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  • Writer's pictureLucas Nava

Skokie Village Trustee Johnson: 'I'm really open to really all kinds of suggestions from this board'

Trustee James Johnson brought the above-mentioned concern before the board, having requested that the village board reviews its appointment process in October. Current processes involve the mayor nominating all village commission members, with over 250 seats in 18 boards available. Johnson proposed resurrecting the Citizens Involvement Committee (CIC), which was a group that assisted in appointing commissioners to boards. He said that the suggestion was considered after speaking with multiple residents, some of whom had served on committees, who were concerned about a lack of transparency and consistency in the appointment process. Johnson also discussed the consistent vacancies for board seats, as well as how many board members struggle to get a quorum at their meetings due to a lack of attendees.

"I'm really open to really all kinds of suggestions from this board about ways we can improve this process," Johnson said. "And I really have no doubt that I'm sure other trustees have some great ideas. And so, I'd love for this to be something that we work on in the coming year as a board. The one big-picture recommendation that I made in the memo that I wrote was that I asked the board to consider bringing back something similar to what used to be called the CIC, the Citizens Involvement Committee. I'm not actually sure, Mayor, you might know, I'm not actually sure when we kind of discontinued this body or for what reason. But it was a group designed to support our entire system of boards and commissions. And I think making our appointment process more intentionally inclusive, including more people with more direction, I think would help alleviate some of these small concerns that I've mentioned tonight."

The board and mayor continued to discuss potential changes to the system, with topics including hybrid meeting attendance, issues surrounding partisan and nonpartisan votes and the varying authority levels of all involved parties. They also discussed the potential return of a pre-COVID-19 city-wide Commissioner's Gathering. The trustees agreed to look at the options and the current city code further before presenting a plan at a future meeting.

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