One small step for Naperville Township and one smaller step for Illinois. That’s what happened when the Naperville Township Board voted to move towards an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Naperville which would allow the city to take over maintenance responsibility (snow plowing and brush pickup) for 16 miles of township roads saving almost $800,000 annually while reducing the township highway tax.
Sounds like a good deal for the most part, though a flood of township residents voiced their concerns. It seems the folks think that scheduling brush pick up once a year vs twice yearly would cause only half the brush being picked up. Mathematically it makes sense, however the City of Naperville cut back to once yearly and it seems to work just fine.
Another concern of township residents is that if they had a problem, because they live in the township, nobody at city hall would care enough to do anything about it. This is possible since the City of Naperville has an ‘at large’ style of government versus district representation, and people can get lost in the shuffle, however any council member supporting the issue of governmental consolidation would be on record, and should be available to help those township residents. The key operating word there is ‘should’. Council members who appear to be user friendly in listening to and helping residents are John Krummen, Kevin Coyne, and Kevin Gallaher.
Overall this is a nice effort to help the State of Illinois and residents with their financial woes, but in many ways this intergovernmental agreement is more symbolic, though again it does show it can be done. It’s somewhat similar to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic; too little too late.
With regard to financial health, there is a reason the State of Illinois is ranked #50 out of 50 states and that’s because there aren’t 51 states. Maybe it’s finally time the State of Illinois should put itself up for sale. This would be the ultimate example of intergovernmental consolidation. Using Occum’s Razor the simplest solution is to divide Illinois into four equal parts each of which could become part of Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin. Let’s forget Kentucky; it seems like everybody else does.
The plus side for Indiana is that they keep advertising for business to move there because it’s much more tax-friendly. Missouri, of course could strengthen their Major League Baseball image by having the Cubs within their expanded state boundary. Joining Iowa would allow us to finally have some outstanding college football and basketball teams, not to mention Iowa has 25% of this country’s Grade-A black dirt. And don’t forget the line from the movie ‘Field of Dreams’, “is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa”. And finally becoming part of Wisconsin, wow, who wouldn’t want to experience some fine dairy air.