Townships are once again being criticized for apparently failing to file state-mandated reports on a timely basis. Though undoubtedly there are some trustees (along with other local elected officials) that have indeed failed to file these reports, we have found numerous occasions where these accusations have proven to be false.
Two township trustees were heavily criticized in local newspapers for filing their forms late, yet both could produce state-provided documentation showing that they had filed on time. The “late filing” resulted from technical problems with the state agency in question. This explanation, of course, never made it into the local newspaper.
The experience of Perry Township, Monroe County calls into question the accuracy of the claims made by newspapers and others. The Bloomington Herald-Times cited three separate errors with Perry Township filings, yet all claims were erroneous. The newspaper claimed that Perry Township had not filed a conflict of interest statement, was tardy in filing their personnel report (Form 100-R), and had filed a noncompliant township assistance report (Form TA-7). All three claims were disproved, yet no retraction was printed by the Bloomington Herald-Times!
How many other claims made by opponents of township government can also just as easily be explained?
It was reported in a committee hearing that 40% of townships failed to file at least one state-mandated report in a timely manner. Even taking this as true (which is difficult to accept, given the previous examples), the same presentation listed cities and towns with a 34% rate of noncompliance. If that’s the case, why aren’t we discussing the elimination of cities and towns?
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