So often we hear politicians say what we want to hear, only to find out later it was all smoke and mirrors. Our hopes are built up, only to be let down later when actions don’t follow words. It also takes courage to do the right thing in politics, and when it’s time to vote on what needs to be done, politicians oftentimes succumb to pressure, and vote the opposite way.
That’s the position that Naperville city council members, and other government officials will find themselves in, when it comes time for the opportunity to consolidate government.
Most government officials would consider ‘government consolidation’ an oxymoron, but not some Naperville city officials. They have identified, with a little creative thinking, a number of opportunities which would save the state, city, and most importantly residents a bundle of money.
Naperville city manager Doug Krieger, along with Naperville mayor Steve Chirico, and councilman Kevin Coyne have been working on a plan to have the city provide the servicing of township roads at a far lower cost. The city has 560 center lane miles of roads and the township has 16 center lane miles of roads so it is quite easy to leverage the city’s existing facilities and resources to absorb the additional miles of roads at a significant savings.
When city officials did the analysis, there indeed is a huge potential savings. The township levies about 1.6 million per year for maintenance. Naperville can do the job for under one million, saving over a half million dollars annually. Plus the Naperville Township can sell off their unneeded facilities, book the sale of the asset and place the property back into the private sector which adds additional revenue into the taxing bodies. Additionally, this could remove the future burden of some township pensions from the budget.
This is truly a win-win-win situation for the city, the township, and for residents. Naperville city officials will be launching this plan at next Tuesday’s meeting and making the pitch to the Naperville Township trustees at their budget meeting on February 9th. This consolidation falls right in line with Governor Rauner’s objective of eliminating some of the levels of government and it would be proof that it can work and save money. This would be a good win for Rauner and taxpayers. They each need a win.