Rodney L. Feece
OF TOWNSHIP GOVERNMENT
government established in Providence, Rhode Island in 1636, is
the oldest existing unit of government continuing to serve on
the North American continent. Township government was in existence
for 140 years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence
in 1776. The wording of the Declaration of Independence reflects
the fact that 38 of its 56 signers had experienced the benefits
of township government.
Declaration's statement that "government should derive its
just powers form the consent of the governed" is demonstrated
at the Annual Town Meeting held on the second Tuesday of each
April. The Annual Town Meeting is still an important function
of our nation's 17,000 townships after more than 360 years.
government began in Illinois in 1849. The Illinois constitution
of 1848 allowed voters in each county the opportunity to adopt
township government. Today, 85 of the 102 counties in Illinois
operate under the township form of government. There are currently
1,433 townships in the state serving more than 8 million people.
townships are required by law to perform three functions: General
Assistance, Property Assessment, and Road and Bridge Maintenance.
Blackberry Township provides a variety of services beyond the three mandated functions such as the Ride-in-Kane program, cemetery maintenance, mental health resources, notary services and others. Blackberry Township truly serves all of its people.