Like the supervisor, clerk and treasurer, the trustees are members of the township board with an equal vote in legislative and administrative government decisions within the jurisdiction of the township board. Unlike the supervisor, clerk and treasurer, however, trustees are not delegated specific statutory duties and responsibilities. As previously indicated, trustees serve terms of four years just like the supervisor, clerk and treasurer.
In Townships having a population of 5,000 or more, or having 3,000 or more qualified and registered electors as shown by registration records at the close of registration for the November election, four trustees may be elected (MCL 168.358(3)). The four trustees shall be elected at the first regular township election held after the additional trustees have been authorized.
As the name implies, a trustee is an individual placed in a position of public trust with fiduciary responsibilities to manage the affairs of the township for the best interests of the public. The trustee has the responsibility to attend township board meetings and participate in decisions and deliberations.
Trustees should be given an opportunity to investigate and study important decisions before voting. Trustees are frequently given additional duties and responsibilities by township board action.