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Toepel, M. G.; Kuehn, Hazel L. (ed.) / The Wisconsin Blue Book, 1960

Nelson, Gaylord
Foreword,   pp. [iii]-iv PDF (436.5 KB)

Page [iii]

     S the 1960 Blue Book comes off the press an army of
     workers are gathering and compiling data which gives
great promise of showing that Wisconsin has reached 4 million
residents who in a very real sense are the government of our
state, our counties, our cities and villages, our towns and
our many special districts which constitute a total of more
than 5,200 separate units of government.
   We, the people, organized as the state, county and local
units of government spend more than a billion dollars a year
to conduct the business of this great system of public organi-
zation. We employ over 100,000 people. We own vast amounts
of land, improvements and personal property. We touch upon
the lives of our people from their prenatal days until their
lives are but a memory. We aid, advise, restrain and even
punish our people.
   It is axiomatic that our stake in this tremendous organiza-
 tion requires that we develop and maintain an interest in
 its operation. For every right or privilege which we enjoy
 under a democracy, there is a corresponding duty. This duty
 is often expressed in such tangible functions as voting, paying
 taxes, obeying laws, serving in the armed forces and accept-
 ing public office. It is, however, also our duty to be informed,
 to make the effort to understand what the functions of our
 public agencies are and how these functions are being carried
 out. It is our duty to make an effort to comprehend the
 operation of the public business in order that we may support
 that which is proper and reform that which is not.
   It is also the duty of those who have been selected to oper-
 ate this vast public machinery to inform their stockholders
 - the citizens of our state - of their activities in the past

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