To the Editor:
Illinois has more units of government than any other state in the union. Illinois taxpayers have a tax burden of supporting 7,000 units of governments, 2,100 more than any other state. Most citizens are not aware of this.
How can Illinois’ massive fiscal crisis be improved under the cost and confusion of 7,000 governments. Think about it. There are about 50,000 elected officials in Illinois. How many do you know? What is the cost for salary and benefits? Why do we continue to waste our money and resources? Is it because of our ignorance?
A reduction and reform in excessive government is more than necessary, but it won’t be easy. Both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have been mostly silent on the issue of eliminating or consolidating governments. This needs to be changed. New and bold ideas need to come about.
Where should we start? Township governments should be the first to go. Township governments, established in 1850 for a rural farming community, have outlived their usefulness in today’s urban society. Our state population is about 13 million citizens. Very few live on farms.
There are 1,434 township governments in Illinois protected by 11,500 paid elected officials and an arm of township employees. Most township officials and employees live in cities, clinging, at taxpayer expense, to the idea of townships for personal gain. Township governments can best serve the public by disappearing.
A statewide referendum to eliminate townships would serve the public well. Abolish townships ... unlimited possibilities.