Consolidation – Businesses Do It, Why Not Local Governments?

This letter to the Northwest Herald is re-printed with the permission of its writer, Jamie Grubich of McHenry::

The Power to Consolidate – House Bill 607

Isn’t it ironic that only a few past and present employees of the McHenry Township and the Road District and one other local bureaucrat are the only ones expressing their views for keeping the Road District as a separate unit of government when it could easily be consolidated with the General Township and overseen by a Board of Trustees and the Township Supervisor giving the taxpayers the oversight and transparency they deserve?

Illinois legislators created House Bill 607, the law giving voters the power to consolidate units of government.

Why would they create a law like this if they didn’t believe it was the time to start consolidation throughout the state when the state of Illinois is all but bankrupt?

Other states, Ohio, Michigan and New York, are even giving grant monies for government consolidation efforts.

Private companies do this every day.

When a company acquires another company, they consolidate overlapping administrative functions to save money.

Companies reorganize themselves regularly to eliminate redundancy, create more efficient flows and save on administrative costs.

Why can’t this ever be done with bureaucracies?

Why do they say consolidation doesn’t save money?

Clearly, it does.

The private sector is very successful at doing it.

The first Debt Transparency Report showed that Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for about $1 billion in late payment interest penalties just since December 2017.

Illinois has a $216.1 billion hole that it can’t plug without each Illinois taxpayer sending their $50,800 share of the unpaid debt down to Springfield. (Figures as of May 2018 published by the State Data Lab.)

Illinois has 1822 more units of government than the next closest state, Texas. Illinois has had significant population decline four years in a row.

Illinois residents pay the second highest effective property taxes in the country.

Defenders of keeping the Road District a separate unit of government have blamed unfunded pensions and problems in Springfield.

No doubt, they are right which leads right back to too many units of government in Illinois as the cause of the debt. Vote to Consolidate!


Consolidation – Businesses Do It, Why Not Local Governments? — 16 Comments

  1. Private sector does it to stay competitive, while the Public sector has a blank check to tax to the max.

    That’s the difference.

  2. House Bill 607 doesn’t require a plan, all private businesses have a plan first then consolidate.

    Vote then form a plan like Bob Anderson wants isn’t any different than what Nancy P. said about BOcare.

  3. Township garbage people vow victory right down to the final lunatic.

  4. The anti-taxpayer Township monkeys just want to feather their own nests, and start dynasties for their spawn… just like Bobby Miller, the Township Officials of Illinois’ El Presidente … until voters caught on to his crookedness.

    No wonder the desperate lawsuit to keep the measure off the ballot.

    Roads will be plowed. Even better than they are now, and without township nepotism and theft, like Algonquin Township showed us oh so well!

    Why did the people, during the Depression, wake up and realized Townships were BS bloodsuckers in these 17 counties when they abolished the pension pigs back in the 30s?

    Morgan County
    Scott County
    Menard County
    Calhoun County
    Edwards County
    Wabash County
    Monroe County
    Randolph County
    Perry County
    Williamson County
    Pope County
    Hardin County
    Johnson County
    Massac County
    Pulaski County
    Alexander County
    Union County

  5. Everywhere in Illinois people are waking up: Townships are useless and costly.

    Here is a good example:

    Aldermen in recent months, who also serve as township trustees, have complained about level of expenses in the governmental unit — which is coterminous with city boundaries. In sometimes contentious exchanges at meetings, the township three-member Budget Committee struggled to come up with a balanced budget earlier this year while expressing uncertainty about numbers contained in budget drafts.

    Besides setting the public hearing, the resolution explains potential of saving money if the City Council later votes to eliminate the township:
    “The City Council of the city of Alton, Illinois, recognizes that there are significant potential cost savings to the taxpayers of the city of Alton by eliminating Alton Township, because Alton Township is coterminous with the city of Alton,” it says.
    “The city of Alton is willing and able to assume all the rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations and responsibilities of Alton Township in event Alton Township is dissolved,” it continues.
    “The Illinois Legislature has made it possible for the voters of a coterminous municipality and township to determine whether the coterminous township should be dissolved by way of a referendum.”

