Illinois is No. 1! The state has almost 7,000 individual units of government. That includes school districts with only one building, library districts, townships, mosquito abatement districts, and more.
To many politicians, this looks like a prime area of fat to cut. To others, it’s politics and government on the most local of levels.
“The fact of the matter is: the need is still going to exist,” says Andy Quarnstrom, supervisor of the City of Champaign Township. “Somebody has to provide those services for our citizens. So, until there’s actually legislation that eliminates townships as we know them, we’re going to continue to do the work we do.”
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Mike Webster, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, is president of a two-building school district: Cass District 63 in Darien. The district includes fewer than 1,000 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Local control in their school is an amazing thing,” Webster says in explaining the reluctance of voters to pass a referendum to eliminate such districts. “People want to keep it tight. I believe there are too many taxing bodies in Illinois. I think we do need consolidation (from) top to bottom, not just in the schools.”