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Community Vibrancy Commissions to be Restructured

At the October 15, 2018 Committee of the Whole Meeting, the City Council agreed with the staff recommendation to make modifications to the City’s current commission structure. The Council and staff continued the conversation from the April 25 and July 23, 2018 Committee of the Whole Meetings regarding the City’s Advisory Groups (AG), Task Forces (TF), and Commissions. The City Council discussed feedback from current City Commissioners and the public. In addition, they recognized the importance of increasing broad resident participation, supporting the core priority of community vibrancy, and streamlining City operations. Staff was advised to prepare documents for approval at an upcoming City Council meeting which would formally restructure certain Commissions into Advisory Groups in 2019.

Impacted commissions include the Business and Economic Development Commission (BEDC), Cultural Arts Commission (CAC), Natural Resources Commission (NRC), Human Relations Commission (HRC), and the Transportation Commission (TC). These commissions will be referred to as the Community Vibrancy Advisory Groups.

“Periodically, we review our legislative and operational structure and processes to ensure that municipal services are being efficiently and effectively carried out,” said City Manager Ghida Neukirch. “Any changes are made with an eye towards best meeting the needs of all residents, modernization, and fiscal responsibility.”

Volunteers will continue to be appointed by the Mayor with consent by the City Council. The City will issue a biennial call for volunteers for residents to participate on an AG for two-year terms. Each AG will have a minimum of seven members with no maximum and will continue to have a chairman, vice-chairman, and student commissioner in addition to a staff and City Council liaison. Volunteers will also be sought for committee projects which may be shorter, special projects.

The Plan and Design Commission, Housing Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals exist to conduct reviews and make recommendations on complex regulatory and land use matters and several other Boards are set forth within the Illinois Municipal Code such as the Library Board, Police and Fire Pension Boards and Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. No changes will be made to these commissions and boards.

Applications to serve on an AG will be made available in November on the City’s website. The City will issue a call for volunteers through its communication channels. For more information, please view the staff report included within the October 15, 2018 agenda packet located on the City website or contact the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000.