Consensus makes it possible for the least qualified of the group to share in authority.
As a goal, consensus acts to fortify group action and does not operate toward agreement nor does it encourage creative thought that might yield leadership among elected officials.
The Shorewood Village Board is a consensus-making vehicle.
Each member is inserted into that role upon initiation in such a way, that unless the person is sensitive to the transformation and is a strong leader wanting to exert himself/herself, that that member becomes and remains part of the consensus-making mechanism during the whole time on the Board. It is almost impossible to do otherwise.
The Board also functions so that citizens are only recognized as such as long as they ceremoniously contribute to that consensus process. The raised platform bestows a formality to the process and separates the assumed authority from those it is intended to serve. None of this is attributed to the members serving but the whole setting makes for the work of the consensus process.
However, unless individual members recognize that they function as part of a group-think machine, which is unlikely in their group-think maze and take action to become more of a democratic government, they shall remain part of this machine during the time spent there.
This is a brief and summary-type analysis but part of long-time study as to what makes this Board function in the manner that it does.
Government in Shorewood is no longer the village-type menial procedures once visualized by legislators. That recognized, it seems that it should begin to function as a representative government and find ways to forgo the assumed arrogance that comes with some of these posts that tend to desensitize understanding of the real nature of democracy and operate against the development of any kind of real political leadership.