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A. Not always. But it is the duty of county boards to so lay out towns that they will coincide with townships, if possible.
Q. What is the chief difference between “towns” and “townships."
A. Towns govern themselves in all local matters. Townships govern themselves in school affairs only. In all other local matters they are governed by the county boards.
Q. What is the origin of “town government” in Illinois ?
A. In 1848 a new State constitution was adopted, which provided that town government might be organized in all counties where a majority of the people voted for it. The constitution adopted in 1870 contains a similar provision
Q. Have all the counties in the State accepted town government, or “ township organization," as it is more commonly called ?
A. No. About twenty counties have not yet done so. These counties are in the southern part of the State.
Q. Has the county in which you live adopted township organization? If yes, when did it do so?
TOWN OFFICERS—THEIR TERMS OF OFFICE. Q. What officers do towns have, and what are their terms of office ?
A. One or more supervisors, a collector, a clerk, an assessor; term, one year.
Treasurer ; term, two years. Three school trustees, three highway commissioners ; term, three years. Two or more justices of the peace, two or more constables; term, four years. One or more poundmasters, and as many overseers of highways as there are road districts in the town, may be elected at town meetings, to serve one year.
A commissioner of Canada thistles may be appointed by the board of town auditors, to serve three years.
Q. In what case has a town more than one supervisor?
A. In towns of 4,000 inhabitants there is one assistant, and for every 2,500 above 4,000 one supervisor is. added.
Q. In what case are there more than two justices and two constables ?
A. One justice and one constable are added for every 1,000 inhabitants above 2,000 till there are five of each.
Q. What do towns have that unorganized townships lack ?
A. Town meetings.
A. It is a meeting of the voters of the town to elect town officers, adopt rules for the government of the town, and to hear the reports of the town officers for the preceding year.
Q. When is the annual town meeting held ?
A. The town clerk must post notices of the time and place of holding the meeting in three of the most public places in the town ten days before the meeting, and insert the notice also in a newspaper, if any is published in the town.
ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN MEETING.
Q. How does a town meeting prepare for business? A. Between 8 and 9 o'clock the town clerk calls the
meeting to order, and calls on the voters present to elect one of their number moderator.
Q. What must the moderator do before assuming his office ?
A. He must take an oath, faithfully to discharge his duties.
Q. What are his duties?
A. To act as a judge of election and preside over the meeting during the transaction of miscellaneous business.
Q. What further duties has the clerk after the election of moderator?
A. He must write all the proceedings of the meeting in a book known as the “town records,” and must sign his name to the record of each meeting. The moderator must also sign his name to the same.
Q. After the moderator is chosen and has taken his oath of office, what is next done?
A. The ballot box is produced and voting for town officers begins.
Q. How are town officers voted for ?
A. By ballot. That is, each voter hands a ticket containing the names of the candidates for whom he wishes to vote to a judge of election, who puts it in the ballot box.
Q. Who besides the moderator are judges of election?
A. The supervisor, collector and assessor.
A. To receive the ballots (or tickets), not permit any unqualified person to vote, and to count the votes after the polls are closed.
Q. What persons have a right to vote?
the United States, and have lived in the State one year, in the county ninety days, and in the voting precinct thirty days next preceding the election.
POWERS AND DUTIES OF TOWN MEETINGS. Q. What besides electing officers is done at town meeting ?
A. Miscellaneous business is attended to.
A. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon the ballot box is closed, and the moderator calls the meeting to order for miscellaneous business.
Q. What are some of the things that may be done under the name of miscellaneous business?
A. Under the name of miscellaneous business the voters may hear and act upon the reports of officers for the preceding year.
May order the raising of money by taxation for roads, bridges, and some other objects.
May direct the proper officers to commence and de fend lawsuits for the town.
May offer rewards for the destruction of Canada thistles.
May offer rewards for planting trees by public roads.
May forbid the doing of anything that will lessen the healthfulness of the town.
May decide whether the road tax shall be paid in money or in work.
May provide for fining any one who shall break any of the rules adopted at town meeting. No fine can be more than $50.00.
Q. How may votes be taken on questions of miscellaneous business?
A. In three ways. Viva voce, that is, by answering “Aye" or * “No” to the questions put to the meeting by the moderator ; by division of the house, that is, by those favoring a motion, moving to one side of the house, those opposing, to the other; and by standing to be counted.
Q. What follows miscellaneous business?
A. After the moderator announces that it is closed, the ballot box is again produced, and voting for town officers begins again and continues until the closing of the polls. As soon as the polls are closed, the judges of election count the votes, and the clerk makes a record of the result and reads this publicly to the meeting.
Q. If a town office becomes vacant by death, resignation or other means, what is done ?
A. The town board of appointment, consisting of the supervisor, clerk and justices of the peace, choose some person to fill the vacancy during the remainder of the term.
OATH AND BONDS OF TOWN OFFICERS.
Q. What must all town officers do before taking possession of their offices?
A. They must take an oath in which they promise to support the constitution of the United States and of Illinois, and to faithfully perform the duties of their offices.
Every officer that has public money to handle must give an official bond for double the sum of money that he will receive, to secure the public against loss.
Q. What is an official bond ?