McHenry County’s Report on Consolidating Townships with County Government

The following report was composed prior to the referendums to abolish McHenry Township (before the bogus Nunda referendum, too).

Presumably, it will be modified prior to the April referendum to abolish Algonquin Township, assuming the vote gets on the ballot.


McHenry County’s Report on Consolidating Townships with County Government — 20 Comments

  1. Consolidations usually save big coin.

    Why do Townships even give General Assistance?

    They started all that jive in the 1800’s before the welfare state came into existence.

    Nunda Township gives gen. assistance to less than 25 people a year, but costs over $20 administratively ( salaries, pensions, overhead, health benefits, etc) to give out $1.

    That’s simply ridiculous.

  2. Why do townships provide General Assistance ?

    It is statutorily mandated.

    Financial aid in meeting basic maintenance requirements shall be given under this Article [Article VI, General Assistance] to or in behalf of persons who meet the eligibility conditions of Sections 6-1.1 through 6-1.10. In addition, each unit of local government subject to this Article shall provide persons receiving financial aid in meeting basic maintenance requirements with financial aid for either (a) necessary treatment, care, and supplies required because of illness or disability, or (b) acute medical treatment, care, and supplies only. (305 ILCS 5/6-1).

    Local governmental units.

    As provided in Article VI [General Assistance], local governmental units shall provide funds for and administer the programs provided in that Article subject, where so provided, to the supervision of the Illinois Department.

    Local governmental units shall also provide the social services and utilize the rehabilitative facilities authorized in Article IX for persons served through Article VI, and shall discharge such other duties as may be required by this Code or other laws of this State.

    In counties not under township organization, the county shall provide funds for and administer such programs.

    In counties under township organization (including any such counties in which the governing authority is a board of commissioners) the various towns other than those towns lying entirely within the corporate limits of any city, village or incorporated town having a population of more than 500,000 inhabitants shall provide funds for and administer such programs. (305 ILCS 5/12-3).

    General Assistance is a descendant of the Elizabethan Poor laws and predates the creation of the State of Illinois.

    In 1790 the first poor law under the Northwest Ordinance provided that justices of the peace in each county (i.e., the Court of General Quarter Sessions) were to appoint one or more overseers of the poor in each township to serve for one year.

    (“An Act to authorize and require the courts of general quarter sessions of the peace, to divide the counties into townships and to alter the boundaries of the same when necessary, and also to appoint constables, overseers of the poor, and clerks of the townships, and for other purposes therein mentioned.” reprinted in I Statutes Of Ohio And The Northwestern Territory Adopted Or Enacted From 1788 To 1833 Inclusive chap. xvi, sec. 1, pp. 107-9 (Salmon P. Chase ed. 1833)).

  3. On this day in history, the Soviet Union collapsed.

    Is the world better or worse since the collapse of the Soviet Union?

  4. What’s the fuss?

    Cut a layer of government drought with corruption and uselessness.

  5. Getting rid of a unit of local government doesn’t mean getting rid of such unit’s statutorily mandated responsibilities; those responsibilities simply migrate upwards.

  6. While this report sheds light on the difficulties of township elimination there is more to be considered to actually form a PLAN that is needed before a vote to dissolve.

    Cal how about getting a copy of McDOT’s consolidation report and sharing it?

  7. One thing is for sure,
    attorneys of all kinds will get rich fees
    from all of this.

    We however, will get left “holding the bag”, once again,
    as full time unionized county employees take over the largely
    part time hourly township labor needs.

    It will be just like a large school unit district with high salaries
    (i.e. District 300) taking over all of the smaller districts.

    No matter what, they will always get more, we will be taxed more.

  8. Geal

    Where, exactly, in the article you rely upon does it say a township’s three (3) statutorily mandated governmental responsibilities (roads, assessment, General Assistance) vanish with the elimination of the township ?

    So, then, you have an area of a county in which there is no governmental responsibility for roads or assessment or General Assistance ?

    How, exactly, does that work ? (Bet the school districts would love that.)

    In fact, all three (3) functions then become the responsibility of the county.

  9. How about getting rid of all town and City governments in McHenry County and let the County run them instead?

    It’s basically the same thing as getting rid of the Townships.

  10. I’m all for cutting townships IF it would save $.

    And it must save $.

  11. There is a difference between municipal corporations and quasi-municipal corporations.

    Quasi-municipal corporations (such as counties and townships) are mandated creations of the state devised to provide state mandated governmental functions within their geographical areas.

    Absent such creatures (oftentimes referred to as political subdivisions of a state), the state itself would have to directly perform such functions (say, a state’s attorney coming directly from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office in Springfield in every criminal case).

    That is why by law the dissolution of a quasi-municipal corporation (say, a township) involves state interests and results in those state mandated governmental functions devolving upon another quasi-municipal corporation (typically, a larger quasi-municipal corporation encompassing the same geographical area).

    By contrast, municipal corporations are creations of a locale populace established primarily to further the interests of such local populace as opposed to state interests.

    That is why state law permits a municipal corporation to be dissolved by such locale populace, with such municipal powers and functions ceasing to exist within the affected geographical area.

    In short, the state really doesn’t have a dog in that fight, whereas it does with respect to the dissolution of quasi-municipal corporations.

    Now, over time the law has blurred such rigid distinctions, but the foregoing is the basic blueprint.

  12. The law says it will save money for property owners.

    The mandate is for a 10% cut in the amount paid for township services after the county takes over.

  13. Municipalities have many more duties than townships.

    Think policing, water and sewer, street lights.

    Illinois townships are not like those in Pennsylvania, for example.

  14. How about getting rid of Hoss Wisenbaker?

    He’s a PFLAG mope who needs treatment for his gender dysphoria.

  15. Innocent Primate sounds like Rebecca LEE, Bob Miller’s hirsute daughter.

  16. Cal Skinner

    The whole point of my illustrating the difference between municipal and quasi-municipal corporations was in response to someone’s suggestion that towns and cities be done away with.

    Those entities are created by the local populaces and aren’t on the same footing as townships with regard to being dissolved.

    At present, by law only the local populace can dissolve a municipal corporation.

    I seriously doubt the General Assembly is going to do anything to alter that framework.

    I’m also leery of the suggestion that getting rid of a category of local government and having the corresponding local governmental responsibilities devolve upon a larger unit of government will undoubtedly result in tax savings or greater efficiency.

    I don’t dispute that such can happen, I simply don’t believe it is inevitable and am inclined to believe that results are likely to vary on a case-by-case (or county-by-county) basis.

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