Most of us know how our government operates but do we know how it all began? We probably learned a little in our grade school years but how much do we really remember? Well, we thought we would do some research for you, and here is what we found. Here are few facts and some history of township government.
- It is the eldest form of government, which began in North America in 1636.
- Early Americans wanted to have a direct voice in this type of grassroots government.
- They began Annual Town Meetings to discuss important issues and establish laws. Today townships continue to hold Annual Town Meetings on the second Tuesday in April.
- Illinois began township government in 1849, today 85 of 102 counties in Illinois operate under township government.
- In many rural areas, townships are the only form of government available to provide social services and road maintenance.
- In Illinois, townships are required to provide three main functions: General Assistance, Property Assessment and Road & Bridge Maintenance.
- Besides the three mandated services, townships can provide other services and develop programs to meet their residents needs that might include: Senior Citizens services, Disabled citizens services, Youth services, Health services, Relief services, Emergency services, Environmental services, Animal services, and Educational and Recreational services.
In addition to some of the facts, we thought we would give you a brief description of the duties of our elected officials.
Township Supervisor: This person is essentially the Chief Executive Officer of the township, chair of the town board of trustees, supervisor of general assistance and treasurer of all town funds.
Albin Anderson 1929-1939; Sylvester Wierschem 1939-1959; Maurice Adamson 1959-1977; Robert Murphy 1977-1983; Marian Murphy 1983-1989; Patricia Hartley 1989-1996; Judith Batusich 1996-2011; Ronald Alberico 2011-Present.
Township Trustees: Each township elects four trustees which make up the board of trustees along with the township supervisor. The board of trustees each have one vote and are responsible for establishing policies for the township except for the township assessor and the highway commissioner.
John Bizzotti 1961-1976; Charles Murray 1961-1965; Leroy Adelmann 1957-1965; Frank Badorski1965-1980; Robert Kucera 1965-1973; Robert Murphy 1973-1977; Ted Mackey 1973-1980; Barbara Bizzotti 1976-1979; Bernard Havidich 1977-1990; John Sluski 1979-1985; George Mushro 1980-1993; Judith Batusich 1980-1989; Larry Randich 1985-1989; Herman Alberico 1989-2000; Mary McReynolds 1989-1993; Percy Conway 1990-2013; William Doyle 1993-2009; Norbert Likar 1993-2012; Michael Greenan 2000-2009; Ronald Alberico 2009-2011; Candi Thuringer 2009-2013; Michael Kelley 2012-2015; John Batusich 2013-2017; Barbara Boyce 2013-2020; Michael Lewandowski 2013-2017; Dean Morelli 2015-Present; Barb Delaney 2017-2021; Greg Bickus 2017-Present; Karen Johnson 2020-Present ; Denise Salvino 2021-Present .
Township Clerk: The clerk is the keeper of all town records, as well as the clerk of the board of trustees, road district and the local election authority. The only exception is the clerk is not the keeper of general assistance case records. The clerk's records are the official records of the township.
Maurice Anderson 1957-1959; Edward Rosetto 1959-1961; Chris Rodeghero 1961-1967; Agnes Rodeghero1967-1990; Bernard Havidich 1990-1993; George Mushro 1993-2014; Denise Rumchak 2014-2021; Erin Haas Gotts 2021 -Present.
Highway Commissioner: With the exception of a township that has less than four miles of road, the highway commissioner is responsible for maintaining all of the roads and bridges within the road district that are not part of any federal, state, county or municipal road system.
Leo Mostyn 1931-1943; Andrew Halden 1943-1951; Frank Ludwig 1951-1955; William Confer 1955-1963; Donald Randich 1963-1971; James Murphy 1971-1980; Ted Mackey 1980-1985; Peter Piazza1985-1993; Bernard Havidich 1993-1997; John “Jack” Waxweiler 1998-2012; Norbert Likar 2012-2013; John Cielinski 2013- 2019; Jim Louch 2019 - Present.
Township Assessor: The township assessor establishes property values on parcels of township property. However, the assessor does not levy taxes. The other government units such as the cities, townships and school districts levy their taxes against the values determined by the assessor. To hold office as the assessor, this person is required by law to have formal training before taking office.
Frank Sloan 1907-1944; John Sloan 1944-1955; Art Anderson 1955-1961; Jim Murphy 1961-1971; Patricia Hartley 1971-1989; Judith Batusich 1989-1996; Sharon Morelli 1996-2006; Debbi Mason 2006- 2020; Mary Ann Williamson 2020 - Present.
Township Tax Collector: In Illinois, only five counties elect a tax collector. These counties include Cook, Madison, Peoria, Sangamon and Will.
Art Cunico 1961-1969; Bernard Havidich 1969-1973; Howard Adelman 1973-1977; Vernon Voss1977-1981; Joseph Ballard 1981-1985; Robert Vela 1985-1989; William Doyle 1989-1993; John “Jack” Waxweiler 1993-1998; Michael Greenan 1998-2000; Raymond Semplinski 2000-2006; Ronald Alberico 2006-2009; Michael Kelley 2009-2012; John Batusich 2012-2013; Dean Morelli 2013-2015; Lance McCalla 2015-2017; Karen Johnson 2017-2020; Sherry Williams 2020-2021; Jessica Cannaday 2022- Present.
So there you go...a little history on townships. Hopefully, you found this interesting and maybe learned a few things as well.