TOWNSHIP TERMINOLOGY

     Agendas - regularly scheduled meetings have agendas that are normally available one week prior to the scheduled meeting. Agendas should always be available 2 days prior to a meeting unless it is a special meeting which requires only 18 hours notice. Agendas are posted on the website as soon as they are available.

    Letters/email - can be submitted at any time, for any reason or topic and they are included in the board's next meeting packet. At regular meetings, letters and emails are not required to be read out-loud or specifically mentioned during the meeting process, similar to other informational reports reviewed by members. Letters or emails at public hearings are usually referred to (either generally or summarized) as they are part of the purpose of the public hearing.

 

    Minutes - are a record of actions take by a public body. They are not meant to be a word-for-word recital of the meeting or as a platform for expressing individual positions. Minutes should contain a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by members. (Authorities & Responsibilities of Michigan Township Officials, Boards and Commissions, by John H. Bauckham, Michigan Townships Association, 2012, p. 163.) The minutes are posted on the website after their approval and are a great way to stay informed!

 

    Questions? - The best way to get an answer to your question is to contact us! You can reach us 4 different ways - by phone, letter, email or in person! Don't wait for a meeting - contact us and the appropriate board member or employee work work on providing an answer!

 

    Public comment - this is an opportunity for the public to make a comment or statement to the board or commission members. Comments can be made on any subject, but it is not designed to be a question/answer format. Please raise your hand to be recognized by chairperson so that everyone gets a chance to be heard in an orderly manner. You may be asked to speak at the podium and you may be asked to condense your comments to comply with time restraints. Each person should speak only once and only during the public comment portion of the meeting. Good examples are: I wanted to let you know there is a large pothole or standing water (at a specific location) or We are having a community or charity event (date/time/location). Public comments are not suppose to be in the minutes as they are not an action of the board.

 

     Public hearing - this is a scheduled meeting to gather information/comments from the public on a specific topic. Speakers need to raise their hand to be recognized by chairperson, so everyone gets a chance to be heard in an orderly manner. You may be asked to speak at the podium and you may be asked to condense your comments to comply with time restraints. In this case, public comments during the public hearing are noted in the minutes. The comments should be summarized rather than a transcript format because this is for the purpose of gathering information. This is not a question/answer format.

 

    Special meeting - a meeting that is not on the schedule of regular meetings. This meeting is usually called for by the supervisor to address specific business which is in need of prompt action by the board. This meeting requires 18 hours prior notice posted at the township hall with the date, time, and purpose of the meeting.

    Town Hall meeting - Town Hall meetings are a way for local politicians to meet with their constituents either to hear from them on topics of interest or to discuss specific upcoming legislation or regulations. They tend to be in a conversational format and not have a formal agenda, but they may address specific topics. These are typically for politicians who have their main office outside local area. Advantage: Your township officials are local and easy to reach.

    Township Board meeting - essentially a staff meeting for the township board members, with a public comment at either the beginning or end of the meeting. During this meeting, routine but important township business is addressed, such as payment of bills and approval of future projects. Board members receive a packet of information prior to the meeting and are responsible for reviewing it prior to the meeting.

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For a list of board/commission members and term expiration dates, click here