Making Democracy Work

Winnetka-Northfield-Kenilworth Positions

Winnetka Northfield Kenilworth Positions

These are positions prior to the 2012 Annual Meeting along with suggested changes. This document was converted from a different format; it is not an exact copy of the original and may have errors and omissions.


Selection of Officials Support of the non-partisan process of the election of township officials and advisory boards with emphasis on adequate publicity and increased citizen participation at all levels, particularly in the New Trier Citizens' League (Winnetka, Kenilworth, and those portions of Northfield and Glenview in New Trier Township).

New Trier Township Government The township is the proper level of government to fund both general assistance and the health and human services because it is more sensitive to the needs of the constituency than the county. Agencies which receive money from the township should be encouraged to seek funding from other sources.

New Trier High School Caucus Support of the caucus system as a satisfactory means of nominating candidates for the New Trier School Board with action to achieve: more uniform delegate selection, representation based on total population of elementary school districts, staggered two-year terms for all delegates, more publicity in recruitment of school board candidates, and equal consideration of incumbents and other candidates. (Wilmette dropped this position in 1989.)

Questions for Evaluating School-Funding Referenda Criteria for evaluating bond issues or tax rate increases to finance school costs have been developed by a committee of representatives from the New Trier Township League of Women Voters. These criteria can be used as a base to prepare local Leagues in evaluating local referenda in order to take positions on specific local school finance. A list of these criteria may be obtained from officers of local Leagues.


Home Rule Support for the acquisition of home rule powers for Northfield if the proposition is put before the voters and a need is demonstrated. Home Rule was adopted by voters in Winnetka in 2005.

Historic Preservation The LWV of Winnetka, Northfield, Kenilworth believes historic preservation is desirable and necessary to preserve the historic and architectural heritage of our area. We feel our communities are enriched and the value of property is increased by the unique fabric and character of each community.

We recognize the need for education to heighten the awareness of residents and to appreciate and recognize the value of preserving the best of the past and preventing the needless destruction or inappropriate alteration of buildings of historic or architectural merit.

We therefore support the goals of the Winnetka preservation ordinances and the existence of the Winnetka preservation commission.

The League will assist in the continued efforts of Kenilworth to address the issues of historic preservation.

Library Support of maintaining the present service-oriented library, providing an atmosphere of community. Support of continued use of resources of the North Suburban Library System and volunteers, better coordination of high and low usage periods with staffing. and education of the public about library finances. Based on a follow-up study, LWV WNK supported an April 2005 Library Referendum.


Home Rule Monitor the implementation of Home Rule, which was approved by the voters in April 2005.

Caucus The League of Women Voters continues to support a Caucus system for Winnetka that: (1) provides grassroots education; (2) enables residents to voice their opinions on issues facing the Village Council and the School, Park, and Library boards through the Caucus Survey, Platform and Town Meetings~ and (3) affords a method for candidate selection that eliminates partisanship and supports the Winnetka Caucus tradition of "the office seeking the person rather than the person seeking the office." When the Caucus system operates as it is designed, it is very effective. However, when procedural detail is overlooked, the Caucus Council's success is diminished, also diminishing general pride in the system.

The Caucus Policies and Procedures (also known as the bylaws) provide the structure for a viable system if they are read and followed. However, as the bylaws evolved, they have become long, cumbersome and difficult to understand. They need to be simplified for clear understanding by Caucus members. Either the Caucus Council or a knowledgeable, objective outside group such as the League of Women Voters should propose revisions as needed for Caucus approval.

As noted in our 2004 study, the League believes that many Winnetka residents do not know how Caucus Council members are chosen or what duties they perform. Enhancing the visibility and esteem of Caucus Council representatives so that all Village residents consider it an honor and an obligation to take a turn serving on the Caucus Council could improve recruitment of committed and conscientious individuals. Since Caucus representatives are always needed, it behooves the Caucus Council to educate the population about the Caucus system. The League supports the creation of promotional material to explain the Caucus in simple terms and detail the benefits of serving. It could be given to new residents, and be available at all Caucus events and throughout the community, and should even be part of a middle school or junior high school educational program.

