So yesterday I read the email alert for the posting of the agenda for Monday's WFB Trustee meeting. I noticed two items, a "Commendation for Jim Brennan" and "Discussion of vacancy on Board". Putting two and two together, I emailed a village official and got confirmation that indeed, Brennan had resigned July 31st due to health reasons. (Village Spillage wishes Trustee Brennan well.)
But this episode is a great example of how poor the Village is at communication.
The resignation of a Trustee is pretty big news. It means that a 3rd new member will be joining the board in 2008, which is significant turnover. Brennan wasn't some member of an arts & crafts committee. He was one of the seven elected officials who run our Village.
How did Villagers find out? Some silly blogger just happened to read the agenda and wrote about it. Crazy.
Now, maybe the Village put out a notice to the media, and they'd left for a long weekend. Maybe. But meanwhile, how about using that new Village website, and its "Announcements" page? Seems like a great place for something like this.
Next up .. is the debate on how to fill the vacancy. Brennan was re-elected in April 2007, so his term goes to 2010.
Shorewood just finished going through this same problem. They discussed 4 options.
- Leave the slot vacant until 2010
- Appoint someone until 2010, or until a special election
- Have a special election on the November 2008 ballot (3 months from now)
- Add the spot in the April 2009 election. (Currently, Trustees Schmid and Cheng will be up for re-election at that time.)
I think my least favorite option is to leave the slot vacant. 2nd least favorite is to wait until April of 2009 .. we had enough trouble scaring up 3 candidates for 2 spots in April 2008. Imagine filling 3 spots.
Then there's trying to do a November 2008 election. Logistically,
that's pretty tough as well, to find candidates, get them to run in a
compressed election time-table. It can be done, though. The wildcard
is just trying to finding multiple decent candidates who will give it a
Finally, appointing a villager has its pros and cons. I can't find where our municipal code explains how this is done, but I'd guess the Trustees interview interested parties, then choose one. On the one hand, it shortcuts the effort necessary to run an election and it probably guarantees multiple candidates, and allows the board to flunk out light-weights. To have 6 Trustees pick someone to join their club has a spectrum of possibilities, more skewed however, to choosing the like-minded.
Make sure to read the entry on the 22nd District Candidate Roundup for Wasserman's Seat.
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