As the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, I would like to respond to the July 31 editorial that calls into question the need for township government in Illinois.
We’re hearing more and more criticism about overspending and bloat at all levels of government. Townships have become an easy target for criticism because many people do not fully understand what we do. We provide essential services efficiently and effectively, which is a critical component to township government.
Larger units of government absorbing the role of townships will simply not save the taxpayers money. Studies have shown that smaller units of government actually save taxpayers money, and provide critical resources for their residents. Studies have also discovered that smaller, local governments have lower costs per capita than larger local governments; the smallest local governments generally spent half as much per capita as those with local governments of populations between 10,000 to 250,000 residents.
Calling out townships for consolidation is irresponsible and does not seek to better the lives of Illinois residents. We need to look at the facts and remember the critical services townships are able to efficiently provide in a cost-effective manner.
Bryan E. Smith
Township Officials of Illinois