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STRENGHTNEN THE HEAD OF GOVERNMENT

Executive power

The discussion in my previous two postings leads to some implications for communities like Shorewood operated under a system of “village trustees” referred to as the “Village Board.”

Generally members of  non-government  board of trustees are appointed. However, in the case of communities the members are elected by citizens of that community.

In private situations, trustees normally act in place of those they represent. This does not totally apply to the situation of elected officials who are of course accountable to the public through various processes, including a required accounting to the press at any moment, therefore without secrecy of operation.

Often the presiding officer of an appointed board other than a citizen's would be elected by the board itself. In the case of communities, the president of the board runs as such at election time.

Never-the-less, he or she, as presiding officer and member of the board sometimes steps down for one reason or another and is for that time replaced by another member of the board.

This is primarily because the office is part of and arises out of the board membership itself and really has no other authority outside of that of presiding officer who acts as the one exercising control over the assembled members.

This position may however take on other powers, usually powers of appointment, some of these powers depend on the prowess and coercive nature of the individual and are not structural.  

A mayor for example is elected to take over certain executive powers, most unrelated to those members elected to the council, the legislative element of government. He or she would have specific relationships with the council but could, in most circumstance function without council involvement.

In the case of the board of trustees, this executive power is vacuumed away to non-existence and then obscurely distributed throughout the membership. Executive power is therefore not there, dissolved through a form of dispersion.  This is often evidenced a board meetings.   

Therefore, although village boards may appear to have someone in charge, those powers that reside in the president of the board are minimal, if they exist at all and are pretty much lost or distributed throughout the whole organization of government. .

A community on-the-go requires an executive and those powers residing in one person, a person who must be responsible and show accountability. Where that's not possible then the directive energy as instilled in a mayor/council form of government is non-existent. It seems that the only remedy is then a mayor/council form of government.  Any other suggestions?

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