The Three Village Boards
Home rule may be the singular most important part of village government. It means that the resident taxpayer has a major part to play in their own future destiny in different boards that have much to say about the operation and success or failure of the Village. The three Boards are the Board of Trustees, the Board of Appeals, and the Building Advisory Committee. The three boards each have different purposes and act independently of each other. The mayor and members of the Board of Trustees are elected by the general public. The Board of Appeals and Building Advisory Committee members are appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees and Board of Appeals each have five members. The Building Advisory Committee currently has six members. The members of each of the three boards work for no compensation.
By virtue of its elected status, the Board of Trustees is the most important board in the village. The mayor and four trustees are elected for staggered two-year terms. Elections are held every year; one year the mayor and two trustees are elected, the following year the remaining two trustees are elected. This means that residents can change their elected officials as often as they wish. The Board of Trustees is a legislative body that makes the rules, changes the rules and sees to the enforcement of those rules. This can be a very difficult process, especially when neighbors and friends present views that a Board of Trustee member does not like. There are no politics in the Board of Trustees. Current trustees do not even know if their fellow trustees are Republicans or Democrats. Village issues quite often develop not along party lines, but along local village opinions. There are disputes and disagreements and arguments, all of which is good for village government. The Board of Trustees generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Board of Appeals is totally independent of the Board of Trustees. Each board member is appointed for a staggered five-year term, which can be renewed. The Board of Appeals primarily acts on an appeal from a disapproval of the Building Inspector, perhaps requesting a variance from the Village Code. This Board is asked to rule on difficult issues and, on occasions, does overturn a ruling of the Board of Trustees. Board of Appeals hearing can require the presence of a court stenographer and, on many such cases, attorneys will be present. The Board of Appeals meets on the third Monday of any month in which they have business to transact, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Building Advisory Committee serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Trustees. They primarily will study and rule on architectural matters. They are appointed because of their knowledge and, in many cases, because of their expertise in building matters. It is common for the committee to be made up on one or more architects, contractors, designers or builders. This is done deliberately so they can view a matter of design from a professional point of view. This is one of the main reasons why the village is able to keep its tradition and its architectural design throughout the entire village.
The Board of Trustees can overrule the Advisory Committee but that rarely happens because the trustees recognize their ability to view a particular scene from a quality point of view. The village building inspector, an architect, works with the Advisory Committee and they also have an outside architect who specifically review plans and serves as a consultant to the committee. This committee meets more often than either of the other boards, usually twice each month on the first Wednesday and the second Tuesday, beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Each of the three boards works with the village attorney, the village building inspector and the village clerk on all matters. The traditions, architectural aspects and zoning regulations all fall under the jurisdiction of these fifteen or so members, all residents of the village.