Pictured above, standing: Trustees Larry Stoneburner and Dan Ripley, Highway Commissioner Jeff Winders, and Trustees Larry Lomax and Wayne Wienen. Seated: Francis Wachter, Township Supervisor and Claire Bersbach, Clerk.
All of our township officials are happy to help answer any questions or concerns you may have. If we do not have the information you require, we will try to find it and get back to you promptly.
Supervisor, Francis Wachter, phone: 1-815-777-1638
Operating a third generation family farm, Francis was born and raised in Guilford, graduated from Scales Mound High School and attended college at Western Illinois University. He has previously served Guilford Township both as Road Commissioner (1977 to 1981) and as Township Supervisor (1981 to 2001). Francis is Chair of the Multi-Township Assessing District Board and attends the Elizabeth Community Ambulance Service meetings as well as educational seminars conducted by Township Officials of Illinois.
Highway Commissioner, Jeff Winders, phone:1-815-777-3577
Jeff was born just outside of Dubuque, Iowa, and attended Clark College. He began working for Guilford Township as a member of the road crew in 1982 and was elected Road Commissioner in 1985. He is President of the Jo Daviess County Townships Highway Commissioners' Association, is Secretary of the Northwest Illinois Highway Commissioners' Association and has been a member of that Board since 1985 and is Treasurer of Jo Daviess County Township Officials Association.
A Certified Professional Secretary with a BA Degree from Western Illinois University and an Associate in Applied Arts (Secretarial) Degree, Claire has a combined total of 30+ years of clerical and secretarial experience and has been a Guilford Township citizen since 2001. She was first elected to the Guilford Township Board in 2009.
Trustee, Larry Lomax, phone:1-815-777-1771
Larry holds a BS Degree in agriculture and taught at local schools for 15 years. He and his family raise cattle and crops on their land. Larry has served on the township's Audit Committee and as Moderator at a number of Annual Town Meetings. He was first elected to the Guilford Township Board of Trustees in 1989.
Larry holds a doctorate in education from the University of Illinois. He is a retired school superintendent, EMT, and volunteer firefighter. He has been a citizen of Guilford Township since 1990 and was first elected to the Guilford Township Board of Trustees in 2009.
Trustee, Wayne Wienen, phone: 1-815-777-115
Wayne is a life-long resident of Guilford Township, has lived on and operated the family farm his entire adult life. He has been a volunteer firefighter since 1984 and is the Assistant Chief of the Scales Mound Fire Protection District. Our most senior Trustee, Wayne has served on our township's Board of Trustees since being elected in 1965.
Freedom of Information Act Officers
The Township Clerk is the designated Freedom of Information Act Officer. The Township Supervisor is designated as alternate FOIA Officer. See the Information Center Page for additional details.
Below is a description of the duties and responsibilities of our township officials.
The township supervisor serves as chief executive officer of the township. The Supervisor's duties and responsibilities include serving as Chairman of the Township Board of Trustees, Supervisor of the General Assistance program, and Treasurer of all town funds including General Assistance and Road and Bridge funds.
On taking office, the township Supervisor must post a surety bond equal to the maximum amount of the funds in custody at any given time. A copy of the bond for town funds must be filed with the Town Clerk. A copy of the road funds bond must be filed with the County Clerk.
The Supervisor submits an annual tax levy for the following year to the township Board of Trustees for certification prior to the last Tuesday in December.
Thirty days before adoption of the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance for the township, the Supervisor submits to the township Board of Trustees a tentative budget. The proposed budget is then available for public inspection and review for 30 days before final action.
The Supervisor may make or second motions, participate in all legislative discussion, and should exercise voting power on all issues before the Board.
The Supervisor maintains sole jurisdiction over the General Assistance office.
The township Highway Commissioner is responsible for the construction and maintenance of all roads and bridges in the Road District. The Highway Commissioner submits an annual tax levy for the following year. Levies are submitted to the township Board of Trustees for certification prior to the last Tuesday in December. The Highway Commissioner's levy may be subject to review by the Trustees, but the Board cannot alter the levy.
Thirty days before adoption of the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance for roads and bridges, the Highway Commissioner submits to the Clerk and township Board of Trustees a tentative budget. The proposed budget is then available for public inspection and review for 30 days before final action. Once the Budget and Appropriations Ordinance is adopted, the Highway Commissioner has statutory power to expend the funds according to the line items established in the appropriation ordinance.
In many respects, the township Road Department is a separate government. Neither the township Board of Trustees nor the Supervisor has any jurisdiction over the Highway Commissioner or the Road District's employees.
The township Clerk is the keeper of all township records except for active General Assistance cases. The Clerk is required to keep accurate records of all township Board meetings and maintain records of the Board's executive (closed) sessions.
During town Board meetings the Clerk records roll call votes. (Certain questions require roll call votes, such as appointments to fill vacancies, establishing salaries, etc. Other votes can be taken by voice. Secret ballots are never permitted on any issue facing the township Board.)
The Clerk also serves as the local election authority and is responsible for accepting petitions concerning township elections and/or referendums. In this capacity, the Clerk is responsible for publishing or posting certain specific notices, including notices for the Road Commissioner.
As Ex-officio Clerk of the Road District, the township Clerk must witness bid openings for both the township and the Road District. The Clerk must countersign all Road District orders for payment prior to audit or approval by the township Board. The clerk also delivers all approved claims for payment to the Supervisor.
The position of Clerk is especially important as it pertains to the maintenance of records. The integrity and accuracy of the Clerk is important in any court action involving the township's official records. While the Clerk is not necessarily the township Board's secretary, much as a competent secretary is a vital cog in the machinery of a well-oiled office, the township Clerk is critical to the operation of township government.
The township Board of Trustees is the legislative branch of township government. Each single township has four Trustees and a Supervisor, which comprise the Board. Each Board member, elected at-large within the township, has one vote on all issues before the township Board.
The policies enacted by the township Board are executed by the Supervisor and the Clerk. The Trustees may not establish policy for either the township Assessor or the Road Commissioner.
Trustees do, however, certify tax levies for the township and Road District. For the Road District, the amount of the levy is determined by the Road Commissioner.
In their capacity as legislative officers, Trustees adopt the annual Town Budget and Appropriations Ordinance, the General Assistance budget, and the Road District budget. Trustees are responsible for approving all township expenses and auditing bills submitted for payment by the Road Commissioner.
The Trustees are obligated to approve all legally incurred bills, that is, those appropriated for expenditure. Trustees also must reject for payment all requests that are not debts which have been legally incurred by the township.
With few exceptions, the Supervisor may make no payments without the approval of the Board of Trustees. There are exceptions: payments for General Assistance claims and township and Road Department employees' salaries.