Monticello's Council-Manager Government

by THOMAS S. BELMONT
Monticello's first Village Manager

What it is. How it works.

The author of this introduction, Thomas S. Belmont, was Monticello's first Village Manager. He included this, and the accompanying organizational chart, in his first annual report to the Village Board to make clear the legislative intent of the framer's of Monticello's "council-manager" form of government, and explain how the Manager is intended to function subordinate to the Board of Trustees. The above, including the diagram, is excerpted from the first "Annual Report of the Manager" of the Village of Monticello, dated December 1955. The following introductory paragraph appeared at the outset: "Since this is the first annual report of the Village Manager, it is perhaps fitting that a brief explanation of the mechanics of the Council-Manager form of government, as well as some of the thinking behind it, be included as an introduction. The term "Council" means Board of Trustees as it exists in Monticello. A few of the positions (such as Village Assessor) in the above chart have since been abolished. However, the general principles underlying the original legislative intent of our present form of government is well explained in the text and diagram. DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT (51MB Acrobat file)

"Briefly, the main features of Council-Manager government are: a small council elected at large on a non-partisan ballot determines all municipal policies which are not set forth in a charter itself, adopts ordinances, votes appropriations and is required to appoint a chief executive officer called a Village Manager. The council is the governing body of the Village and the Village Manager is its agent in carrying out the policy which it determines. It is definitely understood that the Council deals with administration only in a formal manner through the Village Manager, and that administrative functions are at no time delegated to committees or individual members of the Council.


"The Village Manager, the head of the administrative branch, is appointed by the Council as a whole. The exercise of administrative authority is concentrated in this appointed executive who is accountable to the Council. The Manager provides the Council with information which enables it to determine municipal policies, advises the Council in matters of policy if the Council so desires, and executes the policy determined by the Council. He introduces the best principles of advanced administrative organization in practice and is held responsible for the proper coordination of all administrative activities under his direction.

"Principle Duties of the Village Manager

"Generally the duties of the Village Manager are:

  • "To see that all laws and ordinances are enforced.
  • "To exercise control over all departments and in accordance with Civil Service regulations appoint, supervise, and remove department heads and subordinate employees of the Village.
  • "To make such recommendations to the Trustees concerning the affairs of the Village as may seem to him desirable.
  • "To keep the Board of Trustees advised of the financial condition and future needs of the Village.
  • "To prepare and submit to the Board such reports as may be required by that body.
  • "To prepare and submit to the Board such reports as may be required by that body.
  • "To keep the public informed through reports to the Village Board regarding the operations of the Village Government.
  • "To perform such other duties as may be prescribed by charter or required of him by ordinances or by resolutions of the Board of Trustees."

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