  6. Here’s another ‘barber’ (Not Bob Anderson) with logical & unkind words to say about our wonderful townships.

    —- Have the lobbying whores of Township Officials of Illinois marked him for smearing, too?


    “Wondering why your property taxes are so high and so impervious to any concept of rational spending? Blame the 7,000 units of local governments in Illinois, far and away the most of any state.

    Many of those local governments–especially townships and school districts–are duplicative, inefficient and just plain useless. The useful jobs that they do can be easily and more efficiently taken over by another unit of government.”

  7. More and More Illinoisans smell the coffee and realize townships are a complete waste!

    Look at this —

    CARBONDALE — Robert “Bo” Emery of southern Illinois’ Williamson County has little use for the township form of government.

    Emery, who chairs the three-member Williamson County Board of Commissioners, said taxpayers end up paying more for road maintenance, tax assessment and red tape. Counties like his, where townships don’t exist, operate more cheaply, he said.

    And there’s another thing.

    “Try getting 12 or 13 people to agree on something,” said Emery. “It’s hard enough getting three people to agree.”

    Voters in Emery’s rural south-central Illinois county, just east of Carbondale, got rid of townships back in 1932 as a cost-cutting move.

    Ever since, road maintenance has come under the jurisdiction of one Williamson County employee; tax assessment, another. That simplifies things for residents who have complaints, he said.

    Williamson is among 17 of Illinois’ 102 counties that function without township government. Most are clustered near the state’s southern border.

    Emery points a few miles eastward to Saline County, with its 13 townships.

    “You’ve got 13 different districts running throughout that county,” he said. “In our system, you can follow through on projects and follow expenses better, instead of having 13 chiefs out there running the camp.”

  8. The Better Government Association did a study … Finding: Townships are a Giant Waste!

    A Better Government Association investigation into the financial records of the 20 largest Cook County suburban townships uncovers a web of government hamlets that are hoarding millions of dollars in property taxes, overpaying to fix and maintain a smattering of roads and bankrolling a number of costly, often redundant, jobs and social services not mandated by any law.

    Collectively, these 20 townships racked up nearly $264 million in assets primarily from property taxes, including $87 million in cash on about $77 million in debts during the last fiscal year ending in early 2010, the BGA investigation reveals.

    These ample cash reserves, however, are not a hallmark of the townships’ stellar budgetary and management acumen, say critics. Instead, it’s an indicator that these townships are collecting too much from taxpayers while providing too little in return—a charge that’s also leveled at many Illinois townships by a growing contingent of disgruntled residents and lawmakers seeking to dissolve, consolidate and streamline the state’s estimated 1,400 township governments—among the highest total of any U.S. state.

    “Township officials will say: ‘We’re fine, fiscally.’ But that’s because their township doesn’t make any sense,” says U.S. Rep Michael Quigley (D-Chicago), a former Cook County commissioner and proponent of consolidating and reorganizing local governments. “That extra money should be in the pockets of someone else, like the taxpayers. And the few services they provide should be handled by another county or municipality at less cost to the public.”

    Township leaders, who are elected to office, vehemently dispute this view and are fighting to preserve their governments and rally support for the services they provide. They are also fighting efforts in the Illinois General Assembly to pass a law making it easier to dissolve townships.

    “Townships are important to the community,” says Robert Porter, coordinator and spokesman for the Township Officials of Cook County (TOC), which represents 26 townships. “It provides a quality of life (where people) can raise their kids and live in Happyville.”

  9. Without townships the stakeholders in McHenry County would be ripped off.

    Townships are closest to the people!

    Bob Anderson is full of sh+t and neither do these other idiots. Althoff is right as rain.

    Jim Condon is the best public official in this county.

    That’s a FACT!


    Why destroy something so good! Go after the taxing schools not Townships!

  10. If the founding Fathers did a study to decide whether to revolt in 1776, we’d still be under the British Crown!

  11. The pro-township pukes are all losers feeding at the trough!

    Look who’s in charge of the anti-consolidation PAC: CRAIG ADAMS, sad sack supervisor of McHenry Township!

  12. To be fair, Cook County townships are vastly different from townships elsewhere.

  13. Sure Cal, they steal more.

    My Township, McHenry, is far worse than Algonquin.

    In Alg. they did things covertly. In McHenry all pretenses are off.

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