The Loss of Voter Power to Township Boards

The following comment was posted about township government’s consolidation of power in township boards over the years:

I do not support the creation of laws that divert attention from the real problem.

Townships have become targets for elimination because Springfield has over time severely watered down the government closest to the people.

Springfield removed the need for board approval of the sale surplus equipment under the control of the Highway Commissioner.

Springfield removed the process of direct citizen involvement in the annual meeting by legislating how the agenda gets set.

Springfield and D.C. have changed the process for assistance to the poor by centralizing that assistance at the County level where it will NOT receive the same scrutiny it does in Townships.

Why do I mention this?

There is a parallel between how Townships have been managed by the current socialist control of governments in the U.S.A. and how the government has insinuated itself into the bedrooms, kitchens and living rooms of the family unit.

Parents are no longer permitted to discipline their children due to the threat of “I’ll call child protective services.”

Our society is paying the price for the socialist policies created in federal, state and local governments.

People in Russia have more freedom!

Wake up people!

Vote for conservative candidates who honestly favor smaller government and the removal of government from child rearing.

A judge sentenced a Hawaii man to one year of probation and a $200 fine for making his son walk a mile home from school as a form of discipline.

Judge Kathleen Watanabe called the punishment “old-school” and no longer appropriate, the Garden Island newspaper reported Thursday (”

Here is my reaction:

I share Cautious Voter’s dismay at the taking away of power from the electors at the annual town meeting.

The problem is that township officials themselves initiated the centralization.

Back in the late 1960’s uppity electors got angry in both Nunda and Algonquin Townships.

In Nunda Township, the Road Commissioner would not provide services on the unincorporated undedicated roads. One subdivision–Porten’s–near the Fox River marshaled its residents and took over the meeting.

They voted $1 for every line item in the Road Commissioner’s budget.

Their attempt to punish Road Commissioner LeRoy Geske misfired. Geske wasn’t punished because the salary of the Road Commissioner comes from the Town Fund. I guess he got paid for doing nothing, although some with long Nunda Township memories might know what he did.

That same year, I think, allies of newly-elected Assessor Forrest Hare inserted $500 in the budget to go after the McHenry County Supervisor of Assessments, who had been overassessing the southeastern most and fastest growing township in the county. (I can hear the old times talking among themselves: “They’re causing all the problems. We’ll fix them.)

The $500 was spent, but no suit was ever filed.

The next year the Illinois General Assembly took the budgetary power from the voters and gave it to townships’ boards.

I found a Nunda Township Road Commissioner court decision that some might find interesting. It is here.


The Loss of Voter Power to Township Boards — 13 Comments

  1. As one of the now retired McHenry County judges used to say:

    “The only difference between God and a Road Commissioner is that one of them has a truck.”

  2. Got that right!….

    Yep, the people need to wake up if they want our Government to work for them.

  3. So, I knew that this was going to be crazy from the start, but wow.

    And Cal, you’re posting this as if it has credibility?

    **There is a parallel between how Townships have been managed by the current socialist control of governments in the U.S.A. **

    Someone should explain to the author of this what socialism is. Because it sure isn’t what’s coming out of DC.

    I know that this is a standard talking point about Obama coming from the Tea Party and others from the Right, but it just shows the ignorance of these folks making “socialism” claims.

    But don’t worry… it got even more fun:

    **People in Russia have more freedom!**

    Umm… really? Again, comments like these show your ignorance, and say nothing about reality.

    And then you somehow link the loss of IL township power to a random child rearing court case in Hawaii?

    Just wow.

  4. Dave: You obviously have not ‘connected the dots’.

    Have you read the Patriot Act?

    Have you been to an airport lately?

    “No Knock’ warrants are being abused to the point a baby was injured by a flash grenade was thrown into the crib by a police officer.

    Why do police departments have MIRV units?

  5. Thank you for making my point Cal.

    For Dave: Socialism:
    : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
    b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

    : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    With the use of various Federal agencies and their thousands of regulations, we have socialism.

    Just look at what happened to car dealerships.

    We have ‘selective capitalism’ where the governments picks winners and losers.

  6. Umm… our country and government do not meet any of the definitions that you kindly gave. Good try though.

  7. Come on Dave.

    You’re SO much better than your last comment.

    Cautius gave definitions and is a sharp debater.

    Refute with specific arguments.

    Ex. Government ownership/distribution of goods- The example given by most conservatives of government taking over the private sector is Health Care.

    In point of fact while other nations have one health system(very efficient), or perhaps two tiered(public and wealthy people) system(still efficient but unequal), the United States has four systems for health care.

