Village Government Overview
> Village Government
Palatine operates under the Village Manager form of government, in which an elected council, consisting of a mayor and six council members, hires a professional manager to oversee the day-to-day operation of government services and programs. In Palatine the council is known as the Village Council, and the chief elected official as the Mayor.
VILLAGE GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE
The village manager form of government, also known as the council-manager form, combines the leadership of elected officials with the experience of a professional manager who acts as the administrative and executive head of the government. The elected officials set Village policy, determine the tax rate and approve the annual budget. The manager serves in the capacity set out by State of Illinois statute as the Village Council's chief adviser, carrying out its policies, recruiting and hiring the government staff and preparing the annual budget for the Council's approval. Palatine continues to be incorporated as a village but under a village manager form of government. As such the Village Council retains power vested in it by the voters, and employs the manager as its full-time executive who carries out the Council's decisions.
Mayor and Village Council:
The Village Council is comprised of seven members: a Mayor is elected at large, while the Council Member are elected within one of six districts. The length of each term is four years. With overlapping election terms, only one half of the Village Council is elected every two years. This ensures some carryover in experience and background on the Council at all times. The Village Mayor is elected at-large and separately from the Trustees. The Village Mayor, by statute and ordinance, has additional several duties such as holding the position of Liquor Control Commissioner, and serving as official signatory for Village expenditures.
The Village Clerk also is elected in the general election to a four-year term. The Clerk serves as the recording secretary for the Village Council and as the local election officer for all municipal elections. The Clerk is responsible for the filing, safekeeping and storage of official Village documents and support records including, but not limited to, ordinances, resolutions, minutes, licenses, agreements and contracts. The Clerk is often assigned additional administrative functions.
The Village Manager is appointed by the Village Council for an indefinite term, but may be removed from office at any time by a majority vote of the Council. The Village Manager is usually extended an employment agreement with the Village stating the terms and conditions of employment and dismissal. The Council reviews the Manager's performance annually, and any increased level of compensation is determined by the Council at that time.
VILLAGE MANAGER DUTIES
The primary powers and duties of the Village Manager, as stipulated in state law and outlined in the Palatine Village Code, are summarized below:
- Enforces all laws and ordinances within the Village.
- Attends all meetings of the Village Council and may take part in discussions, but has no vote.
- Recommends for adoption by the Village Council any action that may be deemed necessary or expedient for the welfare of the Village.
- Appoints and removes all Village employees.
- Exercises control over all Village departments and divisions.
- Prepares and submits to the Village Council budget estimates for the current fiscal year
- Authorizes the purchase of equipment, material, supplies, and services, not to exceed $10,000, necessary for Village operations. All purchases and contracts in excess of $20,000 must have the prior approval of the Village Council and must be secured through competitive bidding or be authorized by a bid waiver.
- Prescribes rules and regulations regarding the conduct of all Village employees.
- Performs other duties as prescribed by state statute, the Palatine Village Code, and any ordinance or resolution adopted by the Village Council.
HOME RULE AUTHORITY
In 1970, by virtue of a population above 25,000 people, the Village of Palatine achieved home rule status with the passage of the revised Constitution of Illinois. As a home rule community, Palatine has the authority to exercise any power or perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs including, but not limited to, the powers to regulate for the protection of the public health, safety, morals, and welfare, and to license, tax, and incur debt.
Home rule communities have far greater authority and latitude to make their own decisions than non-home rule municipalities. Even though the state of Illinois has granted home rule units flexibility and authority to enact taxes, borrow money, regulate local activities, alter their government structure, and seek innovative solutions to local problems, the General Assembly has imposed several restrictions on the use of home rule powers. First and foremost, home rule units may not tax income, earnings, and/or occupations, or license for revenue unless authorized to do so by the General Assembly; define or punish for felonies; or incur debt payable from property taxes that matures more than 40 years from the date of issuance. Furthermore, the General Assembly may restrict or pre-empt home rule powers by three-fifths majority vote of the legislature.