<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Handbook for government officials

Official ShorewoodVillage.com

Trustee Ellen Eckman was volunteered -- no, pleaded -- to be allowed to create a handbook for new trustees. Here is a link to stories about Eckman's efforts.

Meanwhile, here is our official
Handbook for Enlightened Shorewood government officials:

18 essential bookmarks

Extra credit: The Federalist Papers

Suggest a link

  1. Declaration of Independence (Library of Congress)
  2. Constitution of the United States (Library of Congress - Thomas)
  3. Wisconsin Constitution (Wisconsin Revisor of Statutes Bureau)
  4. Wisconsin Statutes (Wisconsin Revisor of Statutes Bureau)
  5. Shorewood ordinances
  6. Wisconsin Public Records Act (Wisconsin Legislature Infobase)
  7. Wisconsin Public Meetings Act (Wisconsin Legislature Infobase)


  1. The Republic, by Plato 


Polemarchus said to me: I perceive, Socrates, that you and our companion are already on your way to the city.

You are not far wrong, I said.

PlatoBut do you see, he rejoined, how many we are?

Of course.

And are you stronger than all these? for if not, you will have to remain where you are.

May there not be the alternative, I said, that we may persuade you to let us go?

But can you persuade us, if we refuse to listen to you? he said.

Certainly not, replied Glaucon.
Then we are not going to listen; of that you may be assured.


  1. Rhetoric, by Aristotle

he duty of rhetoric is to deal with such matters as we deliberate upon without arts or systems to guide us, in the hearing of persons who cannot Aristotletake in at a glance a complicated argument, or follow a long chain of reasoning. The subjects of our deliberation are such as seem to present us with alternative possibilities: about things that could not have been, and cannot now or in the future be, other than they are, nobody who takes them to be of this nature wastes his time in deliberation.


  1. Politics,  by Aristotle. Translated by Benlamin Jowett

IN all arts and sciences which embrace the whole of any subject, and do not come into being in a fragmentary way, it is the province of a single art or science to consider all that appertains to a single subject. For example, the art of gymnastic considers not only the suitableness of different modes of training to different bodies (2), but what sort is absolutely the best (1); (for the absolutely best must suit Aristotlethat which is by nature best and best furnished with the means of life), and also what common form of training is adapted to the great majority of men (4). And if a man does not desire the best habit of body, or the greatest skill in gymnastics, which might be attained by him, still the trainer or the teacher of gymnastic should be able to impart any lower degree of either (3). The same principle equally holds in medicine and shipbuilding, and the making of clothes, and in the arts generally.

Hence it is obvious that government too is the subject of a single science, which has to consider what government is best and of what sort it must be, to be most in accordance with our aspirations, if there were no external impediment, and also what kind of government is adapted to particular states. For the best is often unattainable, and therefore the true legislator and statesman ought to be acquainted, not only with (1) that which is best in the abstract, but also with (2) that which is best relatively to circumstances. We should be able further to say how a state may be constituted under any given conditions (3); both how it is originally formed and, when formed, how it may be longest preserved; the supposed state being so far from having the best constitution that it is unprovided even with the conditions necessary for the best; neither is it the best under the circumstances, but of an inferior type.



  1. Civil Disobedience, by  Henry David Thoreau

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to Henry D. Thoreauthis, which also I believe--"That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which the will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.


  1. Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes

CONCERNING the thoughts of man, I will consider them first singly, and afterwards in train or dependence upon one another. Singly, they are every one a representation or appearance of some quality, or other accident of a body without us, which is commonly called an object. Which object worketh on the eyes, ears, Portrait of T.Hobbesand other parts of man's body, and by diversity of working produceth diversity of appearances.

The original of them all is that which we call sense, (for there is no conception in a man's mind which hath not at first, totally or by parts, been begotten upon the organs of sense). The rest are derived from that original.

To know the natural cause of sense is not very necessary to the business now in hand; and I have elsewhere written of the same at large. Nevertheless, to fill each part of my present method, I will briefly deliver the same in this place.


