BTW, it has been a while since this blog really covered what's been going on in my home state of Illinois. Even with an election coming up.
Anyway, Welsh talks about high taxes especially property taxes. Why are taxes high in this state? Well Welsh blames the roughly 7,000 units of local governments. He especially notes school districts that only contain one school, mosquito abatement districts, or I suppose an egregious example two governments to run a city or maintain the same roads.
I wonder if these units of gov't include townships. I'm not a suburbanite so I don't entirely understand what they do, however, I do recognize that Chicago has townships. Look at your property tax bill if you live in Chicago it will have the township that covers your property. Although since Chicago is such a large city with a strong government there is no need for townships.
On the other hand I know that there are some suburban municipalities that also are coterminous with a township such as Oak Park. Oak Park is a relatively wealthy or if you will middle class western suburb adjacent to Chicago and they have a city government and a township. A severe case of redundancy I think.
Also I didn't know this the people up in Evanston, Illinois opted in a binding referendum to effectively abolish their township government. Probably for many that's surprising because for many Evanston is viewed as a liberal suburb - Ruberry I think has referred to that city as "Portlandia East". They bought into this idea of essentially consolidation.
For the purposes of this video however, Welsh mentions Dupage County - a typically Republican county to the west of Cook County - as a model for governmental consolidation. What if Cook County one of the more populous counties in the nation followed suit and at least found ways to eliminate the need for township governments and perhaps consolidate those other units of governments that exist in the county.
Besides, I remember finding a Cook County Highway Marker near a school in my neighborhood. So if the county has a vested interest in highways why do townships such as Thornton Township in the south suburbs have a highway commissioner?
Another good editorial by Walsh, here's an earlier one railing about high taxes. Especially as the debate over the county pop tax began to fire up until it was repealed late last year.