New Caucus Council representatives need concise, clear tools to increase their understanding and productivity in the job. As a priority, there should be a yearly orientation for Caucus Council representatives providing Caucus history and philosophy and the calendar, time commitment and objectives of each committee. Each representative should receive a summary of the most important bylaws and a schedule of meetings and deadlines for the coming year. Because of the importance of all the officers and committee chairpersons comprising the Executive Committee and because of League's perception of the value of institutional memory within a Caucus Council, we suggest that all Executive Committee members be second year Caucus Council members. League believes that the optimal functioning of the Rules. Communications. Finance and Caucus Representative Nominating committees are of such importance to the efficiency of the Caucus that chairpersons of these committees should have no other Caucus committee obligations. Those members not serving on the Executive Committee, however, should serve on one of the four Standing Committees in addition to the Village. Schools, Parks, or Library committee.

Disseminating a Caucus Survey every other year as currently stipulated in the bylaws would lessen the burden on Caucus Council members and likely increase the response rates. However, because candidates for the Village Council are nominated and elected even year. the Caucus Council may want to annually disseminate survey questions relating to matters within the Council's jurisdiction. Whether transmitted electronically or via regular mail, the survey should be disseminated after the busy first week of school to stimulate more returns from younger parents.

To encourage larger attendance at the Spring Town Meeting, the Caucus Council should continue to provide a speaker and refreshments and invite residents to ask questions, vent their concerns, share ideas regarding the Village, and sign up to be Caucus representatives in the future. (Adopted November, 2004; revised May 2009)

Youth Services Support of measures to provide opportunities for: unstructured recreational activities; counseling, including (a) alternative shelter facilities and foster home programs. and (b) health care; community programs and services; transportation; and employment. Support of a New Trier Township committee to coordinate youth programs and services for junior high, high school, and young adult age groups. Support of funding by public taxing bodies when private funds are insufficient.

Juvenile Justice Support of juvenile justice system which is competently staffed, has clear assignment of responsibility, is adequately financed and coordinated among the different agencies and levels of government to: (1) identify youth problems; (2) communicate problems to the community; (3) develop programs that address the problems of youth, using public tax revenues when private agencies cannot promote such programs.

Recreational Planuin2 Support of recreational planning which includes the obligation to serve all ages, a balance of structured and unstructured activities, of competitive and non-competitive sports, concern for as many free programs as possible, preservation and acquisition of open land, cooperation among groups, meeting recreational needs and optimum utilization of existing facilities.

Comprehensive Plan Support of comprehensive planning within the Village appropriate to the maintenance of a mature community. Support of measures to insure a healthy business climate in Winnetka.

Solid Waste Support of local and regional long-range planning for the collection, recycling, waste reduction, and disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials.


Caucus Support of a caucus system meeting League criteria, which includes being responsive, communicative, and representative, with more emphasis on a positive and visible role in village affairs. Support of continued separation of the Village Caucus from the School and Park Board Caucus Committee.

Recreational Planning and Cooperation Support of sufficient recreational facilities for the residents of the Village of Northfield. Support of a long-range plan for the Northfield Park District to include consideration of acquisition of new land and/or new facilities, environmental impact, open space. and economic efficiency. Action to achieve cooperation with other park districts, the village and private agencies to supplement recreational resources for the district; and encouragement of efforts to maintain a balanced program of activities and sports to serve all residents.

Village Planning Support of community beautification. Support of annexation of adjacent unincorporated lands with emphasis on a comprehensive plan and control over land use.

Support for evaluating plans for roads and highways with primary concern for the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists, safe traffic flow, community preservation, and beautification. It would be detrimental and dangerous to widen any arterial roads at this time without proper consideration of these factors.

In recognition of existing pedestrian safety problems and vehicular congestion within Northfield, proposed development might exacerbate these safety concerns. The League has requested the Village of Northfield to determine what can be done to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, vehicular congestion and safe traffic flow.

