WNK Positions

WNK 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.

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.

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.


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.

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