Township Trustee and Clerk Training

Iowa residents living in rural areas outside of incorporated cities rely on their local township government to provide a broad range of services, from vital functions such as fire protection to maintenance of public cemeteries and the resolution of fence disputes. Some townships may choose to provide other support such as emergency medical service, township halls, parks, libraries, community centers, and playgrounds.

The township clerk and the township trustees are the locally elected or appointed officials who are responsible for seeing that these services are delivered effectively and economically. Their job is important and they represent the heart of local government for township residents. However, many trustees and clerks assume their jobs with little or no training and experience. Seeing a need, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Office of State and Local Government Programs (OSLGP) began conducting township trustee and clerk workshops in the 1970s to help trustees and clerks understand their roles and responsibilities. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Community and Economic Development unit continues this long tradition with an interactive in-person training for township and county officials, as well as, the publication of a guide of the key legal provisions and responsibilities of township trustees and clerks.

Sara Shonrock

Importance of updates in training

In response, OSLGP and ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development staff assembled a series of publications that have been revised and updated several times over the past several decades. The Township Trustee and Clerk Reference Manual was first published in 2002. Many changes in the law have occurred since the 2002 edition of this manual. Of particular note, the new manual covers compliance with the 2011 open meetings and records laws, the 2005 cemetery laws, and other changes in reporting and record keeping.  The most recent revisions were published in December 2018.

On-site Training

Upon Request, ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development offers on-site township trustee and clerk training for township trustees, township clerks, elected and appointed county officials. The session cost is $750 and this fee includes up to two hours of training, the trainer, mileage to and from the sitehandouts and evaluations. An additional cost is the Township Trustee and Clerk Reference Manual is available for sale at the ISU Extension and Outreach Store. To schedule a training near you, contact any of the people below.