In accordance with our position, the League has recommended that the Village Board of Trustees of Northfield review and update the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinances as they apply to the changing nature of land use and placement of new or remodeled structures, with special emphasis to improve north/south traffic problems and pedestrian safety. The League supports wide community involvement in this process.

Support of regional planning in the area utilizing intergovernmental cooperation. Support of open space.

Village Finances A study reviewing and monitoring Village of Northfield finances is proposed. (adopted May 2005)

Flood Relief Support of flood relief and the necessary action to achieve the best solutions for ~`Northfield, support of the North Branch implementation Plan and continuing improvement of storm water management.


Home Rule Study of home rule powers for Kenilworth.

Kenilworth Citizens Advisory Committee Study the KCAC with clarification of the by-laws and evaluate its being responsive, communicative, and representative. Special attention to selection of caucus officers and delegates and to interviewing procedures.

Library Support of continued successful operation and high standards of the Kenilworth Public Library District.

Recreational and Open Land Support of long-range planning policies for use of publicly owned recreational and open land and study of specific recreational needs.

Solid Waste Management Support of long-range planning on recycling for Kenilworth to conform to state standards.

Structure of Village Government Support of a village government which is effective in its communications with the community and responsive to the concerns of its citizens.

Zoning: Business Support the revitalization of the Green Bay Corridor. Evaluate the Kenilworth Comprehensive Plan for implementation of redevelopment.

Zoning: Residential Support of establishment of zoning ordinances to achieve the goals of protecting residential character and quality of life with open space, trees, structures of architectural significance; and limitations on density, structural size, bulk and placement of new or remodeled structures.

Local Program Recommended Changes 2012-2013

Winnetka-Northfield-Kenilworth Positions

Home Rule

(Change in consideration of recent Northfield vote:

Support of home rule powers in Winnetka, adopted by Village residents in 2005. and in Northfield, adopted by Village residents in 2010.


Change from North Suburban Library System, which no longer exists:

Support of continued use of the resources of Rails (Reaching Across Illinois Libraries); use of volunteers,; better coordination of high and low usage periods with staffing; and education of the public about Library finances.

Northfield Positions

Add in consideration of recent vote:

Home Rule

Monitor the implementation of Home Rule, which was approved by the voters in April 2010.

Village Finance

Delete since this study was never implemented and is no longer relevant

Winnetka Northfield Kenilworth Bye Laws

These are the bye-laws prior to the 2012 Annual Meeting.This document was converted from a different format; it is not an exact copy of the original and may have errors and omissions.


Proposed changes to the Bylaws are indicated with strikethrough for deletions and bold print for additions. Submitted by the Bylaws Committee: Nancy Marcus. Louise Holland, and Judy Kottle.


The name of this organization shall be the League of Women Voters of Winnetka - Northfield - Kenilworth, hereinafter referred to in these Bylaws as LWV WNK, or, as the League. This local League is an integral part of the League of Women Voters of the United States, hereinafter referred to in these Bylaws as LWV US, the League of Women Voters of Illinois hereinafter referred to in these Bylaws as LWV IL, Lake Michigan League of Women Voters, hereinafter referred to in these Bylaws as LMLWV and the League of Women Voters of Cook County, hereinafter referred to in these Bylaws as LWV CC.

ARTICLE II. Purpose and Policy

Sec. 1 Purposes. The purposes of the LWV WNK are to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation in government and to act on selected governmental issues.

Sec. 2 Political Policy. The League shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.

Sec. 3 Mailing List. The League's roster is not to be made available for non-league use without Board consent.

ARTICLE III. Membership

Sec. 1 Eligibility. Any person who subscribes to the purpose and policy of the League shall be eligible for membership.

Sec. 2 Types of Membership. a. Voting Members. Citizens at least 18 years of age who join LWV WNK shall be voting members of the local and state Leagues of their place of joining and of the LWV US.

(1) Those who reside outside the area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at-large:

(2) Those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from the payment of dues.

b. Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be Associate Members.

