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updated: 4/10/2011 11:26 PM

Township meetings coming Tuesday

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Officials from local townships are gearing up for their annual town hall meetings on Tuesday night.

The meetings normally draw crowds when townships have plans to buy property or face service cuts. But those type of plans aren't on the agendas Tuesday for the Barrington, Elk Grove, Leyden, Hanover Park, Palatine, Maine and Schaumburg township meetings.

Instead, township officials will deliver financial summaries for the past year and detail new services planned for the future.

While many township programs are aimed at senior citizens, Wheeling Township Supervisor Michael Schroeder said anyone with an interest in their community should attend.

"Anytime that anyone is interested in their community and what's happening, that's a good thing," he said. "Participation is always encouraged."

The township level of government has come under attack in recent years over its relevancy. But Hanover Township Supervisor Brian McGuire said the township is close to the model government of America's Founding Fathers.

"This is what the colonists did when they came over; this is how they governed every issue," he said.

Townships can only purchase property through the consent of voters, McGuire noted. That makes meetings over property purchases and sales lively.

In Hanover Township, the audience selects its own moderator. However, it's a thin agenda Tuesday, and McGuire said reports will go by quickly, taking about 25 minutes.

The audience for town hall meetings typically is larger than regular monthly gatherings, officials said. McGuire said he's seen between 50 to 90 in the audience at the annual meeting, while Schroeder said he could see 50 to 60 in the crowd.

Many times, residents attending learn of township services they didn't know existed, officials said. Schroeder mentioned transportation programs in particular.

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