Why we must return to the Township form of government

Rants and Raves of Mac McIntyre
Rants and Raves of Mac McIntyre

Congratulations to Stephen Reid for winning our first ever Comment of the Month for February, 2014. His comment was in response to one of my rants and raves entitled, “Would you send your child to the Cortland school?

Stephen Reid on said:

I think that allowing a subdivision to be built next to the landfill was the cause of our current conundrum. I will never understand that decision. I believe that we need a national waste policy. I don’t like the idea of landfills. DeKalb County relies on residential housing for 2/3 of its property tax levy and farmland for 11%. The county needs revenue from some source to keep our property taxes down. Unless we get some economic growth, it seems to me that we get to pick our poison, more property taxes or a landfill expansion. Not an ideal situation by far. I believe that the late Cliff Simonson was right. He told me years ago that, “Current homeowners are subsidizing new residential development in the county.” With the pre-crash growth have increased our population but have also increased the demands for services. Residential housing rarely pays for itself unless one is in a wealthy community like Wilmette. Even with impact fees, it doesn’t cover all additional costs of government. — Stephen Reid

Reid represents the 5th District (DeKalb) on the County Board. He was appointed to the board after the landfill expansion was approved.

Yes, folks there really are people out there that think the Cortland School kids should just suffer any consequences of the landfill because someone was stupid enough to build the school in the subdivision that someone was stupid enough to approve because the voters were stupid enough to reject referendums increasing their property taxes to build a new jail.

Now to be fair Reid didn’t mention the jail but to suggest residents pick their poison relative to a landfill/elementary school issue is indicative of modern government culture.

Note there is not an iota of consideration given to anything other than the need for more revenue. The demand for services is first and foremost the stated reason for this insatiable appetite for revenue. But some on the board have complained that bonuses paid to certain employees and appointments given to others are quite costly.

It’s stuff like this that makes me think we need to return to a county board consisting of township supervisors, road commissioners and tax assessors. Annual meetings of Township Electors (voters) would be the hottest seats in town.

Township folks are more concerned about their neighbors. The democracy is more direct. Cortland Township for example, is the only unit of government with the landfill within its boundaries that cared enough about those exposed to the landfill to reject it.

Anyone wanting a good agenda item for their respective Township Annual Meeting of Electors should consider this: Put an advisory referendum on the November ballot to abolish the current county board system and replace it with a board seated with elected township officials.

Maybe they’ll get the message. In America the government is not to be served it is to serve.

Note: This has been edited to correct atrocious typos.

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