Bob Anderson Testifies on Governmental Consolidation in Springfield

Wonder Lake’s Bob Anderson testified at a House of Representatives’ Committee of the Whole this week.

Wonder Lake’s Bob Anderson testified in Springfield before the entire House of Representatives on government consolidation.

His message is summarized below:

The restructuring (streamlining) of Illinois’ 7,000 unit of local government system, starting with township consolidation or elimination, will put Illinois on the path for tax relief.

Consolidating, or the elimination of township, of Illinois’ outdated 1,433 township governments will anger those who defend township fiefdoms…but life has changed.

We are no longer living in the horse and buggy days of the 1800s when travel was by horse and buggy and it was a days travel to the county seat.

Anderson pointed out that “Every five minutes some one moves out of Illinois,”giving examples gleaned from his barber shop customers.”

Some even commute from Wisconsin to avoid Illinois property taxes.

Anderson cited “a recent Northwest Herald Poll asking, ‘Are you considering moving out of Illinois?'”

The results showed 74% were considering moving out of state.

“Illinois has 7,000 governments, which is 2,000 more than any other state,” Anderson pointed out.

“Illinois will not be save unless we reduce the tax burden of supporting 7,000 units of governments,” the McHenry Township Trustee said.

He added that the Illinois Comptroller puts the number of governments at 8,466 units.

Anderson pointed out that Wisconsin has 3,128 units of local government, Michigan 2,875, Indiana 2,709 and Iowa 1,941.

California, with a population 39 million people has 4,400 local governmental units.
If California had same ratio as Illinois (17,500) units.

Bob Anderson

He pointed people to their property tax bills to identify the local layers of governments.

Among them are county, city, township, township road district, community college, school, fire protection, library, park, cemetery, forest preserve, conservation, drainage, mosquito, etc.

McHenry County has 136 different units of local government with about 700 officials, elected and appointed.

Anderson argued that county, city and township government provide duplicative services.

Road maintenance is an obvious one.

“Think of the redundant overhead cost, duplication of equipment, employees, facilities and elected officials,” plus “loss of economies of scale”.

“Over the past 25 years I have written dozens of letters to the Editor with subjects of Illinois’ ‘Love Affair’ with its 7,000 units of local governments, excessive property taxes, school consolidation, and the consolidation or elimination of redundant outdated township governments,” he concluded.


Bob Anderson Testifies on Governmental Consolidation in Springfield — 20 Comments

  1. The IL GOP will never allow townships to go away. Conservative McHenry County couldn’t even muster a mild consolidation two years ago.

    Too many special interests.

  2. The State House of Representatives Committee of the Whole hearing on Local Government Consolidation was held Monday June 26, 2017 at 2PM in the House Chamber in the Capitol Building in Springfield.

    Present to testify were:

    – Hilary Denk, Member of the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Illinois; owner of Denk Mediation Solutions, Downers Grove.

    – Carol Portman, President, Taxpayers Federation of Illinois, Springfield.

    – Jose Sanchez, Policy Analyst, Better Government Association.

    – Bob Anderson, owner of Bob’s Countryside Barber Shoppe of Wonder Lake, elected McHenry Township Trustee, part of Illinois Tax Revolution, and a longtime township consolidation activist.

    – Aaron Lawlor, Lake County Board Member District 18.

    Also Lake County Board Chair.

    The Lake County Board has 21 Districts, with one member per district.

    He’s a Republican advocating along with Democrat State Senator Terry Link to convert the Lake County Board Chair to voter elected.

    Senator Terry Link filed a bill to accomplish that but didn’t bother to first consult with the full County Board.

    Mr. Lawlor also proposes reducing the number of county board seats from 21 to 17 (14 of the 21 seats, which is 67%, are currently held by Republicans), and having the districts redrawn by an independent redistricting commission after the 2020 census.

    – Brian Costin, Policy Director in Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti’s office.

    Previously with the Illinois Policy Institute and Heartland Institute.

  3. Steve Willson, please talk to Bob Anderson about the effects of gov consolidation and/or elimination.

  4. In the picture in the above blog post, Carol Portman is missing.

    Her seat was between Hillar Denk (far left) and Jose Sanchez.

    The next three following Jose Sanchez, are, from left to right, Bob Anderson, Aaron Lawlor, and Brian Costin.

  5. Bob teaches a collective body, that has the political IQ of 60, how to spell cat.

    Nice try Bob.

  6. Townships are not the problem in IL.

    They are a distraction from the real problem, public pensions and public pay overall.

    It’s the teachers pensions!

    If he was focused on reducing teacher pay and pensions I might listen to him, he’s focusing on personal vendettas and not the real tax hogs of IL.

    King turd of $hit mountain testifying in Springfield, what a waste of time

  7. Just once I would like to see Mr. Anderson present any facts the elimination of townships would save any money.

    He throws out half truths and when asked to provide real proof says it is very complicated.

    No it is not.

    He preaches less government but what he fails to realize is he is an advocate of larger government with less local control.

  8. It’s possible some money can be saved by consolidating or eliminating certain townships, but there are a lot of traps to be wary of.

    The Downstate Teaches Pension System, TRS, which covers public school teacher and administrator pensions outside of Chicago, is a disaster.

