Western Springs Local Government
While the federal and state governments generally receive more attention, it is local governments that have the most direct contact with Americans. Despite the fact that local government plays a large role in the lives of everyone, it is very common for people to be a bit uncertain as to the exact form of their own local government. This information is intended to give Western Springs residents a brief reminder of how their own local government is organized.
The Village of Western Springs, like many other suburban Chicago communities, uses a council-manager form of government. This form of government tries to draw a line between politics and administration. In Western Springs, the Village President and the Board of Trustees make policy decisions for the Village, and the Village Manager and his staff see that those policies are implemented into the day-to-day activities of the Village. Ideally, with this form of government, a community benefits from the training and experience of a hired professional manager, while maintaining local representation with the President and Board of Trustees.
Village President & Board of Trustees
The Village President and Board are elected in April of odd-numbered years on four-year, staggered terms. These individuals are residents who volunteer their time to the task of creating policy to guide Village activity. While these elected officials do commit a great deal of time toward becoming familiar with the issues confronting the Village, they have professions and activities outside local government. It is not their role to be involved in the everyday activities of the Village government and its delivery of public services. For this, the Village Board hires a Village Manager.
The Village of Western Springs has officially employed a full-time Village Manager since the position was created by ordinance in 1948. The Village Manager is appointed by the President and Board of Trustees. The Manager works under their direction and serves as the chief administrative officer of the Village, providing public availability as well as administrative and financial management. The Manager is responsible for the direct and indirect supervision of all Village personnel.
Boards & Commissions
Aside from the Village Manager and staff, the Village President and Board of Trustees are also assisted by the Village's boards and commissions. Members of the boards and commissions are also residents who volunteer their time to the village government.
Boards and commissions are established to give special review to specific types of issues (e.g. economic development, infrastructure, and appearance) and provide the Village Board with a recommended course of action. The boards and commissions are also assisted by staff appointed by the Village Manager.