Commenter “Questioning” asked for background about my pointing out that those attending Annual Town Meetings don’t have the authority they used to have.
You say they took budgeting power away from the citizens.
Prior to that, did the citizens make the budget or approve of it?
Could you elaborate?
Younger viewers are curious; they might not really know about what things were like before 1973.
That was 48 years ago… Time flies!
Here is my reply:
Back when township government was closest to people, citizens who showed up at the Annual Meeting voted on the budget.
Two toownship Aniual Meetings passed budget measures that the elected officials did not like.
In Nunda Township, the residents of a non-dedicated (private) road who paid township taxes, but received no services, packed the meeting. They amended each line of the Road District’s budget to $1.
They undoubtedly want to punish the Road Commissioner (Geske, I think).
But they didn’t know enough about township government to figure out that the Road Commissioner’s salary came from the Town Fund, which they did not amend.
In Algonquin Township, supporters of Assessor Forrest B. Hare put $500 of the budget in a line item mandating the Township Attorney, Bill Frnaz, to sue the County Cupervisor of Assessments for overassessing township property owners (through a higher thanappropriate township multiplier, I believe).
The Township Officials of Illinois “reform” legislation took budgeting authority from the cvoters and gave it to the newly-named Township Trustees (who had been called “Auditors” before).
Remnants of citizen power still exist, as seen in McHenry Township over the last four years, so maybe one could argue that township government is closest to the people,” but it’s now a lot less close than it was prior to the early 1970’s.
And, back in 2011, about 700 people attended a Grafton Township Annual Meeting at the behst of Supervisor Linda Moore.