Annual Town Meetings scheduled for April 12
F0r about 170 years, residents of Roscoe and Rockton have met each April for annual town meetings. This is direct government - everybody has an equal vote. There is a long list of items that could theoretically be decided at a town meeting, including inducing the planting of trees and regulating peddlers, if the item is submitted to the township clerk and added to the agenda by March 1.
The Rockton Township Annual Town Meeting [PDF] will take place on Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at Rockton Town Hall, 1315 N. Blackhawk Blvd. Rockton, IL. All registered voters in Rockton Township may participate. Residents will discuss and make decision about Greater Rockton Centre improvements and vote whether to declare the township car as surplus because of its low usage.
The Roscoe Township Annual Town Meeting [DOC] takes place at the same time, Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at the Township offices, 5792 Elevator Road, Roscoe, IL. All registered voters in Roscoe Township may participate. Residents will hear reports from each township department. Past agendas and minutes are available for download.
Both townships will first elect a moderator for the meeting. Then they will vote to approve the minutes of the previous Annual Town meeting. Finally, they will officially set the date for the 2023 annual town meeting, though it is always the second Tuesday in April.
Township government is the oldest continuing unit of government on the North American continent, established in Providence, Rhode Island in 1636 by renegade preacher Roger Williams. So township government was in existence for 140 years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Since the Illinois Constitution was ratified in 1848, about 85 of Illinois's 102 counties have chosen to operate under the township form of government, resulting in 1,428 townships in the state and more than 7,000 throughout the country.
In Illinois, townships have at least three jobs: assessing property for taxation, maintaining roads and bridges, and providing financial assistance to needy residents.
Townships have their critics. Voters in Evanston decided to dissolve Evanston Township in 2014 because they said it was doing almost the same things as the City of Evanston. They supposedly saved almost $800,000 the first year.
Chicago also has no townships. On the other hand, the town of Cicero is nothing but a township - it never incorporated as a municipality as Rockton and Roscoe did.