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Frequently Asked Questions

Community Development

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Do I live "in" a local government?

Yes! In fact, most of you live in several units of local government, such as a county, township, school district, special taxing districts, and a village.

What is a county?

A county is an administrative unit of government responsible for transportation, environmental protection, and taxation for all or part of a major part of a metropolitan area. Many counties have taken on new responsibilities of an urban character, often in response to federal grant programs and regulations and unfunded state mandates.

What is a township?

A township is an administrative unit of government six miles square containing 36 sections, each of one-square mile. Its government has three prime responsibilities - providing general assistance, maintaining roads, and assessing property values for tax purposes. Additional responsibilities can include public transportation, activities for senior citizens, counseling, and youth programs.

What is Municipal Government?

All municipalities in Illinois are either cities or villages. Most municipalities operate under a standard aldermanic-city form or trustee-village form. There are simple variations possible under these standard forms, such as the number of members of a legislative body, the terms of office, and minority representation. The State statutes also provide three more complicated variations which may be adopted by cities or villages desiring the possible advantages which each has to offer. These variations are the "commission form", the "manager form", and the "strong mayor form". Each form provides its own rules for the selection and type of officers, their powers and responsibilities, and the general operations of government.

Aldermanic-City Form 

Under the aldermanic-city form, the legislative body ordinarily consists of two aldermen from each ward elected for a four-year term. Their terms are staggered so that half are elected every two years. The number of aldermen elected depends upon the population of the city. The mayor is the chief executive officer of the municipality. The mayor, city clerk, and city treasurer are elected at large (Village or citywide) to a four-year term. Other offices and vacancies are filled by appointment by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council, although it may be provided by ordinance that these offices be filled by election.

Trustee-Village Form

Under the trustee-village form, the legislative body consists of six trustees, generally elected from the village at large. The number of trustees does not vary with the size of the municipality. Villages of over 25,000 population may have each of the six trustees elected by district instead of from the village.

The village president and clerk are elected at large, but the village treasurer is appointed. The term of the president, trustees, and clerk is four years, unless reduced to two years by referendum. As with the mayor in the aldermanic-city form, the appointments to all nonelective offices are made by the president with the advice and consent of the board of trustees. If the village collector is appointed, the village board may provide by ordinance that the elected village clerk also hold the office of village collector.

Commission Form 

The commission form of government is limited to cities or villages under 200,000 population. Under this form, the voters elect at large a mayor and four commissioners who serve as the council. At the first regular meeting after an election, the council designates each member to be either the commissioner of accounts and finances, public health and safety, streets and public improvements, or public property. The mayor serves as commissioner of public affairs. The council may elect the clerk and treasurer, as well as all the other officers whose appointment is not delegated, as it may be, to one commissioner. Each commissioner is given executive control over such administrative departments as may be assigned to him. By referendum, the electors may provide for the election of commissioners to specific departments.

Manager Form

The manager form of government is available to all municipalities under 500,000 in population. The municipality may retain its governmental structure as an aldermanic-city form, trustee-village form, or commission form while adopting the features of the manager form.

Under this form, the power of the council or board is purely legislative, except that it is empowered to approve all expenses and liabilities of the municipality. The manager is the administrative and executive head of the government for some purposes. The manager appoints and removes all officers not required to be elected. The appointment to most boards, commissions, and other municipal agencies resides in the mayor or president subject to council or board confirmation.

Strong Mayor Form

This form of government has an elected mayor, clerk, and treasurer and, depending upon the size of the community, from eight to twenty aldermen elected from wards. The terms of elected officials are four years. The functions of an ordinary mayor are generally merged with the powers accorded a municipal manager. The mayor is given the power, without council approval, to appoint and remove his administrative assistants, budget and finance director, heads of all departments, and all other officers of the municipality, and members of commissions, boards, and agencies, except those covered by civil service. The powers of the council are purely legislative.

Administrative Form

This "form" of government is not specifically sanctioned by statute but is in use in a number of municipalities. It may be used in all but the manager form of government. It is not really a "form" of government but rather a legislative device adopted by municipalities which seek a full-time administrator without the permanency of the manager form of government. Under this system, a municipality creates by ordinance the office or employment of "administrator" and endows such an office or employment with certain administrative powers. The administrator may be made the administrative head of all departments and may be given any power not specifically granted to another person by statute. The administrator may be appointed for a term or hired by contract, or his employment may be for an unspecified period. In any case, he may be removed like any other officer or employee subject to the payment of any valid remaining portion of his contract. This system of government allows for a full-time administrator to conduct the day-to-day operations of a community armed with as much or as little power as the corporate authorities may from time to time provide by ordinance.


Back to TopCommunity Development

How long is a building permit valid?

Work authorized by a permit must begin within six months of the date of the permit and be completed within one year of permit approval.  Work extending beyond these time frames requires the issuance of a new permit.

What is the purpose of the refundable bond?

The bond provides an incentive to complete the work in the manner it was approved and to have the work inspected as required.  A $35.00 fee will be deducted from the bond for each failed inspection.

When can I expect the bond to be refunded?

The Department will begin processing the refund as soon as the final inspection is approved.  Generally, it takes three to five weeks for the refund to reach you.

Who is JULIE?

JULIE stands for "Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators."  Upon receiving your call, JULIE will visit your property and mark the location of non-Village underground utilities.  Call JULIE toll free at (800) 892-0123.

Does the Village locate its underground utilities?

The Village Engineering Department [(630) 372-4270] and Public Works Department [(630) 372-4440] will locate underground Village utilities including sewer and water mains and electrical cables for street lights.

A friend of mine is going to build my shed, deck, etc.  Must he be registered with the Village?

Yes.  Anyone, other than the property owner, who is doing work on a project requiring a building permit, even without compensation, must be registered and bonded as a contractor.

What is a "stop work" order?

A "stop work" order is issued for jobs that are not being completed in accordance with the approved plans or for jobs that were started without a permit.

What if I want to make changes to my plans as work on the project progresses?

Be sure to obtain permission from the Community Development Department prior to making any changes to the approved permit plans.

What do I do with the permit placard I was given?

The permit placard should be displayed in a window of your home so it is visible from the street.

What inspections are required?

Inspections are listed in the handouts and on the permit.

What's the difference between the plan review fee and the permit fee?

The plan review fee covers the cost of reviewing the plan for compliance with village codes.  The permit fee covers the cost of inspecting the improvement.


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