The article reports Serwatka saying, “about 85 percent said they would support consolidation if there are demonstrated benefits, such as better services or lower taxes.”
Of course, the survey is not limited to Lakewood residents and a link to it is even in the NWH article.
Under McHenry County Blog’s article about the subject, Lakewood resident Steve Willson wrote,
The numbers are against this idea: Lakewood’s tax rate is lower than Crystal Lake’s, and that’s not including the CL Library, which Lakewood residents may now join if they wish, but which they would be forced to join if the two municipalities merged.
The reason the numbers are against the idea is that the theory behind the concept is flawed.
The idea that economies of scale can be achieved by making governments larger is based on the erroneous analogy that many private enterprises achieve economies of scale as they get larger.
However, economies of scale are not merely a function of size, but of incentives.
Private enterprise has an incentive to save money.
Governments have the opposite incentive.
Many years ago I studied the cost per resident of the police function by municipalities in Illinois.
I found, unsurprisingly, that the cost increased with the size of the government.
Similarly recently I analyzed the cost per student of all of the school districts in Illinois.
I found no correlation between cost per student and test scores or graduation rates, no correlation between cost per student and teacher salaries, and no correlation between cost per student and teacher experience.
The only statistically significant correlation was that bigger districts spent more per pupil than smaller districts.
Jack W. added,
The real benefit would be to Crystal Lake.
Here are a few examples as to why: The median home income and home value in Lakewood is higher than CL.
This would immediately pull up the value in CL; the area in western Lakewood (176 and 47) is attractive for future business and home development which results in tax revenue and impact fees benefiting CL;
more people in the community results in more money to CL from the state;
Lakewood already has a waste water treatment plant on the west side to accommodate growth, so the infrastructure is already there at not cost to CL;
More residents means more money from Lakewood residents for the Library district;
and on and on.
Of course the letter to the NW Herald for this on-going debate came from a Crystal Lake resident.
What do they have to lose vs. what do they gain?!?