Article IV. Officers

Sec. 1 Enumeration and Election of Officers The Officers of the League shall be a President or Co-Presidents. Vice President(s), a Recording Secretary, and a Treasurer, who shall be elected at Annual Meetings as provided in Article VII. The President (Co-Presidents), and Treasurer shall be elected in odd numbered years; the Vice President(s) and Recording Secretary shall be elected in even numbered years.

Sec. 2 The President (Co-Presidents). The President (Co-Presidents) shall preside at all meetings of the general membership, of the Board of Directors. and of the Executive Committee, unless the President (Co-Presidents) shall designate someone to preside. The President (Co Presidents) may. in the absence or disability of the Treasurer, sign or endorse checks, drafts, and notes. The President (Co-Presidents) shall appoint all Committee Chairs, except the Nominating Committee Chair, and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The President (Co-Presidents) shall have such powers of supervision and management as customarily pertain to the office.

Sec. 3 Vice-Presidents. There shall be a Vice-President(s), who shall serve as acting President whenever the President (Co-Presidents) may be absent. In the event of the resignation, disability or death of the President (Co-Presidents), the Board of Directors shall elect an existing Vice-President to serve until the next Annual Meeting. If a Vice-President is unable to serve, the Board of Directors shall elect another of its members to serve as President (Co-Presidents).The office of Vice Presidents may remain vacant in the case of two or more officers holding the office of Co-President. The Vice President(s) shall perform such other duties of the President (Co-Presidents) as the Board may designate.

Sec. 4 The Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors/ general member meetings, the Executive Committee, and the Annual Meeting of the League, and shall perform such other functions as may be incident to the office.

Explanation: The committee thought we should add general membership meetings since there may be an occasion that a general membership meeting could occur that is not a regular Board of Directors' meeting.

Sec. 5 Treasurer. The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies, shall be the custodian of these monies, shall deposit or invest them as designated by the Board of Directors, and shall disburse the same only upon order of the Board. The Treasurer shall present to the Board of Directors financial statements at their regular meetings. The Treasurer shall arrange for an annual review of the books by an independent auditor.

ARTICLE V Board of Directors

Sec. 1 Numbers, Manner of Selection and Terms of Office. The general membership at each annual meeting shall elect officers and directors to serve on the Board of Directors. The term commences at the adjournment of the first board meeting after the Annual Meeting.

Not more than 15 elected Directors shall serve on the Board and approximately half of them shall be elected each year. Elected Directors shall serve two-year terms and shall be eligible for reelection.

The Officers and elected Board Members shall appoint such additional directors as they deem necessary to carry on the work of the League. provided that the number of appointed Directors does not exceed the number of elected Directors. The terms of office of the appointed Directors shall be for one year and commence at the adjournment of the first Board meeting after the Annual Meeting.

Sec. 2 Qualification. No person shall be elected or appointed or shall continue to serve as an officer or Director of this organization unless that person is a voting member of the League.

Sec. 3 Powers and Duties. The Board of Directors shall have charge of the property and business of the organization, with full power and authority to manage and conduct the same, subject to the instructions of the general membership. The Board shall plan and direct the work necessary to carry out the program as adopted by the National Convention, the State Convention, the County Convention, the Annual Meeting, and by conventions of Inter-League Organizations (ILO) of which the League is a member. It shall have the power to create such special committees as it deems necessary and shall perform such other duties as are specified in these Bylaws.

Explanation: The committee felt that the word "the" should be added to this sentence for clarity.

Sec. 4 Meetings. There shall be at least four regular meetings of the Board of Directors annually. The President(s)

17 may call special meetings and, upon the written request of a majority of the board, shall call a special meeting. Special electronic meetings may be conducted, such as by telephone conference call or e-mail. The use of electronic meetings shall be reserved for those issues needing a decision before an in-person meeting is scheduled. Notice of all special meetings shall be given at least two days prior to that meeting.

Sec. 5 Quorum. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum. Any member may participate in a meeting by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment allowing all persons participating in the meeting to hear each other at the same time. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting.

