Monroe County Government
In Indiana, as in many states, counties are governing bodies whose boundaries are determined by the state legislature. By 1859, Indiana had divided itself into 92 counties and that number remains today.
As of July 1, 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population of Monroe County at 146,917, making it the 12th most populous county in Indiana. Monroe County encompasses 11 townships (Bean Blossom, Benton, Bloomington, Clear Creek, Indian Creek, Perry, Polk, Richland, Salt Creek, Van Buren, and Washington), one city (Bloomington), two towns (Ellettsville and Stinesville), and two school corporations (Monroe County Community School Corporation and Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation). The county seat is Bloomington.
Like most Indiana counties, Monroe has a three-person board of commissioners and a six-member county council. It divides its offices into four areas of responsibility: civil government, community, infrastructure, and justice.
A township is a geographic and political division of a county. The township trustee is the executive officer presiding over a three-person township board. The trustee and all three board members are elected to four-year terms. Townships have the authority to levy taxes; each township has a township board-approved budget.
One of the township trustee’s primary functions is to provide emergency assistance to township residents in need. Both the form of the need and the eligibility requirements must follow written guidelines that the trustee prepares according to state statute (IC 12-20-5.5-2). The distinguishing aspects of township assistance are the speed with which it’s administered (completed applications must be approved or denied within 72 hours) and flexibility.
Within each township, the trustee is also responsible for providing fire-fighting services, maintaining abandoned cemeteries, handling weed complaints, mediating fence line disputes, and seeing to indigent burials.
For more information:
LWV-BMC Government Basics