Building on the Past to Make a Better Future

What is Township Government?

Townships were the brainchild of Thomas Jefferson and were created before Michigan became a state. Townships embody the values of “Grassroots Government.” In townships, citizens contribute their talents, skills and ideas to preserve the quality of life and to deliver important programs and services. Townships officials live in the communities they serve and stay in touch with the ever changing needs of their community. Michigan’s township governments embody America’s great democratic principles.

What do Townships do?

Your township government tries to ensure that the community’s health and safety needs are adequately addressed. Either through its own police, fire and emergency services departments or in cooperation with other governmental and private agencies, townships have evolved as the primary provider for essential public safety services. Townships do not have direct responsibility for roads and drains, but do cooperate with county agencies that have direct responsibilities for these services.

How are Townships governed?

The Township Board consists of the Supervisor, Clerk, Treasurer and two Trustees. The elected members of the Township Board adopt an annual budget that determines the scope and character of township services. They also adopt ordinances to protect the communities health, safety and welfare. The Supervisor, besides presiding over township meetings, also ensures that assessments on taxable properties conform to state law. The Clerk has custody of all vital records, accounts for township finances and oversees elections conducted in the township. The Treasurer collects property taxes for the Township, schools, the county and other tax levying entities.

How can you get involved?

Porter Township welcomes all citizen involvement. Many township programs rely on volunteers. Citizens are appointed to serve on township boards to decide important public issues. Democracy is government by the people. While township boards are lawfully responsible for township government, keeping abreast of township issues and providing your viewpoint on the issues is essential to Porter Township’s success.