To the Editor:
The township form of government in Illinois was established in 1850, by referendum, as local government for a rural community of farmers and settlers when travel was by horse and buggy over dirt roads. It took a day to reach the county seat.
Now in the 21st century, with most citizens living in either suburban or urban societies, townships have evolved into costly, redundant, outdated, surplus government. It’s time for another township referendum. Referendums gauge opinions. They are a good thing.
Critics of township government equate townships as the extra layer of government and taxation without voter accountability. They’re right.
Illinois is a state of government glut. Illinois has 7,000 units of various governments. This is 2,100 more than any other state. Of Illinois’ 7,000 governments, 20 percent (1,433) are townships. This represents one-fifth of all township governments in the U.S. Thirty states do not have township governments, and residents in those states do not pay a township tax. Of Illinois’ 102 counties, 17 counties do not have a township tax on their tax bill.
Seven thousand governments are 7,000 opportunities for nepotism, waste, theft, fraud and abuse. A township referendum would give voters a voice to decide if they want to continue to pay taxes to support government glut.
The city of Chicago voters passed a referendum in 1902 to eliminate their nine townships. That was 111 years ago. It’s time for township referendums. Contact your township officials, ask them to support township referendums. Referendums are pure democracy.