Fremont Township Decennial Committee on Local Government Efficiency Act Report
Township government, established in Providence, Rhode Island in 1636, is the oldest existing unit of Government continuing to serve on the North American continent. Township government was in existence for 140 years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The wording of the Declaration of Independence reflects the fact that 38 of its 56 signers had experienced the benefits of township government.
The Declaration’s statement that “government should derive it’s just powers from the consent of the governed” is demonstrated at the Annual Town Meeting held on the second Tuesday of each April. The Annual Town Meeting is still an important function of our nation’s 17,000 townships after more than 360 years. The Illinois Constitution of 1848 gave voters in each county the opportunity to adopt Township Government. By 1850, the first township governments began operation. Today, 85 of Illinois 102 counties operate under the township form of government and 1428 townships serve more than 8 million citizens.
Governing Statute and Powers- Dillon’s Rule
Townships are regulated by provisions of Article VII, Sec. 8 of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, which states in part, these governments “shall have only powers granted by law”. In the late 1800s, John F. Dillon, A Supreme Court Justice in Iowa, developed this legal principle, known as Dillon’s Rule. In plain language it means that if no statute permits a township or road district (or official) to perform a function or service, the government or official may not carry out that function regardless of how much it is needed or wanted. If the statutes are silent (do not mention) regarding a particular power or function, it does not exist. If the power doesn’t exist, the government (or official) may not perform the service.
Functions of Illinois Townships
By law Illinois townships are charged with three basic functions:
- General Assistance for the indigent. Townships provide food, shelter, and emergency relief for those in need. Many townships operate food banks that guarantee the necessities of life for their residents.
- The assessment of real property for the basis of local taxation. The township assessor is the only elected governmental official who must pass approved coursed of instruction before standing for election to the office.
- Maintenance of all roads and bridges outside federal, state and other local jurisdiction. Townships in Illinois maintain over 71,000 miles of roads in Illinois- a full 53 percent of all thoroughfares in the state.
Information about our Township
Fremont Township is in central Lake County and is 35.80 square miles and 22,909.92 acres. Our township includes parts of 9 municipalities including Grayslake, Hawthorn Woods, Libertyville, Long Grove, Mundelein, North Barrington, Round Lake, Round Lake Park and Wauconda. The incorporated area is 43.04% of the township. The unincorporated area is 56.96% and the Lake County Forest Preserve owns 17.87% of the property.
Fremont Township and its communities offer cultural and economic diversity, a great mix of housing, quality schools, excellent community facilities and a strong quality of life blending the appeal of suburban living centered in a green belt of high-quality green space. Fremont Township villages are also rich in community spirit with a strong civic consciousness and pride.
The 2020 population census has a total population of 33,422.
Under 5 years - 4.9%
Under 18 years - 18.9%
18 Years and over - 81.1%
65 years and over - 21%
Education – 47.3% of our residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher
Housing Units – 12,764
Families and Living Arrangements- 12,374
Township Supervisor Diana O’Kelly
Township Trustee Keith Voss
Township Trustee Jeri Atleson
Township Trustee Connie Shanahan
Township Trustee. Nicholas Dollenmaier
Township Resident Dan Prezell
Township Resident Chris Seidner
First – May 8, 2023
Second – October 9, 2023
Third – November 6, 2023
Fremont Township has 4 full time employees and 4 part time employees (not including elected officials) 1 Full time employee for town, 1 full time employee for town and parks, one seasonal for town and parks, one shared employee from the highway department for parks, one part time shared with highway for the garden. The Assessor’s office has 2 full time and one seasonal employee.
Our annual levy for 2023 is $1,278,798.56
Our Township’s equalized assessed valuation for 2023 is 3,900,000,000.
Fremont Township helps those in crisis by providing emergency assistance, general assistance, and referrals for critical services. We also provide help with the application for Liheap, Nicor Sharing, Benefit Access, North Shore Gas Sharing, License Place Renewal, Safelink Phone, Snap and Medicaid. Our food pantry operates 5 days a week by appointment, and is stocked by donations from residents, churches, schools, businesses, and neighborhood clubs to ensure our most vulnerable population can access assistance in time of need. During the winter holidays, we provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals through our partnership with Jewel and adopt our families and seniors to assure they are remembered. We are proud of our township garden that provides fresh organic produce during summer months. In addition, we provide diapers to children and adults and school supplies and backpacks to our children in need. We also offer notary services and voter registration.
We offer many programs throughout the year including recycling, shredding, passport, DMV events, AARP classes, and hearing screening. We partner with Catholic Charities to bring many programs for our senior population.
Our access to a Ship Counselor to help residents sign up for Medicare and check their drug plan each year is extremely popular.
The community room is used by homeowner’s associations, scouts, sewing clubs and bridge groups. We also have early and election day voting. It is available to our residents with no fee charged.
