The Village of Brown Deer encompasses an area of 4.5 square miles in northern Milwaukee County. The Village of Brown Deer is bounded by the Village of River Hills on the east, the City of Mequon on the north and the City of Milwaukee on the south and west. The Milwaukee River and a large county park (Brown Deer Park) form the east boundary of the Village. Given the Village’s location, it is considered to be one of the North Shore communities. The Village is bisected by Brown Deer Road (State Highway 100) which is a six-lane thoroughfare connecting other prosperous North Shore suburbs to retail complexes west of Brown Deer and to the northwest suburbs of Milwaukee.
The Village started as a small settlement in the 1850’s along the Milwaukee River at the intersection of what is now Highways 100 and 57. The unincorporated Village grew modestly as part of the Town of Granville until the 1950’s. In 1955 the Village incorporated, and in 1962, after a series of annexation battles with the City of Milwaukee, assumed its present boundaries. As a result of the 1962 court settlement with the City of Milwaukee, the Brown Deer School District also shares the Village’s boundaries. The Village’s population has remained relatively constant since before 1990 at approximately 12,000 residents. The current population of the Village is 11,715.
Brown Deer operates under a manager form of government. Under this form of government, a six-member Board of Trustees is elected at large and on a non-partisan basis. The Village President, who is also elected at large and on a non-partisan basis, presides at Village Board meetings and votes on all matters. The Village President has no veto power. Annual elections are held in April. The terms of office are 3 years but are overlapping so that the Village is provided with a continuity of knowledge in development, business and legislative matters.
The Board is responsible for enacting ordinances, resolutions, and regulations governing the Village as well as the appointment of members of various statutory and advisory boards and the Village Manager. The manager is the chief executive officer who is the head of the administrative branch of the Village and is responsible to the Board for the proper administration of all affairs of the Village.
The Village provides a range of services including police, library, recreation, public works, water, sewer, storm water services. In order to utilize economies of scale the Village has entered into three intergovernmental agreements with other North Shore communities. The North Shore Fire Department was formed on January 1, 1995 by a cooperative agreement with six other North Shore communities (Bayside, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay) operates economically by sharing staff, equipment, and resources. The North Shore Health Department was formed on January 1, 1996 with four other North Shore communities (Bayside, River Hills, Fox Point, and Glendale) provides a wide range of services more economically than those which could be provided by the individual communities. The North Shore Cable Commission was formed on July 6, 1998 by a cooperative agreement with six other North Shore communities (Bayside, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay) to jointly provide public access television and public information.