    It is a taxpayer rip-off, in large part due to legislative pension benefit hikes while the pensions were already underfunded.

    A commission in the legislative branch of Illinois government, COGFA, in November 2016 produced a report analyzing the five state pension funds (TRS, SERS, SURS, GARS, JRS).

    The unfunded liability in TRS is projected to grow from $73B in 2017 to $89B in 2031.

    A huge problem with the unfunded liability is taxpayers owe annual interest (discount rate) on the unfunde amount.

    Just as bonds have interest, so do unfunded liabilities.

    The current discount rate of TRS is 7%.

    $75,000,000,000 x .07 = $5,250,000,000.

    Thus taxpayers owe $5.25 BILLION dollars interest just for one year unfunded liability, for one pension fund.


    That is the major reason the state has a “revenue” problem.

    That is the major reason we are facing an income tax hike.

    To pay for benefit spiked pensions.

  9. $5,250,000,000 / 365 = $14,383,561 per day interest on the TRS unfunded liability.

    Taxpayers owe the TRS pension fund $14 MILLION dollars EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR.

    The piddly pension reforms being discussed in Springfield will not reform that problem in a substantial way.

  10. Anderson wasted his time, that’s true, but that’s bc Illinois is such a backward state.

    He’s only trying to shed some light on a rotten part of the whole decayed mess.

    Townships are dens of waste, corruption and losers!

    Take McHenry Township ….

    Former McHenry Township appointee & loser and ‘official township ghost’ Marsha Nelson got defeated in the last election.

    (Actually she got booted twice last election cycle … the double dipping ghost lost out as Wonder Lake Fire Dist. Clerk, too …Guess the voters are finally waking up there!!)

    But like a Friday the 13th horror show, the loser Supervisor Adams HIRED HER AGAIN AS A ‘BANNER TECHNICIAN” and she’s back at McHenry Township feeding on the taxpayers once again as if nothing happened on election day ….


    Here’s another perfect example, from a few weeks ago:

    “Small town trust. Big time theft. Again?

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has announced the arrest of an official in rural Kankakee County, Essex Township Clerk Traci Freytag, on allegations she spent taxpayer money on personal expenses.

    She faces charges of theft of government property, financial institution fraud and two counts of official misconduct.

    If convicted, she could face up to 15 years in prison.

    Freytag is accused of depositing roughly $94,000 in township money into a personal bank account.

    An investigation began when an employee’s payroll check bounced.

    The township’s account had been depleted, Madigan’s office alleges.

    She was arrested Feb. 15 in Aiken, S.C., where she had posted on her Facebook page she was staying and planning to move permanently from the town of Essex, 30 miles south of Joliet.

    Freytag’s Facebook page indicates she worked as a payroll clerk for a casino company and became disabled.

    She was appointed township clerk a few months before the theft allegedly began.”


  11. Mr. Anderson can probably find some ways to save money, just have to be careful of unintended consequences.

    The pensions are the big story.

    Taxpayers are paying $14M per day / $5B per year interest on the $73B unfunded liability in just the teacher / administrator pension fund thanks in large part to legislators like Michael Madigan hiking pension benefits when pensions were already underfunded.

    Of course Mr. Madigan is not going to talk about that problem.

    That $5B could be spent on educating children instead of interest.

    The TRS teacher / administrator pension fund is 36.4% funded per page 6 of the TRS GASB 67 & 68 Actuarial Valuation as of June 30, 2016.

  12. It’s teachers and all public UNION pensions that are the real problem breaking taxpayers!

    It’s unsustainable.

  13. Very Good!!!

    Bob’s the Best!

    Knew him over 35 yrs. ago.

    He was in the township and back then was saying ‘why are taxpayers buying dinner for the township trustees on nights we have our meetings?’

    He’s been a tax fighter for decades!

    (doesn’t just slap that on a campaign sign-he lives it)

  14. Bob?

    How is that a good thing?

    IF he was all over this thirty-five yearss ago, how is it that we have been recently reading how we have been paying for trips and purses, too?

    The best person would have brought this to light decades ago!

  15. After 35 years there is no plan, a plan with facts supported by realistic numbers.

    Lip service isn’t enough, follow threw is everything.

  16. Before consolidating a local unit of government, one first has to understand what is happening in the local unit of government.

    The government should be transparent so that citizens can understand what is happening at the government.

    Two basic transparency measures are videotaping board meetings and implementing board agenda packets.

    Bob Anderson was elected as a board member of McHenry Township on April 4, 2017.

    Now McHenry Township has implemented videotaped board meetings.



    McHenry Township Channel

    Streamed Live on June 8, 2017


    The next step would be to implement board agenda packets.

    A board agenda packet is one big document containing all the documents to be discussed at the board meeting.

    The document is typically in Adobe pdf format.

    The agenda packet should be:

    – Searchable (allow use of the “find” feature in Adobe to search for a specific word).

    – Allow the ability to copy from the agenda packet, and paste to another document, to consolidate information.

    – Posted at least 48 hours prior to the board meeting.

    – Indefinitely archived on the government website.


    McHenry County (the county itself) has board agenda packets.

    The Village of Lakewood recently implemented board agenda packets.


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