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Letter: Small governments more efficient

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

As the executive director of the Township Officials of Illinois, I would like to respond to the Sept. 27 editorial in the Daily Chronicle that criticized the number of local governments in Illinois and called for consolidation.

Townships have often been an easy target for criticism because many people fail to understand what we do and how we operate. Township officials across the state work tirelessly to provide essential services effectively and efficiently, and we often do it far under the radar.

A recent analysis by respected public policy researcher Wendell Cox discovered that smaller, local governments have lower costs per capita than larger local governments. He also found that in Illinois, 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.

The argument that smaller units of government in Illinois are ineffective and costly is simply not true.

The role of townships is to focus on cutting costs and providing value for the money allocated. If the responsibilities of smaller governments, including townships, were transferred to larger governments, taxpayers would pay MORE, because the larger governments have higher cost structures.

This would certainly not be a step in the right direction for Illinois taxpayers.

Bryan E. Smith

Executive Director

Township Officials of Illinois

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