HISTORY of TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT
Township government, the oldest existing form of government on the North American continent, was established in 1636 by early American settlers, who wanted to escape from the autocratic governments of Europe. Established as a pure democratic process, the people have a direct voice in this grassroots government.
Townships in Illinois currently serve more than 8 million people. Many people are confused about where Townships fall into the big picture in relation to City, County and State governments. Townships are NOT subsets of Cities or Counties.
HISTORY of the TOWN OF THE CITY OF PEORIA TOWNSHIP
The Town of the City of Peoria Township is governed by 60 ILC (Illinois Compiled Statutes). Peoria Township was brought into a Co-Terminus Township by vote of the County Board on July 1, 1903. The County Board adopted a Resolution creating the Town on December 15, 1907.
Prior to 1990, the boundaries of the City of Peoria and the Town of the City of Peoria were the same, but after 1990, a court order decreed that the Town could not grow or expand when the City of Peoria annexed property. The Attorney General offered an opinion that, even though the boundaries of the City and the Town were no longer the same, the Town of the City of Peoria should continue to act as a co-terminus Township.
Council Members / Aldermen serve as Town Trustees. Compared to other governments such as City government, different rules apply and the Town has a separate budget, different fiscal year and different Notice and filing deadlines. The Town has separate powers …… Officials are the Trustees (sitting City Council Members), and other Town Officials are the Supervisor of General Assistance, the Town Assessor, the Town Clerk, and the Town Collector.
TOWNSHIP MANDATED FUNCTIONS:
Illinois Townships have certain mandated functions:
1) Road and Bridge Maintenance;
2) Property Assessment;
3) To provide General Assistance (temporary relief) to those in need.
However, Townships often do a lot more. Township government is the closest government to the people and most Townships have taken steps to provide specific needs within their communities and to design creative programs to help fill those needs.
Note: The Town of the City of Peoria has no road or maintenance function.