County Board Welcomed New Group of Youth Governance Program Participants

September 08, 2023
County Board Chair Patrick Miles, (608) 886-9167
County Board

The Dane County Board of Supervisors met last night, and at the meeting, 18 youth from 10 different high schools in Dane County were “pinned”, signaling the start of a new year in the Youth Governance Program (YGP).
YGP began in 2012, and since its inception more than 125 Dane County students have participated in the program, which is facilitated by the UW-Madison Extension Dane County office.

Youth that participate in the program apply through an application process that is held each year. Following appointment, they are assigned to one of the County Board’s standing committees or other boards and commissions. They are able to participate in the committee meetings including providing an advisory vote on items.

“The Youth Governance Program provides a great opportunity for youth to be involved in local government.  We’re fortunate to have so much interest and engagement from these youth, and wish them well in the coming months,” said County Board Supervisor Brenda Yang, Chair of the UW Extension Committee.

At the meeting, the County Board approved an ordinance amendment that establishes a catastrophic leave program in Dane County ordinance which also provides a process for appeals.  The ordinance defines catastrophic as an illness or injury that incapacitates or is expected to incapacitate an employee or an employee’s family member, that requires the employee to take time off from work for an extended period of time and that creates a financial hardship for the employee.  The program will be developed so employees may voluntarily donate leave to other employees who face a catastrophic need.  

“At some point or another many people will experience a catastrophic illness or injury in their life that requires employees to take time off from work for extended periods of time.  This leave program provides a way for Dane County employees to have the ability to take the necessary time off for such instances without experiencing added financial hardship,” said County Board Supervisor Elizabeth Doyle, Chair of the Personnel and Finance Committee.  

The Board also considered a resolution to purchase 625.1 acres in the Town of Verona and Montrose for the Sugar River Wildlife Area at a cost of $12,139,250.  The resolution indicates that acquisition of the property will provide restoration opportunities for woodland and savanna as well as wetland restoration along the northern streams. 
"This historic investment emphasizes habitat restoration and carbon sequestration while providing unparalleled recreation opportunities. With its proximity to adjacent county land, it will help create a conservation corridor that will fight climate change and be enjoyed for generations to come,” said County Board Supervisor Yogesh Chawla, Chair of the Environment, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Committee.