Township government is conducted by a township board consisting of either five or seven members, depending upon the desires of the inhabitants and whether or not the township has a population of over 5,000, over 3,000 unregistered electors or is a charter township. The officers of the board are designated supervisor, clerk, treasurer and trustee, with the trustees numbering either two or four. The township board may also serve in other specific capacities, such as a park or utility board.
The term of office for all township officials is four years. The terms commence at 12 p.m. on November 20 following the November general election, provided the newly elected officials have qualified for office by that time. To qualify, a successful candidate must file any necessary bond and take an oath of office before the township clerk or other officer qualified to administer the oath, such as a county clerk, notary public or judge. Other township officers authorized to administer the oath are the deputy clerk, supervisor and deputy supervisor.
The supervisor, clerk, treasurer and trustee must take the oath of office before entering into the duties of their offices. (MCL 168.363) The deputy supervisor (MCL 41.61(2)), deputy clerk (MCL 41.69) and deputy treasurer (MCL 41.77) must take the oath after their appointment and before entering into office.
In addition, the township clerk (MCL 41.69) and the township treasurer (MCL 41.77) are required to be bonded.
The clerk (MCL 41.69) and the treasurer (MCL 41.77) must each appoint a deputy. The deputy clerk and deputy treasurer must also be bonded. The supervisor may appoint a deputy (MCL 41.61). Deputy township officials are authorized to act as the elected official in the event of the official’s absence, sickness, death or other disability. A deputy may not, however, vote as a member of the township board. With the official’s approval and the consent of the township board, a deputy may assist the elected official at any additional times agreed to by the board and the official. Deputies are not required to be residents of the township, and may be paid compensation as determined by the township board.