  1. Man the Reformer, by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish to offer to your consideration some thoughts on the particular and general relations of man as a reformer. I shall assume that the aim of each young man in this association is the very highest that belongs to a rational mind. Let it be granted, that our life, as we lead it, is common and mean; that some of those offices and functions for which we were mainly created Photo of Emersonare grown so rare in society, that the memory of them is only kept alive in old books and in dim traditions; that prophets and poets, that beautiful and perfect men, we are not now, no, nor have even seen such; that some sources of human instruction are almost unnamed and unknown among us; that the community in which we live will hardly bear to be told that every man should be open to ecstasy or a divine illumination, and his daily walk elevated by intercourse with the spiritual world. Grant all this, as we must, yet I suppose none of my auditors will deny that we ought to seek to establish ourselves in such disciplines and courses as will deserve that guidance and clearer communication with the spiritual nature. And further, I will not dissemble my hope, that each person whom I address has felt his own call to cast aside all evil customs, timidities, and limitations, and to be in his place a free and helpful man, a reformer, a benefactor, not content to slip along through the world like a footman or a spy, escaping by his nimbleness and apologies as many knocks as he can, but a brave and upright man, who must find or cut a straight road to everything excellent in the earth, and not only go honorably himself, but make it easier for all who follow him, to go in honor and with benefit.


  1. Sedition Act

The imminence of war between the U.S. and France(1798) coupled with the thousands of French refugees in the U.S. created a wide spread hysteria in the U.S. It was in this climate that the First Amendment would meet its first major challenge, the Sedition Act. The Sedition Act, put into effect not even a decade after the First Amendment was ratified was in opposition to everything that the First Amendment represented. In 1791 the First Amendment, drafted primarily by James Madison, was ratified: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...' "In effect, sedition ceased to be a crime under the broad prohibitions of the First Amendment, though breaches of the peace which destroyed or endangered life, limb or property, were still punishable by law..." With the passing of the Sedition Act "an immediate uproar ensued. One side contended that "a conspiracy against the Constitution, the government, the peace and safety of this country is formed and is full operation. It embraces members of all classes; the Representatives of the people on this floor, the wild and visionary theorist in the bloody philosophy of the day, the learned and the ignorant. Such arguments were met with impassioned pleas for freedom of speech and press, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison."( The First Freedom Today, R. Downs, ALA,Chicago, 1984 Pg.5 )


  1. Social contract

Social contract theory is the view that morality is founded solely on uniform social agreements that serve the best interests of those who make the agreement. Historically social contract theory is an outgrowth of natural law theory, specifically the theories of Grotius and Pufendorf. However, we find hints at social contract reasoning in earlier works, most notably in Book 2 of Plato's dialog The Republic. Two distinct portions of that Book contain social contractarian themes, the first of which is offered by a skeptical character in the dialog named Glaucon. According to Glaucon, we all recognize that it is good for us individually to be unjust, although it is bad for us individually to suffer. We also recognize that if we do act unjustly, we will suffer injuries from other people. To avoid suffering injury, then, make contracts with each other by which we give up injustice and practice justice. To demonstrate his point about our preference to be unjust, Glaucon presents a myth about a shepherd named Gyges who finds a ring that makes him invisible when he wears it. Understanding the special advantage gained by having such a ring, Gyges uses its powers to seduce the Queen and Kill the King. Glaucon then argues that if there were two such rings, worn by a just person and an unjust person respectively, they would both commit the same kind of unjust deeds. Plato himself rejects this skeptical view about justice; however, the hero of the dialog - the character Socrates - presents a different contractarian account of the origin of justice in society. According to Socrates, societies are formed for the purpose of fulfilling our human needs. We have many needs and thus many kinds people and activities are required to fulfill all those needs. We then form partnerships by which we exchange goods and services. The mutual fulfilling of the various tasks is the basis of justice in society.


  1. John Peter Zenger

One of the most important events in American journalism history occurred in New York in 1735. This, of course, was the libel trail of John Peter Zenger, printer of the New York Weekly Journal.

John Peter Zenger arrived in New York from Germany in 1710 and served an apprenticeship to William Bradford, printer of the New York Gazette. In 1733 New York Colonial Governor ZengerWilliam Cosby stirred up a great controversy by prosecuting the interim Governor, Rip Van Dam, and removing Chief Justice Lewis Morris from the courts. After Governor Cosby adopted arbitrary measures against these men, and opposition group arose to fight him politically. These wealthy and powerful men established an opposition newspaper, the New York Weekly Journal, and hired John Peter Zenger as the printer and editor. The Weekly Journal printed numerous articles critical of Governor Cosby until Cosby could take it no longer. In November, 1734, Cosby had Zenger arrested and put in jail incommunicado for ten months.


