Functions of Illinois Townships
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; and
3) maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state, and other local jurisdiction.
Road and Bridge Maintenance
Township Government maintains over 71,000 miles of roads in Illinois - a full 53 percent of all thoroughfares in the state.
Townships establish the value of all real property in the township. The township assessor, in fact, is the only elected governmental official who must pass approved courses of instruction before standing for election to office.
Townships provide food, shelter and emergency relief for needy people until they are able to support themselves. Many townships in Illinois operate food banks that guarantee the necessities of life for children.
Think about all those displaced in the winter flood of December 2015. How many were helped with hotel rooms? How many were helped with food? From the General Assistance Fund?
Thankfully a church in Granite City offered assistance, food, shelter.
No where in these descriptions of the three functions does it say anything about "drainage". Trouble makers working on behalf of the candidate running against our current Highway Commissioner keep asking why his department did not contribute tens of thousands of dollars towards a drainage solution. Re-read the description of the THREE functions of an Illinois Township at the top of this message.
Here is an example:
"Jason M. LEONARD - Mike so one more time nameoki Township did not give no money to the water project that pontoon is doing this Spring?
February 20 at 4:12pm
Michael Mayor - No sir. Not at this time. The Village is borrowing $400,000.00 + $150,000 from the county for the Long Lake Outfall Project. Should start in the spring and hopefully will allow the lake to flow faster and dump into Elm Slough and out to Horseshoe Lake during the rainy season.
Jason M. LEONARD - Well to all the people of pontoon beach and nameoki Township here you go if you like the same old thing then vote them all back in I have not seen any of them doing anything for the people the last four years I thank they had there chance to do something about the water issues and you see how they help out.
February 20, 2017"
Doesn't this name sound familiar? I wonder who he is backing?
Interesting minutes from last year's budget meeting, June 2016:
"Clerk Hawkins informed those present that both Town and Road District Budgets have been posted for 30 days and that the necessary legal notice was sent to the local newspaper. This allows anyone the proper time needed to question the Budget."
Not according to Trustee Edwards, see his comments below. He says, per the minutes, that this is NOT the time to ask these question, but at the yearly Town Meeting.
"Supervisor Viessman also stated that he was going to help with the mosquito spraying with no extra charge to the township.
Linda (Knogl) also asked about General Assistance, how many people do we have on it that we would need so much money?
No one was sure how many people were on it, but Randy explained that we need that money in the account at all times because we never know what might come up.
Like the December flooding?
When these people canít get help anywhere else they come to us. We have to have money available for any emergencies that may arise. It is only for the people who live within the township. It is hard to qualify for general assistant(assistance).
The Attorney explained it is a state statute.
It was asked how many people administer the General Assistant Program. Supervisor Viessman answered one person. Salaries listed on the budget show $52,500 under General Assistance.
$52,000 a year to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars, but it's not easy to qualify? And we are looking at checks made out for medical insurance coverage for township employees coming out of this fund? Since the annual township budget is no where to be found on their website, the actual dollar amount budget to the General Assistance Fund cannot be quoted.
Trustee Edwards (Curt) said this is a Budget Meeting and we should not be discussing this now. It was told they should discuss this in the regular town meeting. Trustee Edwards summarized the both Budgets."
Why? Uncomfortable? Yes, Edwards is up for re-election.
If Township Clerk Hawkins is replaced by the candidate running with Viessman, Hanfelder and Luehmann, what will or could become of all archived public records, which could potentially prove the potential misdeeds of this current administration, through the Freedom Of Information Act? Will they conveniently become unavailable because they no longer exist once those requests are reviewed on a request by request basis?
Beyond the three mandated services, Township Government provides other vital services to the people next door.
This may include senior citizens programs,
(none that I know of)
youth programs, (none that I know of)
assistance to the disabled,(not that I know of)
parks and recreational facilities,(one park in Madison, Illinois with grant money from the county)
health services (their boasted "health fair" includes free flu shots for one hundred residents, nothing else)
and cemetery maintenance. (none that I know of)
Residents, voters, this election is an ALL OUT WAR! I have never witnessed anything like it, and I ask myself why. Then I answer, why not? Uncontrolled, unaudited funds of hundreds of thousands of dollars, all at the disposal of TWO people, the supervisor and his General Assistance Fund employee. They are NOT required to get approval prior to any expenditure of this account, but it is the DUTY of the BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO AUDIT THIS ACCOUNT. That apparently has not been happening. But it looks like a lot of questionable things have been happening.
One of these trustees is running for Highway Commissioner. Is he trustworthy? I will let you decide that for yourself.
Are these the type of people we want making decisions and spending our tax monies? We have to decide that for all of us.