Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Conversation Has Begun....And Democrats Are Doing The Conversing

Back in January, the 7th to be precise, an Eye Operative posted a You Tube Video of Avon Township Sam Yingling discussing his tax levy reduction. In that same video, Yingling said it was time to begin having a dialogue with the community about the necessity for township government.

Also in January, Senate President John Cullerton expressed a desire to "re-examine the need for so many units of local government that results in higher taxes and less efficiency"

On Wednesday this week, a Think Tank for the Better Government Association wrote an article titled "Township Reform Pops Up on Illinois Lawmaker's Radar". You can read the entire article at

Lake County's very own Avon Township Supervisor is highlighted as a "rare" township employee (actually he is an elected official) who is advocating for the elimination of his own job.

What is the role of township? It varies and because the "people" have not been engaged (less than 30% voter turn-out for these elections in Lake County), township's in many regards have become a duplication of villages, counties and countless other government agencies that help people. Essentially, they have gone "unchecked" and the result is redundancy, nepotism, outlandish salaries for "part-time" elected officials and an additional layer of bureaucracy. Not to mention your own wallet getting lighter.

In Lake County, only 2 of 18 townships asked for less of your tax dollars in 2011. Avon is on record with a 7.2% reduction and we believe Shields asked for 2% less. All other townships asked for the maximum levy increase that is allowed by the archaic law. Top billing goes to Warren Township again this year. Over five and half million smakeroos. Yes they have a gorgeous campus, change the flowers on a regular basis but really, over 5.5 million taxpayer dollars to do something that other agencies in Lake County are providing? We ask....Gurnee, Wildwood, Gages Lake, Park City and eastern Grayslake "Is this OK with you?"

Perhaps one day voters will have an opportunity to say "yes" we need our township or "no" our township has outlived it purpose and other local government entities meet our needs. The best part is that this type of legislation would be dynamic and not a "one rule" applies to all.

What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

It's about time that this issue is getting some recognition. Townships are useless, unless of course, you are an elected township official and are collecting a nice paycheck.

Team America said...

I've written about this issue several time and I wholeheartedly believe Townships need to go, at least where the areas are developed enough such that strong county and municipal governments can better provide needed services.

LC Truth said...

Now this is a good conversation to be had!

LC Truth said...

Good post back in 2009 TA. I missed that one. Looks like this one is finally on the lawmakers radar.
I am sure in rural areas townships still have a purpose. Lake County has 18 of them. No need here IMHO.

As legislation begins to works its way through, I will be curious to see how our elected Lake County Officials react.

Anonymous said...

I am lovin it! It is about TIME!!!!!!!

Team America said...

Don't expect this to be easy. Township government, in my opinion, in many places (and probably more so in Republican areas than Dem areas) is the last bastion of anything resembling patronage jobs and contracting ability that many folks have left.

Watch Dog said...

TA...this may be the right time to strike. Once people get wind of the waste that townships in populous areas are, they will have no problem voting "Yes" to rid themselves of a taxing entity.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful initiative. Can't wait to vote!

Anonymous said...

You had all better be prepared for TOI to round up support and kill any bill that even thinks of limiting Townships. Again, it will come down to political pressure-no way any Rep. or Senator south of I-80 votes to abolish or limit Township government.