to provide required services to our residents each year, while keeping our tax rate at a minimum. The Town of Norway is focused on basic public services that people depend on every day. Towns are a lot like the corner hardware store – where residents can go to find people who are friendly and knowledgeable.
The Town of Norway has 3 beautiful lakes, productive farmland and wonderful country living. With two major parks, we have open spaces where families are able to relax and enjoy the outdoors in any season. Meyer Park, a 22-acre town park, and Col. Heg Park, a Racine County Park, both offer year-round activities. Below are some “Town Facts” that may help you understand Norway Town Government.
TOWN: A “Town” is a form of local government. A township is a geographic surveyor’s unit measuring six by six miles square. The town form of government was brought into Wisconsin from New England in Territorial days. Thus, Wisconsin towns have deep and uniquely American roots. Presently, there are 1,259 towns in the State of Wisconsin. There are 402 villages and 190 cities.
CITIZENS: The Town of Norway has approximately 8,000 residents according to the 2010 Census.
LAND AREA: The Town of Norway is 36 square miles.
TRANSPORTATION: The Town of Norway maintains 60 miles of town roads. Statewide, towns maintain 61,996 miles of town highways. That is approximately one-half of public highways of all types.
GOVERNANCE: Norway has an elected town board composed of a chairperson and 4 supervisors; an appointed clerk and an appointed combined office of administrator-treasurer, as well as staff.
SERVICES: All towns must operate local polling places for elections; conduct property tax assessment, dispute procedures, billing and collection; ensure fire protection and ambulance service, ensure that there is a recycling program; and maintain town highways. Norway has also chosen to provide garbage collection, land use regulation and law enforcement.
DIRECT DEMOCRACY: Towns are the only form of government in Wisconsin, as well as most of the world, where citizens have the ability to self-govern to the degree of directly voting for their own property tax rate, among other things.
TOWNS THRIVE ON VOLUNTEERISM: Part of the reason towns operate so efficiently is the huge amount of service offered by volunteers. Many volunteers work with our youth in sports teams throughout the year. The town’s volunteer fire department is more than a proud part of our heritage – with modern equipment and skills, volunteers play a vital role in town government.