Lakes area townships hold annual meetings, elections March 14
Area News | Published on March 2, 2023 at 6:43pm CST | Author: Pelican Rapids Press0
Democracy on display—at grassroots
Minnesota’s 1,777 townships will hold their annual meeting on Tuesday, March 14.
Known as Township Day, these annual meetings are held every year on the second Tuesday in March and set townships apart from other forms of local government. At this meeting, residents of the townships will meet to voice their opinions about local issues with other township residents and also vote directly on their annual tax levy — direct democracy in action. Citizens attending annual meetings also often discuss and vote on other local issues.
In addition, many of the state’s townships will hold their township officer elections on Tuesday’s Township Day.
“If you live in a township, please participate in your township’s annual meeting on Tuesday, March 14. You can find the location and time by checking the published notice in the local newspaper, township website, or by contacting the township clerk,” continued Krueger.
“Townships today include over 900,000 Minnesota residents, and we represent an extraordinary form of local government. Township Day annual meetings are your chance to participate in grassroots government,” concluded Krueger.
Information on Minnesota’s townships: There are approximately 918,256 township residents in 1,777 townships in Minnesota. Townships exist in every area of the state, including the metropolitan area. Some, with populations of more than 1,000, function in much the same way as a small city. While many townships remain rural agricultural centers, other host a variety of residential, light commercial, and industrial development.
The tradition of Township Day: The tradition of a town meeting has roots in colonial America. New England town meetings gave citizens a way to exercise local authority. Those meetings were especially important in the development of democracy because they emphasized problem-solving through group efforts.
Background on townships: Townships were the original form of local government in Minnesota, established in the 1800s when Congress ordered a survey that divided the Minnesota territory into 36 square mile tracts of land. Today, the term “township” generally refers to public corporations governed by a local board of supervisors and created to provide services to residents.
The mission of the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) is to support and promote the township form of local government in Minnesota through educational programs, structured advocacy, vital collaboration, and procurement of critical resources fundamental to local governments.