Political capital is defined by Green and Haines as the ability of a group to influence the distribution of resources within a social unit (Green and Haines, 2016). Political capital is all about who has power and influence over the community. Those that have power could be local organizations, influential or rich people, large businesses, government officials, etc. The power that this individual or organization has will empower them to mobilize certain policies or make certain decisions that will affect the community.
Lake Bluff, Illinois operates under the Board Administrator form of government.It involves the combination of leadership and policy-making skills of elected officials with the professional administrative training of the Village Administrator in order to make informed and democratic decisions (Administration, 2016). Elected representatives are the ones that establish policies that aline with the Village’s purpose, values, and goals. Then the Village Administrator, who has the overarching power, is the one who then implements those policies in the most efficient and effect way. The President of the Board of Trustees established policies and procedures that they think the Village should have in order to reach its goals. The Village Administrator is the one who coordinates all activities within all departments in order to organize and develop the proper policies, objectives, and goals.
The Village Administrator has positional power in Lake Bluff. Green and Haines say this method of power assumes that the formal actor with power actually exercises that power completely. This method usually ignores any informal actors of power (Green and Haines, 2016).
One community-based organization that has political capital is the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee. This Committee acts as an advisory body to the Village Board (Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, 2016). The Committee helps with fundraising for the Village, and therefore has influence as to where the fund will be sent and how they will help the Village. They have control over the property and potential sale of both the public library and the Lake Bluff History Museum. They also have influence over the improvements and maintenance of the property (Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, 2016). They have the duty to write a report outlining the activities and recommendations for the Board of Trustees to look over. They have major influence over two very precious places in the town: the public library and the history museum.