The Township form of government that the residents chose in 1850 guaranteed close-to-home access to officials and the decisions that affected community life.

By 1970, with the advent — and then the end — of Federal revenue-sharing funds, it was necessary for the Township to examine ways to raise money.

 The Board concluded that the Township could legally raise its tax levy and provide funds from the community. They realized the necessity to ascertain the needs of the community and understood that the residents should make decisions about how their tax dollars were spent.

Over the years, the present system of volunteer committees evolved — committees focusing on youth, mental health, health and human services, and disabilities. Committee membership is voluntary; appointments to serve are made by a Central Nominating Committee and affirmed by the Board.

In 2007, having been at the forefront of bringing private-sector skills to government with the advisory committee structure, New Trier Township reorganized the advisory committees as follows:

The Agency Oversight Committee to provide supervision of funded programs and to ensure that the agencies that receive governmental funding are accountable in meeting the needs of residents.

The Money-Follows-the-Person Committee to focus on the needs of people with developmental disabilities and mental illness.

The Special Projects Committee to focus on new ideas for programs that address emerging needs as identified in the Township’s Strategic Plan.

The Disabilities Advisory Committee to provide education and advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities remained unchanged.
Beyond the advisory committees, over the years countless individual volunteers have utilized their skills, abilities and interests to further the mission of the Township by working in the Pantry and  keeping the shelves stocked or serving as jurors or adult advocates in the Peer Jury program.

Read the next chapter - Longest Stand Tradition:  Annual Town Meeting

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