Townships begin measuring value of road commissioners
SPRINGFIELD -- Cook County township officials can soon start deciding if they want to do away with their road districts and highway commissioners, now that Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to let them.
The Daily Herald reported in June that some township highway commissioners were collecting full-time salaries despite being responsible for only a handful of miles of road.
Under the legislation, township boards can put questions on the ballot that would abolish their road districts.
Wheeling Township Supervisor Michael Schroeder said his district is down to 5.1 miles of road. And while it's up to the board, he said, his township will likely consider it.
"We've always been headed in that direction," Schroeder said. "From my standpoint, it makes sense."
Others, though, might not take lawmakers up on the offer to eliminate their highway commissioner.
Elk Grove Township Supervisor Nanci Vanderweel said she's not inclined to bring it up to the board.
"If they want to bring it up, they can," Vanderweel said.
Sen. Michael Noland, an Elgin Democrat, said he doesn't want to get rid of townships.
"But we have to make every level of government more efficient," he said.
Noland said he would have preferred a law that let individual voters collect petitions to get a proposal to eliminate a highway department on the ballot. But the current effort was the result of compromise.
The legislation takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.