No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 6

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.

Donna Kurtz asks a question at the Township Consolidation Task Force meeting.  Roger Naylor is seen behind her.

Donna Kurtz asks a question at the Township Consolidation Task Force meeting. Roger Naylor is seen behind her.

Task Force and McHenry County Board member Donna Kurtz asked,

Why ‘hope?'”

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.

Schofield admitted,

“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

Michele Aavang

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.

Shorten facing right“If [there’s a] vote for consolidation, people would come forward [to tell how they] would take advantage of potential savings.

“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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No Cost-Benefit Analysis on Township Consolidation, Just Data Dump – Part 6 — 14 Comments

  1. Miller thinks Lou Bianchi is perceived to be a proponent just as we perceive miller to be a jerk

  2. My head is still spinning!

    Can anyone with “a” brain cell imagine that this consolidation issue is on the table for discussion?

    Mr. Shorten, leader of the consolidation group, says

    “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 believe there’s an opportunity to reduce costs.”

    When Mr. Anderson pulled the township abolition trick off in the early 90’s, we did a spreadsheet.

    I admit that it took a great deal of time to pull that document together, however, with actual figures from every township budget, we were able to have a clear picture of just what the total costs were.

    We worked from the hard facts!

    The vote for abolition went down 3 to 1.

    As one taxpayer in McHenry County, I cannot understand why this county board would give credibility to the recklessness exhibited by proponents of the consolidation question.

    The county board, once again, is the greatest enemy to McHenry County taxpayers as they continue this charade.

    As to the “Q & A” responses, it is beyond belief that anyone would respond to serious questions with “it is beyond the scope of the taskforce,” and it is “hoped” there will be savings.

    If this county board doesn’t get a dose of reality and kill this thing now, it will COST taxpayers a ton of money to get the real message out to the public.

    It cost us in the 90’s and it will cost us again.

    Nearly all those costs came out of our personal pockets!

    And yes, local legal advice to the county board must be questioned.

    That is all I will say about that.

  3. Shorten thinks about 2 million in savings first year, remove 15% for commercial and industrial properties, the residents would each get $5.52 in savings if the shorten numbers are even a good guess.

    The costs to the county rename and realign every thing and lawyers costs aren’t defined.

    The savings per resident would be .026% of the total tax paid in the county.

  4. Make no mistake.

    Were there a benefit to reducing/abolishing any sector of government, I would be first in line to help make it happen.

    Even with the facts, this consolidation question is a non starter.

  5. It’s a relief to find schusters head spinning.

    A good break from her usual paranoia about a vendetta

  6. trucking561, throwing rocks doesn’t move the agenda forward in case you haven’t noticed Springfield and DC.

    Just saying.

  7. It’s a little ridiculous claim money can be saved without presenting a spreadsheet showing the savings.

    Along with any increased costs that also result from consolidation.

    Don’t spend tens of thousands of dollars putting together a cost savings.

    Do it for free in spare time.

    The real problem is most of the townships don’t have a taxpayer watchdog reporting to a transparency website such as this on a regular basis.

    A merged township probably wouldn’t have a taxpayer watchdog either.

    Maybe there are ways for townships to share facilities, combine purchasing power, etc. without consolidation.

    Maybe money can be saved merging townships but we haven’t seen the proof.

    Or, instead of merging many townships, how about a pilot merger.

    If the pilot passes and works, then propose mergers of other townships.

    It would not take as much time to put together a proposed savings of two townships, as opposed to all or most the townships in the county.

  8. Mark, townships already work with one another to keep cost down.

    That is a fact.

    No spreadsheet will factor that concept in either.

    Why should anyone, or any other government, “propose consolidations” such as this.

    Why not let those who would be affected by such action do it.

    Were I to see the possibility of true saving without loss of the services provided, I would be on it!

    The arrogance of others forcing their agenda on the unsuspecting is like Washington or Springfield mandating to townships, counties and municipalities/villages.

  9. The eastern Twhs also work with the local municipalities, county, and IDOT, I’m not sure if the western do, but why wouldn’t they?

    Jack Franks Consolidation report talked of the value of gov agencies working together, more efficent gov sharing.

  10. I would volunteer to create an excel spreadsheet if someone would compile the data.

    Maybe that would resolve this issue one way or the other.

  11. Come on people.

    The only ones who are responding on this whole consolidation website are the nob, ursel, preston, and an occasional comment from grumpy grampa.

    You could get rid of all your angst on a conference call.

    Nob, sure can’t see how anything that is said is moving any agenda forward except “it can’t be done”.

    You four continue, I’m out of here

  12. truckin561 Go to the ‘open house’ tonight and attend the Board meeting afterward.

    You may learn something.

    Also, why did Gottemoller and Austin schedule so many committee meetings between 05:00 pm and 07:00 pm?

    Just askin.

  13. The County Board has to clean it’s own house before they ask us to give up a service.

    The cash reserves, the benefits paid to board members (not all BTW).

    This is politics at it’s worst.

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