Sec. 6 Vacancies. Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Directors by reason of resignation. death, or disqualification of an officer or Board member shall be filled for the duration of the unexpired term by a majority vote of those remaining members of the Board of Directors present at any of its regular or special meetings.

Sec. 7 Executive Committee. An Executive Committee composed of the officers shall act for the Board of Directors in an emergency. Any action taken by the Executive Committee must be reported to the Board of Directors at its next regular meeting.

Sec. S Board Meetings. All Board meetings of the League are open to all members.

ARTICLE VI. Financial Administration

Sec. I Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the League shall commence on the first day of July.

Sec. 2 Dues. a. Annual dues are payable on June 15. Any new member joining between April 1 and the end of the fiscal year June 30 will pay full dues and remain a member in good standing until June 30 of the following yean

When two or more members reside at the same address in a household, dues for the second and any additional members shall be one-half of the regular dues. After September first if dues have not been paid, members shall be dropped from the membership rolls. This provision does not apply to Life Members.

b. If a proposed dues increase is not approved at the Annual Meeting, those members who have already paid the proposed dues may request a refund for the excess amount.

Sec. 3 Budget Committee. A Budget Chair and f~u~ two committee members shall be appointed by the Board of Directors: twe one committee members from the Board of Directors and twe one from the membership at large. These appointments shall be made annually at the first meeting of the new Board. The Treasurer and Finance chair shall be ex-officio members of this committee but shall not be eligible to serve as chair of the Budget Committee.

Explanation: This was a suggestion that came from the membership. With the shrinking size of our membership and Board it was decided that our League could not follow the Bylaws as written. It was suggested that it might be easier if we decrease the size of the Budget Committee.

Sec. 4 Budget A budget for the ensuing year shall be submitted by the Board of Directors to the Annual Meeting for adoption. This proposed budget shall be sent to all members one month before the Annual Meeting. The budget shall include support for the work of all levels of the League.

Sec. 5 Distribution of Funds on Dissolution. If, for any reason, the LWV WNK should be dissolved, all monies and securities owned by the LWV WNK shall be paid to the LWV IL. In the event of a merger between the LWV WNK with another League, all monies and securities owned by the LWV WNK shall be transferred to the new organization.


Sec. 1 Membership Meetings. There shall be at least five meetings of the membership each year. Time and place shall be determined by the Board of Directors.

Sec. 2 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting shall be held in April or May, the exact date to be announced by the Board of Directors at least two months in advance. At the Annual Meeting the League shall elect officers and Directors, adopt a budget, adopt a local program, and transact such other business as may properly come before it. A parliamentarian shall be appointed by the President.

Sec. 3 Quorum. Ten percent of the membership rounded to the highest number shall constitute a quorum at the Annual Meeting. See Article IX, Sec. 3 e. 3 for specific requirements for voting on programs.

ARTICLE VIII. Nominations and Elections

Sec. I Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three members, two of whom shall be members of the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee shall slate a new chair, and two additional members shall be appointed by the board.

Sec. 2 Suggestions for Nominations. Suggestions for Officers, Directors, Chair and members of the Nominating Committee may be sent to the Nominating Committee by any voting member at any time up to two months before the Annual Meeting.

Sec. 3 Report of the Nominating Committee. The report of the Nominating Committee of its nominations for Officers, Directors, and Chair of the Nominating Committee shall be sent to all members one month before the date of the Annual Meeting.

Sec. 4 Elections.

a. The report of the Nominating Committee shall be presented at the Annual Meeting. Immediately thereafter, nominations may be made from the floor by any voting member, provided that the consent of the nominee shall have been secured. Officers, not more than eight (8) Directors, and a chair of the Nominating Committee shall be elected at the Annual Meeting.

b. The election shall be by ballot; however, when there is but one nominee for each office, the Secretary may be instructed to cast the ballot for all nominees. A majority vote of those qualified to vote and voting shall constitute an election. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted for elections at the Annual Meeting.