    Although the argument may be made Obamacare is a blatant attempt to “socialize” medicine it also could be argued it is the greatest vehicle powerful companies and special interests have found to further consolidate power, create further wealth for the politically connected and finish the enslavement of the most venerable (medically and financially) members our society. In business the most money is made in ” arbitrage”.

    This is finding inefficiency and exploiting it for financial gain. While other nations who have remade their health systems of late have done so with the most brilliant minds and examples the world over(ex. Taiwan) Obamacare was written by politicians who never read the legislation.

    Socialism ideally works against corporate interests and Obamacare clearly was written by/for those interests.

    Therefore the best recent argument of “socialism” the far right has in the US is actually a fine example of Corporatocracy in action.

    Now you go Dave.

  8. **Cautius gave definitions and is a sharp debater. **

    Hmm… lets see. Cautious gave definitions. And then he/she made an argument (about regulations) that had nothing to do with the definitions. Sharp. And doesn’t exactly make me want to engage in an argument with someone that appears to not even understand the content of his/her own comments.

    But you are right about Obamacare. Someone will have to explain to me how giving subsidies to for-profit insurance corporations is socialism. Though you are wrong about the lack of experts, and the claim that it was only written by politicians. This is a nice talking point, but simply isn’t true.

    Or, someone will also have to explain to me how the bailout of the auto-industry was socialism, rather than a corporate bailout.

    Also – the argument that “Cautious” gave about “selective capitalism” a) isn’t actually true, and b), even if it was, doesn’t mean we have socialism.

    Of course, I still want to know how we in the US are less free than in Russia. I’ll be waiting breathlessly for that explanation.

  9. o.k. Priest knock it off. This is the second time I agree with you. l.o.l.

  10. Okay. So the definition of terms is muddled rather than “wrong”.

    This space is horrible for such a big big topic but, and I put no words in for Cautious, the overarching “socialism” argument may be better defined under the term “Corporatocracy” but the argument is open on the merits.

    Regulations by government stifle competition.

    Is this picking winners and losers?


    I want regulation if I’m a leader in my industry.

    It kills competition without competing.

    For Obamacare the “experts” to a person had skin in the game.

    There was no separation of interest or attempt to appear impartial.

    The politicians were involved in appointing every contributor.

    All roads lead to self interested arrogant politicians praying the citizenry was stupid or asleep at the wheel.

    The politicians ratified the law.

    They are ignorant and responsible for its effects.

    The auto industry bailout?

    Not new.

    Several presidents have saved this industry several times to help wealthy and special interests.


    Once again, this space is too small but consolidation of power and wealth may lead to socialism.

    Or any number of other forms of government.

    I’ll leave that argument to others.

    I believe government type is irrelevant in an internationalized corporate atmosphere where GE(among many others) has a GDP higher than most nations.

    I’ll let the free Russia dog lie.

    Although I think that is an affinity for a cultural view rather than a political affinity.

  11. I believe very strongly in local government local control.

    The dilution of this through the centralization of power begun by the Civil War creates good(the death of slavery, civil rights, national integrated transportation systems, no more crossing state lines to run from horrible felony charges, etc) but also creates a tendency toward centralizing power in all things to a very few.

    This creates divergent interests between the Citizens of any nation and the most powerful/wealthy. Lincoln struggled with this.

    Jefferson struggled with this.

    All populist philosophers, Greek through American, wrote about this. No party in America cares anything about the individual Citizen any longer. If the age of Big Data hasn’t shown people this nothing will.

    Politicians only work to preserve their patch.

    Wealth only works to preserve theirs.

    No one sees you as anything more than data points…

    Except your neighbors.

    Local government.

    Can I hold Lou Bianchi accountable? Absolutely.

    I know where he lives and works and I can directly talk to all his voting constituency.

    Can I hold Dick Durbin accountable?

    Mmmm… A lot less so.

    Even Lou gets too big for his britches.

    How arrogant is a Governor or a Senator?

    So much so you are only that infinitesimal data point unless you have money or power for them.

    God save and empower local government!

    I’ll take an arrogant Lou any day over an arrogant Governor.

    I can’t even start about the unaccountable national administration entities who no one seems able to control(IRS, BLM, EPA, etc).

    We live in crazy times.

    I understand and appreciate the frustration on the part of lefties, righties and moderates all.

  12. Dave: Check out the following for veracity:

    There are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state. The first is the most important.

    1) Healthcare– Control healthcare and you control the people

    2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.

    3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.

    4) Gun Control– Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.

    5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income)

    6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.

    7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools

    8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.

    Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States ?

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