Charter township status is a special township classification
created by the Michigan Legislature in 1947 to provide
additional powers and streamlined administration for
governing a growing community. A primary motivation
for townships to adopt the charter form is to provide
greater protection against annexation by a city. As
of March 2007, 137 Michigan townships have opted to
become charter townships.
The State of Michigan contains 1,242 townships, which
vary considerably in geographical size and population.
Based on 2000 U.S. Census figures, township population
in Michigan varies from 10 to 95,648 people.
Township government is conducted by a township board
consisting of either five or seven members—a supervisor,
clerk, treasurer, and two or four trustees—which is
determined by the desires of the township residents,
whether the township has a population of over 3,000
or 5,000 registered electors, and if the township has
charter status. The township board may also hire a manager,
assessor, police or fire chief, superintendent, and
other personnel to properly and efficiently operate