Source: Sherman Publications

Supervisor wants to end annual meetings

by Trevor Keiser

December 25, 2013

Annual meetings have long been a thing of the past for many townships, but Addison has continued the tradition.

However, Supervisor Bruce Pearson is proposing this year’s meeting be the last.

“The state law does not require us to hold an annual meeting unless we the board pass (a) resolution to do so and we have always done that in the past,” Pearson said. “I will have it this year, so if there are objections and they want me to keep doing it I will, but the other townships don’t (do it anymore).”

The annual meeting was a way to allow electors to vote on township business, but that power was reduced by the state years ago.

“Powers at annual meetings have been reduced to 1) Altering elected salary by increasing any amount or decreasing to a salary not lower than an elected. 2) Creating a seven member board which we have. 3) Raise money for special highway drain fund which we don’t do. 4) Provide for highway construction tax, which we don’t do. 6) Contract with any supporting township millage supporting maintaining a free library, which we have our own (library). 7) Allow the board to borrow funds not exceeding the assessed evaluation of established library. They (the library) have their own funds.”

“Basically the annual meeting doesn’t do anything any more because none of those (powers that can be voted on by the elector) really apply to us,” Pearson said.

Another reason to cancel the annual meeting is because they have “very few people” attend.

“Most of the trustees don’t even show up and it’s really (become) a State of the Township Address. Really, I can do that at a regular board meeting,” Pearson said. “I truly believe we should not call a meeting without a purpose – to meet, just to meet doesn’t make any sense.”

While electors are no longer allowed to vote on township business at these annual meetings, Pearson said the board has always had an open policy that is very proactive.

“If you look at our agenda, (we have) the board report and the supervisor’s report, (where) everyone is informed of the happenings within the township. We (also) have the public forum and public petition to encourage those who want to speak,” he said.

“No one should have to wait a whole year (to) talk at the annual meeting. This administration has an open door policy where we welcome questions and try and find answers for all (of them.)”

The next annual meeting will be held March 22 at 9 a.m. at Addison Township Hall, located at 1440 Rochester Road.