Proposed structure calls for more meetings

By on May 14, 2009

Board to decide May 18 whether to establish committees
by Martha Quetsch
If the Elburn Village Board establishes committees, trustees and some staff members will have more meetings to attend. However, the work they can accomplish will be worth their extra time, Village President Dave Anderson said.

The specialized committees would focus on separate village issues and make recommendations to the Village Board.

“For the most part, we will trust their recommendations,” Anderson said during Monday’s Village Board meeting. “I have seen it work.”

Anderson proposed creating the committees when he took office on May 4.

The committees Anderson designated are Finance, chaired by trustee Jeff Walter; Public Works, chaired by trustee Jerry Schmidt; Development, chaired by trustee Ken Anderson; and Public Safety, chaired by trustee Bill Grabarek.

Each committee would include three trustees and at least two staff members, meeting as often as twice a month.

Before the committees can be formally established, the Village Board must approve an ordinance allowing for them. Trustees are expected to vote on the ordinance on Monday, May 18.

Currently, all Elburn trustees gather twice a month to discuss village issues during their Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings. The COW structure has been in place for nearly 10 years.

Issues trustees talk about at COW meetings can be placed later on a Village Board “consent agenda,” allowing the board to decide on several matters with one vote.

However, commitee recommendations may not be placed on a consent agenda. So, each issue would require a separate vote, Grabarek said.

Anderson wants the committees to meet at often as twice a month for a period of time, and then possibly once a month.

“It’s going to take awhile to get comfortable and to know what our roles are on the committee side,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the committees will allow for more in-depth involvement and lead to more educated recommendations than are possible at the COW level.

Grabarek said he supports creating committees but wants trustees still to have the option to meet together as the COW.