Myths About Administrator Positions


The following are myths about administrator positions:

Myth: Hiring an administrator means giving up your right to elect your leader.

Fact: False. The elected board and councilmembers are the policy makers and the administrator reports to them. The administrator is responsible for carrying out the policies on a day-to-day basis. The administrator can be fired at any time by the board or council.

Myth: Hiring an administrator takes power away from the board or council.

Fact: False. It strengthens the position of the governing body to make key decisions. It will, however, result in adjustments in who is responsible for what.

Myth: Administrators cost too much.

Fact: While the salary range for administrators in Wisconsin is between $75,000 to $225,000, the median salary is $119,600 and the average is $123,000. By efficient management, they are likely to pay for themselves within a short period of time. For very small communities, it is common for the administrator position to be combined with the clerk or clerk/treasurer position or other positions.

Myth: Administrators don't stay very long in one community.

Fact: False. In Wisconsin, the average is about seven years and instances where administrators stayed over 15 years are not uncommon.

Myth: Full-time mayors are the same as administrators.

Fact: False. Mayors are elected for their political leadership, not their experience and education in administering the day-to-day business of the municipality. Some mayors may have administrative skills; other mayors may not.

More Information

For more information, please fill out our contact form or contact WCMA Executive Director Dawn Peters at: or 815-753-0923.