By Jessica Mathews /

Hamburg Township is exploring eligibility for status as a charter township.

The Board of Trustees met Tuesday night and discussed the topic. It was stated that townships with a population of over 2,000 have a statutory requirement after the U.S. Census every ten years to make publications informing citizens of their right to put forth ballot language forcing a vote to become a charter township.

No board action was required at this time, just two publications notifying the public of their rights, and one has already been done.

If a community were to consider going from a general law to a charter township there was said to be three mechanisms to do so: by board action through a resolution, the board could pass a resolution to put it on the ballot, or there could be citizen-driven petition to put it on the ballot.

It was stated that the board has had some discussion on the topic and various opinions have been expressed but so far there’s been very minimal feedback from the public.

Supervisor Pat Hohl stated that it’s an investigative process for the board. He emphasized that he would not be willing to proceed if there’s a window by which taxes could be raised. There are mechanisms to do so by a citizen vote. Hohl said he looks at it as something that might enhance their operational efficiencies and ability to deal with issues – adding there are 22,000 people in the township. He commented that "general law townships are fine as long as everybody plays nice but that doesn’t always happen" - adding he thinks they really need to take a serious look at this, talk with their attorney and get it figured out to make sure they’re giving residents the very best they can.

Board members had some questions related to how many mills could be levied, different processes, and the effect on current operating millages. The board will be consulting with the township attorney and continue to hold more in-depth discussions, including at a future strategic planning session.

A motion was ultimately approved to receive and file documents related to the eligibility for status as a charter township.