Township special meeting

Asked August 28, 2018, 11:01 PM EDT

Hello. I'm having difficulty finding the correct answer. My question being if Township residents call a special meeting by means of the Township Clerk, at that meeting can the township residents make a motion, vote ? And the Township Board have to follow the outcome of the vote? Thank you, Grace Beland 231 676 2815

Kalkaska County Michigan

1 Response

In Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL) 41.25 of the Revised Statutes of 1846 concerning township meetings, the law reads:

“A special township meeting of the electors shall also be held for the purpose of transacting any other lawful business, if ordered by the township board. The township board may order such a meeting on its own initiative and shall order a meeting if they receive a request in writing, signed by any 12 electors of the township or 1% of the registered electors in the township, whichever is greater, specifying the purposes for which the meeting is to be held. The manner of proceeding at a special meeting of the electors shall be the same as at the annual meeting of the electors.”

Concerning township residents’ authority to take action on township business, I believe the answer is no, they are not empowered to do so. There are but just two decision-making authorities of township residents and those are only authorized at the township annual meeting. The township annual meeting is authorized in MCL 41.8 – “…an annual meeting of the electors of each township shall be held on the last Saturday in the last month of each fiscal year, at the time and place selected by the township board.” A township is not required to hold an annual meeting of the electors of the township unless the township board, by resolution, elects to hold an annual meeting, or a petition is signed by at least 5% of the electors who voted for township supervisor at the immediately preceding election. At the annual meeting, residents may 1) approve or disapprove a recommendation on salaries for township officers, and 2) decide whether the township should have two or four trustees if the township is eligible.

To my knowledge, those are the only two decision-making authorities of township residents and they can only be exercised at the annual meeting.

For further detail, you are advised to consult an attorney who is well-versed in municipal (township) law.