Lake County Board supports a state bill to help consolidate local governments
The Lake County Board is supporting an initiative to introduce new state legislation to consolidate local governments and save taxpayers money.
“Today the county board voted to approve a resolution that will allow us to introduce new legislation in Springfield to consolidate units of government that are appointed by the county board,” Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawler said in a video announcement.
DuPage County pursued similar action and cut down its layers of government after a bill (SB 494) was signed into law by former Gov. Pat Quinn in 2013. The county consolidated and transformed redundant agencies performing many of the same tasks that included mosquito abatement, treating and collecting sewage, and maintaining street lights.
“Here in Lake County, we appoint nearly 300 people to about 70 units of government, taxing bodies, boards and other commissions," Lawler said. "It is important that we look out for taxpayers and opportunities to save money. That is what this new law would do.”
Lake County Board Member Terry Wilke echoed Lawler's statement and said the government has too many layers and consolidating units of government will save taxpayers money.
“Lake County has extremely high property taxes and way too many levels of government, and that is part of the problem,” Wilke said. “So what we want to do to fix that is get the same authority that DuPage County already has for those offices that we appoint, and then also work with the state with the other things that we don’t appoint that also need attention so we can reduce the layers of government. We can reduce the cost to taxpayers.”
In its 2016 legislative program, Lake County proposed the dissolution of the Round Lake Sanitary District, stating that the functions and assets of the district are being performed and maintained by the Lake County Public Waters Department, and that a change in legislation would allow for more cost-efficient management of the district’s assets.
The county board is also proposing to consolidate 911 emergency dispatch centers.