To the Editor:
Townships in Illinois spend thousands upon thousands of tax dollars promoting townships as cheap, low-cost government with underpaid employees. This is far from the truth and a perpetuated myth.
It pays well to be a township road commissioner. Generally, township commissioners receive a salary, health insurance, lavish retirement benefits, sick days, personal days, holiday pay and other benefits that those in the private sectors can only dream of.
A few examples of township excess:
Nunda Township road commissioner: salary $94,740; health $15,108; retirement $8,707 for a total taxpayer cost of $118,555. Algonquin Township road commissioner: salary $93,318; health $10,608; retirement $10,451; for a total taxpayer cost of $114,377. McHenry Township road commissioner: salary $80,635; health $4,950; retirement $8,983; for a total taxpayer cost of $94,567. Greenwood Township road commissioner: salary $78,386; health $7,241; retirement, $10,316; for a total taxpayer cost of $95,943.
The public trough trumps being self-employed. Many road commissioners leave private businesses to land plum township jobs. And township jobs last a lifetime.
Less work, more money. Even though road commissioners have less work, they continue to receive annual raises. Note: When municipal governments annex land into their boundaries, the township roads within those boundaries become city roads.
Also, many townships have more lightly traveled secondary subdivision roads than main roads.
Townships can be abolished. This could be accomplished by referendum where voters would vote yes or no to either keep or abolish their township.