After all the public comment, Township Consolidation Task Force Chairwoman Carolyn Schofield pointed out that at the first meeting a lot of questions had been asked, but not a lot of answers supplied.
She told of two meetings that people might find of interest.
First, on the night of Tuesday, August 18th, from 5-7, the township consolidation maps will be set up and the public will be allowed to make comments.
Algonquin Township Road Commissioned Bob Miller, suggested that the current map also be shown and so that people could express their opinion if they favored keeping things as they are now.
Personally, I would urge anyone from the smaller townships who want to be merged with a neighboring township to come and fill out a card.
If no one (as was the case last Tuesday) indicates such consolidation is desired, that might send a message to the County Board.
Similarly, if a lot of people from Alden, Burton, Chemung, Coral, Dunham. Greenwood, Hebron, Riley and Richmond Townships care enough to drive to the county seat to fill out cards in support of consolidating their townships with one or more others, that would also send a message.
Immediately after the open house, the County Board will meet.
Anyone who wishes will have the opportunity to speak for three minutes to the County Board.
Half of them are up for election next year, with petition passed set to begin on September 1st (with filing from Nov. 23-30), so there will be some nervous people who might be receptive to one’s opinion.
At 10:30 on August 25th, the Task Force will have its last meeting.
September 1st Task Force recommendations will be presented to the County Board.
Miller also suggested that any legal opinions should be sought from the Illinois Attorney General, since “the State’s Attorney [Lou Bianchi] is perceived to be a primary proponent [of the township consolidation push].”
Schofield proceeded to got through the questions and answers in the agenda packet one by one.
Task Force and McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz asked,
That’s a word that was used to explain what would happen if consolidation of townships took place.
I didn’t catch exactly what Task Force member and Nunda Township Trustee Mike Shorten, one of those who heads the township consolidation proponent group, but it was to the effect that cost savings could not be estimated, that he hoped that people would campaign for office in newly-merged townships on platforms that would point out how they would lower taxes.
“The cost savings presented are very speculative.”
In answer to those who have called for a cost-benefit analysis, she said, “Bi nibet was authorized for any cost analysis.
“We don’t have the professional background to do that.
I don’t think the County [Board] wants to spend the money to do that.”
Kurtz argued, “Each consolidation will result in savings.”
She pointed to the fact that there would be fewer elected officials.
Michele Aavang added that “assuming the salaries would remain the same,” proponents said that $2.6 million would be saved [I think this was over ten years].
She wondered when spreadsheets would be made available that would show the $40 million projected savings over ten years.
Mike Shorten said that there would be $2 million savings in the first year with the expectation the cost of government would go up every year.
“Look at [this] as an opportunity [for] candidates to come forward.
“As far as a spreadsheet, right now, Michele, we don’t have that.
“We can spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars putting together a cost savings [analysis, but it would be] irrelevant in 2017 [when newly-elected consolidated township officials take office].
“We bellieve there’s an opportunity to reduce costs.”
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Articles in the series:
- 8-13-15 No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 1
- 8-14-15 No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 2
- 8-15-15 No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 3
- 8-16-15 No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 4