Sec. 1 Authorization. The governmental principles adopted by the National Convention and supported by the League as a whole constitute the authorization for the adoption of program.

Sec. 2 State, ILO, and National Program. The program of the League shall consist of action to implement the principles of the LWV US and the programs adopted at State, ILO, and National levels in accordance with applicable Bylaws.

Sec. 3 Local Program. The local program shall consist of local governmental issues and policies as they relate to the Villages of Winnetka, Northfield, and Kenilworth, and it shall be adopted for study and action in the following manner7:

Explanation: The committee thought this should be a colon, not a comma.

a. The Board of Directors shall consider program suggestions sent in by the voting members two months prior to the Annual Meeting, and shall formulate a recommended program.

b. The recommended program, along with a listing of the program items suggested but not recommended, shall be sent to all members one month before the Annual Meeting.

c. Items on the recommended program that affect all three governmental jurisdictions may be adopted by a majority vote of all members present at the Annual Meeting.

d. Items on the recommended program that affect one or two governmental jurisdictions must first receive an affirmative vote by not less than ten percent of the members of the involved jurisdictions before the items are put to the remaining members for concurrence by a majority vote.

e. Suggestions for program submitted by voting members two months prior to the Annual Meeting, but not recommended by the Board of Directors, may be adopted at the Annual Meeting provided that

(1) ten percent of the membership rounded to the higher number from the jurisdictions vote to consider the item:

(2) the Annual Meeting as a whole votes consideration of item:

(3) ten percent of the membership rounded to the highest number from the involved jurisdictions adopt the item: and

(4) the Annual Meeting concurs by majority vote.

f Changes in the program, including the adoption of an emergency program item, may be made provided that

(1) members from the jurisdictions involved agree on the need for the program change;

21 (2) the Board of Directors approves consideration of the change:

(3a) information concerning the proposed change has been sent to all members at least two weeks before a general membership meeting at which the change is to be discussed and a vote is to be taken:

(3b) in the absence of such a meeting, the Board may approve dissemination of information by e-mail, mail, fax, or telephone. Members may vote by the same methods.

(4) items affecting only one or two jurisdictions first receive an affirmative vote by members from the jurisdiction involved before items are voted on by all the members present, and

(5) changes affecting all three governmental jurisdictions are adopted by a two-thirds vote of members present. but not fewer than five members.

Sec. 4 Member Action. Members may act in the name of the LWV only when authorized to do so by the Board of Directors. They may act only in conformity with, and not contrary to, a position taken by the LWV WNK, LWV CC, LMLWV, the LWV IL, and the LWV US.

ARTICLE X. Conventions and Councils

Sec. I National Convention. The Board of Directors, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the national office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the LWV WNK under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWV US.

Sec. 2 State Convention. The Board of Directors, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the LWV WNK under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWV IL.

Sec. 3 County Convention. The Board of Directors, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the county office, shall select delegates to that convention in the number allotted the LWV WNK under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWV CC.

Sec. 4 State League Interim Council. The Board of Directors, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to the state office, shall select two delegates, one being the President (Co Presidents) or proxy to attend the State Interim Council under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWV IL.

Sec. 5 Inter-League Organization. The Board of Directors, at a meeting before the date on which the names of delegates must be sent to an ILO. shall appoint delegates to that convention or council in the number allotted the League under the provisions of the Bylaws of the LWV ILO.

ARTICLE XI. Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in Roberts `Rules of Out/c Revised, shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.

ARTICLE XII. Amendments

These Bylaws shall be reviewed annually by a three-member Bylaws Committee including a past president, and subsequently reviewed by the Board of Directors. The Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present and voting at the Annual Meeting, at any regular meeting, adjourned session thereof or special meeting called for that purpose, provided written notice of the proposed changes has been given to all members at least one month prior to consideration.

ARTICLE XIII. Political Activity Policy

The political activity policy shall be reviewed by the Board of Directors and presented to the membership for approval at the Annual Meeting.

UPDATED May 9,2011