What is Township Government?
In Ohio, the township form of governing predates our state government. The townships' size and shape were determined by the Congressional Acts, which established the various land grants. As the Ohio territory became populated, it was only natural that the surveyed townships should become the basic unit of local government.
Statehood in Ohio was granted by Congress in 1803. At that time, the elected officials of a township consisted of three trustees, a clerk, two overseers of the poor and a sufficient number of supervisors of highway, in addition to justices of the peace and assessor were later added. In the early years of statehood, Ohio township governments cared for the poor, maintained the roads and preserved the peace.
Today, just as in 1803, the township is a political subdivision of the state. To keep pace with the demands of changing times, the functions, duties and obligations of the township have changed over the years. Demands for increased or different services have prompted the state legislature to grant Ohio's 1308 townships the authority to fulfill these changing needs.
Three trustees and a fiscal officer, each elected for four-year terms, administer townships today. In addition, some townships now appoint a township administrator, whose duties are defined by the individual township in conformity to state law. The township administrator typically helps plan, coordinate and implement township goals. Elected officials fill their roles on a part-time basis; however, their intimate knowledge of their community, its needs and its citizens enables them to offer more personal service than any other unit of government. Townships today are responsible for fire and police protection, parks and recreation, zoning, cemeteries, waste disposal, maintaining roads and more.
We welcome your inquiries and hope you find this site useful. All of the Ross Township employees and elected officials understand their role as public servants and look forward to assisting you in any way possible. Together, we hope to continue to make Ross Township a great place to call home.