Township’s in Ohio are political subdivisions of the state and were the first form of local governments created in Ohio. Today, there are 1,308 Townships in Ohio. Since the adoption of the Ohio Constitution in 1851, the basic form of township government has remained unchanged. Boards of township trustees are composed of three elected trustees and one fiscal officer.The Jackson Township Board of Trustees consists of three elected trustees and one fiscal officer responsible for governing the affairs and functions of the township and a township administrator for day-to-day management. While township trustees fill their offices on a part-time basis, they are always ready to meet their responsibilities face-to-face and are able to deal effectively with modern problems because of their intimate knowledge of the community, its needs and its people. Township government in Ohio generally offers more personal service, more attention to individual needs and a better understanding of local problems than any other unit of government.
The duties of the trustees, fiscal officer and administrator are proscribed in Chapter 5 of the Ohio Revised Code. Trustees have both limited legislative functions as well as executive functions while the fiscal officer has responsibilities for financial functions. Township trustees are elected to four-year terms commencing on January 1st following the November elections.
Township roads: The responsibility to provide and maintain township roads is the largest function of most of Ohio’s townships and includes paving, repairs, snow removal and weed controls. Townships in Ohio receive a small portion of the states motor vehicle license fees as well as gasoline taxes to help fund the maintenance costs of roads. Townships in Ohio maintain more than 39,000 miles of roads and streets.
Police protection: A board of trustees has the authority to employ police constables and to create police districts.
Fire protection: Township fire departments can be staffed with full-time, part-time or volunteer firefighters, or any combination of all three. Ohio law permits townships and municipalities to contract with each other for mutual fire protection and to create fire districts.
Cemeteries: Townships in Ohio manage more than 1,800 cemeteries. Township trustees have authority to sell plots, set fees for services, maintain and expand the cemetery. Private cemeteries owned by religious or cemetery associations may be transferred to the township.
Parks & Recreation: Townships may establish and operate parks on their own or by joint action with another political subdivision. Townships may purchase land and material to improve or acquire park and recreational lands. A township park district may also be established as a separate political subdivision with its own taxing authority.
Zoning: Townships may regulate the use of land and buildings and control the development of their own territory.
Waste disposal: Townships are authorized to provide waste disposal services to their residents.
Personnel: Township trustees can appoint and hire employees as necessary to execute the duties and functions of the township and provide for wages and benefits for such employees.
FISCAL OFFICER DUTIES
Fiscal officer duties include the management of all financial records, accounts and transactions as well as paying all bills, issuing checks and payroll. A fiscal officer is an independently elected public official with separate duties from the trustees and is elected to a four-year term commencing April 1 after the November election.
TOWNSHIP ADMINISTRATOR DUTIES
As described in ORC 505.032, the township administrator shall, under the direction of the board of township trustees: assist in the administration, enforcement and execution of the policies and resolutions of the board.
- Supervise and direct the activities of the affairs of the divisions of township government under the control or jurisdiction of the board.
- Attend all meetings of the board at which the administrator’s attendance is required
- Recommend measures for adoption to the board.
- Prepare and submit to the board such reports as are required by the board, or considered advisable by the administrator.
- Keep the board fully advised on the financial conditions of the township, preparing and submitting a budget for the next fiscal year.
- Perform such additional duties as the board may determine by resolution.