A federal investigation of East St. Louis Township’s finances is underway, and the Belleville News-Democrat found the township supervisor spent $84,000 in 18 months – some of it on questionable purchases.

The newspaper also found that only 18 cents on the dollar goes to services. The rest goes largely to administration.

State Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake, is fighting to allow Illinois residents to dissolve these inefficient public bodies. He said the disproportionate administrative costs often lead to corruption.

“It provides opportunity for excessive corruption and excessive spending,” Yingling said. “We have way too many layers, too many units of government and that means that elected officials are going to lose their jobs. They’re going to have to deal with it.”

He said the only resistance he gets to getting rid of some of these layers of government is from entrenched township employees.

“The resistance isn’t coming from the public,” the northern Illinois Democrat said. “It’s coming from these elected township officials who are afraid of losing their cushy elected positions that are overpaying them.”

Out of more than 1,400 Illinois townships, only a few have ever been dissolved.
The board of nearby Belleville Township voted to dissolve itself, potentially saving taxpayers $250,000 every year. That change will take place in May 2017. Illinois has at least 1,800 more units of government than any other state.


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