Charter township

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A charter township is a form of local government in the U.S. state of Michigan. Townships in Michigan are organized governments. A charter township has been granted a charter, which allows it certain rights and responsibilities of home rule that are generally intermediate between those of a city (a semi-autonomous jurisdiction in Michigan) and a village. Unless it is a home-rule village, the latter is subject to the authority of any township in which it is located.

A local government is a form of public administration which, in a majority of contexts, exists as the lowest tier of administration within a given state. The term is used to contrast with offices at state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government and also to supranational government which deals with governing institutions between states. Local governments generally act within powers delegated to them by legislation or directives of the higher level of government. In federal states, local government generally comprises the third tier of government, whereas in unitary states, local government usually occupies the second or third tier of government, often with greater powers than higher-level administrative divisions.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Contents

History

Seeing the pressure of suburbanization in many post-war communities, in 1947, the state legislature created a special charter township status, which grants additional powers and streamlined administration in order to provide greater protection against annexation of a township's land by cities and villages. As of November 2014, there were 118 charter townships in Michigan (Alpena Township became chartered in February 26, 2018). [1] A township with a population of 2,000 or more may incorporate as a charter township and become a municipal corporation, which possesses all the powers of a non-charter township, in addition to those specified by the Charter Township Act of 1947.

Government

Legislative authority is exercised by an elected township board of seven members, consisting of the supervisor, the township clerk, the township treasurer, and four trustees, who are eligible to vote in elections and are residents of the township. All members of the board serve four-year terms. Unlike the boards for general law townships, which may have either five or seven members, a charter township must have seven members. If a general law township with a five-member board elects to become a charter township, two additional members are to be elected in the next general election. [2]

Charter townships may appoint either a township superintendent or township manager, who can be assigned responsibilities for managing township functions (this is comparable to cities that hire a city manager to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city). Otherwise, executive authority lies with the supervisor, and various committees.

Privileges

A charter township may establish a variety of municipal services, such as a police force, fire department, assessors and also acquire property. It may also borrow money and issue bonds, with the approval of a majority of township voting in an election. Similarly, a charter township cannot levy taxes without the approval of a majority of the township population voting in an election. This is one significant difference from home-rule municipalities, in which the municipal authority can levy taxes without specific approval from voters.

Requirements

A charter township is mostly exempt from annexation from contiguous cities or villages providing that the township meets certain requirements:

Annexation acquisition of a states territory by another state

Annexation is the administrative action and concept in international law relating to the forcible acquisition of one state's territory by another state. It is generally held to be an illegal act. It is distinct from conquest, which refers to the acquisition of control over a territory involving a change of sovereignty, and differs from cession, in which territory is given or sold through treaty, since annexation is a unilateral act where territory is seized and held by one state. It usually follows military occupation of a territory.

Municipalization the transfer of corporations or other assets to municipal ownership

Municipalization is the transfer of corporations or other assets to municipal ownership. The transfer may be from private ownership or from other levels of government. It is the opposite of privatization and is different from nationalization. The term municipalization largely refers to the transfer of ownership of utilities from Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) to public ownership, and operation, by local government whether that be at the city, county or state level. While this is most often applied to electricity it can also refer to solar energy, water, sewer, trash, natural gas or other services.

Annexation and 425 Agreements

A charter township may still be subject to annexation under certain conditions, such as for the purpose of eliminating isolated islands of township or by vote of a majority of the residents of a portion of township. Temporary land transfers, which can involve charter townships, have provision under Public Act 425 of 1984. Under this statute, a charter township, for example, can have land transferred to a city in exchange for revenue sharing of the transferred parcels. These agreements, known as 425 Agreements, can last up to 50 years, and the land can either be completely transferred to the city or returned to the township upon fulfillment of the agreement.

Statute Formal written document that creates law

A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a city, state, or country. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative bodies; they are distinguished from case law or precedent, which is decided by courts, and regulations issued by government agencies.

The legislature of the State of Michigan enacted Public Act 425 of 1984 which is also known by the title Intergovernmental Conditional Transfer Of Property By Contract Act. It became effective March 29, 1985, and was subsequently amended in 1998. It is often simply referred to as “Act 425” and contractual agreements entered into pursuant to this statute are frequently called “425 Agreements.”

See also

Notes

  1. "Townships in Michigan". Michigan Township Association . Retrieved 2014-11-05.
  2. General Law or Charter Township? The Decision is Yours... Prepared by the Michigan Townships Association, February 2005 Archived May 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine .

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