Cronin talks government consolidation, Transform program
By Dee Longfellow
For The Independent
Last week, DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin addressed state legislators about his TransForm Illinois program and his efforts to reduce the size of government in Illinois.
“It takes a lot of hard work, but consolidation is the only way to shrink the number of governmental units in our state,” Cronin said. “Our experience with consolidation has proven successful, but it’s a very long process. There is a whole lot of minutiae.
“I’d like to form a group to work toward more consolidation. I think it’s the mark of good government to live lean and trim away the excess wherever possible.”
Cronin reminded the room that Illinois has the highest number of governmental units of all the states in the nation.
He said the biggest obstacle to consolidation are the cynics.
“There are those who say ‘it’s a good idea, but you’ll never get it done,’” Cronin said. “But you have to work together, you have to have cooperation and it has to be a bi-partisan effort.”
The Chairman then talked about Transform Illinois, a coalition for efficient government supported by the Metropolitan Planning Council. Transform’s mission is to improve the efficiency of governmental services in Illinois and to expand awareness of the economic impact of the current structure of government. It promotes finding ways to share services among units of government, eliminate redundant and ineffective units, revise funding mechanisms to reward efficiency and discourage the creation of new, single-purpose units of government.
Cronin offered ideas of agencies that could be consolidated.
“Several fire department districts could be consolidated,” he said. “I have considered dissolving the Election Commission.”