Board of Trustees

Key points:

  • Highest power in the Township – makes all the big decisions (one minor exception – ZBA)
  • Part-time elected officials – annual pay – Supervisor – $13,226, Treasurer – $8,988, Clerk – $8998, Trustee – $1200 per year plus $100 per meeting.
  • The Board sets and controls policy for the Township – does not run day-to-day
  • Approves budget submitted by Township Manager
  • See Township Manager for day-to-day operations
  • Seven members – Supervisor, Treasurer, Clerk, 4 Trustees
  • Directly elected every four years. No staggered terms. Must be age 18, Twp. resident for 30 days
  • In reality Republican Primary election 20-25% voter turnout) selects the Board, not the November election. Candidates of other parties or independents have  never elected.
  • Voters, not the Board, directly choose the Supervisor,  Treasurer and Clerk,
  • 4/3 Board vote is enough for almost all decisions. Therefore four people can “rule” the township
  • Must make decisions in public by formal vote, not in private (Open Meetings Act)
  • Legal advice comes from Township Attorney (contract with private law firm)
  • State laws, Township Ordinances and By-laws govern them
  • Meets twice a month on first and third Tuesday, 7 PM
  • Minutes and videotaped meetings are on the Township website

For more information:

The small “Red Book” titled “Responsibilities and Authorities of Michgan Township Boards and Commissions” is  the best source for a deeper understanding. Order for $71.50  at this link:

https://www.michigantownships.org/mtabooks.asp

Or borrow via Melcat.

The current Board members and rules for addressing the Board, and their by-laws can be seen on the Township Website here:

http://www.oaklandtownship.org/boards_and_commissions/board_of_trustees/index.php

The “Open Meetings Handbook” authored by the state Attorney General is also very useful in explaining the law and gives some court decisions about specific aspects:

useful:https://www.michigan.gov/documents/ag/OMA_handbook_287134_7.pdf

The fundamental principle is that the Board cannot make any decisions in secret. All decisions must be made by vote in a public meeting that the public has been made aware of with sufficient advance notice.  Imagine what a “rogue Board” could do in secret, before you were aware of it!

Past Board decisions can be researched by searching minutes on the Township website. Draft meeting minutes are by law to be made available within 8 days of a meeting.