A few years ago, the Village asked whether
our residents wanted consolidated government services. In 2018, DuPage County
asked the same question. In each instance our residents have made clear their
strong desire that local units of government consolidate and work together.
In my time on the Council we’ve made some progress; consolidating dispatch services with Westmont and partnering with District 58 for vehicle maintenance. We also work with the Library to provide some employee benefits. And recently, led by Greg Hose and I, we have re-started our Peer Jury program cooperating with five other communities. These efforts just scratch the surface.
Importantly, the Township is worth re-considering in no small part because much of their efforts are subsidized by incorporated residents. Unincorporated services provided by the Township are paid for by everyone – not just unincorporated residents. Assessment and most supervisor activities could and should be done by the County. Municipalities could and should assume responsibility for road maintenance. Senior Services is a critical Township activity whose efforts should continue uninterrupted – but eliminating the balance of the activities could provide real savings to all residents of incorporated areas including Downers Grove.
Downers Grove should start and lead the conversation about further consolidation efforts. And we need to demonstrate our willingness to consider anew the most efficient way to deliver services. Let’s work together to re-think local government.