Who Runs Things Around Here?
Incorporated Glenview includes about 47,000 residents and covers about 13.85 square miles. It is served and governed on the local level by a seven-member elected Board of Trustees that hires a Village Manager to run day-to-day operations and supervise the Village staff. This is known as the Council/Manager style of government: it combines strong political leadership vested in an elected Board with strong managerial experience vested in a municipal manager.
What Does the Village Do?
Here in Glenview, our Village government manages a wide range of public services.
- Public safety: Fire and Police protection, emergency medical services
- Road maintenance: resurfacing and reconstruction projects, snow plowing and sweeping (on village-owned streets)
- General street and sidewalk maintenance
- Planting, maintenance, and removal of public trees
- Purchase and management of water service
- Infrastructure management: repair and replacement of water and sewer pipes
- Coordination and oversight of garbage, landscape waste, and recycling pick up
- Senior services (through a contract with the North Shore Senior Center)
- Oversight and regulation of local business
- General enforcement of ordinances relating to land and property use (building height, noise, signage, lighting, etc.)
The Village also enforces municipal codes (health, zoning, building, etc.) and undertakes large-scale strategic environmental and economic development planning projects such as the development of the Comprehensive Plan and stormwater management.
For more information, check out the Village’s Resident Handbook.
What Doesn’t the Village Do?
Understanding the limits to municipal authority and what the Village does not control can be confusing. It can’t force a grocery store to open on a particular site. It can’t shut down a legitimate business (even if it’s undesirable) – as long as that business conforms to Village Code. Likewise, as long as that unfinished house on your street conforms to Code (for example, doesn’t harbor vermin), the Village can’t force the owner to complete the interior of the structure (although it can set a timeline for completion of the exterior). It also can’t ensure that every street is plowed, as the Village actually doesn’t own or maintain many of the arterial roads that run through Glenview (for example, Cook County is responsible for plowing East Lake Avenue from Pfingsten Road to Interstate 94).
It’s also important to understand that in Glenview, the Park District and local public school districts are separate and distinct from the Village with their own elected Boards, budgets, and district boundaries. Thus, the Village does not determine the need for a new pool or playground. However, the Village has the authority to review the proposed land use, inspect the work, and sign off on occupancy
Village Board of Trustees
In Glenview, six Trustees and a Village President set policy for the Village, vote on municipal regulations, provide oversight for the Village budget, and hire and supervise the Village Manager. Each is elected for a four-year term; there are no term limits. In Glenview, Trustees are elected “at large”: each represents the entire Village; there are no wards or districts. In addition, Trustees don’t run on a political party ticket. One local group of residents creates a new non-partisan party for each election to slate candidates – see Section 5.)
Glenview Trustees aren’t paid a salary, although they do receive a modest annual stipend to compensate them for expenses they may incur in the course of doing Village business. Most hold jobs in addition to serving as Village Trustee.
Your Trustees are Glenview residents, elected by you to represent your interests and provide oversight of your tax dollars. And while candidates run for the Village Board on a non-partisan basis, this doesn’t mean they don’t have their own political preferences, which may influence their decisions on the Board.
Even running a modest-sized municipality such as Glenview encompasses a great deal of work and oversight. In order to support the work of the Village Board, resident volunteers serve on many Boards and Commissions that provide oversight on everything from appearance to zoning.
Appointed by the Village Board, these unpaid Commission members tackle the details of municipal life such as signage, natural resources, and where a business can locate. With one or two exceptions, Commissions are tasked only with making recommendations to the Board, which makes a final decision. Commission terms of office are four years; however, there are no term limits and many commissioners serve for years.