What is Township Government?

Message from the Northfield Township Board

The Board of Trustees of Northfield Township feels it is important to share our position on concerns related to race, inequality, oppression, and opportunity for all.

We feel strongly, and act accordingly, that all are created equal. In our roles, we see that opportunity, however, is not always afforded equally and that some among us occasionally need a helping hand. Northfield Township is committed to treating all people – regardless of race, national origin, sexual identity, disability, age or religion – fairly and equitably.

The services we provide, including help to people in need and assistance to residents with a variety of administrative service concerns, are offered in an equitable manner to all clients.

Northfield Township is dedicated to fostering a culture in which all people from any background are treated with respect, dignity, kindness and empathy, as every human being deserves. This applies to clients, staff, residents, and visitors. We shall always strive to serve every member of our community to the best of our abilities as they deserve no less.

We encourage ourselves and our community to look inward for strength, empathy, kindness and understanding. We support the path to equity and equality for all. We look forward to each engagement with our clients and community and appreciate the opportunity to serve.

What is Township Government?

Township government, brought to America in the 17th century, is the oldest form of government in the United States. Originally, most Midwestern townships were based on survey townships, squares of land six miles by six miles (36 square miles) each, which established boundaries for land ownership; township governments are often overlaid on these survey townships’ lines. In most states, each township government has jurisdiction over a distinct geographic area outside of cities and villages.

As a township’s elected officials are easily accessible to voters, townships are much more responsive to resident needs than larger governments; where residents might have difficulty reaching a mayor, commissioner, or county executive, they can reach their elected township officials over the phone or via email.

Many Illinois townships provide services such as snow removal, senior transportation, and emergency services to unincorporated areas of the county; in northern Illinois, townships might also provide public services such as after-school care, road maintenance, and senior services. Townships work closely with their residents and are committed to ensuring a high quality of life for everyone.

The Northfield Township was created to unify the neighborhoods and provide support to the community.

History of Northfield Township

Representing most of Northbrook, Glenview and part of Northfield, Northfield Township was founded on April 2, 1850. The Township was established by the people to meet the common needs of residents of then widely scattered home sites nearly 170 years ago.

The early meetings of Township residents dealt with the relevant issues of the day: roads and the occasional stray pig. In fact, the first ordinance passed by those attending the first meeting called for a fine for any person who “shall suffer or permit any hog, goat or pig to run at large.”

More important business items soon followed. Transportation represented economic and community survival for the early population. The Township Road District continues to maintain the roads and bridges in unincorporated areas, supervised by an elected Highway Commissioner. The Road District operates out of a separate facility and garage located at 237 Melvin Drive in Northbrook. The Township is responsible for maintaining and servicing a sanitary sewer system.

Today, Northfield Township serves as a liaison to Cook County to assist residents with property tax questions, offers assistance to residents through general and emergency assistance and a food pantry, registers voters and provides passport services. Our case manager assists residents with identifying other assistance programs for which they may be eligible. Special programs are also developed for residents.

An elected Supervisor and Board of Trustees govern the Township.

Our Mission

Northfield Township’s mission is to ensure consistent, high quality, efficient township services, which include:

  • Maintenance of roads and sanitary sewers
  • Administration of emergency and general assistance
  • Provision of tax assessment counsel and services

Illinois Compiled Statutes: Township Code (60 ILCS 1)