The Carmi Township will serve the people of the township by providing services to our residents and businesses, with an emphasis on integrity, efficiency and fiscal responsibility, which will position the township for future growth and continued success.
HISTORY OF TOWNSHIPS
The first North American townships were established in Rhode Island in 1636. Township Government survives and thrives today as the oldest existing form of government on the continent. In fact, 38 of the 56 signatories to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 had experienced the benefits of Township Government.
In declaring that government should derive its just powers from the consent of the governed, the nation’s founding fathers reflected their faith in the model of Township Government that still exists today. Every year, Townships hold their Annual Town Meeting to give each and every citizen direct say in the operation of the township. In Illinois, the Annual Town Meeting is held on the second Tuesday of each April.
The Illinois constitution of 1848 gave voters in each county the opportunity to adopt Township Government. By 1850, the first Township Governments began operation. Today 85 of Illinois’ 102 counties operate under the township form of government and the 1,433 townships serve more than 8 million citizens.
A VITAL COMMUNITY LINK
By law, Illinois townships are charged with three basic functions: 1) general assistance for the indigent; 2) the assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation; 3) maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state and other local jurisdiction.
Other Services- Beyond those services established by state law, Township Government provides vital service to the people next door. This may include senior citizens programs, youth programs, assistance to the disabled, parks and recreational facilities, health services and cemetery maintenance.
TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT MAKEUP
Most Illinois townships elect eight officials: a supervisor, clerk, four trustees, an assessor and a highway commissioner.
The Supervisor is chief executive officer of the township and chairs the board of trustees. The supervisor also administers the general assistance program and is treasurer of all town funds.
The Clerk is responsible for maintaining all township records except for general assistance case files. The clerk's responsibilities also include posting all public notices on behalf of the township.
The Township Board of Trustees collectively act as the legislative body of the township. With the Supervisor, they have voting rights over establishing township policies outside the jurisdiction of the assessor and highway commissioner.
The Highway Commissioner is responsible for maintenance of all roads and bridges in the district that are not part of any other government road system.
The Assessor establishes values on all parcels of property within the township. The assessor does not levy taxes. The values determined by the assessor are used by other government entities to levy their taxes against.
TOWNSHIP OFFICIALS OF ILLINOIS
The Township Officials of Illinois, headquartered in the state capital of Springfield, serves as a clearinghouse of information for Illinois townships. TOI was founded in 1907 as Township Government’s liaison with state government and today represents 99 percent of the state’s townships.