President’s Message

By Dennis J. LeCaptain

Comments and letters can be sent to President LeCaptain at WPPA
340 Coyier Lane, Madison, WI 53713, or e-mail

While the temperature is cooling down all across Wisconsin, the same is not true at the WPPA, where things have heated up considerably as of late. For starters, the state budget process has finally come to a close. Surrounded by WPPA members, fire fighters, and other public employee representatives, Governor Doyle signed the state budget into law on October 30. In addition to increasing the minimum levy limits imposed on local governments, Governor Doyle used his veto authority to permit police officers to arbitrate their discipline. After pursuing this right for many years, this budget represents a tremendous victory for our members. Despite some extraordinary opposition, the WPPA was successful in persuading the Governor to use his authority to restore fundamental fairness as it relates to discipline for the dedicated men and women of our law enforcement community. Governor Doyle has stood by his commitments, and behind our membership in doing the right thing. For more on the state budget and its impact on you, be sure to read the Executive Director’s Message, or check us out on the web at

Another recent change at the WPPA is the retirement of our executive director, Thomas Bahr. As you will note in my recent letter to the members, Tom’s dedication and service are appreciated and will be missed.

In looking for a new chief executive officer to lead the organization, the WPPA Board of Directors felt it unnecessary to look any further than under our own roof. In December, Jim Palmer was formally named the new WPPA executive director. Most recently serving as our assistant executive director and director of governmental affairs, Jim joined the WPPA in 2003. Since then, he has worked with the Board of Directors to establish a public affairs platform, a legislative scoring methodology and has established other internal policies and procedures to improve our legislative effectiveness. Prior to 2003, Jim worked for an Indiana law firm and primarily practiced corporate transactional law, which included incorporations, mergers and acquisitions, import law and product safety compliance, as well as specialized employment contracts. Jim received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law. I am confident that Jim’s background and experience will serve our membership well.

2008 will be an exciting time for the WPPA. We will work diligently to grow the organization, continue to improve the services we offer our members, and add to the list of legislative successes. What began in 1932 as a fraternal group has evolved into a premier labor organization. Whether it’s representing our members in the workplace or at the State Capitol, the WPPA will fight for the rights of its diverse membership as we serve our communities and support those who depend upon us.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Happy New Year!

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