Consolidating Government Just Might Work

I think my dad invented the question mark, because it seemed like most everything he said was a question. If I asked him where my shoes were, he’d say, where did you leave them? Or if I asked, what’s for dinner, he’d say, take a guess. Sometimes he’d give me a list of chores to do, I’d look at it and say, wow that’s a lot of stuff. He’d respond with, ‘how do you eat an elephant?’, but then quickly respond with ‘one bite at a time’. It still seemed like a lot of stuff, but at least I then had a game plan.

Trying to work our way up, financially speaking, from being #50 out of 50 states to #49 seems like it would be next to impossible. Illinois Governor Rauner vs. Illinois Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan is a match between an irresistible force vs. an immovable object. It’s similar to an arm wrestling match that’s going nowhere, while the State of Illinois is sinking.

However there has been movement at the local level, in small bites, to consolidate government through an intergovernmental cost-sharing initiative. As small as the bites have been, it is a step in the right direction. The City of Naperville is in the process of cost-sharing with the Naperville Township for highway maintenance. In the big picture, it’s a small bite, however if/when this concept begins to pick-up speed with other municipalities cost-sharing, those small bites become noticeable.

Word has it, that mayor Wiesner of Aurora has a township that has even fewer miles than Naperville Township, and he is very interested in mirroring Naperville’s cost sharing initiative.

Additionally, Naperville city officials are working with a neighboring municipality on a new ‘fire protection without borders’ initiative which if it can be accomplished, would save the State of Illinois millions of dollars.

It’s really refreshing to see city officials thinking and acting in this direction. In Naperville, the seed and plan for these ideas have been spear-headed by Naperville mayor Steve Chirico, city manager Doug Krieger, and councilman Kevin Coyne.

My dad would ask me, ‘which olive is the most difficult to get out of the jar?’. I said the last one, and he’d say, ‘no, the first one. Once you get the first one out, the rest come out easy.’

Maybe, just maybe, the City of Naperville working with the Naperville Township in cost sharing is the first olive out of the jar. Who knows, maybe we can work our way up to #49 with an eye on #48. It just takes one bite at a time.

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