From Algonquin Township Trustee Rachael Lawrence, who was elected Treasurer of the McHenry County Republican
Party without opposition last week, gives her views on State Rep. David McSweeney’s bill to allow voters to put referendums on the ballot to abolish township government:
If you have not already, it may be time for you to become acquainted with House Bill 4637.
Having already overwhelmingly passed the IL House and now making its way through the Senate, the bill would allow WE THE PEOPLE to gather petition signatures to place a ballot referendum asking if a township should be abolished.
If 8% of a township’s electors petition, AND if a majority of voters decide so at the ballot box, a township would then be abolished no less than 90 days later, with the County (board) then absorbing the township’s duties, assets, liabilities, etc.
This bill eliminates the “tax-savings debate” by including in the bill a provision that the county may not extend a levy exceeding 90% of the township’s last levy to that township’s residents.
An instant (and minimum) 10% tax reduction of the previous tax levied by the township. Read more here:
While I understand and appreciate the varied arguments leveled by both Republicans and Democrats, I respectfully disagree with my fellow McHenry County GOP Executive Board Chair’s position on HB4637.
I do, however, heartily agree with one of her statements:
“Local government belongs in the hands of local people.”
This bill does not eliminate townships by itself.
This bill empowers the people of an individual township to assert their right through fundamental democratic principles to govern themselves.
If a township’s electors determine at the ballot box that their township is desired and a valuable part of its electors’ government, those electors will not vote to eliminate it.
Alternatively, if a township is redundant, defective, and unnecessarily costly, its electors would have the right to eliminate it.
While this bill is not perfect, and I can’t presume to know why it should not apply to townships in ALL counties in Illinois, I do not represent the interests of all of Illinois’s townships.
I was elected to represent the interests of Algonquin Township, and I believe any bill which would give the people more power over its own governance is in their best interest.
I believe that the people are intelligent and capable enough to do their own due diligence and make an educated vote, just as they do every other election day.
I therefore support this bill, and I urge others to do the same.