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Who's in charge? Is there an external force at work, an invisible hand that guides the actions of Shorewood's Board of Trustees?

Political consensus. How does consensus materialize?

 


 

 

I had a casual discussion with a former Shorewood trustee, who on the subject of sewers claimed to be only one voice and pleaded innocent on that basis. But I never saw that vote registered separately on motions to do with sewers. 


 

In a recent review of some of the minutes for past months, I cannot recall any time that a motion didn't carry 7 to 0 except when a trustee was absent and all the votes were 6 to 0 for that evening.


 

I suppose, had that member been there all the votes would have added up to 7 to 0. Perhaps members should take time off occasionally as their vote will aways be safe as part of the consensus, even when only 5 members are present. 


 

It seems to me that the Board, more often than not votes with one voice. It is the one voice. It doesn't make any difference as to what one says before election or even before the vote, all vote alike.


 

It seems that a vote is not taken until a consensus has developed. How does the presiding officer know when that point develops?  Some extra political sense?


 

How does the first one voting know that the rest will vote in the same manner? Extrasensory Perception? Does each trustee vote the way that all vote in order to remain culturally accepted by the other members? Or is a motion only made when the extrasensory stuff kicks in?


 

Are individual trustees all right with that?  How do the members of the Board acquire that extra sense, is it at the moment of election? 

 

There are no single voices when it comes to the vote. There usually is one voice and usually with no sign of being led by someone into that position. The question then remains, who's in charge and how does consensus materialize?


 

And the presence of this phenomenon is what worries me when it comes to making a decision on a plan for our sewer system. Will the decision be the same as it was 30 or 25 years ago, the same as in 1997?


 

Is the decision already built in?  Is there an external force that guides the actions of the Board not only for the moment but over the decades?  There's a study here for a master's thesis.   Identify the force.

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