After municipal budget expert Stephen Willson read the article about the Better Government Association’s call for fewer local governments, he wrote this comment. I believe it deserves to be more widely shared.
“Small, special purpose governments are almost always run by partisans. (Who runs for the park board if they hate parks?)
“So they grow and grow and no single government is responsible for rationalizing all the needs.
“This also makes it virtually impossible for a good citizen to keep track of every unit of government and to affect their elected representatives.
“In a perfect world, each town would have one government that would include parks, schools, et. al., and one combined tax rate and they would have to make decisions: more police, more parks, or more teachers.
“And voters would only have to watch how their one, single alderman voted.
“But we don’t live in a perfect world.
“In urban areas, that might be possible, but rural areas, it wouldn’t work.
“Rural areas can’t be grafted onto cities.
“Still, Illinois is about as inefficient as it is possible to be, and there are indeed many units of government that could be eliminated without any citizens noticing a diminution in service.”