Fremont Township Parks
The Fremont Township Parks Department is responsible for maintaining approximately 40 acres of township owned property. This acreage includes two park facilities and a township center. The parks staff includes one full time employee, one seasonal employee and one part-time employee. Seasonal
Built in 2008, Behm is approximately 30 acres in size and is made up of 2 football fields, 2 baseball fields a soccer field and a multi-purpose field for baseball and lacrosse. The park also contains 3 pickleball courts, a multi age playground with an accessible swing, batting cages and a 1.7-mile paved walking path. Behm Park is also the home for the park maintenance department and storage facilities. User groups that currently utilize Behm Park as their home fields are Lake County Lightning, Lake County Stallions Football/Lacrosse and Mundelein Soccer.
Ivanhoe Community Club Park
Donated to Fremont Township in 1996, Ivanhoe is a 5-acre parcel that currently houses one baseball field. The current user group is the Mundelein Baseball and Softball Association.
Fremont Township is comprised of approximately 23,000 acres of land split into approximately 13,500 parcels with an EAV (equalized assessed value) of approximately $1.3 billion which equates to a total market value of $3.9 billion. These numbers are based on sales ratio studies performed at different levels by the County and State with the Assessor’s role breaking down that value in an equitable manner among these parcels.
Primary responsibilities include:
- Maintaining proper individual property records
- Processing property sales
- Processing permit for improvements
- Continual review of sales trends
- Closing books to publish assessments
- Providing evidence in support of the valuation
- Helping residents with qualifying exemptions
The duties within this office are handled by the elected assessor and two full time support staff individuals, along with a part-time seasonal employee for fieldwork reviews. A great deal of our work is confined to the boundaries of our geographic township, but we share our expertise among other townships, as well as utilize the same CAMA software used by the county to have the smoothest possible integration of data sharing & usage.
Review of Laws, Township Policies, Township Rules and Procedures, Township Training Materials, and other Documents
We have reviewed the following, non-exhaustive list of laws, policies, training materials, and other documents applicable to the Township to evaluate our compliance.
- State laws applicable to Townships, including but not limited to the Township Code (60ILCS 1)
- Illinois Open Meetings Act (ILCS 120)
- Policy on public comment
- Designation of OMA officer (5 ILCS 120/1.05a)
- All Elected Officials have completed OMA Training (5 ILCS120/1.05b)
- Schedule of All Township Regular Meetings for Calendar or Fiscal Year (5ILCS 120/2.03)
- Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140)
- Designation of FOIA officer (5 ILCS 140/3.5a)
- FOIA Training (5 ILCS 140/3.5b)
- Computation and Retention of FOIA Requests (5 ILCS 140/3.5a)
- Posting Other Required FOIA Information (5ILCS 140/4a; 5 ILCS 140/4b)
- List of Types or Categories of FOIA Records under Township’s Control (5 ILCS 140/5)
- Periodic Meetings to Review Closed Meeting Minutes (5 ILCS 120/2.06d)
- IMRF Total Compensation Posting (5 ILCS 120/7.3)
- Designation of Whistleblower Auditing Official (50 ILCS 105/4.1)
- All Elected Officials have filed statement of economic interests (5 ILCS 420/4A-101; 5 ILCS 420/420/4A-101.5)
- Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Ordinance (775 ILCS 5/2-109C)
- Intergovernmental Agreements
- Budget and financial documents
- Gift Ban Ordinance
- Ethics Ordinance
- Compensation for Elected Official’s Ordinance
- IMRF Participation Ordinance
- Permit for Public Assembly Ordinance
- Whistleblower Policy
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
- Identity Protection Policy
- Loss Control Policy
- Expense and Reimbursement Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Electronic Participation
- Bill Paying Resolution
- Clerk Attestation
What Have We Done Well?
We communicate with our residents to assure they are aware of programs offered at the township by sending a bimonthly email newsletter that reaches over 4200 residents, posting on our Facebook page with 3,500 followers, posting in local neighborhood Facebook pages, and mail a yearly newsletter. We also attend annual homeowners’ meetings to promote our programs and educate our residents about our services.
We are transparent with our residents by posting our financial reports, board meeting agendas, minutes, budget, audits, and bids proposals and all email newsletters on our website.
We have preserved our history by scanning all old minutes and agendas dating back to the 1850’s and those are also available on our website.
Our clients are looked at holistically to ensure they qualify for General Assistance and /or Emergency Assistance and are also signed up for all services they qualify for and also receive referrals if pertinent. We partner effectively with other agencies to help our residents in need.
We value our local law enforcement and school social workers and work together to solve issues facing our residents.
We are one of the few townships in the state to sponsor a Cert team. We feel the education and outreach are a valuable resource for our residents. We also value the prepared team in the event of a local emergency.
We have close relationships with governmental bodies including Villages, Schools, Police, Townships, County and Park District.
We work closely with the management of our two large senior communities Del Webb and Saddlebrook to assure they are aware of our services.
We successfully passed a referendum that enabled us to negotiate a single waste hauler agreement for the unincorporated residents in Fremont Township saving our residents money and ensuring less wear and tear on our township roads.
We take pride in maintaining our parks as they are used by thousands each year.
We offer recycling of clothing, textiles, shoes, bedding and towels for the animal rescues, hearing aids, eyeglasses, yarn, and American flags for the convenience for our residents and to divert items from going into the landfill.
We are always open to new ideas and programs that benefit our residents.
We provide excellent service with a very small staff.