  1. On Liberty, by John Stuart Mill

THE SUBJECT of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. A question seldom stated, and hardly ever discussed, in general terms, but which John Stuart Millprofoundly influences the practical controversies of the age by its latent presence, and is likely soon to make itself recognised as the vital question of the future. It is so far from being new, that, in a certain sense, it has divided mankind, almost from the remotest ages; but in the stage of progress into which the more civilized portions of the species have now entered, it presents itself under new conditions, and requires a different and more fundamental treatment.

The struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history with which we are earliest familiar, particularly in that of Greece, Rome, and England. But in old times this contest was between subjects, or some classes of subjects, and the Government. By liberty, was meant protection against the tyranny of the political rulers.


  1. On Certainty, by Ludwig Wittgenstein
WittgensteinIf you do know that here is one hand, we'll grant you all the rest.
When one says that such and such a proposition can't be proved, of course that does not mean that it can't be derived from other propositions; any proposition can be derived from other ones. But they may be no more certain than it is itself.





'Regulate governance' surfaces as purpose

E-mail from Rod Dow to Shorewood Herald reveals goal of Eckman-Langenkamp ad hoc committee


SHOREWOOD, Wis. (May 20, 2004) -- Wonder why Trustee Eckman has blown off the incomplete and error filled handbook project and is now lobbying instead for reconfiguration of committee seats?

According to an e-mail message released by Eckman, the goal of the ad hoc committee was only secondarily to provide a handbook for new trustees. The agenda of the ad hoc committee was really, first and foremost, to "make recommendations regarding the ordinances that regulate the internal governance of the Village Board" according to an e-mail from former Village President Rodney Dow to Shorewood Herald writer Bridget Dorrycott (now Fryman). See the message here

Fryman said she never wrote a story about the issue, and took Dow's message as "information."

But the contents of Dow's message, and the reply from Eckman, reveal the behind-the-scenes action Dow is taking to twist and spin information so as to damn Village President Kohlenberg and glorify Dow's political clones, Eckman and that former Langenkamp woman, so as to increase Dow's personal influence over Village affairs, a characteristic that has, to many, resulted in Shorewood becoming the laughingstock of the North Shore.

Furthermore, with this lobbying going on from the Law offices of Foley & Lardner, the Village Board should terminate that firm and exclude Foley from future Village business as the partners clearly have a political agenda inconsistent with the canons of professional ethics.

Eckman politicizes panels, ignores failure of handbook

Let's help Ellen Eckman
do a thorough job
Which items / information should be included in a handbook for new trustees?

U.S. Constitution
Wis. Constitution
Wis. Statutes
Village Ordinances
Open meetings law
Public records act
Trustee job description
Robert's Rules of Order
Contact to report ethical violations
Contact to get ethical opinions
Penalties for violating ethics laws
Penalties for violating records laws
Penalties for violating meetings laws
Penalties for misconduct in office
Whistleblower protection information
Accurate legal citations regarding duties
Current municipal directory
Job description of all village managers
Employee performance evaluations
Rules governing lawyer malpractice

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SHOREWOOD, Wis. (May 15, 2004) --
On Monday night, two committees will take up their time on the same agenda item:

"Beginning discussion on Tr. [Ellen] Eckman's request to divide the Judiciary, Personnel and Licensing and Budget and Finance committee duties among the Village Board members."

Rod and EllenThe rationale for this is allegedly that too few trustees are having to work too hard on busy committees while others on lesser committees may be available to take up the slack. The assignments were just made within the past month by Village President Mark Kohlenberg, so why is Eckman kvetching?

The committees discussing this item have a lot in common: they are the very same two committees that Eckman wants reconfigured -- Judiciary, Personnel & Licensing, chaired by Trustee Michael Phinney, and Budget & Finance, chaired by Trustee Kellie Lang. The committees meet on the same evenings; the committees meet back to back before the 7:30 p.m. meeting of the full Village Board; and the same trustees are on both committees -- Phinney, Lang and Guy Johnson. But wait, there's one more similarity: Eckman is not on either of the committees about whose workload she is concerned.

I know, I know, you're asking yourself, "Why is this busybody sticking her nose into committees she has nothing to do with and which the Village President has already settled, which is his job?"  More