Message from Danny Hanning, TOI President
I was first elected Highway Commissioner in 1989, and have held the position since. When I first ran, many people were not happy with our current Highway Commissioner, and I needed a job. I knew nothing about Township Government. Upon hearing I was running, a neighboring commissioner gave me his copy of Laws and Duties, and told me if I wanted to be a Highway Commissioner, I need to read it all the way through. By the time I took office, I had read it all and knew enough to be confused. That began my thirst for knowledge about doing things right.
The single most important issue we must focus on today is educating the public and our state officials on what we do. We must show them that, in most cases, no one could do what we do for less money. The further government gets away from the people, the less responsive it becomes. I feel this has been proven time and time again. The best advice I could give to all officials, new and old, is that townships run best when each official knows his or her job and does it, and does not try to do someone else's job, as well.
My main focus as president of TOI will be education, not just for our members, but for the public and legislators, as well. If we as township officials do our jobs as we should, and can educate others about how, what, and why we do what we do, I think we can better fend off some of the anti-township ideas that have arisen.
TOI must continue to defend township government, while at the same time recognizing that some changes may be necessary and helpful in today's society. We must continue to point out that change is not and cannot be a one-size-fits-all move. Different areas of the state must be looked at differently, with population, finances, needs, and the desires of the people taken into account.
As president, I am looking forward to meeting people from across the state, listening to their thoughts, and trying to find a way to make things work for everyone. I will not hesitate to go to Springfield and state our case in the Capitol.
In closing, I would like to share this quote from the US Supreme Court. I hope everyone will read it, remember it, and refer to it often. Please share it with every elected official you know, whether it be a dog-catcher, school board member, mayor, senator, or representative.
“...a democracy is effective only if the people have faith in those who govern, and that faith is bound to be shattered when high officials and their appointees engage in activities which arouse suspicions of malfeasance and corruption.” (United States v. Miss. Valley Generating Co., 364 U.S. 520, 562, 1961)
Message from Jerry B. Crabtree, TOI Executive Director/CEO
Welcome to the website for Townships across Illinois. This site will assist you in understanding township government as well as the many services provided by the TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS OF ILLINOS. This site provides access to downloadable documents, reference materials, program information and publications. The intent is to be a on stop resource for all of your township management needs. I appreciate all of your members and look forward to improving these and future resources provided on this website.
Our staff is committed to providing you the information and services you and your staff needs to perform your responsibilities as an elected township official to the best of your ability. After a 14 year careen in state government, I started working for the Township Officials of Illinois in 2006. I served as Associated Director / Education Coordinator for 16 years assuming the role of Executive Director in 2021. I have been involved in every aspect of the administrative and management of the Township Officials of Illinois and I am confident in the programs and services that we provide for our members. We are here for you!
As Executive Director, additionally, I serve as the Edition of the Township Perspective Magazine. This publication serves as a guide to the roles and responsibilities of township officials as the serve their communities. I encourage you all to read this magazine and utilize it as your reference guide for obtaining information guiding you through the year as you perform your statutory responsibilities as an elected township official.
On behalf of the Township Officials of Illinois Board of Directors, thank you for your interest in the Association. I am available to answer any questions you may have. Please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make it a great day!
Jerry B. Crabtree