Who is the Township Trustee

A township trustee is an elected official in the local government. .Elkhart County township trustees administer their township while serving a four-year term.

Role of the Trustee

The township trustee performs many specific duties to assist Elkhart County in its day to day operations. The following are some of the duties the township trustee performs.

(from "Indiana General Assembly - 2014 Session")

  • Keeping a written record of official proceedings.
  • Managing all township property interests.
  • Keeping township records open for public inspection.
  • Attending all meetings of the township legislative body.
  • Receiving and paying out township funds.
  • Examining and settling all accounts and demands chargeable against the township.
  • Administering township assistance under IC 12-20 and IC 12-30-4.
  • Performing the duties of Fence Viewer under IC 32–26.
  • Providing and maintaining cemeteries under IC 23–14.
  • Providing fire protection under IC 36–8, except in a township that is located in a county having a consolidated city that has consolidated the township's fire department under IC 36-3-1-6.1.
  • Filing an annual personnel report under IC 5-11-13.
  • Providing and maintain township parks and community centers under IC 36–10.
  • Destroying detrimental plants, noxious weeds, and rank vegetation under IC 15-16-8.
  • Providing insulin to the poor under IC 12-20-16.
  • Performing other duties prescribed by statute.

Trustee Assistance FAQ

Trustees also assist the less fortunate to obtain certain basic necessities such as housing and associated costs, food, utility bills, clothing, or other deemed necessary expenses. Trustee assistance is not guaranteed (applications need to be audited and approved for assistance.) Residents should exhaust all necessary means available to them before contacting the Trustee for assistance.

Below are Frequently Asked Question put together by Indiana Legal Services, Inc. This information is not intended to be legal advice and should not be taken as such.

The trustee may help with shelter or housing costs, utility bills, food, clothing, medical needs, burial expenses, or school supplies. Trustee assistance is considered “last resort” assistance. You first must try to get help with other agencies and/or family members.

No. The trustee does not give you cash. Instead, the trustee may issue a “voucher” (like a coupon) to a landlord for rent, or help you find a place to stay. Some trustee offices have a supply of food to give to people in need, while others may give vouchers to a grocery store.

To get trustee assistance, you need to have low income and you must truly need the items you are asking for. Each trustee may have a different standard of eligibility. Depending upon the trustee’s standards, you may receive assistance even if you already receive TANF. If you receive food stamps, you may receive food assistance from the trustee if your food stamps are lost, stolen, destroyed, or under other special circumstances.

Apply at your local township trustee’s office. We have provided some contact information and relevant links here for use. If you cannot find the information or through other online searches, check with your local county clerk’s office to find your township’s trustee. You should apply for assistance in the township where you live.

You will have to fill out an application for assistance at the trustee’s office. The trustee must make a decision on all applications within 72 hours, not counting weekends and holidays. In an emergency, the trustee may be able to help you the same day.

You should bring proof of your income and finances. This can be pay stubs or TANF records. Bring proof of your household situation (social security numbers, birth certificates of household members), receipts for expenses during the last month, and information and any documents regarding the situation you need help with, like a rent-due notice. If you have any referrals from other agencies, bring those as well.

Yes, the trustee can turn you down. However, the trustee must follow its own standards when deciding whether to help you or not. Be sure to ask the trustee to give you a written “denial slip” if the trustee refuses to help you. The slip must tell you the reason for the denial, and must tell you about your right to appeal the denial.

If you are denied help from the trustee, you can appeal. You have 15 days from the date of the denial to file an appeal of the decision. Be sure to appeal if you have any questions about the denial. If you don’t appeal, the denial is final. You should fill out the appeal request that is on the back of the denial slip. Make a copy of the denial slip and the appeal request for yourself, and give the original to the Board of the County Commissioners of your county. (Some counties have an office set up to receive these appeals. Check your denial slip carefully to see where you should take your appeal). You can generally mail your appeal or take it to the office or Board in person. A hearing will be scheduled within 10 days of the Commissioner’s receiving the appeal request.

At the appeal hearing, the Commissioners (or a hearing officer) decide whether you should have been helped, either under the trustee’s own guidelines or under the Indiana poor relief law. You can have an attorney represent you at the hearing or you can go by yourself. It is helpful to have an attorney. Contact a private attorney or your local legal services program if you are appealing a denial of assistance from the trustee as soon as you file for the appeal hearing.

If you get trustee assistance, you might have to work for the township’s workfare program. However, you will not have to work for the workfare program if: 1. You are not physically able to work. 2. You are a minor or you are at least 65 years old. 3. You are needed to care for someone else because of that person’s age or physical condition. 4. You are employed full time. 5. You are attending a training program through the township trustee. 6. The trustee determines there is no work available.

Yes. If the trustee thinks you could be getting help under another program, the trustee can tell you to apply for help under that program. If you do not apply, the trustee can refuse to help you.

List of Township and Trustees

The following are the currently elected trustees for Elkhart County and their sixteen townships. Click on the links to visit the township trustee's page. These can also be found as quick links to the right of the page.

Baugo Township - Katherine A. Weaver

Benton Township - Brad Showalter

Cleveland Township - Kathy J. Gordon

Clinton Township - Toni Miller

Concord Township - James E. Weeber

Elkhart Township - Charles C. Cheek

Harrison Township - Kerry E. Yaw

Jackson Township - Thomas C. Lantz

Jefferson Township - James G. Weldy

Locke Township - Peggy Hunsberger

Middlebury Township - Ruth Eash

Olive Township - Steve Shively

Osolo Township - Lisa O’Lena

Union Township - Kenneth A. Miller

Washington Township - Michael Lee

York Township - Dee Shoup